My ears pulse and hum, pushing in on me. I swear they’re going to collapse… or explode… and then I’ll be deaf. Forever.
That’s a really long time.
What if I don’t make it until then? What if my forever is over? Oh, God. I can’t breathe. There’s a hippopotamus sitting on my chest and it’s fighting with the lion that’s clawing to get out of me. It hurts. My lungs, my ribs, my heart, they hammer and stutter and hammer again. Testing me, making sure I’m still alive.
Am I? I don’t know. It’s so dark. Is this Hell? It’s so hot.
Tears trickle down my cheeks. Sweat slides down my spine and pools at the elastic at my waist. It’s so uncomfortable. Itchy. If only I could scratch it. I don’t know how to move. My arms lie useless at my side, dead limbs dying. I know I’m dying.
Dead. Already dead. Petrified.
A creak. Light. A fresh breeze teases my lifeless body. Maybe I’ll go to Heaven.
“Hello?” a voice calls to me. Female. Angelic.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” my angel says, “the sign said the lavatory was available… uh…. I’ll just… come back.”
Lavatory? I taste the confusion on my dry tongue, bitter and metallic.
From somewhere very distant a deep voice calls, “Welcome aboard Flight 4244, our nonstop flight to London. Please locate your seats. We are next in line for take-off.”
Ugh. I moan and whimper. Damn. Why did I think I could handle a ten-hour flight?