Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta flight. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta flight. Mostrar todas las entradas

lunes, 13 de febrero de 2017

Lost flight

   The only thing I could do was waiting. After having my new boarding pass printed and a coupon for lunch in the airport’s food court, I left to have a walk through the terminal. I just needed to walk around, to relax my body after so many problems and so much uncertainty. As I walked, I remembered that I didn’t have any luggage, nothing to take care of. My clothes and a couple of souvenirs I was taking home, had been destroyed just a few hour ago, in the blink of an eye.

Understandably, people were glued to all TV screens showing a news channel or any sort of new information about the disaster. As for me, I didn’t wanted to have anything to do with it. I was already in some sort of shock; I didn’t needed to get worse in any kind of way. I just looked for a place far from any crowd and there I sat down, trying to relax. That was not going to happen but having that kind of mission made me at least a little bit distracted, from the looks and the comments.

 Yes, people already knew that I wasn’t supposed to be there. I have no idea how, but it wasn’t a surprise as people have always been all about gossip and knowing thing they have no place in knowing. I ignored the few looks I got and, thankfully, I only heard part of their speeches about me. Maybe they were talking about my luck or if I was travelling alone. Something about that but I really didn’t mind. I couldn’t mind because I had better things to think about than them.

 There, sitting in a lonely row of chairs overlooking the tarmac, I remembered my favorite sweater. I hadn’t put it on because the weather report announced a very col day, which it was. But I could have put it on anyway or maybe stuff it on my backpack. It could have survived but now I was never going to put it on never again. It was something silly to think about but that’s all my mind could do to keep sanity inside. My sweater was no more and I couldn’t be more sad about it.

 Someone, a woman, touched my shoulder and made me jump from fright. She had surprised me submersed into my mind. When I looked at her, she smiled and explained the people from the airline were now looking for me. I asked if the new flight was being cancelled and she shook her head negatively. She was apparently there to take me to the airline lounge, the more exclusive one. I was very happy for that but also kind of confused. She then explained it was the safest place for people to be: “Not even photographers can come in”. That explained it all.

 I joined her, my backpack tight against me. As we walked towards the lounge, she was talking about all the things I could enjoy there for the next twelve hours, time I needed to wait until the next flight home. But I wasn’t really paying attention to her but to the people still standing in front of the screens, watching the images of twisted metal and molten plastic. It was a very morbid thing to see and yet, even children stood in from of the screens watching something they did not fully understand.

 When we got to the lounge, she explained to me they had granted me access to the most exclusive areas. She handed me a silver card, which I had to use to make certain machines work and access some rooms like the showers, the spa and special small rooms to sleep for a while. She showed me everything but the truth was my body felt very week and I just wanted to sleep for a while, have a rest before the long flight I had to face the next day. Looks and comments will also be heard there.

 When she left, I went straight for the room’s area. They weren’t really rooms, but more like a capsule hotel in the style they have in Japan. I chose one and hopped in. I put down the curtain separating me from the outside world and removed my trousers to really relax. I turned off the lights and lay there in silence, complete silence, trying to get my mind cleared in order to sleep. But I kept hearing people talking all around me and I just couldn’t do it. It took me more than an hour to fall asleep.

 When I woke up, I thought I was only a few hours away from my flight, but that wasn’t the case at all. I had just been able to sleep four hours, which wasn’t really much considering at home I managed to sleep double that time every single night. I woke up just as tired as I was when I had hopped into that space. The only thing to do was to put on the pants and go out there, maybe eat something or have a hot cup of coffee or whatever I could find. It was better to be occupied.

 I decided to have dinner first, so I grabbed a large plate and I started putting on it every single thing I could see on my plate, except the spicy food they had on one end of the room. I sat down to the table and I ate very slowly, trying not to look at the screens I had around. But that was almost impossible to do and, when I finished my plate, my head raised directly into on of those screens, showing in detail how the plane had crashed against the mountain, how no one could have survived.

