|A piece of flash fictionPage 1 of 1 |
|Dark thoughts had troubled him during his flight into the city. Still in uniform he walked into the doctor’s practice. |
“Just fill in this form” said the pretty blonde receptionist who stank of cigarettes, despite her efforts to camouflage the stench with perfume.
'That’s great ....another smoker in healthcare' he thought while scanning her petite frame. He filled out the form and handed it back to the receptionist who managed to check it despite her eyes flickering towards his powerful physique. He felt the familiar warmth in his cheeks as his face reddened. Natural shyness meant female attention was something he still struggled with.
He spied a newspaper on her cluttered desk. Its headline was partially covered with a folder. The words ‘Plane crash - 257 dead’ and ‘man at fault?’ were visible, giving no doubt it was referring to him.
'Please don’t mention it' he thought. ‘It’s bad enough seeing a doctor, let alone the whole world knowing my problems’.
“Just take a seat and I’ll holler when it’s time” the receptionist told him.
The sounds of the city blew in through the waiting room window – car horns, a police siren, and shouts of a newspaper vendor. The combination of humidity and the hypnotic ticking of the wall clock soon had him asleep. His limp body pressed down onto the chair causing it to groan in protest. The familiar scene played over in his mind as he dozed.
“Both engines out, losing altitude” the co-pilot had shouted.
The plane lurched as its wings see-sawed violently causing several dozen over stressed rivets to shoot out of their housings like bullets from a machine gun.
“Altitude 28,000 feet, 27,500 feet, 27,000 feet…. engine one on fire” screamed the co-pilot as he performed his emergency drills. The aircraft whistled through the sky like an air to ground missile, leaving plumes of black engine smoke and metallic debris in its wake.
He could hear the screams of terror, and whispers of ‘I love you’ coming from passengers as the aircraft spiralled out of the clear warm sky into moody looking rainclouds. His mind was overcome with confusion. Weakness spread through his body and it took all his strength to keep the plane level. He had replayed this enough times to know the outcome so steered his mind to childhood where images of happier times flashed before him.
“You’re stronger than me so you can do the jacking” said his Pop as they changed a tractor tyre together.
‘The dog’s stronger than you Pop’ he replied with a smirk.
‘Oh yeah tough guy, well you smell worse than the dog’ said his Pop. They wrestled and fell about the floor laughing.
‘Are you goofs gonna do any work in here?’ said his Mom as she walked into the barn carrying a tray of home baked muffins.
They weren’t his real parents but they loved him like their own. On a clear night he would sit outside and stare into the sequined blackness of space. Sometimes he would dream wildly about his future. Other times he would ponder the tragic events that led to the death of his birth parents.
The slumbering thoughts were clear but failed to produce a feeling. All Feelings had been lost and were now as distant a memory as those early years on his folk’s farm. No Joy, no excitement, no hope. Just a constant emptiness of spirit as if some invisible malevolent force had coiled itself around him like an anaconda - squeezing the life out of his soul.
Fear and anxiety weighed him down and his mind was filled with dark self-hating thoughts that kept him awake at night and stuck to his bed in the morning. He had learned from a series of self-help books that he was experiencing symptoms of depression, but refused to believe it. How could he be depressed? He was too strong. It happened to other people, not him.
The receptionist gave a polite cough to wake him. His eyes opened, and he stood up, shaking off fatigue with his arms and head.
“Doctor Hoffman will see you now” she said with a smile.
“Thanks" he replied.
"And sorry for... you know.” He pointed to his chair, where one of the legs had buckled. He made his way to Doctor Hoffman’s office, passing the receptionist who was reading the newspaper he had seen earlier. The headline was clear now.
‘Plane crash – 257 dead – Superman at fault?’