A Bad Day to Be a Libra

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Short Story

 

The man felt a sense of relief as he finally found his seat on the plane. He put his luggage in the overhead compartment and sat down. Luckily for him, he had a window seat. The man’s favorite part of flying was watching the earth fly by below him.

By the time he was situated, the flight attendants had started their safety spiel and the plane was taking off. When they finally reached the maximum elevation, the man next to him was snoring loudly and the lady in the aisle seat had her nose buried in a book.

The man was getting bored and decided to bust out the newspaper that he bought at the airport. Flipping the paper over to the back, he saw the horoscope section. Normally he wouldn’t read them, but he still had a few hours left on the flight so he figured he might as well take a look; not that he believed in that stuff, anyway.

Before he could read his horoscope, the pilot’s voice came over the speaker. “Flight attendants, please take your seats. We’re going to be hitting some turbulence, but it’s nothing to be worried about.” The man had never really been afraid of flying, but that morning he had felt a little uneasy. He told himself that he was just nervous about the business meeting he had to attend and brushed it off, but now the fear was beginning to come back.

Sure enough, the plane began to jerk around. He gripped the armrest and tried to tell himself that it was just a little turbulence, no big deal. The man next to him continued to snore, and the lady still had her nose in her book.

Eventually the turbulence passed and the flight attendants resumed their duties. The man decided to look at his horoscope; he was a Libra.

The horoscope was very general, like they usually are, until he got to the last line. It read, “Do not fly today.” The man read the line again. “Do not fly today.”

He began sweating, thinking that this had to be a joke. The man read all of the other horoscopes, to see if there was anything else oddly specific in there. Nothing. “Do not fly today.” He must have read the line about twenty times. “DO NOT FLY TODAY.”

He needed to get up; he needed to move or something before he went crazy. He pushed passed the sleeping man, not caring if he woke him up or not, and accidentally bumped the book out of the lady’s hands.

Walking into the bathroom, he splashed some water on his face. Looking at himself in the mirror, he thought about how unrealistic he was being. How could a horoscope know what he was doing? Horoscopes were just a load of crap, anyways. He exited the bathroom, still feeling nervous, but somewhat better.

Sitting down, he apologized to the woman with the book, and the now awake man next to him. The man decided that he would read the Skymall magazine to take his mind off of things. It worked for a little bit, but as soon as he finished he went right back to worrying again.

He tried to rationalize with himself; planes were built to withstand many things. And if something did happen, there were all sorts of safety devices on board. And most importantly, his wife told him that as long as the flight attendants didn’t look worried, there wasn’t anything to worry about.

The man looked at the flight attendants moving around and serving drinks; they all looked calm. He settled into his seat and closed his eyes. He was almost asleep, when there was a giant BUMP on the plane and jerked it slightly off course.

A strained and slightly nervous voice came over the intercom. “Flight attendants, please take your seats.”

 

more by CASSIE GAMMIE

photograph by Ross Parmly

 

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  • Michelle

    Fantastic short story! Can’t wait to read the next one.