No Place to Hide

This for http://cakeshortandsweet.wordpress.com/t2t013/09/18/wednesday-write-in-57/. The prompt was Claustrophobia.

No Place to Hide

“We can all relax now.” We breathe a sigh of relief as the pilot’s voice comes over the intercom. “We’ve sighted land and have got permission to make an emergency landing which is just in time as we have only twenty minutes of fuel left. Cabin staff will be coming round with immigration forms we all have to complete before we can disembark. You will of course need your passport details so have these handy.”

It had been a bit, nay a lot, like an airplane disaster movie, what with the mouthy business executive reduced to a shivering mound of frightened jelly, a pair of nuns (both rather beautiful) praying loudly, rattling their beads, a spoilt-brat kid (peaked baseball cap at a provocative angle) annoying all within earshot, a gentle old man flying for the first time to visit his granddaughter and suffering a heart attack and being attended to by a young nurse going on holiday in an attempt to heal her own broken heart and, of course, the navigator and the air hostess clocking up mile-high credits in one of the tail end crew rest areas (of course she was expecting a ring at some point, but there was no way he would leave his wife, largely because her dad was extremely rich but also because infidelity is such fun). Plus the obligatory, one in a thousand years thunderstorm and the resulting damage to the compass and the toilet flushing system. You wouldn’t have been surprised if Cary Grant was spotted in the Captain’s seat.

Once we all knew that we weren’t going to end up at the bottom of the ocean everyone started to relax. The business executive resolved to enter a Buddhist monastery, the two nuns shed their habits and confessed that they loved each other, the spoilt-brat kid got at least eleven clips around the ear from sundry passengers, the heart attack victim led a small cluster in callisthenics, the young nurse accepted a marriage proposal from the flight engineer, and the navigator and the air hostess agreed that they needed more mile high credits but would wait until the next time they flew together. The toilets couldn’t be fixed, but you can’t have everything.

When I say everyone started to relax, I must exclude myself. I’m Agoraphobic. Always have been and proud to be so. Indeed I’m wearing the full uniform of an Agoraphobic colonel. All the insignia and the medals. A proud soldier. A veteran of the ongoing war against Claustrophobia.

Claustrophobia! Where we are about to land!

No place to hide!

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13 Responses to No Place to Hide

  1. Sarah Ann says:

    Such great characterisation.

  2. emmaleene says:

    Aww my comment seems to have disappeared but I don’t mind commenting again, I enjoyed it so much the first time! I thought this was brilliant. Loved all of the details of the passengers like lots of stories in one! Enjoyed how the narrator reveals himself at the end. His ordeal is just beginning! Well done. I really enjoyed it!

  3. Really whipped up all the old clichés from the disaster movies. There is always a nun, and I loved the twist on your two, being in love with each other!
    I was confused by the ending. I’m being obtuse, but I’m not sure why where they’re landing will give him more problems than any other open spaces?

  4. SJ O'Hart says:

    My favourite line is ‘The toilets couldn’t be fixed, but you can’t have everything.’ 😀 How often have I been on public transport wishing for this very thing… Really fun piece, full of great imagery.

  5. Elaine Peters says:

    Very funny – definitely the sequel to Airplane. All chaos, but don’t ignore those all-important forms!

  6. Tessa Sheppard says:

    Love the descriptions of all the people. Quite a colourful bunch! Good job! 🙂

  7. This is a great short story! You should enter it at the Rewarding Reads Short Story Competition and have a chance at winning $200! http://sammythebookworm.com/index.php/rewarding-reads-2013/167-rewarding-reads-short-story-contest-2013

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