One Evening Aboard the Wrong Plane


For much of the flight, the gentleman in 13A noticed nothing out of the ordinary. He smiled at the stewardess. He enjoyed beverages. He made use of a pillow. The normal hum of the cabin helped him along quite nicely. In fact, he’d always found the normal hum of the cabin to be rather comforting.

Then something went BANG! and the normal, comforting hum of the cabin erupted into something else entirely. The overall chord, if it can be called that, began to rise steadily in pitch, and became a bit, well, discordant, if you will.

This combined with the fact that the gentleman’s stomach felt as if it were falling out of the sky (which in fact was precisely what was happening) led him towards a state of some mild apprehension as he woke.

“Oh dear,” he said, blinking his eyes, and coming out from under his blanket. “Is this bird going down?”

The passenger in 13B lowered his copy of Equus and peered over his spectacles. Tray tables were rattling, and a good number of beverages seemed to be quivering about and falling to the floor.

“Yes, here we go,” said the passenger in 13B, returning to his magazine.

This struck the gentleman in 13A as odd. “Is it not typically in a much more controlled fashion?” he said. “After seatbelt instructions, and announcements regarding local weather and such?”

“No, I wouldn’t expect any announcements,” said the passenger in 13B, cocking his head to get a better look through his lenses to the page.

A scream arose from the rear of the cabin. It wasn’t exactly one of terror. In fact, when the gentleman in 13A turned round, he saw the screamer, arms upraised, with a big grin on his face. “Wooo,” said the screamer.

Across, the aisle, the woman in 15C stripped off her clothes and straddled the man removing his pants in 15D.

A terrible screech ripped through the cabin, as if a great swath of fuselage were being torn off the plane. That was, in fact, exactly what was happening. An explosion of wind sucked a number of laptops and James Patterson books into the night sky. Some of the owners of these followed right after, and some of those who remained behind let out a cheer.

“Ah, well done!” said, the passenger in 13B, glancing up from his Equus.

“I say,” said the gentleman in 13A. “Are you not at all frightened?”

The passenger in 13B looked over his glasses. Then he removed them, letting them dangle from the chain about his neck. His copy of Equus flew out of his hand, leaving him holding only the bottom corner of a page. He sighed and let this too go, then folded his hands in his lap and turned back to the gentleman in 13A. “And what do you suppose I might be frightened of?”

The gentleman in 13A shifted under his blanket to fully face the passenger in 13B. “Well, it would seem that we might all be about to die.”

“Yes,” the man stated, as if stating the obvious.

The gentleman in 13A blinked quizzically. “Does that not concern you?”

“Look here,” said the man in 13B, as the starboard wing broke off and the aircraft went arse over teakettle. “What did you think this was going to be like?” He gripped his armrests as what was left of the plane began to tumble towards the planet below.

The gentleman in 13A shifted defensively under his blanket as the atmosphere ripped through his hair. “By that do you mean riding this piece of aeroplane to my grave? Because I hadn’t anticipated that.”

“Look here,” said the man, shaking his head as he realized he’d started his last sentence the same way. The wind caught his cheek and pulled it back towards his ear. “What I mean is, where exactly were you expecting to touch down?” He was shouting now. To be heard over the din.

“Why, Gatwick, of course.”

“Ah, well. I am sorry. This plane was never bound for Gatwick.”

“Is it possible I’ve gotten on the wrong plane?” yelled the gentleman in 13A.

“It’s likely,” cried the passenger in 13B, as the wind wrapped his face around the back of his head. “We’ve all one way tickets to – ”

The passenger in 13B did not finish his sentence, for at that moment, the plane touched down. A bit more aggressively than the gentleman in 13A would have liked, and a thunderous ball of fire consumed them both.

