United 747 – flash fiction magazine electricity usage calculator kwh


C’s matted afro is cradled in the crook of B’s armpit, an armpit that smells like detergent and sour apples. B cannot hear his film due to the dried crusted wax that has built up in his ear buds; annoyed, he picks at the yellow flakes with a thin fingernail. C snores into B’s chest and inhales a flake, coughing once before settling back into place. As A’s television feature ends, he looks over at the couple to his left and reflects on his honeymoon, how he took his ex-wife’s virginity in the metallic single bathroom. He wonders if he should call her upon arrival.

F wonders how safe the exit row really is; she said she was capable of assisting in case of emergency (she knows in actuality she would be no help at all). She was sure to mention this to the athlete in D before he settled down to sleep. D does not speak English, but he smiled and nodded at the nervous Canadian when she pointed to the door. Before he closed his eyes, he wondered if she noticed that he had a prosthetic arm and therefore would not be helpful were they called upon to enact their sworn duties. Between them, a Yorkie drowns in a neon vest labeled “Emotional Support Dog.”

A lets a glob of spit dangle out of his mouth before sucking it back between his angular teeth. He reaches up to touch the glowing screen in front of him but is hindered by the floaties his mother had squeezed onto his arms in case there was a water landing. Images of cartoon pigs dance soundlessly before him; his headphones fell out an hour ago. B and C try not to stare at the odd little unaccompanied minor sitting on the aisle, but it is hard to ignore him when he sticks his tennies out and kicks the attendant with the drink cart. B orders a vodka cranberry to relieve the tension headache caused by the anxiety of meeting C’s parents. C has not told B that her parents are Jewish. A orders an orange juice and spills it on the floor.

E formulates an angry letter in her head entitled “Why Overweight Passengers Should Buy Two Plane Tickets” while her arms are being shoved into her sides. D has stacked two neck pillows on top of each other so that his neck stretches away from his body in a way that would have been comical, had he previously had a neck. His chubby fingers tap on his laptop so forcefully that the Delete button gets pressed down into the keyboard, and begins erasing the last chapter of the novel he had spent the past four hours working on. He tries to use the edge of a plastic cup to get the button unstuck, accidentally elbowing E in the face. F watches the scene and pities the poor malnourished girl next to her, patting her lovingly on the head with a meaty glove. Clutching a Ziploc baggie full of almonds close to her chest, E mentally adds a new paragraph to her letter.

At the front of the plane, the Captain clutches the wheel with both hands and continues to stare straight ahead with bloodshot eyes. He sends up a prayer of thanks that his uniform is white so that no one can see the sweat stains that have soaked through his shirt and run down to his pants. His Co-captain has left the cockpit to take a piss and he sits in the tiny room alone, lights flashing around him. Behind him, a stewardess pours him a glass of water, and he wonders if she knows that tonight is his first flight. The fasten seatbelt sign is on, but no one is more surprised than the Captain when the plane hits a pocket of air and drops forty feet.

11C’s head is thrown back and her skull smacks hard against the window. 11B instinctively throws what he can of his sweaty, stinking body over his wife for protection. 18D’s elbow slams into his chair, knocking his prosthetic arm free. The arm flies into the air, making 40F shriek even louder. 40D’s heart goes into cardiac arrest, due to the shock of the drop and a steady diet of cheeseburgers and fries. 40E has completely forgotten about her letter, as she is watching the gargantuan man spasming next to her, falling out of the sky, and becoming deaf in her left ear. Both 18F and 18E have peed themselves. 32C’s floaties fly up and hit him on both sides of his face, acting as an airbag. 32B and C scream out to the same God. And after he is done screaming and the Captain comes on to apologize for the slight turbulence, 11A decides he will call his ex-wife after all. Reader Interactions