Friday, May 19, 2006

Flight 827

This was one of the few stories to survive my computer crash. It began life as one of our assignments. The goal was to think of a story in the time you were stopped at a red light. What came out was this. This is the first installment.

By Matt

Flight 827, a 737 from Pittsburgh with 87 people on board broke through the clouds at 6,000 feet. Below, a lush green landscape unfolded, punctuated by the occasional dot of houses. Ahead, the sky showed the first hints of gathering twilight amongst the leaden grey. Mountains were barely visible amongst the haze. Streaks of liquid formed against Plexiglas.

For the passenger in 12B, these were sights he’d thought he’d not see again. Sights last seen that miserable St. Patrick’s Day when screeching, protesting rails carried him out of King Street Station on a slow journey back to the monotony of a life he thought he’d left behind. The journey then had left him too much time to reflect on missed opportunities. His time in the city had been the happiest of his life. He’d thought he’d spend the rest of his life there. Sure, he had a cheap apartment, and made way too little money. He’d had no need to change his driver’s license since he had been to poor to own a car, even a cheap old beater.

The city had suited him. On days off he take the bus to Discovery Park and walk among the wooded trails, stopping at the occasional clearing to take in the view of the sound. He found he enjoyed the view most when his favorite mountain poked its head out from the frequent mists. Or maybe he’d go to the waterfront and watch the bustle on the sound and the city around him.

He loved the city’s quirks; the troll under the Aurora Bridge; Hammering Man at the SAM. He loved how rain made the city seem alive, one with its surroundings. Espresso stands in dry cleaners, tanning salons and grimy gas stations. He missed good coffee.

His job had been nothing special. Selling computers at store in a suburban strip mall was as far away from TV journalism as he could get. Still it had paid the bills.

It was a shock losing his job. He was the store’s top seller. This couldn’t happen to him. He cried in the manager’s office. The job wasn’t much but it had been everything to him. His co-workers were the closest thing he had to friends. Without them he was alone.

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