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Friday Flash Fiction: That Feeling

New feature where we occasionally publish Liverpool's emerging short story writers. Tony is kicking it off

Written by . Published on June 30th 2011.

Friday Flash Fiction: That Feeling

THAT  feeling, the pit of the stomach, when it goes up and keeps going up, even though the rest of you has started going down.

She wasn’t expecting that, although, had she thought about it before the event, it was the least she could have expected. What else would happen when a 747 exploded, bucked, bounced then fell apart at 32,000 feet?

The sound of the rushing and roaring
wind behind her head where the rest
of the plane had once been told her
there wasn’t much longer left

Not that she knew she was at 32,000 feet when her stomach had flipped and awoken her. She’d been running on a beach with that fat old labrador that used to live two doors down the street when she was a kid.

In the dream she’d wondered why the fat old Labrador had shown up after all those years, maybe 60 years since she’d last patted his head through the gap in the fence as she walked to school.

As a child, she hadn’t even noticed that his wheezing, squeaky nose wasn’t poking through when she’d arrived home that night, it was a detail too small for a frantic, eight-year-old brain to notice.  But there he had been in her sleep: running and panting, slobbering on her hands when she stopped to clamp his head and squeeze his ears. Sand covered paws creating halos on the wet beach.

But now he was gone, like her dream.

She looked around the cabin, people were screaming and clutching at oxygen masks that hung like empty nooses from above. She hadn’t seen them fall. Like the plane, they must have dropped when she wasn’t looking.

She wasn’t scared, just confused. The man screaming in the seat next to her wasn’t helping, her arm was hurting and she couldn’t move it. She looked down and realised it was because the screaming man was clamping it to the armrest with his nails.

“My arm, you are hurting it,” she said to the screaming man, who stopped, looked down, then up into her eyes and said: “Sorry,” and let go. Just like that.

“It’s okay if you are scared.”

“No, I’m sorry."

The screaming man, who had stopped screaming, stroked her arm in apology and looked up around the plane, then closed his eyes and looked down into his soul.

She watched his bowed head for a moment and then looked out of the window at the greyness outside; it gave her no clue as to where she was and what was happening. 

The sound of the rushing and roaring wind behind her head where the rest of the plane had once been told her there wasn’t much longer left.

Across the aisle, a woman was writing on an envelope, a hastily written last testament bequeathing everlasting love to a beneficiary who would never read the words undying from the very dying.

She wondered how long she had left, tried to imagine the end then decided to just let it happen. One last look around, and then she thought about the Labrador, and wondered why he’d been on the beach after all those years, tail wagging sniff snorting happy dog.

Two rows in front a child looked over its mother's shoulder into her eyes, she smiled, and the child smiled back.

“A nice way to go,” she thought. “Smiling at a child.”

Follow Tony Schumacher on Twitter @tonyshoey


*Do you want to be a Friday Flash Fiction author and see your stuff blasting out across cyberspace to to a whole new audience? Send your short stories - they MUST be fewer than 1,000 words, to this address and we will publish them if they are any good. You must be local (we'll get Tubbs and Edward to check), the story must be previously unpublished and - like letters to the Beano - it must be all your own work.

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Anthony Schumacher shared this on Facebook on June 24th 2011.
Prof ChucklebuttyJune 25th 2011.

Well thanks for this. Here I am looking at flights and hotels for the summer holiday going through the usual frustration and indecision. Even looking at flights makes the palms of my hands sweat, like they are dripping with olive oil (Extar Virgin Airlines) So I thought let's relax and have a look at Liv Conf for a bit.

Ahh good, Mr Schumacher has a short story on it........Oh for Christ sake!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Angie SammonsJune 26th 2011.


Anthony Schumacher shared this on Facebook on June 27th 2011.
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