Night Flight

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Ed boards a flight and crosses paths with a person who could only be...

Submitted: October 16, 2014

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Submitted: October 16, 2014

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A A A


Night Flight

 

 

He knew that I knew as soon as we made eye contact; I could tell by the way he looked at me. I can't recall what my expression was or what it revealed, but I bustled down the aisle to find my seat. 

 

16B was in the middle of the plane, and I also had the middle seat. I was sharing the section with just one other person; an elderly lady who had the window seat. She was nose deep in a novel but briefly shot me a friendly smile while I placed my bag in the overhead bin. I quickly got settled into my seat and buckled up and waited to see who was going to join us in our cluster.

 

Several minutes and quite a few people went by - mothers with babies fussing with bags, business men with briefcases and laptop bags. The woman beside me continued to plug away at her book, oblivious to everything around us. I tried to crane my neck to see what it was she was reading that was so interesting, but aborted the mission lest I be too obvious. I pre-judged her and decided it must be literature or some tawdry Harlequin romance novel, but I didn't really know her enough to say for sure. 

 

The traffic began to die down as most people found their way to their seats and I still didn't yet have a seat buddy. I leaned to the left and looked up the aisle to see if anyone was coming. That's when I saw him again. He was standing up and reaching into a black bag in his overhead compartment, rummaging quietly and looking for something. I cautiously studied him for a moment while he was distracted. 

 

He looked to be in his mid thirties or so; olive coloured skin and dark black hair, slicked back and tied in a small bun. He was likely about 6 feet tall and dressed impeccably in a dark suit. I couldn't see his shoes as they were blocked by the seat, but I imagined they were black and flawless, like the rest of his getup. Without warning, his head spun around and shot me a curious look. Jolted by the suddenness of this action, I snapped back into my seat and pretended to fumble with my phone, not raising my head. 

 

I felt like I was mad and going out of my mind! Surely this man was just a regular guy on a business trip to another destination just like I - what was it that was telling me otherwise? My gut told me this was a vampire; however logic continued to take over and shoot holes in this theory. “Vampires are fictional creatures that Bram Stoker created!” my mind screamed. “You are crazy, you just need some sleep! - get a life Ed!”. Part of me wondered if I was having some sort of lapse and this was just a misplaced homosexual fantasy or even what they call a “bro crush”. Clearly something in him was speaking to me, whatever it was. I was pretty confident I still liked women, especially in light of the crazy and lusty fucking that had occurred with my favourite go-to the night before. 

 

All of this internal dialogue continued for taxi and takeoff, and consumed my attention fully. So fully that I didn’t notice that the seat beside me remained vacant. I continued to analyze and postulate as we ascended but my base instincts would not be dissuaded. I was a mix of curiosity, fear and doubt. I was on a flight with a bonafide vampire and afraid that shit was about to go down. But why the hell did I feel this way? And was this for real?

 

My ears popped on ascent as we passed the 10,000ft mark. According to an announcement made by the pilot, we’d level off at 38,000ft and have a relatively smooth flight over the Atlantic this evening. Traces of the day danced around the cabin as we turned towards our flight path; out the window I could see the sun setting to the west. My mind began to relax with the distraction of the scenery as we continued on our way. I still not dare look to the front of the cabin however, lest my “bro crush” or whatever he was, tried to make eye contact. The lady beside me had stowed her book in the seat pocket in front of her and was now fumbling with the touch screen on the headrest in front of her to find something to watch. I glanced over at the book now and saw that it was an Alice Munro novel - I smirked as my previous hypothesis had obviously been debunked. I tried to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of the flight.

 

A “bing” noise interrupted my thoughts as the seatbelt sign went off over us. An announcement came on advising us that we’d now reached cruising altitude and that it was safe to walk around the cabin. The lady beside me had settled on a what looked to be a Bette Davis movie and had earbuds in. Looking around the rest of the cabin (of course, avoiding HIS seat) I saw that most had pulled down their window shades and opted to make a go at sleeping for the flight. Feeling calmer, I considered doing the same. While lost in thought, I had managed to convince myself that I must have just been having a “moment” that was either brought on by hypoglycaemia or just plain old lack of sleep. Work had been busy lately as well so I considered my errant thoughts to perhaps be driven from residual anxieties. My game plan: wait for the food cart to come around, have a snack, try to catch some winks. If no dice, see what’s on the in-flight entertainment system. 

