“Brian’s Problem” by Abigail G. is a terrifying piece of fiction, describing a plane about to crash, and what our main character makes of it. The story is fast paced, packed with tension and an unexpected twist. Brian is returning to his hometown of Heather, Montana. Abigail gets straight to the point, telling us “In 1990 a man had been murdered there, and it was Brian’s hometown. Also, he had killed that man.” The author wastes no time in telling us what happened to lead up to this point, what is happening in that moment, and is about to happen.
As soon as I read the first line, my heart rate jumped. Coming from someone who is deeply scared of being on a plane, crashing is in my top 3 fears. It is an absolutely horrifying thought to think that in the midst of a life-threatening emergency, there are people like Brian, who can be calm and follow instructions. Given how short the scene is, Brian is a well-rounded character whose personality shows through, despite not being the narrator, such as in the line “Between his sleep-addled brain and the clamor of the terrified passengers, the most complex thought he could form was, Hmm. Bad.” “Brian’s Problem” features sheer panic, a feeling of helplessness, and a relatable protagonist in ways that can truly captivate a reader. Even now, my heart is still racing from the emotion shown in the piece.