Thursday, January 31, 2013


Larry didn’t fly much, in fact he wasn’t a fan of travel in general and only took a plane when he absolutely had to.  He had never taken such an early flight before, at least not one that was headed east.   Larry had purchased a newspaper from the airport newsstand to distract himself.  This was something he did on every trip.  He always thought he would be able to occupy his mind and not notice the traumatic event of takeoff, the turbulence during the flight, and then the inevitable bumpy landing.   The paper was never opened during the flight; he always held the folded paper in anticipation, arriving at his destination with clammy, ink-stained hands.

The plane took off in complete darkness and flew for nearly 40 minutes before the sky started to brighten.  They were above a dark, steely blanket of clouds so thick and peaked it looked like an ominous sea of grey cotton candy or the landscape of an unknown planet.    He couldn’t pull himself away from the view from the small window.   This sunrise was nothing like any he had ever witnessed before.  It began with just the thinnest sliver of bright yellow light, nearly blinding in comparison to the dark grey sky.  Then it quickly progressed with rays shooting upward in sharp angles like a city of skyscrapers constructed of clear yellow glass.   Larry imagined they were flying toward a golden kingdom floating in a land of grey snow.   He had never been one to pay much attention to his surroundings as he was always caught up in his own thoughts and worries.  

Now, Larry could hardly contain his excitement and was making audible noises in amazement at what he was seeing -- completely unaware of the annoyed glances and eye rolling from the other passengers who all had their window shades pulled down tightly as they tried to sleep.  He realized, in that moment, just how silly all of his fears were:  of flying, of crashing, of death.  If his plane were to fall from the sky or simply slip into another universe and he were never to see his old life again, that would be okay with him.  For the first time in his life, he felt completely content and at one with the world.  He stared into the rising sun until he could stand it no longer before finally closing his eyes.  He could still see the brightness, though more reddish in tone since it was being filtered through his own eyelids.  The pilot shifted the direction of the plane and the moment was over.  A stewardess was efficiently making her way down the aisle of the plane, checking on the passengers, seeing to their personal needs for a beverage or perhaps a blanket and pillow for the long flight ahead.    She paused at the seat where Larry had been, a look of confusion passed over her characteristically composed face -- She was sure that someone had been seated there at takeoff but the only thing there now: a folded - though somewhat crumpled and smudged newspaper.   Nothing else remained.  


Amarie Fox said...

I have been enjoying reading more of your writing. I always find that I feel so inadequate as a writer who also is an artist.

I think, I feel, as if people don't take me seriously... I don't know. Thank you, though, for proudly displaying both of your talents. And not really caring what people think. x

Elizabeth said...

Oh I did not even see that ending coming. That was excellent, so enjoying your short stories!

matte stephens said...

That was a wonderful story Vivienne!

Vanwall said...

Wonderful little tale!