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.
© 2013 Frank Atanacio
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