He jerked hard on the wheel; rain pelted the windows of the small jet and lightning crackled outside. Beside him, his co-pilot struggled with the other controls on the board. He looked pale and downright terrified as another bolt of lightning seared across the body of the plane and deafened the world with a loud, and savage boom.
Among the passengers, a mother and father held the hands of their son; a priest prayed aloud and blessed the souls that would die that day, including his own. A woman cries hysterically, begging Allah to be merciful to her. Another man forgets, for a second, about his business trip and thinks about his divorcing wife and heartbroken daughters.
The Stewardesses flipped a switch and buckle into their seats. They exchange nervous glances when they hear a panicked shout faintly break the violence from within the cockpit.
Then the drop began. A steep, stomach turning drop that spun, uncontrollably, down to the glittering, dark earth. Alarms clanged and jangled like in action movies, the world felt suddenly surreal. Screams, crying, begging, shouting and damning mixed neatly into the chaos that was ensuing.
In the cockpit, the pilots called, 'Mayday! Mayday! We're losing altitude!' and their faces only remembered in their memories said, 'We are going to die'.
The pilot braced his feet against the gas, resituated his hands on the wheel, and pulled with all his God-given strength and held it. His co-pilot, having no God, closed his eyes and did the same.
Images of crashing into a neighborhood, the scent of burning flesh and blistering skin and the grisly dread echoed above the pandemonium. 'No Survivors!' headlines would scream, 'Pilot's Family Cursed!', 'Death Won Today!'
In that space and time, everyone wanted a memorial. Everyone wanted to return to their roots, go back in time and reconsider. The airlessness danced in their lungs as their eyes widened, their hearts threatened to stop entirely and their prayers be denied.
In that space and time, the shattering silence roared triumphantly to life. The pilot, the future headlines burning in his mind's eye, tightened his jaw and pulled back further. The plane straightened, no longer spinning, but would not pull out of its dive. "Damn it to Hell! Pull, Bob! Pull! Mayday! Mayday!"
There was a snap, a gasp with no emotion, and a crash. Fire exploded the night.
A boy, screaming and crying in the night, the faces of the corpses blazing in his mind, felt a cool hand touch his sweaty, feverish skin. His mom held him, listening to him as he gave her a wet, sobbing tale of his nightmare. His dad entered the room, apparently annoyed but still holding a glass of icy cold water and some cough syrup.
'Hush, hush.' His mother crooned, holding steady the cup as the boy gulped dismally. 'We are going to drive to Grandma's house.'