 Very silly me. I tried to look for my suitcases in the images, but it was obvious that nothing was really the same anymore. The plastic it was made of had probably melted and all my clothes were probably scorched to their tiniest self or maybe the wind had carried them all over the place. It wouldn’t be strange if some person arrived next day to work with my clothes on instead of his normal attire. That thought made a chill run down and up again my spine. Not something I like to think about.

 I was supposed to be there, in that flight, having had their same last meal and hearing those same last announcements done by the crew. I have no idea what they said but I can guess it was something sinister, one of those things you would never hear in any other case. Or maybe not, people are so strange that maybe it was all going smoothly and death just caught up with them in the most awful and unexpected way. Not a great way to go, but many would love that for themselves.

 I don’t want any of it yet. When I lost my flight because of a long line in the men’s room, I was very frustrated and I had yelled at half of the staff of the airport. I had called them anything from “useless” to “moron”. I tried to control myself because I started feeling a little anxious and it was then I went full crazy. If any photographers or journalists had seen that.  I bet that would have been a first page kind of story, Many more would be staring and saying what they think about what happened.

 But all of those are empty words. After all, I had seen those people. We had all done our check-in at the same time; we had even exchanged a joke or two or some comment about the weight of the bags. I had seen children yell and laugh and play. Adults trying to fix something and an elderly couple so in love still one would love to be them in any other life. I saw them being so human, so real and filled with life. And now they were no more, all of their flames had been extinguished in a second and I was the only one still alive from that group, just because.

 I guess my blatter saved me, which doesn’t really make me very proud but I guess it’s good to be here and not there. But… Maybe it was my time to die and I’m just here because of a mistake. Or maybe someone else had to live and not me but here I am because of some kind of mistake someone made and some point. But no matter how much I try to understand it, things are what they are. I am the last person to be alive from a group of almost three hundred. At some point, I would have to tell my story in any way possible, even if it’s just a case of pure luck.

martes, 29 de noviembre de 2016

Tragedy and mystery

The flames appeared to be running up the hill at a great speed. From the small town below, the fire seemed to conquer the mountain with ease. The smoke started to descend shortly and only minutes after the incident, the whole valley was choking on thick and toxic smoke. People got out of the streets and got in their homes, sealing every single window and door in order not to let the smoke inside. They kept the blinds up however, as it was important to know if the fire in the mountain continued or if someone attempted to stop it.

 Sure enough, a larger city located close by, had decided to send a fire brigade to extinguish the fire. But they weren’t only there for that: they were also sent on a rescue mission. After all, the fire had not been caused by some glass in the woods (it was nighttime) or a badly taken care of bonfire. The flames had appeared out of the impact of a plane against the side of the mountain. Only a couple of people from the nearby town had seen it actually crash but they wouldn’t have to know how big the aircraft was or why it had crashed.

 The city’s firemen battled against the flames for several hours. The fire that had grown around the wreckage was so violent that it had consumed a good part of the forest in its first hour. As the firemen took their time to kill the fire, dawn came and it was thanks to the first lights of the day that the fire could finally be beaten. They got to the wreckage and discovered it was one of those private jets. It probably carried around twenty people or something like that but it would be irresponsible to say before getting the black box or any additional information.

 The people of the small town were grateful that the fire had been beaten, so they decided to help the firemen with the search for the black box. They divided themselves into teams, each team having a specific area of the forest to go and look for the box. The awful thing was that, as they looked for that, they found some other things that they weren’t prepared to see. Severed heads, burned limbs and even the corpses of a couple of children. It was very shocking for everyone to see that, as their own children were not very far away.

 A farmer that lived by the mountain finally found the box. He was very thankful that the fire didn’t get to his food, so he rushed up the hill when he heard they might need help. He actually found the black box when walking towards the wreckage, closer to his house than to the remains of the plane. It seemed like something important, so he grabbed it and showed it to the chief of the firemen. He was very happy to see the box and thanked the man. It was a very happy moment in a very awkward moment to feel something like that.

