Read My Story
Elaine Kaye | Alankrita Amaya
The plane had a smooth take-off, but Abbey still clutched the armrest of her seat as she looked out the window to see houses grow smaller and clouds envelope the plane. She glanced at the person sitting near the aisle with an empty seat between them, but could only see rich black hair that belonged to a male hunched over a laptop.
Putting on her headphones, she hummed to a favorite song. Suddenly, she couldn’t breathe. Her eyes flew open, but she could only see a green aura that filled the plane.
Feeling sick, she excused herself and ran to an empty stall.
Calm yourself, she murmured over and over as her breathing slowed to a normal pace. Once relaxed, she glanced in the mirror, put on lipstick, and bravely opened the door to see the green haze was gone. Everyone seemed calm as though nothing happened.
“I’m sorry. I need to get back to my seat.”
“No problem,” said a baritone voice.
Abbey turned her head hoping to see the face that belonged to that rich voice. All she could notice on the handsome face were icy blue eyes.
Awesome, was the only word that came to her mind. Jet-black hair with vibrant blue eyes, now that was one for the books!
Feeling better, Abbey leaned her head back, adjusted her headphones, and let her eyes drift closed. Then the plane lurched and her eyes flew open again. Now what? The green aura was back! She looked to the man next to her for help except he wasn’t there! Someone else was, with straggly grey hair and a hunched body wearing well-worn Asian clothes. The face turned to her. Abbey gasped! It was the face of a toothless Chinese woman.
“Hello,” she said, bowing her head in greeting.
Abbey didn’t move a muscle. “Who are you? Why are you here?” she asked.
The old woman shook a wrinkled hand at Abbey. “You need to read my story. It will teach you a valuable lesson.” It was all she said as the green mist flowed through the plane making her eyes water. She wiped her eyes with a lacy handkerchief as the green mist disappeared.
Abbey was afraid to move, but she had to look at the aisle seat. To her amazement, a Native American Indian in full dress was occupying the seat. How can this be, she asked herself. Am I having a full-blown nightmare?
The Indian looked at her, held up his hand in greeting. “Don’t be frightened, I won’t scalp you,” he said as he laughed. Then he turned serious. “I am a survivor of a great battle. You must read my story. It will teach you a valuable lesson.”
With those words, the aura reappeared, blurring her vision. She closed her eyes and reopened them a moment later to see the green mist had disappeared. She was afraid.
What is happening? She wanted to know.
Time passed, the green aura came and went often. Suddenly, the plane lunged again, making Abbey feel sick again. I need to get past that seat and whoever is in it, she thought.
She got up quickly and ran to the same stall she had been in before. Immediately, she felt calm. Opening the door several minutes later, she noticed the mist was gone. Passengers were talking and laughing.
Reaching her aisle, she saw the jet-black hair. Maybe I was hallucinating, she reasoned.
“Excuse me,” she said to the man. “I’m sorry to bother you again.”
“Still no problem. Are you feeling okay?”
“Yes, thank you. My name is Abbey and I feel as though I have been living a nightmare.”
“My name is Donald.” He closed his laptop and folded his hands on top of it. “Is there anything I can do to help? You are looking rather pale.” His blue eyes seemed to penetrate her; she could feel it in her soul. “If it will help you any, why don’t you tell me about these so called nightmares you have been having while on this plane.”
“It might sound silly but it was all so real.” And Abbey told him the whole story. She felt foolish when she finished.
“So you say you saw someone else sitting in my seat every time that green aura came. Amazing. You went past me many times. Maybe you just had motion sickness.”
“You say that I left my seat very often?” Abbey shook her head. “I only got up twice! I don’t understand any of this.” She was on the verge of tears.
Donald opened his laptop and started typing at a fast pace. “Tell me again about the people you saw.”
Abbey repeated her story as he continued to type.
“Now those last people, one was a girl from the Titanic. And the last one was a sailor from Pearl Harbor?”
“And they all told you to read their story to learn some kind of lesson. Maybe I can help you.” He stopped typing to look straight into her eyes. “My name is Donald Miller, maybe you have heard of me.”
“Of course! I am so sorry I didn’t recognize you. But, no offense, how can you help me?”
He handed her his laptop. “You can read their stories right here. They are characters from my novels.”
“But they were real, with real stories from our past.”
“That may be true but they live in my stories. Just like you do.”
“Me?” Abbey said in surprise.
“Yes, Abbey, dear. You are a character in my newest novel.”
And the green aura filled the cabin again, swallowing her.