The sky was cloudy, otherwise, the day appeared to start off being within the normal realm of things. Kay had a good night’s sleep, heard the alarm with the first buzzer, made the bed, took a shower and still made it to the airport on time for her early morning flight; Naples, FL to Bal Harbour, ME. It was an eleven-passenger seater. Kay preferred the smaller planes as they have far less drama. Most professionals prefer the smaller ones for the same reason.
The ride was very smooth and quiet. After a couple of hours, you could see the thrashing of the Atlantic Ocean against the many boulders that lined the city with the ocean. They were all elated to get there without incident. All of a sudden, they were in the middle of a thunderous storm; rain beating against the plane and wind nearly flipping it sideways.” “This is the Captain. I have an emergency message!”
All ears came to attention. A few maddening screams from two overwhelmed women were heard. The screaming women were sitting directly to the front of Kay, an older woman who always drank too much. Their screams were more nerve-wracking than the Captain’s announcement! “PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! stop the screaming! I have an important life-saving message for each of you!” Kay sat back into her seat without saying what she had intended to say to the two screaming women.
The Captain said due to the storm, they would have to bend over and hold on to our seat. When Kay felt the bulky hands of the overweight gentleman sitting next to her, (no, he was not a gentleman), on her behind, she yelled at him, “Hey jerk, get your hands off my ass! The captain means our seat where we were seated.” That jerk said, “So sorry lady, but I cannot reach that far behind my seat, so would you reverse places with me?” “Kay said, “in your dream!”
Kay told that Captain, “Just hang on with your announcement as this overweight man next to me needs to go slap the crap out of those two women, so they will be stunned enough to stop screaming.” The overweight man said, “Hang on young lady, I’m not going to slap anyone.” Kay replied, “Well then, I will just have to slap the crap out of you. They have to stop acting as if we are going to crash and die.” Kay didn’t think he wanted to mess with her any more than he already had, so he continued into the aisle. The women were dumbfounded and stopped screaming. Too bad he had never heard of the 5th amendment.
The Captain then continued with his message, “All the controls are in locked mode. All communications are out. We are 42 miles from the airport with only enough petrol for 30 miles to get us to where we will be safe. The headwind is pushing so hard that we can’t make any headway. It appears we will have to crash land.” The screaming started again! Kay took another swig from her bottle of Jack Daniels. Not everyone could hear all the Captain had to say.
Kay had a rather odd feeling about what was going to happen. She was not alarmed at all. If this was the end; then it was to be.
Suddenly, Kay, the older woman who was about half looped, jumped to her feet and yelled for everyone to have an alcoholic drink! It will help ease the thud of the landing. The Captain asked her to sit and please be quiet.
Quietly, a rather tall man, near the front, stood with a slight bend, almost as if in pain, spoke very softly and slowly. His collar was white with a white cloak. He had the appearance of ‘a man of God’. He had every one’s attention. He said, “None of us know why catastrophes happen. This is not a catastrophe and most likely will not be. It is only a problem at the moment. I am sure that all of you are reliving parts of your life.
Loved ones, friends and incidents are passing through your mind in utter confusion. Some are castigating themselves for things undone or statements made. Kay interrupted the cloaked man by saying, “I sure wish I had told the screamers what I started to. Do you mind if I do now?” The white cloaked man paid her no attention and continued on with, “May I suggest that we all look at life from an unusual perspective at this time.” He seemed at ease and very peaceful.
Kay was thinking, “I have been on this flight many times with many different pilots. This one seems to be somewhat rattled more than most”. Panic struck at the heart of everyone! Kay felt the need for another swig from her bottle.
Everyone straightened up and stared toward the flight deck. The cloaked man continued, however, he sounded like the Captain’s voice. “I tell you this because I will be making some odd maneuvers as I look for a hole in this storm. Our best bet is to find the coast and visually follow it to the nearest airport. I will leave the door open so you can talk to me, as you get disoriented in a storm at night and I will be concentrating, so try to keep your comments to a minimum.” Kay knew something was different because now the white cloaked man was the pilot.
“I would like for each of you to listen to me and think of nothing else except what I am saying.”
He had everyone’s attention. “What if this plane never came back to earth? What if we kept going up and up and landed on another planet? How would we survive? Let us get to know each other and find out how we would fare. He pointed to a man and asked his name and his talent.” I’m Jim, a roofer,” “Wonderful”, said the Padre. We can use you, to keep the sun or weather off us.” “By the way, they call me, Padre Didit.” Kay wondered who ’they’ might be. “And the lady back there, your name please.” “Sunie, I’m a McDonald’s chef.” “ We are doing well,” said the Padre, “and how about you as he picked out an-older-gentlemen”. “Bill, I am in banking. I work at McDonald’s drive thru. You can’t get the food without paying me first.”
And so, it went until all eleven passengers had presented their credentials. Padre Didit rubbed his hands together. We have skills enough on this plane to start a country. Our forefathers did it with a lot less.”
The tension lessened when suddenly a searchlight beam shot through the storm just forward of the plane. The pilot shouted, “We don’t know where we are but our friends ‘above’ know where we are.” “I believe that is the light at the tip of the Merrimac River or the light at the end of the tunnel. If it empties into the Atlantic. I am going to drop down and circle until we see the coast.”
“There it is!” squealed a lady who was sitting near the Padre. She grabbed at the Padre. She had been nipping some of Kay’s Jack Daniels whiskey .
The plane was full of smiles as the Captain turned south following the coast. Everybody was talking to their fellow passengers as if we had known each other for a lifetime. And we had.
The runway nearest the coast had been reserved for us. With touchdown, angelic voices rang out!
We chatted as we made our way to the exit. No one had given his last name and yet for a while we were a close-knit family. Kay, being the last passenger off the plane accidently unlocked her suitcase as she handed her case to ER, the person waiting for her. At that time a half-empty Jack Daniels bottle rolled out of the suitcase and across the tarmac. Nobody made a move to save the bottle of Jack Daniels. ER kept walking as if he had not seen a thing.
After waiting for some time for the Captain and Padre Didit to come off the plane, it was apparent to everyone that the captain and the white cloaked man were not on that plane but were apparitions getting themselves ready for another journey for some passengers on another flight.
The best pilot ever had brought us closer to make it the best day on this planet! There will be no fallen rose petals on this plane today.
Fiction Author: C.G.Rose 1383 Words