 As the box was sent to the city, the firemen and people of the small town had decided to help carry the dead downhill and then to several ambulances that came and went every so often. They all counted the bodies and, when they didn’t find anyone else, they concluded there were actually thirty-seven people in the plane. It was a very strange number; as such a plane was not really suited for that many people. Even the people of the town knew that or at least they thought it was very strange. The last thing they did was waiting for the experts.

 Those people were the ones that were in charge of taking all the pictures for the report that would have to be filed in order to investigate the reasons of the crash. The experts had taken their time arriving because they had to travel from the capital to actually get there, so many of the objects and the general wreckage site was not exactly as it had been before they started looking for the box and picking up the bodies. A young fireman was bright enough to take pictures the moment they had arrived so he surrendered those images to the experts.

After the experts were done picking up all the pieces, big and small, as well as sweeping what remained of the forest to look for every single piece of evidence, the site became some sort of graveyard. It was very particular because there were no remains there but no one really knew if, maybe, some more passengers had been burned by the fire that had consumed the forest. They had no idea if that was possible so the people of the small town organized a mass one-week after the accident. Some of the firemen attended, it was a beautiful ceremony.

 Meanwhile, the experts analyzed every single fragment of the plane and determined that the model that had crashed had seating for twenty-six people. That meant that, according to the amount of bodies people had rescued from the mountain, at least eleven people had not been seating on a proper seat but somewhere else. That was not really the usual and it didn’t happen very often. The experts also tired to determine if the extra passengers could have been a reason for the crash but everything seem to point that it hadn’t been a critical factor.

 The remains of the planes and of the people were thoroughly checked and, two weeks after the crash, the experts released a statement in which they announced that the final number of dead in the crash had been forty-one and not thirty seven as the firemen and townsfolk had counted. Apparently, the remaining four that hadn’t been counted had caught on fire shortly after the crash and now their remains had almost combined with some of the other passenger’s remains.

 It was only thanks to the black box that they could determine who the passengers were and what flight that was. After all, the nearest control tower had declared that no aircraft had been detected in the area before the crash. That meant that they wouldn’t have had any contact with it and it would also have been impossible to know it had crashed. Other airfields were consulted and they all said the same thing. The first theory was that it was some sort of drug related flight, maybe operated by criminals wanting to get away from the country.

 That theory was soon debunked, as the closest border was almost two thousand kilometers always. Besides, the black box was able to tell the experts that the flight happened to be a private one. Furthermore, the codes inside it were able to point the origin of the flight, almost a thousand kilometers away. The aircraft had apparently left an airfield not so far from the capital city. It looked like they had boarded in a rush, in fear if that was possible. The voices of the crew on the recordings were very difficult to tell one from the other.

 It was rather easy to say that the plane was really crowded because a lot more voices could be heard in the background. The audios were checked several time in order to identify what everyone was saying during the flight. It was hard work because many voice chimed into the conversation happening inside the aircraft and it seemed as if they had been talking every single second until their death. Apparently the instruments had begun to fail and that could be the cause behind the crash.

 But even if that was the reason, it didn’t answer much about why all of those people had decided to get into a crowded airplane. As the voice experts analyzed the audios, others decided to have a second look at the object that had been rescued from the plane. There were toys, glasses, a briefcase, magazines, and a couple of computers… Everything except suitcases, actual luggage that the people inside the plane should have carried. It was kind of obvious that they had boarded on a rush. The origin airport was consulted on that and it was then when they had an extra clue.

 The manager of the airfield had a report of a disappeared business jet owned by a pharmaceutical company. It had been there for several months and now the people had left. No one really knew when but the fact that a company owned it raised some eyebrows. But that didn’t explain the amount of people that were inside. It took another week to have one more clue, when a clumsy investigator dropped the suitcase found on the plane, making it open and revealing a series of papers and a very bright substance in a titanium tank, the size of a forearm. The mystery was not done.

jueves, 20 de octubre de 2016

The circumstances of love

   Anyone could have said it: their last kiss was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. After all, it wasn’t every day that two people were separated in such an awful way. One of them was going to jail and the other one was going to have to prove himself by trying to make a living alone. That last moment happened in the harbor, were the ferry for the prison island leaves. It was very hard for the people that had joined him to watch, especially as they knew everything that had happened before, all the hurdles they had to go over.