 

To kill time while waiting for the food and drink service to come around, I pulled out my phone (in airplane mode of course) and leafed through some pictures I had taken since I last synced my phone. Party pictures, concert pictures and game pictures went by as I flicked with my thumb. I paused on a funny picture I had taken of a chipmunk on a picnic table that I had seen last week on my morning run. His mouth was stuffed with what I could only assume were nuts and he had a slightly cocked quizzical look. I chuckled and kept going.

 

Several minutes later I leaned over and stuck my head out in the aisle to see if the cart was coming. Haphazardly, I glanced in HIS direction too, unintentionally. This time, rather than being met with a piercing stare, I saw the back of his head and a flicker of the screen in front of him. A wave of ease swept over me as I had avoided any contact, but also saw the cart coming. My stomach made a bit of a gurgle noise, eager for something to munch on. When the stewardess finally arrived, I picked a club sandwich and sesame sticks for my meal, complete with a Corona to wash it down. I paid and then ate heartily as she continued down the aisle.

 

By the time I finished eating, the lady beside me began to snore softly (but loudly enough that I could hear it over the engines). I began to carb-crash from the bread and snacks shortly thereafter and felt sleep try to overtake me as well. Outside, the sky had now gone dark with a very faint trace of light in the far distance. The majority of me wanted to sleep, but a small nagging part of me still felt uneasy about my encounter with the man on the flight before. I ruminated on this a little bit more a decided that I must be crazy and was safe. Aside from a crash, what is the worst that could happen on a flight? Also - I didn’t believe in the supernatural, vampires included.

 

I ruffled through my bag under the seat in front of me, pulled out my noise cancelling headphones and my jacket to use as a pillow, arranged myself and then shut my eyes. I remember it taking several minutes for the weight of sleep to settle in, mildly interrupted two or three times by very mild turbulence. I finally started going under and on my way felt a sudden jolt. I remember wondering if it was still turbulence, or if it was my body doing a normal hypnic jerk on its way to sleep. After that, I was under.

 

 

The dream came hard and fast. I was in a desert alone, with no one around. Sand dunes occupied my periphery as far as I could scan or see. Wind whipped against me, throwing sand in my face and into my mouth. I ducked for cover and crouched into a ball. I was covered in some form of a tanned robe, which I hugged tightly against me. The wind hit me hard and almost pushed me over. I heard the wind shrieking all around me in a cacophony of of anger and fear. And I was cold. So cold. I stayed in that position for what felt like an eternity.

 

Eventually the wind came to a sudden stop and a felt a sudden pang of immense pressure on my back and sides. It came in hard and intense, and was so painful I felt like I was going to vomit. I felt a crushing feeling on my chest and thought I may be having a heart attack. I flailed and felt my body constricting as this sensation took over me. Sand went into my mouth and my eyes, causing me to cough and my eyes to burn. The pressure intensified and I felt the breath being squeezed out of me. It became unbearable. I tried to cry out but had no breath to do so. Without warning, I started to shake and flail violently, hitting the sand around me. I felt fire and acid in my veins burning me from the inside out. I heard snapping noises as my body suddenly began contort into unnatural positions, expanding and contracting. I still couldn’t breathe or cry out and could barely see. Hot burning tears streamed from my face as I waited to die, and thoughts of all the things I had yet to accomplish danced before me. All I could do was wait for the end to come. This continued, then unexpectedly I was met with silence and everything went black.

 

 

I bolted awake in my seat suddenly, face sweaty and heart racing. “Holy fuck!” I muttered under my breath as I tried to regain composure. I scanned the cabin to see if anything was amiss but was met by the same scene I’d left behind before falling asleep. Dim lighting, people sleeping. Attendants chatting up near the flight cabin. My shirt was soaked and I eagerly gulped at the air to try and cool myself down and calm my beating heart. I looked to the lady beside me to see if I had awoken her by perhaps flailing or calling out, which is when my heart stopped cold.

