Short Stories

The Last Flight Read and rate this story.

Eileen Wong and Bert Wu exhausted after their month long trip in South East Asia, crashed on the airport lounge seats. They dumped their carry bags, enjoyed the sumptuous lounge buffet, and literally gulped their wine bottoms up, just in time to catch up on the much needed sleep.

“Darling, are you going to tell me our destination as yet? And what is this book you have been clutching on to for past 10 days. I have never seen you so engrossed in any book ever” asked Eileen

“Have another glass of wine and take rest. I have taken care of affairs this time. It’s a surprise until you board the flight”

*****

Eileen and Bert, friends since their school days in Beijing, travelled to Chicago, US together for higher studies about 30 years ago. Fell in love, married and settled there. With high-flying stressful career, they chose not to raise a family.

Now in their late 50s, having voluntarily retired from their respective jobs, they wanted to travel far and wide all over the world to scout for their dream destination, to spend the rest of their lives in. Money was no constraint for them.

Eileen wanted a laid back life somewhere in the lap of nature with a self-sustainable farmhouse. Bert cannot stay away from golf and his beer club for long. “An old man needs other old men around to feel young” he would joke. But they both knew Eileen was the decision maker and Bert would happily follow her.

*****

This trip to South East Asia was the last leg of their search. From Himalayas to Langkawi they did not spare any possible avenue on this side of the world. It was only a fortnight back when their friend from Beijing, Hailin Ma called and then things shaped up.

Hailin was an extremely influential entrepreneur in Beijing with very important contacts. He was in Kuala Lumpur when he made contact with Bert and made a proposal to Bert. The proposed option had time constraint though. It was now or never.

Bert arranged to meet Hailin as soon as possible. They had a series of discussion regarding finance, sustainability, social stability. It was not easy taking the decision all by himself, he so badly needed Eileen to concur. But some things in life are meant to be kept secret until the right time comes. Making the arrangements was another ordeal. He had to pull quite a few strings to get the bookings in place. Hailin extended his goodwill and helped him with most of the logistics.

All arrangements in place, Eileen and Bert packed their bags and waited for their journey towards their retirement home.

******

“This is the final boarding call for passengers Eileen Wong and Bert Wu . Please proceed to gate 3 immediately.”

The call jolted Eileen and Bert from their slumber in the lounge. They picked their bags hurriedly and rushed towards the boarding gate. Huffing and puffing they entered the craft and took their seat as the door closed.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome onboard Flight MH 370 with service from Malaysia to Beijing. We ask that you please fasten your seatbelts at this time and secure all baggage underneath your seat or in the overhead compartments. Sit back and relax. “

“Happy Anniversary wife .We had to spend our special day in the air, but I could not have booked us on any other flight” said Bert

Eileen could hardly control her excitement.

“Wow, what a thoughtful gift. You made all arrangements discreetly. Home bound we are, so be it. ! Oh you are so good at surprises, wish you had given me many more earlier.” said Eileen as she squeezed Bert’s hands, closed her eyes and drifted away..

Somewhere about 30 minutes into flight-

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the fasten seat belt sign. We are now crossing a zone of turbulence. Please return to your seats and keep your seat belts fastened. Thank you.”

Another 10 minutes

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has lost communication with the ground control. We are now out of the radar range. Stand by for further announcements”

“Honey, I love you. If this had to happen, I am so glad we are together. You know even if we disappear into thin air, there is no one to miss us” said Eileen in a trembling voice as tears rolled down her cheek.

“I am so sorry to be putting you through this .I am there with you dear, have no fear” Bert showed no emotions.

******

News flash

Malaysian Airlines MH370 with 227 passengers aboard and 12 crew members has gone missing over the Indian Ocean.

This news shook the entire aviation industry. The multinational search for the airplane debris went on for a long time . It was beginning to be dubbed as one of the greatest aviation mysteries of all time. All passengers and crew were presumed dead after months of intensive search across Indian Ocean.

******

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the wormholeShangri-La, ‘the land of eternal youth’. Local time is 8 pm dated 8-Mar-2019 and the temperature is a pleasant 23 deg Celsius. Hope you have read the handbooks given out along with your booking confirmation.

We have on board with us the chief architect of this project, Bjarne Olsen and his team of scientists, environmentalists, engineers, and professors. We appreciate your patience and co-operation during the turbulence zone. Time travel without a bit of turbulence would be hard to pull, said Bjarne. A big round of applause for the team.

Congratulations all. This is your Captain Partha Sarthi signing off.”

“Enjoy your stay” said the crew member as Eileen and Bert held hands and deplaned MH370 cum Utopian airlines UA001 . Hailin followed suit with his wife.

***

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The above story is an entry into the writing event(Feb. 02nd – 20th) hosted by ArtoonsInn: #PullTheRug #UniK-3

Event rules and guidelines: https://artoonsinn.com/pull-the-rug-unik-3-writing-event/

Check out Itali’s space here: https://artoonsinn.com/author/itali-madhusmita/

Thanks for reading.

Categories: Short Stories, UniK-3