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The Escape

in flight

By Negomi Oak RhettsPublished about a year ago 3 min read

Hayley looked out of the window. Her home fifty feet below, now encased in the rusting frame of the small plane door, began shrinking away as they started climbing into the sky.

Finally, the land slipped out of sight under whipped-up white clouds, as if it never existed, and as if the last three months had never happened.

She leaned back in her seat, taking long deep breaths, her eyes closed. She couldn’t relax. Replaying the last half hour in her mind was making her heart race.

‘It’s ok,’ Misha’s voice drifted from the pilot’s seat, ‘we’re safe now. It’ll be a few hours ‘til we get to the base. Sorry there’s no inflight entertainment, these old planes weren’t built with that in mind.’

Hayley opened her eyes. Her mouth was so dry. Looking down she realised she was gripping the arm rests, her knuckles showing more white than not.

She stretched out her fingers and flexed them, trying to get the blood flowing again.

Looking around for her bag she spotted it behind her, upside down with the top flap open and some of her things sprawled out over the floor.

In the rush it had been tossed clumsily into the back of the plane, she could see a damp patch where her water bottle had leaked. The least of her worries but she hoped some was left.

Misha passed a flask back towards her from the co-pilot seat, ‘have some, you can get yours later,’ she said.

They spent the next hour in silence. Hayley, in a daze, kept drifting in and out of sleep. She was plagued by unsettling scenes. The darkness she’d endured over the past few months, now created dramatic scenes in her mind that made her wake with a start over and over.

Frustrated by this Hayley sat up and tried to wake herself up properly. She turned to look out of the window again.

The sun was starting to burn deeper shades of yellow and orange, sending ripples of shadows over the blanket of clouds underneath them. Sometimes it would thin, and she could see the hint of mountains scattered below.

‘Misha?’ Hayley turned towards the front of the plane again and lent forward.

‘Hmm?’ Misha replied, keeping her eyes fixed ahead.

‘How much further ‘til the base? I can’t tell how long we’ve been flying,’ Hayley tried to sound calm but even she could hear the tension in her voice.

‘Not long, maybe less than an hour. I’ve not flown this route before so mine is at best a guess,' Misha slightly turned her head to look into Hayley's pale face, concern spreading over her brow, 'and yeah, you’ve been in and out for a while. How are you feeling?’

‘Not great, but I'm okay,’ replied Hayley. She realised she’d not eaten anything all day. Again, in the hurry to leave she’d not prioritised anything else, ‘is there anything to eat in here?’

‘I’m not sure,’ Misha pressed a couple of switches on the dashboard and then reached over to the opposite footwell, ‘there might be something in here, but I doubt it.’

Passing a scruffy satchel behind her through the seats towards Hayley, she went back to the dials and switch board.

Hayley thanked her and opened the bag. Inside were a number of items; a notebook with some torn pages, a couple of pens, an old compass, a folded-up map that was dogeared and battered, a set of keys and a pocketknife, some miscellaneous debris in the bottom, but no food. Hayley put everything back and set the satchel on the floor in front of her.

The light was getting deeper and darker now, streaks of purple and crimson filling the sky, a few faint stars starting to appear.

It really was beautiful and would be a calming view, but Hayley couldn’t help feeling anxiety creeping in. She tried to stop it overwhelming her but what she was facing was intense.

A sudden jolt of the plane snapped her out of her thoughts.

‘Might get a bit bumpy for a while, looks like rain,’ Misha called back to Hayley over the sudden increase of wind and machinery. She was holding the controls tightly, quickly pressing buttons and checking more dials than before.

As if summoned, heavy rain began pelting the windows, forming thick diagonal streams down the shuddering glass. The sky was a deep blue now, almost black and there were flashes of white in the distance.

The plane was shaking and began rattling more loudly. Hayley tightened her seatbelt as the bumps and shudders became more violent.

She kept getting the sense in the pit of her stomach that the floor of the plane had disappeared, that her body was suddenly left suspended in mid-air, just about to drop to the ground. She wondered if it might actually happen...

Short StoryMysteryAdventure

About the Creator

Negomi Oak Rhetts

Herbalist & holistic health coach

Ex biodynamic farmer

Amateur poet and short story enthusiast

Self-published author of two free-verse poetry books: Weaving Roots and Wild Sanctuary

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    Negomi Oak RhettsWritten by Negomi Oak Rhetts

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