 

 

He peered back at me with a curious look on his face. I tried to cry out but immediately felt paralyzed. “Be calm.” a voice echoed in my head. At first I thought it was my voice but then came to realize he was talking to me. My eyes were locked on his - I studied the dark pools of blackness. I felt a tear stream down my cheek as I continued to stare. “I don’t want to die!” I pleaded in my mind. He continued to stare back at me for some time silently and then eventually I heard his voice again. “You won’t.” he said. “I have a higher purpose for you.”

 

Before I could say anymore, he began to feed on me and I was terrified. I wanted to shake. I wanted to scream, but I was completely helpless. I wondered what happened to the woman. “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!?” my mind inquired angrily, but no response. I felt his teeth moving around in my jugular and winced at the pain as I began to feel lightheaded. My eyes darted around to see if anyone could see what was happening in the cabin but nothing. Then a scream rang out.

 

He tore away from my neck and looked at the stewardess who was looking at us and carrying on. I finally was able to break away from his grip and saw his face was covered in blood and his eyes were flooded with black. People began to wake up in the cabin and more screaming followed. He left my side and everything after that moment was a blur. I saw blood flying and spattering against the overhead compartments and heard more screaming and the sound of what could only be the cracking of bones. Dizzy and feeling weak, I fell headfirst into the aisle. Everything from here on in was a blur.

 

I recall feeling trampled upon, I could feel people falling on me and the plane lurching, the unmistakable sounds of guns firing and the scent of gunpowder intertwined with blood. Then I heard lightning crashes and saw flashing and explosions. Then I remember falling. The falling started slowly and worsened my dizziness - I could see clouds below and the moon and stars above. i was being whipped around helplessly like a rag doll. I knew that the plane had exploded and that I was falling, but in addition to already feeling paralyzed I knew there was nothing I could do. I prayed to whatever gods existed to let me lose consciousness before I hit the ground and that I accepted my fate. And I got my wish.

 

 

***

 

 

As if in a dreamlike state, I remember drifting in and out of consciousness, events and dreams punctuated with reality ebbed and flowed in and out of my head. I could hear sounds but I could not see anything around me. At one point, I was back in the desert again; at another, I was in my childhood home and my mom was baking cookies for me. Only I knew the person at the stove wasn’t really my mother and was HIM. I saw body parts scattered on a beach and floating in the water. Then I was on the podium accepting my undergraduate degree in front of a crowd of trees that were cheering for me. This continued on for sometime, playing out like a nonsensical symphony.

 

When I finally awoke, the first thing I remember was feeling like I was on fire. The sun shone brightly in a mid-day sky and I tried to get my bearings. I could feel my body lying flat and could feel a cool breeze rushing across my skin. I tried to sit up. It took a few tries but I managed. In addition to the burning sensation, my head was throbbing and I could hear a high pitched ringing. I looked around.

 

I was on a beach littered with body parts and luggage. Arms, torsos and severely decimated corpses were displaced amongst a smattering of luggage and what looked to be plane parts. I tried to scream, terrified, but only managed to get out a hoarse guttural noise. Then I began to cough up water and what could only be blood. Feeling overwhelmed, scared, angry and grateful for being alive, my limbic system overflowed and knocked me out again.

 

The next time I awoke, I was in a dark room that was candlelit, lying on a bed facing a window. I was lying on my back, propped up on pillows, and could see that outside a storm was raging. Otherwise I was too weak to raise my head and get a better sense of my bearings. I thought I felt several presences in the room, but could not tell. The previous emotions I had felt on the beach continued to well up inside of me as sleep took me again.

 

When I awoke again, it was daytime and calm. The vampire from the plane was sitting at the foot of the bed and eyeing me curiously. Not expecting this, it gave me a jolt and a rush of adrenaline. I tried to lunge for him, feeling scared, angry and upset, but was held back by restraints. I glared at him with the utmost contempt in my heart. “WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT WITH ME?!?” I screamed. It managed to come out hoarsely and hurt my throat, but I didn't care. He turned away and stood up and walked to the side of the bed looking at me nonchalantly.

 

“Are you ready to know what your higher purpose is?” he asked quietly. I began to yell and would not stop.

 

 

 

October 13, 2014

 

 

 

 


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