Deep Down Under (a short story)


The twinkling lights glittered with a gleam in the dead black of the night sky. The view from above was one that would have charmed the heart of the most cynical of creatures. Miniature cars whizzed past each other on a road that was a mere ribbon of dark grey amid scores of street lights and so many others that could barely be differentiated for what they actually were from afar.

She peered out the tempered glass window with hopeful eyes.

A couple of minutes of staring onto the city, which was slowly zooming itself into clarity as the plane descended from the skies above, was all it took to give her a headache. She withdrew from the windowpane and rested her head back with a sigh.

***

This was Gautam’s first flight where he was calling the shots. So far he had been enjoying his sojourns into the deep end of the blue sitting in the co-pilot’s chair.

The ride had been a heady one indeed. Flying the giant bird, with over 200 passengers on board was an arduous task to say the least.

He patted himself on the back as the journey so far had been a silky smooth one. He took off with ease, and had managed to hold fort pretty well through the past couple of hours.

Gautam relaxed his tense shoulders and prepared to make an epic landing, one that he could pride himself upon, one that would not afford a single jolt to those who sat behind him beyond the boundary of the cockpit.

***

The sound of a slight crackle and a booming male voice jolted Rimjhim out of her blissful reverie. She sat up with a yawn, and shifted to try and dissipate the discomfort that was the very essence of the economy class seat she was belted onto.

There was something amiss.

Rimjhim suddenly focused her wavering attention and blocked ears towards the announcement being made. She had already lost the plot by not keyeing into the beginning of it all, but from whatever little she could fathom of it now…..the tidings were definitely not good.

***
The controls were emitting noises he had never heard before.

The ATC was relaying instructions which he could barely comprehend.

Could he have been so wrong in his judgment and that too at the very fag end of the flight?

Gautam sat at the edge of his seat trying hard to decipher the complex puzzle this landing had transformed into, while his co-pilot Avinash looked like he had seen a ghost. The runway seemed to be approaching faster than usual. The ride was getting jerkier by the moment. Avinash feared the worst, while Gautam fast realized that they were staring indeed into the face of death.

***

Rimi, as she was fondly referred to, felt like her whole life was caught in this one moment. The shouting was no longer audible to her. The people around were now just a blur.

The dreams, the hopes, vignettes from her past, the memories, and promises of a new beginning…….all lay in a heap of soft grey ash, still warm from the event that had just transpired.

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~ by eugenicist on January 9, 2012.

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