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A Beautiful, Terrible Tempest

Thank God there were no children on the plane.

The pastel shaded stewardess looked bored as she double pointed, scooped the air and feigned a blow into her lifeless jacket. I bet she couldn't wait for her shift to end.

He sat further down the front. I couldn't help but stare until he turned my way, then averted my eyes. Like me, he'd secured a corridor seat. People like us cannot and will not be confined.

The old man by the window refused to look out to the world around him. Between us sat a woman too beautiful for me. Today I felt bold.

"You like flying?"

She smiled politely. "Not really."

"Me either. Would you hold my hand at take-off?"

She turned away from me, but as we were pulled into the sky I held out my hand. And she took it. She squeezed while I strummed her knuckles with my thumb and I laughed. I laughed until the tears came and she tried to wriggle out of my grip.

He stood up violently. "OK everybody, keep calm and put your head between your knees. Now!"

I let go of her hand as she tried to grab mine back. Folding over, I pulled the scarf from my sock and wrapped it around my forehead.

I never could knot it properly.

Story by:

Catherine Noble

19 May 2014