72 thoughts on “One Evening Aboard the Wrong Plane

  1. Pingback: One Evening Aboard the Wrong Plane | operation CDL

  2. Fantastic! Best one since the Chickens. I’m trying to think of why the man in 13B would be reading Equus, a play about a disturbed young man who mutilates horses. I suppose it’s a thin book so it would fit neatly in your carry on luggage…


    • Yes, good thing this was a made up thingy. Thanks for sticking with it! Sometimes I think, “do readers want to read a story that ends with an all-consuming ball of fire? Probably not.” And then I write it anyway, because I don’t really have a choice in the matter. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, I like that one too. It’s a British expression that’s been around for awhile but I don’t know how much it’s used anymore. No one here in the States would ever say that.


  3. Well, the expression my Dad always used (a Greater London boy, born and bred) was ‘A over T’, which was a euphemism (when mixing in polite society, you understand) for ‘Arse over Tit.’ That’s ‘Arse’, my dears, not ‘Ass’.
    And I HAVE read Equus (lord knows why – I think I went through a wild, heady, teen phase of READING play scripts – even Shakespeare! Crazy) and it’s … disturbing. The main protagonist sings advert jingles whilst being questioned about animal bothering and mutilation. It might make more sense to me now – might ๐Ÿ™‚
    Loved the tone of the ‘Wrong Plane’ – such calm/ joy/ bewilderment when really they should have been crying/ screaming/ tearing each other’s faces off.
    The idea of a Suicide Airline is interesting. I wonder if their would be any interest in running it for real? I suspect there might be, but the price of tickets (covering the cost of trashing a passenger plane/ clearing up debris each trip) might put the fare out of the price range for the main demographic. How about a Suicide Bus Company instead? Have I overthought this?
    Great story with great dialogue – loved the quirky theme and style. Always a pleasure


    • Ah, you’re right. I should have written arse not ass. The Brits and the Americans spell it differently, but the pronunciation is pretty similar.

      While you’re not overthinking it, I myself definitely had not considered the financial feasibility of such an undertaking. Suicide transportation is certainly a high-end luxury business geared towards the clinically depressed, which would indeed place it in a rather “niche” market.

      Thanks for the nice feedback, much appreciated!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. 13B and the stiff upper lip. Only an Englishmen would face eternity in such a manner – or think he would. Personally, I believe he would be screaming with the rest of us. Nice surprise ending, Walt!


  5. Hahaha must admit I saw the end coming, but it was still a very enjoyable read. You’re clearly a talented writer and well worth my follow. I’m a fellow writer, and I’d appreciate your feedback on my work if you have the time, if not I’ll be sure to pop over to see what new stories you’ve wrote. Best of luck and keep writing ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. woow! your style is amazing… i’m really into writing so would you have any tips for me to work on so I can improve? if you could check out my blog maybe that would help; your decision though. Thaaaanks ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. Hmm . . . one way tickets to . . . hell? Am I blind? because everyone is saying this is funny but all I saw was a plane with some bizarre things going on and then blowing up. I require some form of an explanation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well I understand why you might need more from it, but Iโ€™m sorry to say I donโ€™t have anything for you. I was sitting in the bleachers at my daughterโ€™s gymnastics practice and I felt like doing some writing, so I wrote this on my phone. It made me laugh so I posted it. Itโ€™s what they call dark humor, and there is no purpose or moral or point to be made. Itโ€™s just a bizarre situation, and completely out of the realm of reality. Thatโ€™s what makes dark humor successful, in my opinion. You have to know that it canโ€™t really happen. Sorry you didnโ€™t like it, but thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your time and dealing with my negative personality! I have read very few humorous novels at all, so my opinion is not the most valid. Do not take that comment as a discouragement to you continuing writing. Keep going!


  8. I do not think he had it coming. I also do not think this was karma. He was just the “normal” one on the plane. Myself would be sitting in 15C ๐Ÿ˜€ or screaming as I was in a rollercoaster.. in the story.. I think I would join you and scream like a little girl..


    • I started this one on my phone while at my daughter’s gymnastics practice. Finished it at home and got a good laugh out of it too, but was apprehensive about posting it. I was afraid no one would get the humor. Glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

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