I checked the time left on my watch, the digital green numbers slowly counting down from 36,792,000 minutes. I was one of the many who’d had the watch implanted permanently on my wrist. The doctor had proclaimed, “The Death Day Counter will accurately count down the time until your demise! It is perfectly safe to implant, however some choose not to for obvious reasons.” He had smiled widely when I decided to have it implanted. “That show’s strength my friend! You are not concerned about your death day at all are you?” I had shaken my head and put out my wrist, letting the doctor do his job. I put away thoughts of the crazed doctor from years ago and focused on my laptop screen. I clicked the tab and booked a flight to Cancun, hoping a vacation would do me good, the hustle and bustle of New Philadelphia was starting to strain my mental limits. I closed my computer and started to pack my bags.
3 Hours later I walked into the airport, carry on and suitcase in tow. The attendee at the desk gave me a tight lipped smile and asked for my name. “Sam Jones, to Cancun.” She typed it in and handed me the printed tickets. “Your flight leaves in 30 minutes, however you can make your way to Gate 3 and wait there.” I nodded and walked away, heading for my gate.
The plane was huge. At least 200 people in all filed into the gate either before or after me. I sat down in my seat, in-between a rather old woman and a young man. The old woman smiled gently at me while the man glared at me for accidentally bumping into his legs. I smiled back at the woman as nicely as I could and pulled out a book that I had brought to read during the flight. The pilot came over the intercom and welcomed us onto the flight, preparing us for the small amount of turbulence we would soon encounter. I buckled my seat belt and leaned my head back, waiting for the plane to take off.
Just as the wheels lifted off the pavement, a bright flashing caused me to open my eyes. My watch had changed. Instead of the steady large number I had grown accustomed to, a sad 20 minutes were left. I panicked, shooting out of my seat, heading towards the attendant. She stood there, shock present on her round face. As I tried to grab her attention, I noticed that she too was staring at her implanted watch. She looked at me and I spoke, “20 minutes for you too?” She nodded, tears threatening to spill out of her eyes like a dam waiting to burst. I pushed past the now crying attendant and made my way into the cockpit, hoping to somehow change the fate that had been lay before me. The pilot, a middle aged graying man, turned to face me with surprise written on his features. “Who are you? Why are you up here?” He looked past me, “Sheila! Why is this gentleman up here? I thought I told you, no one is allowed up here besides Jim and me.” He pointed to the co-pilot. I stared at him and showed him my watch, which was now at 19 minutes. He glanced up at me and looked to his co-pilot, Jim I think. Jim slowly glanced down at his watch and grimaced, his also said 19. I faced the pilot, “Sir, is there anything wrong with this plane? Anything at all that would be a concern?” He shook his head, “It’s just come back from repairs last week, the right wing had cracks in it or something.” I went back into the seating area and looked out the window, the right wing looked very unstable, I could see it wobbling. I took a deep breath and walked back up to the cockpit, “I think that they may not have repaired it at all, the wing is wobbling, and I’m pretty sure that isn’t normal.
We heard a creaking noise and soon, all sorts of lights and alarms went off. We were at cruising altitude, and since we were flying to Mexico, there was no chance of a water landing. The pilots were frantically pushing buttons and turning levers, calling desperately into their headsets for anyone who would listen. Static was the only response, and Jim threw his headset down, leaving it on the floor. We heard another creak, and suddenly a loud snap. We slowly started to spiral down, red lights flashing, alarms blaring. I heard screams from behind me and rushed into the main part of the plane. Some were crying while others stared out the windows in shock. I didn’t know what to do, so I raced back to the cockpit, thoughts pending on how to be useful in the current situation. I glanced at my watch again, the minuscule 4 minutes counted down slowly, torturing me with every tenth of a second that passed. I started to think of my family, my sister, my parents. I pulled out my cell phone, calling my mom. She picked up the phone, “Sam, honey! It’s been a long time! What’s up?” I started to cry, “Mom…I’m on a plane and…we’re gonna crash. My watch says I have 4 minutes to live.” She had started to cry as well. I cried harder, talking through my sniffles, “Mom, I want you to record the call, tell Dad that I love him, Susan too. I love you Mom. When I’m…gone…divide half my money in-between you all and give the rest to charity, I never did give enough while I could.” She was wracked with sobs, she couldn’t answer. I figured I could leave her with one little shred of hope, “My watch may be wrong Mom, don’t cry there’s still a chance. I love you, I love you all.” I looked out the window one last time as the plane dive bombed into a river.