 Since the moment they had laid eyes on each other, they had known that something important was going to happen. But, to be fair, neither of them thought that it was going to be so intense and such a long relationship for the both of them. They met on a plane, on a very long flight that they took for different reasons. Lucas was travelling for work and Carlo had won the trip on a raffle his mother had put him into. She had done it as a way to have more possibilities to win and when the family did win, she decided to give the prize to him.

 After all, the rest of the family was not very fond of flying and he was the only one who was actually interested in it, once they had won the prize. When it happened, it was like a mouthful of fresh air as Carlo was desperate for something to do in his life. He had recently been fired from a job as a sales person on a big store. During that year, he had been laid off from at least five jobs. Sometimes it was the circumstances that made it happen but most of the time the problem was he didn’t care at all about what he did because he had no passion for it.

 He had gone to college and had a degree on architecture but the reality of the matter was that he didn’t care at all about it. He had studied it because his father had wanted that for him. Furthermore, Carlo had never voiced any will to study anything else so when the moment came, they just paid for whatever they wanted and he had to go there and do his works. From an academic standpoint, those were the most awful four years of his life. But he made a very big social life, meeting lots of friends and guys to date, so he never really complained.

 The trip came as a surprise and he was very happy to have something to do, even if it was for only seven days. He was going to take advantage of every single one of those days, going crazy in his destination and just enjoying himself for once in a very long time. He failed at every job he had because he hated everything except for having fun. He secretly hoped that he would learn something interesting and definitive about himself in that trip but he certainly didn’t said anything about that to anyone. It was hard to confess he actually cared.

 Lucas, on the other hand, was a very successful young man. He had finished high school at age fifteen and at twenty he was already walking out of college. After that, he worked for two years in his father’s company, which imported various products from other countries, and then decided to go and study abroad in order to have the experience to love by himself and getting to know more about what he wanted. His dream was to have his own company to buy and sell the best things for pets, as he absolutely loved animals.

 His trip was the one that would begin that stage of his life. He was young and eager to know what was ahead of him. Lucas was the kind of person that always has ideas, who’s always creating and imagining. He couldn’t stay still for long as he was very keen on doing something at all times whether it was to exercise or to design a new business model for his future pet company or whatever it was that made him passionate in a moment. He loved life and all that had to do with it and he couldn’t bear to stop and stay still.

 His father always told him he should take a break. When Lucas announced his trip, he was very happy for him but also worried because he thought he was going to use that experience to work even more. One day before departing, he sat down with him and asked him, almost demanded him to have fun, to relax, to just take a look around and enjoy all the other parts of life that he never really enjoyed. Lucas was reluctant to accept he would try but that was because he really didn’t know how to be that loose and carefree person.

 The day of the trip, Lucas had everything ready and arrived at the airport early. His father was the last one to say goodbye, hugging his son for a long time and telling him that if he needed anything he would be dare waiting for his call. This moment made Lucas realize that his father really wanted him to have that experience but he also wanted for him to chill a bit and just enjoy more of life, especially those things he wasn’t really attracted by like having intimate relationships or even just having drinks and going on a wild night from time to time.

 On the plane, they weren’t supposed to sit together but Lucas had to change seats because a woman wanted to be with her husband and changing seats would help her with that. She told him it was something very important as she suffered from some condition. He complied and it was then when he saw Carlo and they actually stared at each other for a couple of seconds before trying to make it seem it hadn’t happened. But they both through glances at each other until the dinner service came.

 It was Carlo that initiated the conversation because he noticed Lucas had asked for wine with his meal. Carlo asked him if alcohol didn’t made him to tipsy on a plane and Lucas told him that it made him more susceptible to sleep. Then, they went on to talk during their dinner, sharing points of view and experiences from the airport and the plane. Lucas had travelled a lot before but Carlo had not so he was really interested in many things Lucas knew and he wasn’t annoying about it, all the contrary, so it was a very interesting conversation for both.

