The Last Flight

Afaan Bilal
3 min readFeb 13, 2018

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The Last Flight

I was on an airplane that would never land.

It was a late-night flight, supposed to take 4 hours and 45 minutes, with no intermediate stops. Sleep was the obvious choice. As soon as we took off, I reclined my seat and draped a thin blanket over myself as the lights dimmed. To dreamworld, I thought with a faint smile.

I felt a sudden jerk shake me awake and distant, frantic chattering getting closer. I rubbed my eyes trying to focus my vision but all I could see were blurry shapes moving in and out of my view. The plane shook again and the screams got clearer and louder. I shook my head, unbelieving of the scene before me. Everyone was doing something: screaming, shouting, crying or praying.

TING!

“This is your pilot speaking, the captain is still unconscious. We are doing everything we can to get the situation resolved, please remain calm — aaahh!”

TING!

As soon as the sound cut-off, the plane veered to the left with a loud revving noise. I couldn’t make sense of my surroundings. I tried to stand up but something or someone pushed me back on my seat. I blinked repeatedly, trying to clear my vision from the flashing lights.

Suddenly someone grabbed me by my shoulders.

“There’s no pilot, both of them are dead or unconscious, we’re going down!”, the voice whispered. Or shouted. I couldn’t tell.

I stood up, grabbing the edge of an overhead compartment, its contents spilled into the aisle. I tried walking through, stepping around the stuff scattered on the floor. The plane shook again but I kept going forward, hanging on to the headrests. I felt a force pulling me back and realized the plane was going up. A trolley came tumbling down, dragging a thousand things with it, collecting a thousand more on its way down.

A few more steps and I reached the front exit doorway — the door was nowhere. The portal opened to dense blackness. Out of nowhere, someone grabbed another passenger and pushed them out the door.

“What the hell are you doing?”, I shouted over the noise.

“It’s the only way to save ourselves, come on, jump!”, he shouted in response. He went back, presumably to grab another passenger.

I froze. The man came back with another person.

“Come on now! Jump!”, he screamed at me and pushed his companion out the doorway.

I shook my head. “No! You’ve gone mad!”, I shouted back.

He looked back at me for a moment and then jumped out. He had no parachutes, no ropes attached.

I pushed forward and tried looking through the doorway but I could see nothing. No safety, no land, no sea — just a vast blackness enveloping everything.

Another trolley was blocking the path to the cockpit, held in place by seat-belt-like fasteners. I tried moving it but it didn’t budge.

The lights kept flickering erratically and then went out altogether. For a moment everything went dead-quiet. I caught a spark from the corner of my eye, the bulbs in its path turning on and blowing up a second later — a series of small pops that ended in a big bang.

The explosion tore the plane apart. The bottom half was falling away, yet the top half kept going up — or so it seemed. In another moment, I was falling down the aisle, my fingers trying to grab anything to hold on to but finding nothing. I was almost at the end when my elbow caught up in a seal-belt, stopping my descent with a violent jerk.

The whole sky had lit up with an orange hue, flaming debris falling through like a meteor shower.

The seat-belt broke off.

For a second everything went quiet again.

The whole universe was open before me in its majestic beauty. I could see the stars and the galaxies, the red giants and white dwarfs. Everything seemed to light up and then fade out — as if the universe was breathing.

And then I was free. Falling into that blackness. I closed my eyes with a faint smile.

The world was shaking again.

“Sir! Sir! We’re about to land.”

Thank you for reading.

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Afaan Bilal

Senior Software Development Engineer @ Centiment. Co-Founder @ Shmooze. CEO @ Alpha Magnus Studios. Civil Engineer from NIT, Srinagar.