Flight to Heaven
You clutch your hand bag to your chest, the one Mother embroidered with the King James version of Psalm 27 before she died, while taking deep, calming breaths. You're afraid that your stomach might fly away itself, without the help of the great plane before you. You're having second thoughts about visiting that family on the other side of the country. . .
Breathe deeply, let the thoughts in your head clear. What is there really to fear? It's just a plane ride. . .but you can't shake that feeling away. Pick up your feet, get on the plane. This is your last chance! It's just first flight jitters! If you go back now you'll be a coward! Get on the plane . . . everything is going to be okay!
Settled in your seat next to the plumb, chattering woman on your right, the sickening feeling persists. "Just nerves, I tell you, just nerves," Plump Woman prattles on endlessly, but you tune her out wondering if there's still a chance to get off. No, you're going to do this, you're not afraid!
Up, up, up into the air! That wasn't so bad was it?
You are just getting used to the hum of Plump Woman's continuous yapping and are about to pick up the recent best seller you bought in the gift shop not long ago, but you drop it in your lap when your stomach does a 360. The feeling of panic thickens like cookie batter when everything is mixed together into dough.
Middle-Eastern accents wash over you like cheap liquor, leaving you slightly dizzy and nauseous as you see their owners rushing towards the front of the plane, towards the flight deck. A silvery flash catches your eye, and briefly you remember what a knife is, and what a knife can do. You feel lost, almost as if a thick haze has seperated you from the rest of the passengers. Plump Woman is still rambling on, but now her voice matches the creepy feeling in your stomach. Her voice is clear, but the words are not making it to your head. Only a few, random words stand out.
"...hijacked? Crash... Ohmigod... Die!" Wait, wait! Go back a minute! Die?! What's that supposed to mean? You put two and two together in your mind to get the astonishing answer. Can it be true? No! Please! Stop! You want to get off of this plane!
There's no going back, now. Your brief delirium ends with that final realization. For reasons unknown to yourself, you suddenly feel calm. You feel the unexplainable urge to laugh. You give in and let a giggle slip out. Shouldn't have gotten on the plane, stupid! Now look what's going to happen, silly!
As you reach to stifle a laugh, your fingers brush against the moistness of a tear. You're. . . crying?
You fumble in your handbag for your cell phone, but can't locate it. Wait! Got it! No! The battery is dead!
You suddenly realize that there will be no more cute salutations. You never got to say hello to that family on the other side of the country. You never got to say a final goodbye to your husband . . . to your daughter! Clasping your hands together in your lap you toy idly with the wedding band on your finger. Oh, how sorry you are. . .
No! A little voice pipes up in your head. Stop thinking about the bad. . . Remember the good times! You will not give in to what they want from you! You will not be afraid! Remember Little One's first birthday! Remember how she got cake all over Daddy's face and he had to blow icing out of his nose for an hour! Remember when...
You brush your hands over the King Jame's version of Psalm 27 that Mother had sewn so gently onto the front of your handbag. The tightness in your stomach lifts and you feel relaxed, as if Mother is sitting next to you in Plump Woman's place (as she shouts tearful goodbyes into her cellphone), holding your hand. You smile at her, and you know that everything really will be okay, soon enough. God is with you, Mother nods, God is with you all. . .
Mother fades away and your stomach lifts one last time as the plane makes a fatal plunge downwards. Is this finally it? Your lips are dried and cracked, but they part one last time, as you close your eyes, ready to die.
"God, please . . . save us all. . .!"
For a moment everything is dark, intense... and then you open your eyes. 'The rest is Silence...'
Is it over? You thought that the crash would be painful . . . that the plane might blow up and it'd be extremely hot. Ironically, it's quite cool, and quiet, as well. Listen closely, for a moment. No, there are no sounds of twisting metal or dying screams. There's not even a senseless stream of words coming from Plump Woman's mouth. You blink your eyes, trying to clear the dull white haze in front of you, but it only thickens until you are completely blinded by its colorless shade. Its thick, and almost seems to be choking you. Is this Heaven? Are you dead?
Your body is flooded with calm, warmth, and peace. You close your eyes one last time, as if to shield your eyes from the brightness before you. Thinking becomes too difficult, and requires too much effort. You completely relax, just letting everything go. . .
You feel someone take your hand, and without opening your eyes you know that it's Mother. You are finally safe. You are finally Home.
Note from the authoress: "The rest is Silence," are the final words from Shakespeare's origional play, Hamlet.