 When time came to sleep, the plane’s lights went off and most people turned off their screens. The two guys continued their conversation and started talking about their lives. Lucas rapidly learned what kind of person Carlo was but he wasn’t bothered or anything by his behavior. He was actually very interested in someone that seemed to not mind much about what the world thought of him and that wasn’t really crazy about leaving a mark on the world. Meanwhile, Carlo was fascinated by many of the experiences Lucas told him about.

 A stewardess came to shut him up and they did but as soon as they could they talked more and when the flight ended they joined in each other to the taxi area. There, they parted ways but gave each other their email information in order to talk through social networks and so one. During the week Carlo stayed there, they met every single day and on the last night they had way too many drinks and ended up having sex and spending the night together. The next morning they shared breakfast in Lucas place and then he took Carlo to the airport.

 They didn’t expected to see each other in a year, at least. Lucas had thought he was going to stay in that country but as soon as his studies ended he came back home, a bit changed because he had new goals and priorities in his life. Inspired by Lucas, Carlo tried to make himself into someone new and created a small business selling cupcakes and brownies, all made by him. When they saw each other again, they knew what the next step was. With both of their savings, they decided to live together and tell everyone how happy they were together.

 So many years have passed since that decision. And now one of them was been taken away, who knows for how much time. He had been wrongfully sentenced after a trial had been held in order to determine if money had been stolen by him and other accusations. They were all lies, that’s what they said. But the truth doesn’t matter. The point is that two people that loved each other were broken apart. That was heartbreaking for everyone that believed in love to see. They were lost without each other.

martes, 31 de mayo de 2016


   Mister James arrived in the late flight. Mrs. Nakamura was there to receive him as soon as he stepped out of the baggage claim area. She was very nice, greeting him with a sign with his name on it in both Japanese and English. She asked him about his journey as they walked towards the door. Not even a minute later, as they were talking about how difficult it could be to sleep on a plane, a small black car, which seemed brand new, appeared out of nowhere and parked in front of the two of them.

Minute later, the car was on a highway, speeding next to many other cars and motorcycles. Mrs. Nakamura was talking on the phone and he didn’t know whom with. He was too fascinated with the view from his window to care: the city rose in every way, buildings all over. It was impossible to see the moon in the sky. It was late but there were lots of cars in the road. As they approached the core of the city, the denser it became.

 When Nakamura hung up, she smiled again and explained where they were going and the name of his hotel. It was a very prestigious five star hotel with every single commodity a person could ask for. He personally thought it was a bit too much for a four days stay but he didn’t say a word. He knew Japanese people loved to be hospitable and it would be rude to say anything against it. So he just smiled and said that the city was very impressive. It was extremely big in every way.

 Soon, they crossed the most popular neighborhoods, where people gathered to have a drink after work and the young ones paraded around to have fun, whether it was on the numerous arcades or on the specialized stores that sold comic books and other anime and manga related items. There were so much people, more than Mr. James had ever seen. He had being born in a very small city and had only left after high school so he was still impressed by large cities.

 They arrived in the hotel just a few minutes afterwards. The building was beautiful and someone, a small man, came out of nowhere and took James’s suitcase. He almost went running after him but it was obvious he was an employee and he was only looking to be efficient. The driver left and Nakamura joined him in the reception for the check-in procedure.

 The lobby of the hotel was very big, filled with flowers. There was no one around except the staff who was also very nice and smiled every single moment. It was late and they were probably tired so it was a very nice thing of them to keep smiling. The short man took the suitcase to the elevator and took them directly to the assigned room. It was locate on floor number 44. The view was outstanding. He almost didn’t hear when Mrs. Nakamura told him she would be there by seven in order to take him to the conference.

