A Stalling Heart This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.


   Theylooked down from the airplane and saw only clouds. They obscured the blue of thesea that rushed beneath them. It had been a while since she knew where this seawas, but she was past caring.

"Are you alive in there?" Shedidn't know where this voice was coming from; it was just there as she flewgracefully out into nothing. Am I real in here? She pressed her hand against thecool window of the cockpit and tried to look inside herself for an answer. Sheturned her eyes inside out trying to discern what this life was all about. Whather life was at this moment was still a mystery.

"No, I am beyondliving," she replied to no one. No, she was responding to the Voice. Whatwas it? Her mother? Her friends? The only thing Amelia Earhart knew was that shewasn't lost - she had only misplaced her destination. The one answer she couldgive was that she was beyond being worried.

She looked down again, throughthe handprint she had left on the window that stretched above and past her headand into the realm of peripheral vision. Clouds still masked the sea she knew waswaiting below. No land had floated into sight in the last two hours. Amelia hadovershot salvation.

"You're not sad, are you?" It was more astatement than a question. The Voice was back again, telling her the blatanttruth.

"No, I am floating." Amelia was not shocked to realizethat fear or sadness had no hold over her. Amelia hadn't felt anything since shewas a kid, a teenager dreaming of flight. She could recall that sense of peacewhen she had achieved her dream, and then the world had made her into anidol.

"I didn't want to be anyone's idol." She spoke to theVoice before it could accuse her again. She had never wanted the attention. Shehad never wanted the world's women admiring her and praising her for breakinginto a "man's world." She was acting out a personal passion, and sheresented the intrusive worship of millions.

"Amelia, you were lostlong before this." Amelia felt tears for the first time in ages. She criedstingy tears for a dream that had flown from her heart and into the hearts ofadoring fans. They had taken her dream and torn it to unrecognizable shreds. Hervision, her accomplishments, were now circus farces. Her ambitions haddeteriorated to newspaper headlines striving for ratings and readers. She wasentertainment for people, and nothing else.

"I did it, didn'tI?" Amelia turned her anger onto the Voice. "I did this - we did this -on purpose, didn't we?" The Voice offered no comment, and no comfort in theisolation. Amelia pressed her face up to the window. Her cheek on the cold wasmore of a consolation than the Voice anyway. At least cold was a sensation shecould feel.

Amelia sensed the engines stalling before she heard it. Shehad fused with her plane, she knew it better than she knew herself. Moments latershe heard the choking noises that echoed her own heart these days. She pushedboth hands against the glass and looked down. She was through the clouds, and thegreat blue ocean, finally visible, was opening its arms forAmelia.

"So this is how I end, then?" Amelia could barely hearherself over the protests of the plane and the wind.

"No,Amelia," the Voice spoke softly and for the last time. "This is justanother beginning."




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the March 2002 Teen Ink Fiction Contest.






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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Penelope This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 22, 2010 at 8:15 pm
that was really cool!
 
fuck said...
Mar. 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm
Quit wasting your time on book reviews
 
Chrissy L. said...
Apr. 23, 2009 at 8:12 pm
Wow, this is incredible.
 
kkkd replied...
Mar. 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm
Hi, do you actually like this?
 
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