Short Story – Unfriendly Skies (By Melissa R. Mendelson)
by, Melissa R. Mendelson
The sky was portrait blue. White clouds graced across it. The sun dipped in and out. Black strokes of bird swayed into view. The world was quiet and disappeared down below, and all the strangers sat like porcelain dolls, lost inside their minds. Only the engines rumbled, and voices crackled over the radio. Would you like some peanuts?
I leaned back into my seat. The vibrations were lulling me to sleep. I wish I could, but I have a busy mind. I closed my eyes, trying to shut out what I did not want to think about. What was I doing tomorrow? How many appointments were booked up this time? Will she be filing her damn nails again? I hope that boy doesn’t try to kick me in the nuts. Again, but still, I smiled. And for a moment there, I almost did fall asleep.
Suddenly, something grabbed my arm. I bolted upright and turned toward the man sitting next to me. He too was leaning back in his seat with his hands folded over his large belly. His eyes were closed, and his lips flapped with every ragged breath. His eyelids fluttered as if he were caught inside his own mind, so no. No. This man did not grab me.
I leaned back into my seat again. My arm was uncomfortably cold. It almost felt lifeless, and I rubbed my hand against the skin, trying to ignite the warmth. I forced myself to close my eyes, and just as I did, someone pulled my legs. I jolted, but my legs did not respond. Instead, they hung lifeless and cold, and pins and needles slammed into my feet. I jumped again, and the man next to me opened one ugly, red eye. And then, he went back to sleep.
My stomach tightened. My skin ran cold. That portrait blue outside my window was now a deathly gray, and the hairs on the back of my neck and arms moved as if it were ready for take off. Something oozed against the back of my neck, and I slapped my hand against my neck, hard, hard enough to make the man next to me curse loudly under his breath. Didn’t he realize that something was wrong, but if something was wrong, then why were we not bracing for impact?
I pushed my body further into the seat. I forced my legs to cross together. I almost wanted to sit Indian-style, but my friend here would not appreciate that. I crossed my arms. I refused to close my eyes. Instead, I stared at everyone around me, and still, they reminded me of porcelain dolls, comfortable and lost in sleep. But I was not comfortable, and every time I tried to sleep, someone, something was pulling me. It felt like some kind of invisible force had targeted me, but why? I wasn’t a monster. I saved lives, and the vibrations once again fooled me into sleep. And then a cold hand lodged into my chest, and before I could even breathe, my heart was ripped out.
Like a crimson rose, my heart fluttered. Tears of blood dripped across pale skin. A soft thump was heard, and it thumped against the cavernous hole begging for its return. But instead of its return, the plump organ was sucked dry, turning into what looked like a dead prune, and then falling with a sickening thud to the floor below. And like a porcelain doll, I remained seated with my eyes forever frozen on the portrait blue.
Melissa R. Mendelson graduated college with both an AA in Liberal Arts and BA in Mass Communication: Critical Analysis. She was a Long Island news reporter from 2002 to 2004 and later went to work for the State of New York. She has written a variety of writing that continuously is published by the Antarctica Journal News, and she recently finished writing her first Horror/Sci-Fi novel, Lizardian, which can temporarily be found as an E-book on Amazon Kindle.