 Once alone, he checked his suite: it was almost like a proper apartment with a living room, a small kitchen space and a large bedroom with a very comfortable bed. The bathroom, which had a circular Jacuzzi type of bathtub, had a window overlooking the city. He felt tempted to have a bath but he decided it was better to rest as he had an early day the next day. He took of his clothes and hopped into the bed. There, he stared at the window for a while and realized the bed was big enough for two. So he put a hand on the space next to him and fell asleep.

 The conference that was being held in the city lasted all the four days he was going to be there and would take most of his time. When Nakamura came in to take him there, he was sad he couldn’t walk around the city first. But she noticed something in his face because she told him that they were going to have lunch in a traditional restaurant and dinner in an interactive place where many foreigners love to go. So he decided to look forward to both those activities.

 The conferences were about security in the XXIst century and how could people feel safe in every single one of the spaces they frequented the most such as public transportations, shopping areas, recreation venues and so on. He had given the same conference once and again and again for the last five years. James was considered to be one of the experts in the subject, always invited by television networks to talk about terrorism and how it worked in urban areas and so on.

 Sometimes, he grew very bored of hearing his own voice. And he knew that he also bored many people, no matter how interested they were in what he was saying. It was one of those traits that are impossible to erase from the personality. But he was looking forward to lunch so he decided to be as gracious and nice as he could.

 He was awarded by the most delicious meal he had ever had, at least in recent times. There was some sushi but also ramen and noodles of all kinds and various cuts of fish and seafood. There were also sweets made of what he thought were strange ingredients. But he tried every single thing and was commanded by the chef for being such a good sport with everything. They even took a picture of the whole table, James smiling.

 At night, Mrs. Nakamura took him to the strangest place he had never been in: it was called a café but it was more a hybrid between a bar and a restaurant. They had a live show featuring some people in costumes and the food was all filled with sugar:  milkshakes, ice creams, sweet cocktails, cheesecakes and all kinds of desserts to enjoy as you watched the show.

 When he arrived at the hotel and Mrs. Nakamura left, he had a big smile on his face. The place they had been last was filled with typical tourists and also younger people but he had a lot of fun looking at the costumes and the very creative show they had put up. He was a bit drunk because of some funny colored drinks he had but the first thing he did when he arrived at his bedroom was not to fall asleep but to grab his tablet and start looking for everything he wanted to see all around the city.

 He had decided he wasn’t going to waste any time, no matter how short or if it had to be done at night. He wanted to see every single landmark that was worth a watch and also visit more places like that café, places that felt unique and special. He had gotten such a good vibe out of that place and maybe it was because he had never been in such a fun place, filled with color and with people having fun.

 As he finally got into bed, he realized his job had its perks. It was depressing to talk about security every day but he got to visit such great places and have a fun time. It was always better that been at home where he had no one to come home to, where he had long nights in which the old insecurities came back to hunt him. No, when he travelled he was always happy and had the most fun he had ever had in his life. He wished it could always be like that.

 The second day they went to the shopping areas and James decided to splurge a little. He wasn’t a fan or anything of the sort of manga but he decided to get advice from the owner of the largest store of manga they saw and ask him which ones he recommended to begin with. He bought four books, all in English so he could understand. The owner, as all the other people, was always very nice.

 He also bought some clothes, making Mrs. Nakamura help him with the sizes and telling him if he looked good in them or not. At first, she had been a little apprehensive that he was not as she had expected him to be. But after some conversations, she realized he was lonely person, which wasn’t all that uncommon in her city, in her country. So she decided to help him as well as she could and follow him to all his adventures.

 The night before he had to leave, they went to a very quiet sushi bar which she had recommended as she had dinner there with friends quite often. They discussed his schedule for the last day and when she mentioned his flight, James smile disappeared. He obviously didn’t want to leave yet. She promised to take him to a special place the next day, before the flight and he smiled to that.

 James last night was one of almost no sleep, mostly thinking and thinking. And when he was done doing that, the sun was about to rise. By the time he arrived to the conference hall for one last lecture, he had taken the decision to change his life and to make that presentation the last he would ever make.