All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Some people claim intuition can warn you of a tragedy in the making, like everyone has got a little clairvoyance in their head. If so, I’m missing out on some vital brain cells, because the only thing on my mind was lunch. I doubt a few moments notice would have changed anything, or have saved anyone. It’s probably better no one knew; dying in peace rather than panic. Thinking back, it’s good lunch was the final thing on my mind.
I’ve never been one of those people who freaked out on a plane. For some reason, I’ve always felt totally calm all those thousands of feet in the air, like I were lying in my own bed. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t expecting what happened next, no one ever anticipates their bed suddenly going up in flames. So I sat there, contently staring at the television screen built into the chair before mine. Other than the light from the functioning TV’s, the entire first-class cabin was pitch black. I would have been asleep had the movie not been so gory. Not that gore keeps me awake; I found it more…amusing than anything. If only the real thing wasn’t so different.
Whilst I watched the gore of the movie unfold, the stewardess came stumbling down the aisle, clearing the way with a metal cart. She clearly wasn’t experienced when it came to service, the way she carried herself was jerky and unsteady. Like a new car with two flat tires, she came billowing down the clearing between seats with a smile plaster across her nervous face. She was pretty, not that airbrushed fake pretty that people find intimidating rather than attractive, but the gentle, comforting pretty. She had a face that I felt like I could trust. Despite that, I didn’t pay the slightest bit of attention as she rammed her metal deathtrap into me.
“Excuse me…SORRY!” She apologized anxiously. I turned at the sound of an unfamiliar voice.
“It’s fine.” I replied blandly, hardly bothering to make eye contact, and then refocused on my movie.
“If you don’t mind me asking,” Her uncomfortable voice muttered, recollecting my attention, as if it was a rope in a tug-of-war with the television. “What’s your name?”
Her question more of less surprised me, I’m not used to random strangers confronting me.
“Fiona.” I responded, removing the headset that suffocated my ears.
“Well, Fiona.” Her smile was warm, an authentic display of happiness. “I must say; you have quite a set of unique eyes there.”
I couldn’t help but smile; the beauty of my eyes was one thing I couldn’t deny. I have different colored eyes, one blue, and one green. It’s a rare; totally only one of a kind characteristic that pretty much defines who I am. Without it, my personality might as well cease to exist.
“Thank you.” My grin was gladsome; I couldn’t hide how happy my eyes made me. If arrogance lied anywhere in my mind, it had to do with my eyes. Blue and green eyes were my favorite, and having both just made my day, every single day.
By now, you’re probably curious what someone like me is doing on a plane alone. What motive would propel a high school student to fly halfway across the globe in the middle of the school year, all on her own? The truth is, if I saw anyone else doing this, I’d think them crazy. But somehow, my predicament seems to justify the situation. Recently, my mother passed away in one of the worst ways imaginable, suicide. No one really understands why, but it hit me harder than anyone else. I just felt totally destroyed, totally torn and incinerated. My mom was the only person that I could really relate to…in my family anyway, other than my grandmother. Sure, I had my dad and older brother, but they might as well have been complete strangers, especially in times of crisis and grief. And the way my family functioned was so…dead, so completely lifeless and horrific there was no way I could possibly handle it. So, I hopped on the next plane the hell out of there.
The stewardess made her uneasy way past, knocking into a few other passengers on the way. It wasn’t long after that I became unusually hungry. I don’t eat much, but I’ve always been one of those people unable to wait for a meal. I just wanted things the second I craved it; my impatience has always been incredibly annoying. My dad used to say ‘patience is a part of life, rushing things will only cause strife’. I never believed any of that; I think I have to wait long enough to age. Why wait for anything else?
The awkward stewardess was long gone, so I intolerantly rose from my seat. The plane was teetering oddly, and the pilot was instructing us all to stay seated, but I never took any of that seriously. I knew nothing would happen. One thing about adolescence, we think we know it all, but we merely survive on ignorance is bliss.
I made my way to the small kitchen cabin, taking one wobbly step after another, when things started to go wrong. The slight teetering changed suddenly, as if we were being bombarded from every angle by missiles. I would have, should have taken that as a big hint, and sprinted back to my seat. But, as I mentioned before, I’ve always been all to at ease in a plane. So I gripped the top of the seats, and progressed further down the lane.
Could everyone please take their seats? The pilot instructed for the second time, and I immediately assumed he was referring to me. I looked from side to side, surveying those around me. They’d all seemed to heed the warning all too rapidly, like they knew this was a life or death situation. Why does everyone overreact?
Eventually, I felt odd being the only one up, and turned back to my seat. It was then that we took a sudden dive, and the plane literally began to fall out of the sky. I screamed, and before I could react, was thrown violently against the cabin ceiling. It was pretty much the worst, most sudden pain I’ve ever felt. My head hit the roof so sharply, so agonizingly hard that I could have sworn my skull shattered on impact. And I swear I heard my back snap like a mere twig. The pain was sudden, horrible…but then over before it could really sink in. I fell back to the ground, but I felt absolutely nothing, like falling on a thick mound of pillows. The people in the cabin screeched, gazing at me in pure horror, but I simply rose to my feet.
Instinctively, my hands gripped the once tender back of my head. There was no blood, no shards of bone, and no pain. I felt as normal as ever, as if I’d just woken from a good night sleep. The plane was still falling like a bowling ball from a shelf, so I slithered, unharmed, back to my seat.
