Flight 1961

The airplane went down as slowly as it could, and the wind and rain pitched it forward violently. Screaming passengers were hurled on top of one another, and the airplane shuddered and groaned like a harpooned whale. The sea below the plane reached up and tried to snatch the plane from flight. Every single time it came closer and closer. Awful creaking noises from the wings nearly drowned out the passengers’ terrified shrieks.

A stewardess tried to help the children strapped into their seats, but she was slammed against the ceiling of the plane as it spun completely around several times. She shook her head and felt hands trying to lift her up. The stewardess staggered to her knees and crawled back to the terrified children. They wrapped their thin arms around her as salt sea water sprayed into the plane from several emergency windows. A flying metal cart came toward the children and the young woman jumped in its path taking the brunt of the hit as it broke many bones in her body. She felt herself slipping in and out of consciousness, but she was going to give it her strongest effort to protect the children.

The salt sea water splashed into her face from the darkness and stung her eyes, but she ignored the pain as she hovered over the children. Then a child slipped out of his chair and was heading downward in the direction of the pouring water. The stewardess dove forward catching the child in mid flight, banging her back against passenger seats, and each thump shattered more bones; all this while shielding the child from harm. When she landed near the front of the plane, another stewardess strapped in a chair took the child from her so that she could go back to the other children.

A monstrous wave crashed over the airplane, finally knocking it out of the sky and taking it into the water. The stewardess reached the children and leaned her body over their seats while grabbing a bar with her good hand and held on. She was determined to keep the children as safe as they could possibly be. The screaming below her filled her mind with odd sensations, but she wasn’t going to abandon her post, however, she dreaded the possibility of another child slipping out of the chair.

Back and forth, the plane rocked with each succeeding wave. Water was shooting in from many edges as the stewardess shouted to the children to close their eyes. She wanted them not to see the images that chilled her to the bone. Floating dead passengers with bloated bodies and puffed white eyes rushed up against her. She tried her best to move them in another direction away from the children as she hung on tightly.

The airplane bucked again, causing her to lose her grip and throwing her into the water. She groaned as her injured body crashed into the passenger seats harder each time. Then a hand reached under her arm and lifted her up like a rag doll.

She looked up and saw the co-pilot. He told her to try to get back to the children and he would try and help everyone else.

The stewardess didn’t want the children to die in a cramped, enclosed place. She wanted them to live. A splash of salt water hit her face. It was followed by a blast of wind as the tail of the plane tore away and disappeared into the sky. The sudden new fear had vanished and gave way to the swaying of the plane on the waves. The rocking kept the plane from sinking and there was a glimmer of hope which appeared in the stewardess’s terrified mind. Only then did she become aware of the darkness and stench surrounding her. She struggled to a standing position and checked on the children. It wasn’t pleasant and was definitely scary, but all the children were alive.

The stewardess was happy to see the co-pilot and the others were snapping to, trying to do their best to maintain stability. Of course, they were trained to do their duty, and a rescue was the most fundamental of all their duties, but they were going above and beyond.

Her body felt crushed as she let out a slew of expletives under her breath so the children couldn’t hear and she fell to the floor.

“Marlene!” the co-pilot screamed.


The New York Times headlines spilled the chilling news in bold print. Flight 1961 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. There were a hundred and thirty three survivors and only four dead. Two passengers from the New York City area, and the pilot of the plane Captain Jon Mattock along with a stewardess from Long Island, Marlene Templeton. The newsprint continued praising the dead captain and his quickness to save many lives. It also stated that the flight attendants that survived followed protocol and the stewardess that did not survive did not follow protocol, and doing so she put everyone in harm’s way.

Source

© 2013 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 56 comments

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

Wow, I would hate to go to my grave with that rap. My favorite story teller as always. ^


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Jackie for being the first to board my flight 1961


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 3 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Headlines cannot tell the entire story and this "on-the-edge-of-your-seat" tale illustrates this sad fact. Wonderful and riveting tale, Frank. Congratulations!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you story for joining my flight 1961..:) bless you


tsmog profile image

tsmog 3 years ago from Escondido, CA

I was enthralled with the adventure Frank. The pace held me on the edge. I saw more within of more than was offered thinking of Flight 214 near recent or the recent Lion Flight 904. Thanks for bringing me inside such an event.

tim


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks tsmog for checking out my flight :)


wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

Very good story Frank. You had my full attention from the beginning. Makes you wonder how many events have taken place where there was a scapegoat used and we didn't get the real story.

Voting up and sharing.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks wayne barrett for visiting my flight :)


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ

I am speechless over this one. I would hope that her fellow workers would tell the world the truth of her putting her life on the line to protect the children.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you loyal Katz for taking the time out to read my flight 1961 :) Bless you


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Reminded me of the teachers who protected the children from the fury of the tornado not so long ago. Fortunately, those brave teachers got the recognition they so well deserved. Wonderful write as usual.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks for taking in my flight tobusiness bless you :)


Valleypoet 3 years ago

Being a nervous passenger in the air, I try to avoid reading anything to do with plane crashes...real or imagined...but as you are one of my favourite writers I made an exception!....now I think I need therapy to fly again..LOL...another good read buddy:-))


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Valley Im sorry about the therapy.. and if it's not up your alley, you should turn away Valley...:) bless you bro


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

Whew, what a story, Frank! I was on the edge of my seat. Very descriptive, which is a quality that I enjoy in a story. UP/I and Awesome.

