It’s still 1:49 AM and I’m more paralysed by fear now than I was earlier – let me explain.
Before drifting off to sleep I took my analogue stopwatch my wife gave me from my bag and started it. Right now, it marks four hours – this tells me two things: I’ve been on this flight for thirteen hours and time hasn’t really stopped.
After waking, I took a moment to come to my senses and felt an impulse to duck down. The flight attendants that had once walked up and down the aisle offering snacks and cushions now make the rounds of the plane, keeping everything in order. Whenever they pass me, I instinctively feel like I must act normal – or else – and they always peer down my aisle when they walk past.
I’ve attempted communication with other passengers – they add to the oddity that is this flight. First, I spoke with the elderly lady sitting in front of me, she must be about ninety or so – approaching one hundred years of age and not fit to be on a flight. I asked if she was okay and was met with a confused and angered face. At this, I decided to question her regarding the flight, whether she thought the length of the flight was a little strange.
“I wouldn’t worry dear, we only took off not long ago. The flight attendant said we should be landing in about an hour.” I answered her with a smile and a nod and returned to my seat. I’ve attempted similar conversations with the family of three behind me, the two young men next to the old lady and the middle-aged man across the aisle – they all say the same thing.
I decided to get up and have a look around the plane. The different flight attendants all have the same gleefully petrified expressions; there are four men and three women. They all give me a dirty look when I pass them, and not just the look you usually get when you block someone’s way.
I went to the bathroom and it was almost normal, no sign of anything different except a clock next to the fasten-seatbelt-sign glaringly shouting “01:49.” Upon noticing this I looked at the different signs around the cabin – all now have a clock reading “01:49.” Some even featuring the mandarin, japanese and roman numerical systems to the same end – peculiar for a trip from New London to West Europe.
I walked over to the cockpit of the plane to ask the captain about the length of the flight. As I walked through the four sections of the vessel I felt colder and colder to the point where I was shivering outside the cockpit. When I was about to move the curtain to speak with the Captain, a frozen hand gripped my wrist. A dark, warbled voice stared directly at me and stated,
“The Captain cannot see you right now, please return to your seat.”
“No. I’ve been on this flight seven hours longer than I should have. I want to know what’s going on.”
As the flight attendant stepped into the light, I realised it was the same one I’ve met multiple times before, except now she was worse. Her grin was larger than ever, her hair out of place completely and her eyes. Oh, her eyes. She was crying so hard, tears… tears of blood, streaking her face like several knives cut her repeatedly.
“Sir, return to your seat.” She ordered me in her wretched voice. When I refused once more, another attendant in the same accursed state as the first grabbed my shoulder and walked me back to my seat as harshly as a marshal shoots a deserter.
I woke up an hour later by a quake and shock. The plane shook from side to side and the power went out. Emergency lights appeared on the ceiling and floor but no one reacted. The flight attendants continued their patrols and everyone stared at the black screens in front of them. My stopwatch states seventeen hours but
The time is still 01:49 AM.