I stare down to the end of the corridor of the plane, and hear the howling wind. Ceaselessly wailing. A never ending drum of a thousand beats pounding to the tune of our Doom. There is no end in sight to the corridor, but there are thousands, millions, maybe billions of faces lining the walls. Ever growing it would seem.
I look around me and there are some nervously tapping their feet. Anxiously shifting in their seats. I see a few odd number of men and women who were fidgeting the most desperately decide to jump out on their own. Everyone looked on aghast…but they were neither the first and are unlikely to be the last.
Another right next to me is sobbing at the knowledge of what’s coming, mumbling to himself some form of incantation. There are patches every so often singing “highway to hell” at the top of their lungs and high-fiving each other. And every so often, a random single person or small grouping of people calmly but desperately clinging to a cord hanging from their shoulder, holding it closely to their hearts.
We all were sitting there knowing for certain that every one of us will jump or be pushed out the side in turn. It’s not a question of “if” but only “when”.
One of the batches closest to the door, a young group of a staggering and sloppy sort, high-five right before being pushed out as they continue to sing “highway to hell” on their way down through the air. A single one of them looks back up to the plane, eyes open wide with horror, in utter desperation and despair, fully knowing what’s waiting, as his back plummets helplessly towards the abyss below. He claws at the sky, begging for someone to throw him some rope, but it’s obviously too late.
Everyone who saw it feels it in the pit of their stomach…but we’ve all seen this before and know there’s nothing dwelling on it will do to change our turn in line.
Another large bunch are pushed, and many who were hopeful for the bunch watch on as they fall flapping their arms as if they were wings, confidently and calmly at first but then ever more desperately, thinking they were the best of us. And secretly, most hoped they were too. Made them feel they stood a chance. It surely felt as though there’s no reason it wouldn’t have worked, but anyone with any sanity realizes how absurd it is once they start trying….but again: it’s too late. That’s the only strategy they had.
Everyone looking on as they flap until their arms twist and mangle from the force of desperate will shut their eyes and sink into deepest despair only opening them to check how far from the front they now are. Those muttering to themselves mutter all the louder and more fervently.
A new batch that was watching and shuffling and tapping restlessly jumps out on their own. Everyone shudders again.
Then a small batch clutching their cords is pushed out violently. Punched in the head, kicked in the backs, thrown from the plane into the void below. Women and young children cast into the sky all at once. As they descend into the abyss, in the sky appear the same number of small, circular shapes: parachutes, of the same shape and size, that every person on the plane had attached to them if they’d only look to it and trust it. It had been paid for and attached long, long ago but had become despised in their eyes. Feeling it likelier to be some gag-gift, or cruel trick or distraction from the likelier “arm flapping” technique so many had tried before but simply failed to do it “right”. Many watched with loathing and scorn in their hearts for the shapes in the sky…
But new batches further down the corridor began to huddle and cling to their cords, holding them closely to their hearts.