People screaming—babies crying—wind rushing like a hurricane—smoke—fire burning, all these horrible, unbearable aspects made up the duration of our fall. I snatched at my seatbelt, but I couldn’t get a grip for some reason. So I held myself and prayed, a sudden wave of faith rushing over me. I felt fear, an emotion that felt so raw and intense, compared to how I’d felt it before, rushing through my veins. Everything happened so fast; I could hardly catch my breath. If I didn’t know any better, I would have said I wasn’t breathing at all.
Then, even worse than the endless fall, was the actual crash. I don’t know where we were, but we took something out with us, leaving a fatal snap as we hit the ground. Or maybe that was the bloodcurdling shatter of the plane’s underbelly, reaching sea level Making contact after such a deadly fall should have hurt…should have shook me too the bone and possibly killed me, but again, I felt nothing. I might as well have fallen atop a pile of cotton candy.
More screaming—blood—death like I’ve never seen before—tension and horror plaguing the smoky air. I wouldn’t have made it out of the flaming aircraft if not for Jane. Jane, by the way, is the stewardess who’d commented on my eyes earlier. Her fear and discomfort was more prevalent than ever, her hands were trembling uncontrollably as she directed us to the nearest exit. And by ‘us’ I mean the few people who seemed to escape the chaos that had erupted like the contents of a shaken soda can. That wasn’t very many, considering the plane had fallen to pieces, shredded its underbelly, and gone up in flames. Still, there were some that the bruised and bleeding Jane attempted to steer towards safety. But at least she had it under control enough to help me.
“Fiona?” She muttered as I leaped over a mass of maimed flesh. I looked up.
“W-what happened?” I stuttered, gawking at the flaming cabin.
“An engine caught fire, I don’t know how. You have to get out of here!” She was panting, staring around for survivors. There were so few, I don’t even understand how I made it. So many lives had faded in a matter of seconds, so many people gone without saying goodbye…
Jane dove through the door, and I followed.
To be honest, outside wasn’t much of an improvement. The flames still thrived on the flesh and metal, the death toll still rose, but at least I was outside. I could smell the hope of freedom in the air. If only that was the only thing I could smell.
It wasn’t until now that the full effect of the accident hit, like a fresh slap to the face. And, being the small town Junior that I am, I’m accused used to death. And at such a large, mass-murder type scale, you could imagine my reaction.
“Fiona!” Jane screeched, reaching out for my arm. For some reason, she didn’t grip it, despite the fact I was still in reach. Jane just paused suddenly, heaving her breaths like boulders, and watched me run off.
I’m not sure what caused my sudden sprint, but I just couldn’t take what I was facing. Framing the path I ran were bodies, bleeding, maimed, human bodies. The remains of dozens of once breathing, suddenly slaughtered human beings. Each one of these bloody carcasses once had a family, once led a life all their own. They weren’t actors from some cheesy horror movie, covered in artificial blood and returning home at night. There was no coming back; life had been ripped from them like a rug from under your feet. Their entire existence shattered in a few, final seconds.
By then, tears were streaming my face, running down my unharmed cheeks. How could I possibly have been so lucky? Out of all these people, all these shattered souls and wasted lives, how did I escape without a single fissure or contusion? I must’ve been the luckiest thing on this planet; I could still return home to family, I could still breathe the sweet, fresh air. God blessed me enough to keep me around to see people I loved, to go back to school. It seemed to take a plane crash to make me realize my family needed me around.
Eventually, I got tired of running. One can only sprint full speed for so long. So I paused, resting my exhausted body against some unidentifiable wreckage. I couldn’t have gone far, I was still enveloped by evidence of the catastrophe. The living hell still made up my environment, but at least I’d tired myself out. Exhaustion made it harder to think, harder to concentrate on anything but breathing. But for some reason, I still felt like the breath refused to enter my lungs.
The fact is, I hadn’t made it very far, and I could still see Jane in the distance. Had I gone nowhere at all…or was she just following me? Whatever the reason, Jane was nearby; close enough so I could hear her. She was screaming indistinctly, mostly making painful shocked yelps. And, most disturbingly, she was leaning over a bloody corpse.
Forgetting my fear and discomfort, I wobbled over to assist my recently acquired friend. I may not be the most sympathetic person, but I could definitely feel empathy for loss. So I knelt at the stewardess’s side, looking her up and down. The thing is, I wasn’t expecting what was coming next. Rather than relief, Jane stared up at me fearfully. Her eyes flashed from my unharmed face, to the maimed corpse and back. She reached out, hesitantly, for my shoulder, but didn’t touch. And then, without warning, she howled like an old horror movie victim.
“Fiona?” Her voice was shaking uncontrollably.
“Are you alright?” I asked, ignoring her question. She didn’t answer, just glanced at the body for which she mourned. Something I’d never seen before lingered in her eyes, something more realistic than I could comprehend. She honest to God looked like she’d seen a ghost.
I looked down at the body Jane had overturned. She was a schoolgirl, with brown hair and a light complexion. In a single glance, I came across more cuts than I could count, more blood than I could handle. Her face was pretty much mutilated beyond recognition, but one thing stood out about her, one thing no one could miss.
Her eyes, staring out aimlessly into space, were blue and green.