The child

September 23, 2009
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A voice was heard over the intercom: “All passengers to Flight 25 to Zurich, report to Gate F3”. A man sitting on a bench woke and looked at his watch. It was ten in the morning-time for his flight. The man called out at a boy coming out from the restroom. The boy ran to the man and hugged him. The man gave their tickets to the boy and whispered something into the boy’s ear. The boy gave the tickets to the ticket taker. The boy said, “Here is the tickets ma’am”. The woman smiled and said, “Well thank you, Enjoy your flight”. They went on the plane, much to the boy’s excitement. The two found their seats, the boy rushing for the window seat, and settled in for the long trip.
As the plane began to take off, the boy grew anxious. It was his first time on a plane. He began to clutch the arm bars and shake. The man noticed this and calmed the child, assuring him that there was nothing to worry about. The boy asked, “What if something bad happens”. The man chuckled and said, “As long as I’m here, you will be safe. I promise”. The boy was content with this answer and began to relax. He soon fell asleep after a few hours, laying his head on the man’s arm.
The man looked at the boy, and smiled to himself. He thought back to the day that he first saw the boy. He was driving along the highway when he saw a figure on the side of the road. It was a boy with raggedy clothes, arms out and thumb extended. The man stopped on the side of the road and asked the boy what he was doing in the middle of nowhere. The boy looked up at the man and said, “I don’t know”. The man saw something in the boy’s eyes, something that reminded him of himself. He opened his passenger door and let the boy in. The boy wasn’t talkative, but he eventually let came to. He was an only child who ran away from his parents. They were evil people, the boy explained. They always came home drunk and beat him. On day he could not take the pain anymore and left. The man and the boy bonded inside the car and have been together ever since.
Breaking out of his reflection, the man saw that it was 9 o’clock. He looked at the boy to see him looking at the window. It was dark and uninviting outside. Brief flashes of lightning appeared. All of a sudden, the plane jerked the passengers around. A voice sounded out over the intercom that it was noting but a little turbulence. Whispers and murmurs spread around the cabins saying that something was wrong. They were right.
In the cockpit, the captain was frantically yelling over the radio. The left engine was struck by lightning and had given out, causing the plane to lose altitude. The captain was able to keep the plane steady with the help of his co-pilot for a little while. It would not last, however. The plane slowly began tipping to the right and the high winds made it bounce. The passengers screamed as they were jerked around. Inside the cabins, the luggage from the luggage compartments fly out and strike the unsuspecting passengers. In an effort to protect the boy, the man threw his arms around him and held him tight, covering his head with his chest. The man looked up and out the window to see a bolt of lightning hit the wing. A deep rumbling flowed through the cabins, causing an eerie silence. It seemed that all was returning to normal as the plane stopped bouncing. Then, without warning, the plane stalled and started to drop. The pilot in the cockpit tried hard to regain control. The man, still holding on to the boy, gripped harder out of fear, repeating “it’s going to be alright” over and over to the boy. He could not hear the abnormal breathing of the child due to the screams of the other passengers.
The captain eventually regained control of the aircraft. Just short of crashing into the ground, he was able to level out the plane. The co-pilot pointed out that there was an airfield ahead. Within minutes, the pilots were able to land the plane with the help of the control tower. Everyone inside the cabins breathed a sigh of relief. A celebration occurred as the plane stopped and the pilots came out of the cockpit. The man finally let go of the child and noticed something. The child would not move nor wake. The man broke in hysterics until a doctor from the ground crew came to check on the boy.
The doctor pulled out her stethoscope and placed it against the boy’s chest. There was nothing, no beat nor sound. She then placed two figures on the boy’s neck, but felt nothing. With a heavy sigh, she turned to the man. The man said to her, his voice trailing off, “So, what’s wrong with him”. She looked down and said, “He’s gone. I’m sorry”. The man could not believe it and went into denial. “No, No. He was just alive. He’s still alive. I know it!” cried the man. The doctor then said to him an answer that silenced everyone in the cabin: “the boy died by suffocation”. The man looked at his hands and shuddered. He had realized what he had done. He broke down onto his knees and wept.





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deannajasmine said...
Oct. 7, 2009 at 10:28 pm
Wow. That was amazing. I felt tears coming. I loved your descriptions and a the unexpected outcomes. Great Job.
 
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