You have no idea how long I have been trying to upload this blasted story.
I finished it at...oh, about 12:04 AM this morning, and found that BZP's server was dead. So instead of waiting and struggling for an hour (Oh wait, I did do that) I went to bed. I awoke and tried to post it again and found that while the FORUMS were operational, all BLOGS were dead. Oh, unending fury.
SO at last I managed to get this story uploaded and I am happy.
It's a thought I've had multiple times while flying, by the way. Inordinately creepy, but a common thought of mine nonetheless.
Word count: 1,491
People milled all around me, eyes averted and eyes focused down the end of the cavernous passage; beneath me the ‘fast track’ path ground slowly toward my eventual destination. I was in no hurry, instead I allowed myself to relax languidly against the moving track and simply let it take me to where I wanted to go.
Every once in a while people would pass me, their expressions varying from irritation to exhaustion—everyone in this place was in such a hurry it seemed. Pilots and stewardesses bustled in and out of crowds, security agents clothed in crisp white silently watched from their posts—or walked briskly to their destinations. And then of course there were the passengers: Throngs of people all desperate to get to their own destination and all more than willing to do whatever it took to get there. I gazed around at the sea of faces around me, noting the heavy looking carry-on bags that some people carried I rolled my eyes, clearly that’s why they looked so tired.
Now me? I wouldn’t ever be that silly. No, instead I always arrived with more than enough time to spare, I didn’t want to rush or bustle. I didn’t want to panic or exhaust myself searching around the labyrinthine airport.
I smiled as I arrived at the end of the moving track, hoisting my light bag over my shoulder and setting off at an easy pace. I kept my eyes up and focused, ignoring the thousands of people on either side of me—just as they ignored me. It was a mutual ignoring. However the important thing was that I kept my eyes open and I remained aware of where I was at all times, carefully studying the clean white signs placed around the bustling airport. Within a short matter of minutes I had arrived at my destination.
I entered the roughly circular room, taking note of all the various different exit gates in rapid succession. Then, as soon as I had ascertained the location of my gate, I allowed my gaze to drift higher and take in the gorgeous view afforded to me and my fellow passengers by the nearly 360 degree ceiling high glass walls.
It was truly a magnificent day outside—a perfect day for flying. The few clouds in the sky were white and fluffy, drifting leisurely through the sky. The sun was out in full force, its rays shining down on the tarmac and the aircraft assembled there, so bright was it that the luminous glare simply became a white blur in my eyes. It was almost painful to look at.
Blinking and shaking my head to clear the remainder of the brilliance from them, I carefully found myself a seat and sat down to wait. Then, almost as soon as I was seated, I removed a small book from my bag, a fiction I’d been attempting to finish for the past few weeks. I flipped through the pages until I found my landmark, but found that the glare from the sun was brighter than I expected. Even my book’s pages seemed much more brilliant than before, approaching a nearly white sheen.
I groaned internally and rubbed my eyes. Clearly I wasn’t going to be able to read any time soon. Instead I replaced the book in my bag and settled off to a light nap, leaning back in the seat and allowing the comfortable blackness of sleep to take me.
I awoke to the slightly reverberating twang of an airline employee on the intercom. I glanced tiredly at my watch, and then at the main desk for my gate.
“We will now begin general boarding for slight UA7643.” The young man said, indicating where exactly we should form our boarding line. I felt the slightest twinge of panic rise within me...I had completely slept through the pre-boarding! I could have missed my flight!
I felt the prickles of fear threatening to rise and overwhelm my sense and forced them back, lifting myself from the seat as I did so. Then, while I appealed to my logical side to drown out the irrational fear, I slowly slid into line, my face emotionless.
To say that the line went quickly would be somewhat of an overstatement. It didn’t exactly fly, nor did it crawl. It must moved along at its own leisurely pace—allowing me plenty of time to learn how best to avoid the bright beams of sunlight that threatened to turn my vision into nothing but a brilliant white expanse. In fact doing this helped to keep myself calm…to soothe the savage beast so-to-speak.
When at last it was my turn to hand in my passport and deal with the smiling young man I found that my fear had completely evaporated—in part due to my own management, and in part due to the fact that I was clearly going to be onboard the flight. I returned his smile and retrieved my passport, setting off down the boarding hallway.
Upon boarding the aircraft and double checking my boarding pass, I found myself fortunate enough to receive a window seat. A small smile briefly graced my face, and then I had seated myself and safely stowed my luggage. Shortly after I watched vacantly as the stewardesses went through the usual show and dance about aircraft safety—however it was at this time that I realized what good fortune I really had. Not only was I lucky enough to receive a window seat—but a window seat with nobody else in the adjoining seats! I was all by myself in an entire row of seats. How wonderful.
The flight passed without even the slightest bit of interference—not even a pocket of turbulence disturbed the aircraft as it made its way through the skies. In fact the flight was as close to perfect as it could have ever been, from my comfortable row I saw mountains and rivers, lakes and cities, great plains of green and jagged peaks of ice. I saw gorgeous scenes stretch below me and I drank in every minute of it.
However as is the way of the world, all good things must come to an end. The announcement came on the loudspeakers that we would be landing shortly and the craft began its gradual decline. I turned away from the window and leaned my head on the hard plastic that made up its surroundings. I had just begun to relax when I heard something strange. Sort of a “zzzt!” sound, like what we all imagine an electric shock sounds like. Opening my eyes slowly I looked around the craft and found that everything had gone dark, the lights, the TV screens—everything. All that was lighting the claustrophobic craft was the brilliant white light shining in through the windows. I paused with a frown. White light? Surely the sun couldn’t be that bright?
Glancing out the window I found that we were submerging through the cloud cover, meaning that the only light that entered the airplane was nearly white. I made a face and turned back to glance around the cabin just in time to see the entire thing blink rapidly, flipping from total darkness to everything lit up and active multiple times.
Getting a headache I averted my gaze again, choosing to look out through the window. This time I could almost see the distant outline of the landscape through the clouds, almost like it was a drawing in sand—the details being washed away by the wind. It stayed there for but the briefest instant before a large cloud mass eclipsed it from view—and at the same time everything in the aircraft blinked off for the final time.
I paused in my chair, feeling that familiar panic welling up again. Then I felt it, the plane’s engines were thrumming just as mightily as ever but the plane wasn’t moving. Some how, in some way, the plane had simply frozen in the sky.
With a sick feeling of dread I again turned to my window and glanced outside. That cloud mass hadn’t passed—if anything its seemed stronger, brighter. There was nothing I could see outside the crowded cabin of the airplane, nothing but those clouds.
I felt my heart leap into my throat. Other passengers were beginning to feel the same feelings of dread that I had, but they hadn’t realized it entirely yet. There were rumblings moving throughout the people on the craft—talking about the strong cloud cover, and of course about the mysterious darkness that had invaded the vessel.
But nobody turned to their windows and really looked. Had they, they would have seen what I did.
They would have seen the infinte timeless expanse, they would have felt the sickening feeling of being trapped—as though in an enormous block of ice.
They would have seen what I saw: Nothing but endless white.