The Unexpected

There was an open writing competition at the college of a friend of mine. She told me about it and it sounded fun to me. I needed a little push to write since I’ve been writing less lately. Maybe this was it. So the basic requirement for a fiction piece was for it to be under 2000 words. Here’s what I managed to cough up. Its not my best, I agree but I hope you like it. And just btw, the comment section could use some activity 😀 Thanks!


Derek presented his boarding pass to the woman at the gate. She flashed a warm and lively smile at him and took the ticket from him and having checked it, handed it back to him with a cheerful “Have a nice flight!” Derek thanked her and walked down to the plane.

Derek studied Physics at the city’s university and though he hadn’t exactly been a star student through school or early college, he came through when it mattered. He was headed to Cape Town to see his parents who lived there. His family was of South African descent. He had a seat in Economy and as he walked towards his seat he noticed how empty the plane was. He walked past three seats, which were all occupied by conspicuously well-dressed individuals, all in perfectly tailored suits.

***

Walter had just settled down in his seat in Economy Seat 52(G) in the 74-row plane. The aisle seat allowed him easy access to the aisle whenever he felt the need to stretch his legs a bit. He was pretty used to long flights now, but that need still hadn’t perished.

Walter was plugging in his phone into his laptop when he saw a kid walk by him. He looked like he was in his early twenties and he had a backpack on his shoulders. He held a book in his hands. ‘A Clash of Kings’. He wore thick-rimmed black spectacles and had a faint hunch in his gait.

Walter kept looking at him till he could no longer see him. He just wondered how many other youngsters and kids must be on the flight and what would happen to them if this all went south.

He switched on his mobile phone and pressed 7.

“You got something Bradley? There’s ten minutes to gate-closing time.” He asked to the man on the other side of the line.

“Negative. No network activity, no suspicions on the passenger list yet. Nothing much on the airport cameras either. I’ll keep you posted.”

Walter sighed and put his phone into his pocket. He decided to take a stroll and just have a look at the passengers. He buttoned up his jacket and corrected the dimple in his tie as he stood up.

***

Derek was sitting in his window seat and playing a game on his iPad. He had the urge to continue reading his book but he decided to keep it off till he was airborne. The airhostess came by to ask him if he needed anything, and he said he could use some water.

He heard the footsteps of somebody approaching from behind at a relaxed pace. He put his iPad aside just as the loud-footed, dark-skinned individual came into view. Derek looked at him and he looked back. They both smiled at each other. Derek noticed he was one of those guys in the back who he noticed earlier – the ones with the expensive-looking suits.

Walter noticed that the kid put away his tablet away just before he walked into view. He looked back at the kid when he had walked to four seat rows ahead of him. He had his tablet in his hands again. Almost suspicious, Walter thought.

***

The plane was four hours into its journey. Walter had finished his observational tour of the plane but hadn’t really caught anybody suspicious. He didn’t expect he would either. His phone screen suddenly lit up.

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