A small patch of turbulence sent a shudder through the plane. Not much – any passengers awake would have barely noticed it, but it was enough to startle the sleeping passenger in 22A awake. In the disorienting moments between waking and sleeping, the turbulence was enough of a justification for a growing sense of unease, but as the moments ticked by and consciousness replaced dreaming, the unease was less about the turbulence and more about the eerie sense of calm throughout the cabin. A blink, and another, pushing the last vestiges of sleep away, and full awakening meant the realisation that it wasn’t just calm throughout the plane, but silent. The seats across the aisle were empty. There was no gentle rumble of multiple conversations. No clatter of the lunch service being prepared. No ripples of polite disturbance as passengers made the journey between their seats & the bathroom. Standing up, and gazing around, the reason for the silence became apparent. The few rows in front, and all the way to the back, all empty. A glance out the window quickly disproved the notion of having slept through landing & the disembarking of the rest of the passengers. Nothing but blue sky & miles of wide open ocean, all the way to the horizon. Trying to quell a growing sense of panic, a shaking hand reached up to press the attendant call button. In the silence, the tinny ding-dong of the call could be heard over the rumbling of the plane’s engines. No concerned footsteps rushing to answer the call. No soothing voice offering reassurances that everything was alright. Just more silence, stretching out as far as the ocean below, with nothing to fill it but the desperate prayers of the plane’s sole passenger.
Well that was a lot darker than my usual style! Horror isn’t a genre I generally (ie never) write, and read even less, but I found this little flash challenge via twitter and got hit with an idea, so decided to stretch the creative muscles outside the box I usually write from.