Flight Canceled

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Travel  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about a young man about to take the vacation of a lifetime.

Submitted: February 07, 2014

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Submitted: February 07, 2014



A single shaft of light slips through the curtains as the sun slowly rises above the nearby rooftops, the glare heralding the beginning of a new day.  All was quiet in the two bedroom apartment. A lone figure rests peacefully; cocooned securely within a thick comforter. Not usually one for rising early, today Mike could make an exception. It was still quite a shock, the jarring BEEP, BEEP, BEEP of his alarm. Smacking his hand atop the alarm clock almost by reflex, he silences the obnoxious, digital device. Unable to be too annoyed as today marks the start of his three week vacation. He had been saving up for a couple years now, knowing that his yearly allotment would never cover everything he had planned. He had been counting down the days, awaiting this adventure with mounting anticipation; Ireland only an eight hour flight away!


Having packed the night before, Mike had only to address a few aesthetics. With his bags piled haphazardly beside the front door he checks and double checks the curb out front. Glancing at his watch for perhaps the umpteenth time, waiting impatiently for the cab to arrive, Mike grumbled at the lack of punctuality in some people. With nothing to do but wait, he let his mind drift to the journey ahead, getting lost in remembrance of stories told by his mother and father growing up.

Awakened from his daydreaming by a dull honk from out front, Mike checks through the awning window, spotting an all too common yellow and checkered style cab. It was a rather unceremonious way to begin such a momentous occasion, disregarding the notion with a slight shrug before snatching up his bags. Struggling briefly with the knob, both arms full, Mike shoulders open the thick slab of wood he likes to call a door. Setting a couple bags down so he can securely seal and lock his humble abode, Mike nods at the hollow clunk as the bolt slides home. Gathering up the luggage once more, he heads towards his awaiting carriage, a noticeable bounce in his step.


With everything now stored in the trunk, Mike slides into the cab’s cool interior, settling into the well worn backseat. Running his hands anxiously over the tops of his legs, he wipes a bit of sweat from his palms while waiting for the driver to return, eager to be under way. After several long moments the car teeters side to side, the driver settling his considerable bulk within the car’s limited confines. “Where to?” He calls without bothering to look back. “Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.” Not another word spoken as the cabby cranks up the two hundred something horsepower engine.


Finally on his way, Mike allows his mind to drift once more, staring blankly out the window as the familiar neighborhoods stream by. Visions of several Irish landmarks fleeting through his mind. St Patrick’s Cathedral, spoken of so reverently by his father, its’ Holy halls full of important history. The Cliffs of Moher, where his mother would stare out over the dark blue sea and watch the sun set, picturing in his head every detail as she would describe it. Ireland, land of the Celts, banshees and leprechauns.  A slight grin playing across his lips at that particular thought, completely lost within his own imagination.


There was no warning, only the high keening screech of tires desperately grabbing for asphalt. One moment Mike is pleasantly exploring the brilliant expanse of his own personal Irish wonderland, the next, only pain. Blinking his eyes repeatedly, Mike looks around without recognition, trying to make sense of what’s happened. Nothing seeming as it should, the landscape flipped, his eyes dart left and right seeing naught but gray pavement and shattered glass. Intending to call out, he draws in a breath which quickly becomes a soft cry of pain, a sharp stabbing sensation penetrating his inner organs.  Unable to move without surely causing further damage, he can do nothing but sit and pray, hoping that someone will come to his aid.

Aid would not come soon enough for young Michael Rafferty, he died at the age of twenty four, having never found his Irish land of wonder.


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