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While Flying Part 3


First Part – Second Part

Third (and final) Part

When he returned, the stranger had already moved to his seat near the window. He had already closed the blind and he was sleeping quite uncomfortably (I know you want my seat, I know you want both seats to sleep better) over the wall. The doctor had applied some bandages to prevent him from mutilating his skin with his nails any more. The sting was growing, hurting him, and he tried to look under his shirt to see if the moons were really already appearing over his shoulder and chest. He thought they were hiding, in some part of his body where he couldn’t see.

Like if they were waiting for the moment he lowers his guard to attack again.

He shook his head side to side and tried to keep the calm. The crescent anxiety made his chest to hurt even more. They were still over the ocean, but closer to earth each time. Three hours. Only three more hours. He stayed that way, looking at the screen without taking his eyes away from it, staring at the colours green and blue without any purple, and the drawing of the plane, like a toy someone left over a planisphere.

He startled when, an hour and a half later, the lights turned on again and the smell of coffee and sausage, because some degenerated beings kept on mixing the breakfast of scrambled eggs with coffee, invaded the place. A stewardess indistinguishable from the rest pushed the trolley calmly, stopping in each file.

-Sausage with eggs or pudding?-

Rob pointed to one of the water plastic bottles in silence, and the woman obeyed, leaving him the tray with sausages too. He looked again at the screen, trying to process the information that flicked slightly in cyan colour. The plane was already over the coast, almost over the earth. There were still around forty minutes for landing and Rob could feel the vertigo of the plane falling in an orderly fashion over the path, the blow of the enormous machine pressing the wheels, which were, in comparison, tiny.

Like the tiny claws of a bird.

He came back down to earth and cut with the knife the horrible looking sausage. He devoured the food without even tasting it because of the dry and sick throat. It was the first meal he had in hours, because of this his stomach started to ache, in a way of complaining, as soon as he finished his breakfast.

-Hey, be calm- Advised his neighbour. He was eating the same menu, only that he had left at least half of the meat while finishing the eggs first –You are going to throw up everything if you eat it so fast-

That idea made him feel suddenly sick from the stomach, and he bended over himself. He imagined that from his insides came out a purple and thick liquid, like syrup, like the filling of those grape bubble gums. He had the necessity of taking off the bandage, waiting for the worst, for the arm to be violet, swallowed, and putrefied.

He scratched it over the cloth, nervously.

-What’s with you today, uh?- His neighbour called back his attention –You look pale-

Unconsciously he lifted the sleeve from his shirt and scratched his arm, where it was shining a purple moon.

Rob jumped on him, grabbing him by his arm and staring at the anomaly with the eyes wide open.

-Hey! – Said the man furiously, freeing himself with a sudden pull. The metal tray threatened to fall from the little plastic table and the water splashed out from the little glass, falling over the knees of his trousers.

But it gave Rob time enough to realize the mistake he had made. Over the man’s skin had appeared moons, like monstrous eyes shining in the darkness. He felt the sour taste in his palate and Rob ran down the highway to lock himself up in the bathroom. He threw up in the toilet and closed the lid without wanting to see how much of his paranoia had become truth.

He washed his mouth and his face, spiting into the water. He felt how they called at the door and someone on the other side asked him.

-Sir, are you all right? Do you need medical assistance again?-

He had transmitted it to another person. He had to tell him, he had to tell him that around an hour from now he would have thirst and motion sickness, then the skin would start to sting and, damn it, he felt that all his inners were flaming. He stared at himself in the mirror and discovered a trickle of blood mixed with water and saliva that ran from the side of his mouth. Did he throw up blood or bite his tongue? They’d have to put them in quarantine, the two of them, before it was too late.

He opened the door, thinking how he could get a doctor again, or someone to translate to make them understand the gravity of the situation. But he froze. The stewardess, with a purplish worried expression in his lips, was offering him a tray with hot wet towels. In each of his hands shined two purple moons, barely seen under the sleeves of the uniform.

And he remembered how he had cleaned his blood, how he had left the towel after using it, over the table where they put the food trays after. How he had walked up and down the highway, touching some sleeping passengers with the damned arm.

He saw himself landing the enormous machine of death like the horse of pest, conquering the air and conquering the earth with this sword of sickness and torture. He saw himself going down the plane and a crowd booing him like waiting for his death to remember him as the person that unified the continents with the same disease.

-Doctor- He asked with crescent urgency –A doctor, I need a doctor-

No one would hear him, but if he could convince the doctor, maybe she could talk with the pilot. Talk to someone to communicate with earth, someone to warn them about what happened. They shouldn’t land; they couldn’t make the people go down the plane.

He tried to grab the motionless woman by the shoulders to make her react when the plane gave made a violent bump and the sudden turbulence made him to lose his balance. He fell heavily and dully over the carpet and his head started spinning. He felt sicker and more nauseous each time, and it took him some seconds to start seeing right again. Some compartments had opened with the sudden movement, and the flight attendants laughed, nervously, while trying to calm down the panicked passengers.

Rob tripped to the emergency door and opened its window. The external glass was wet and the only thing that it could be seen was a grey cloud. A storm.

An interference sound came out of the loudspeakers and a voice informed, first in English and then in Spanish

-We are sorry to inform to the passengers that the airport in destiny is being lashed by a tropical storm. The visibility level is too low for the manoeuvres of landing, so we will make a two hours turn- A far cough could be heard, like if the man moved away from the microphone –We will make a two hours turn before trying to land again-

In the principal screen Rob observed how the map changed to the plane, a toy in the hands of a stubborn kid, turning to fly again over the ocean. But it wasn’t that what terrorized him until freezing his spine. It was the voice of the pilot, hoarse, from a dry throat, and how the flying became duller. A stewardess came out from the cabin, alarmed, and said, in Portuguese, that the co-pilot had thrown up all red and that he was unconscious.

And Rob understood, with a terrorized calmness, that the plane wasn’t destined to land, but to fly ever so further from destiny, until hugging the ocean, falling violently, hitting the wave less water and everyone would disappear, between the deep blue sea and the purple crescent moon.