Wednesday, 2 November 2011

59) Shadow's Plane

    Well over the middle of the Atlantic ocean I smelled fire, sulfurous and sick. I only had a moment to act before the cabin was filled with chaos. Thankfully the lights were out and almost everyone was still asleep. I mumbled out a spell, well worn and familiar, and slid into the shadow world. My headphones clattered to the seat and continued to blare out the soundtrack to the saccharine drama that was playing on the screen ahead of us. I diffused into the shadows and saw that thankfully none of my neighbors had noticed my disappearance.
    Just as I had squeezed myself in-between two bulkheads someone else must have told a flight attendant about the smell or maybe one of them smelt the fire too because the lights came back on suddenly.
    To say there was chaos in the cabin would be perfect, but still I want to say more. Humans are their best are a capricious lot. There’s a lot of snap decision making that has gone into your million year history. You’ve had a lot of tight fixes running away from predators ten times your size. But nothing has prepared your sad little bodies, soft and delicate and inflexible and flammable, for being trapped shoulder to shoulder in a giant burning metal tube going near the speed of sound over the ocean. There’s just no biological precedent. So you go haywire. Sure there’s a safety protocol and lecture at the beginning of the flight. But who really pays attention to that?
    After a lot of screaming and crying and praying the plane eventually landed just a few miles out from New York. And against my better judgement I returned to my human form and joined the huddled survivors on the inflatable rafts. There were a couple dozen of the large red boats, bulbous and canopied, all of them full with us scared huddling humans.
    Whoever had started the fire had wanted to delay me not kill me. There was a small chance the I was not the target, but being the only magical creature on the flight I thought that chance slim. I could only think of a few parties that would want me to miss the yearly portal to Fey.
    Someone elbowed me and squished me into the back of life raft. I was going to protest when I saw what the others were pulling up and into the raft, a limp and soggy old man. I looked away in shame. I’m not normally too sentimental, but this whole crash was my fault. If I hadn’t spent that extra three months in Paris this wouldn’t have happened. I could have taken a boat or even chartered a jet all to myself to get back to New York.
    I really hoped he hadn’t died, that would make me feel bad and anxious. And its harder to cast spells when you’re anxious.
    Someone was hunched over the old man resuscitating him. As they tried to bring him back to life I tried to go through my enemies to figure out who would have most profited by my delay.

No comments:

Post a Comment