Will share. :) How've you been?


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Handlon good to see you.. and how have you been as well..fine I hope :) cheers


lovedoctor926 3 years ago

Brilliant Frank. Great story. OMG, Marlene didn't make it. lol.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

LOL poor Marlene :)


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

Frank, an amazing story, so well told. It was so gripping, right to the sad end for Marlene. Bless you for a great story.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you blossoms for the blessings... :)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Exhilarating ride and write here dearest Frank! I believe I would have gone on to glory as they say here in the South, even before the plane hit the water.

While I was reading, I was reminded of the true account, and now we have the rest of the story ...

This is not one to read right before going to bed. Well, I am wide awake now, so will read a bit more.

Voted up +++ and sharing

God bless. Hugs and love, Faith Reaper


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you my dearest Faith :)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

We grieve for the dead, but we're grateful for those who survived! That stewardess with the children is a worthy survivor! Thanks for a good (with-a-bit-of-sadness) story!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Thanks for stopping by MsDora :)


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 3 years ago from North Carolina

I'm reading a new book about a skyjacking, Frank, I gotta tell ya this was better than any page in it so far!


SandCastles 3 years ago

Excellent writing. The news article sounded like it was scapegoating the stewardess who helped the children. She died to save those kids and they painted her as some sort of pariah. You told another story and spoke up for her.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

I have never been on the plane that crashed into ocean. LOL! Frank, your descriptions are real.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Odd thought I had commented. Well anyway this was an exciting journey. I like the way you start it off slow and then the excitement and tension begins to build with a climatic finish. Passing this on.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Alastar, that means a lot to me bless you bro :) and Sandcastles thanks again for stopping by my page..:)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Thank you Vin and thank you Gypsy rose for leaving your mark on my Flight :)


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland

OMG what a roller coaster ride of emotions here - and I loved it!! I can't think of anything more terrifying than being involved in a plane crash especially over the sea! The ending newsline was a smack of total shock! Proves the point that not everything you read gives the full picture of reality!

Voted up + awesome!!!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Ouch! "put everyone in harm's way"...what a horrible ending, just like real life. We never know the true story or suffering of others and when we make assumptions we are usually wrong.

This was yet another amazing story. I found myself wanting to put my own arm out to hold the children in and holding my breath each time the stewardess received more injuries.

Voted up, awesome, and interesting.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Til and Seeker for joining me in flight bless you both :)


kkingcrabb profile image

kkingcrabb 3 years ago from Georgetown, S.C.

Great storytelling Frank! Good imagery and emotion.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks kkingcrabb :)


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 3 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Ah Frank this was incredibly awesome it attracted me to read because recently I was in an aircraft and experienced some bad weather and turbulence which was scary and the wind was tugging away at the plane as if to grab it out the sky. That was just a week ago thank God nothing happened like in your story.

Excellent story teller keep it up :)

God bless you


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Thanks again Lady you are a Lady indeed :)


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 3 years ago from Somewhere in the West

:) you are ever welcome my faithful follower I am so sorry that I have not been keeping up on hubpages with my beloved fans and followers its just a stressful and depressing phase I am going through at work. Remember me in your prayers. Thanks


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

I will remember you in my prayers bless you Lady :)


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 3 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Thanks Frankie


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Anytime Lady :)


Sueswan 3 years ago

Hi Frank,

Awesome writing as always. Glad I didn't read it while I was flying last week. lol

Have a good evening.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks Sueswan...:)


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

That was a roller coaster of a ride, Frank. You can really spin a tale. Too bad the fellow crew members did not clear Marlene's name giving her the hero status she deserved. As a former FA this story really hit home. Entertaining and as always, a great read.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Pegcole and good to see you :)


Jane Arden 3 years ago

That was so sad and exactly how life is. (I've noticed your writing sums up human nature very well.) Typical for the stewardess not to be remembered for the good she did. If I didn't know better I'd think you'd been in an aeroplane crash, the description was so lifelike. I was in that plane with them.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Jane for visiting flight 1961


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

Very intense. Can you believe, I have never flown on an airplane. Came close once, but circumstances changed and I had to cancel my flight . . .

Voted up, interesting, awesome, and will share. Also pinned to 'Awesome Hubpages.'


moonlake profile image

moonlake 2 years ago from America

There are many heroes but they often don't get the recognition they should get. Marlene was a hero and no one noticed.

We hear all the bad stories about stewardesses. There was the story recently about the stewardess that threw the blind man off the plane because of his dog, yet so many of them put their lives on the line each day. Your story gave them credit for what they really do.

Voted up and shared.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks so much Au Fait and Moonlake for stopping by :)


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Back again, to re read this one while holding my breath. It is a whale of a tale with ups and downs, heroes and the villainous press that sought to blame rather than praise. What a great read this is, Frank.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks again pegcole bless you :)


christinemariezzz 2 years ago

Frank,

A truly good work! Enjoyed much! ...for the love of children-always.

The fourth paragraph is my favorite, a foreshadow that the children would make it, but had to stand midway in the next successive paragraphs to know Marlene's fate...and the folly of NEWS , all too frequent.

christinemarie


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks Christine for reading flight 1961


old albion profile image

old albion 19 months ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi Frank. You certainly know how to write a first class story. No fat anywhere just clear and direct story telling. Tip top.

voted up and all.

Graham.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 19 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks old albion

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