The Connecting Flight

Submitted into Contest #125 in response to: Set your story in an airport, as someone rushes for a flight.... view prompt

6 comments

Suspense

I look at my watch.

9:34 a.m.

Out of the corner of my eye I see the chips in my nails that weren’t there when the flight started, I can still feel the pain in my ring finger where I bit a little to hard. 

My flight is coming in 15 minutes late and last I checked my connecting flight was still on time. This means my connecting flight, which leaves from gate 68, starts boarding right now and is set to take off in about 10 to 15 minutes.  

I don’t even notice my leg moving up and down as my eyes attempt to burn a hole in the seat belt light above my head. 

After what seems like an excruciating minute the light final shuts off. As I stand up quicker then if my seat was covered in tacks the anxiety does not leave my eyes as I see how slowly the first 13 rows are unloading. 

Although it seemed to take so long, after 2 mins it was finally my turn. I quickly pull my carry on bag out of the over head bin and fall in line.

The anxiety in my chest begins to build while we all funnel through the walkway like sand falling through a hour glass.

Once I get out of the terminal hall I look up to see we are at gate 37. I look at my watch again and it is now 9:39. My heart stops, I only have 5 to 10 minutes before my next flight leaves!

Once I confirm the direction I take off running, luck for me I decided to take a backpack as my carry on, otherwise, I could just imagine my arm and bag flailing around as I run down the hall knocking people as I pass. 

As I run through the halls of the airport I pass a few arriving and departing screens but, I just don’t have the time to look up my connecting flight. 

“It will be fine, it was departing on time when I left for my first flight not even two and a half hours ago. I just have to get there! I will not miss my baby girls first Christmas!” I tell myself as I pass by gate 42.

I round the corner and almost run into a family and trip over a little girls rolling bag. As I am falling my arms fly around trying to grab something to prevent my fall or just brace myself, but I could not find anything to grab so I was late in bracing my arms. I feel my cheek and side of my nose hit the ground before my hand gets there.  

I stand up feeling a bit dizzy. I just want to keep going but, I am sure I have startled the little girl. I bow my head and apologies profusely before turning around and continuing to run down the hall. I am so preoccupied with the time I can barley feel the liquid running down my nose and onto my mouth.

As I inhale to take a deep breath I finally realize I may have injured myself when I start to taste metal in my mouth. I want to spit it out but all I can do is swallow it down.

I shake my head, “I don’t have time for this.” I tell myself as I finally make it passed gate 60. Not minding the trail of small drops of blood I am leaving in my wake.  

I look down at my watch for a moment to see that it is 9:43. I pray that the boarding is taking longer then expected and I still have a few minutes.

Feeling my heart skip a beat as I see a family almost forming a barricade in front of me, I desperately look for an opening before make it there. Finding a break in the chain of people I bolt through them before the opening closes.

Although it is snowing outside the I can feel the sweat building on my face, the salt making its way into the wound on my nose. The stinging sensation in my nose causes my eyes to start watering, but all I can do is wipe them on my forearm as I am running out of time.

I pass by gate 65 and start to feel elated as people could be seen around gate 68. As a result, my pace starts to slow and I start breathing heavily while the tension is leaving my body.  

I hear murmurs all around as I jog up to the check in desk and look up at the monitor. My eyes can’t help but widen and I feel my knees almost collapse to the ground. I can not believe it as I exhale long and loud. 

There flashing across the monitor “Delayed due to maintenance issues, departing time is 12:45 p.m.”

After a few beep breaths to calm myself down, I slowly start making my way down to the restroom. I clean my face wiping away the blood and seeing the area where I busted my nose open. After spending around 10 mins cleaning myself up and stoping the bleeding, I leave the bathroom.

There is a Pete’s Coffee kiosk by the gate so I decide to walk over. As I smile and great the attendant. She looks at me with concern in her gaze, I am assuming from the injury on my face, I order an over priced coffee and a croissant. 

While I wait for my coffee I called my girlfriend to inform her of the change. I can hear the disappointment from her voice but, it picks up as she’s determined to pick me up herself with our little angel. I can hear our daughter in the background giggling while playing by herself. We hang up and I pick up my coffee, then saunter over to the gate. Picking a chair with a little distance from others I pull out my crossword book to finish the one I have been working on while I wait for the next few hours for my flight…

December 21, 2021 20:48

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6 comments

Rob Ryter
21:54 Dec 29, 2021

So real. I felt the crowd dragging me back as I read and ran. Then back to waiting. Nice mirror of reality, well told.

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Dustin Gillham
01:25 Jan 01, 2022

Excellent first submission Anthony.

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Anthony Gauthier
16:49 Dec 30, 2021

You ever see a firework that after fired you think the explosion will be big and dazzling, but just as you are anticipating the finale it fizzles out? I still find those beautiful. :)

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Libby Trapp
04:32 Dec 30, 2021

I agree. I thought that the story would be leading up to something bigger, and I definitely think you should add on to this story. My only other critique would be that there were a few grammar mistakes. Otherwise, great story! I loved it!

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Kevin Broccoli
19:06 Dec 29, 2021

I think you have a really nice way of developing plot and story. I just kept waiting for an event to happen that would anchor the story. There feels like there could be more to this.

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Anthony Gauthier
03:59 Dec 30, 2021

Thank you for critique, I know it was a bit short and could use a little more content to tie it all together. I will try to work on this in future stories.

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