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Trans United Flight 527 

A short sci-fi story by Chuck Keyes


 

          "Darryl, do you have anything planned for the weekend?"

          "No," replied Captain Darryl Patrick, "and the answer to having a blind date with the woman your wife and you are scheming to fix me up with is also no."

          "How the hell did you know about her?"

          "I've known you for long time, Murray, and I can easily sense every little devious thought lurking in your brain."

          "But, Darryl, it's been over a year since Sally past away. You need to move on with your life, go out on the city, and have some exciting fun. Susie says this woman is a perfect match for you."

          "I'm not ready for the dating scene."

          "Look, you don't have to marry Susie's friend, just take her out on a few dates, and maybe she'll let you dip your wick."

          "I'm not dipping my dipper into anything unless I'm in a serious relationship."

          Darryl's copilot and friend animatedly waved his hand. "You're so damn bullheaded! The mystery woman's name is Cindy Sherrod and she's a good-looking fifth grade school teacher who, nearly a year ago, lost her Army husband in the Afghanistan war. She's excited about meeting you. You need to get to know her, and the only way you can do that is by spending some quality time with her, and it's your choice if you want to spend some time in the sack with her…or not."

          "I don't know." Darryl voiced along with a deep sigh. "Give me a day to think about it."

          A few minutes of silence past by, and then Murray said, "Captain, some bad weather just popped up on our radar as if a practical joker pushed an instant on storm button."

          "Yeah, I can see the black clouds rapidly forming up ahead," voiced Darryl.

          Murray looked out the cockpit's windshield at the rapidly developing storm clouds. "Do you want to fly around it?"

          Captain Patrick glanced down at the radar screen. "No time, the black storm clouds are moving toward us at a fast rate…and they appear to be wrapping around us like a horseshoe. I better notify our passengers to buckle up." Darryl unhooked the cabin's microphone from the panel and spoke into it. "Good morning, passengers, this is your Captain, Darryl Patrick. We're heading into some bad weather, so as a safety precaution, please buckle up your seatbelts and remain in your seats…thank you."

          "Darryl, I tried to contact Miami's tower to inquire about this unusual weather pattern, but this sudden storm is interfering with our communications."

          "Try contacting anybody."

          Minutes passed by while Murray repeatedly failed to make contact.    

          "This is peculiar!"

          "What?" asked Murray.

          "You haven't noticed?"

          "Notice what?"

          "The storm is all around us, but there's zero turbulence."

          "Yeah, that's strange, but we are flying over the Bermuda Triangle."

          The captain chuckled. "Murray, I know you don't believe in all the unexplained gobbledygook regarding the Devil's Triangle."

          "Not up until now."

          Darryl and Murray watched with fear etched on their faces while the storm rapidly closed in around them, encapsulating their speeding jet in a blinding bright light, and then in a blink of an eye, the storm disappeared, leaving them flying under a bright blue sky."

          "What happened?" asked Murray.

          "Our altitude dropped," chattered Darryl. "We're only six hundred feet above the..."

          "There's land down there," sputtered Murray.

          "Captain," chimed flight attendant Kaylene MacDougal. "The passengers are near panic. We're too low to the ground, and the surface below looks like an alien world. All the vegetation is made up of unusual colors, and there are various types of enormous creatures roaming the land, grazing on the vegetation."

          Darryl looked down at the surface to see blue, orange, red, and purple plant life. The oddly shaped creatures are approximately four times larger than an African Elephant. Off to the left he can see a wide snaking river of dark blue water with many of the monstrous size aliens lined up along the orange grassy sloping banks, drinking their fill of water. Overhead, Darryl noticed three oval shaped moons circling this unknown alien world. He knows he's far from being a scientist, but he figures they must've passed through some kind of wormhole. Perhaps all the missing ships and planes from the past also became sucked into this wormhole to journey across the universe to an alien world.

          "Captain," cried Kaylene, "I'm waiting! Please tell me what to do?"         

          "Kaylene, until I figure out how to restore us to our original earth flight path, tell the passengers to pull down their window sun screens and take a nap."

          "Right, captain!"

          "Just do your best to calm them down."

          "Okay."

          "What the hell," sputtered Murray? We're no longer flying over earth."

          "I can see that!" snapped the captain. "I'm thinking we need to escape the same way we arrived, so please watch the radar for any storm activity."

          Ten minutes passed by while many of the hundred and twenty-two Trans United passengers eyed the surface of the alien planet. In hopes of making money if they do return to earth, scores of passengers calmed themselves down by using their cell phones to take pictures of the planet's bizarre surface.

          "Darryl, how did you know?" Murray asked.

          "Know what?"

          "There's another storm forming ahead."

          "I'm not sure. It's as if I'm mentally interacting with someone else's thoughts."

          "Who?"

          "I don't know." Darryl left the autopilot engaged, allowing the jet to meet the storm head-on. Again, there was a flash of bright light and the storm vanished, and now they're flying at an altitude of two thousand feet over a planet similar in appearance to mars. The sky is an eerie pinkish red. The surface is rocky with tall mountains. They passed between two huge mountains and over a shore line of a vast ocean of pale pink water."

          "Holy s***! Darryl, did you see that?" cried Murray?

          "See what?"

          "A red fish, maybe larger than ten whales combined, jumped right up out the water to within a few hundred feet of our plane. Its mouth was open wide as if it wanted to swallow us. You better climb higher!"

          "I'm sorry, but altering our altitude will require disengaging the autopilot. Believe it or not, but I was mentally told not to change our course one iota…or we'll be lost forever, just like all the missing boats and planes from the past."

          Darryl and Murray looked down to see two more giant fish jump out of the water in an attempt grab their commercial jet. As they flew further out over the sea, more and more of these bizarre fish attempted to attack them.

          "To gain their high altitudes, the alien fish are using their long side fins like wings. The last one was bigger and it almost captured us," cried Murray. "I'm not a hero! For me there's no good day for dying."

          "Forget about the alien fish and watch for another storm."

          Every time an alien fish jumped up out of the sea for a near miss, the passengers curled up in their seats and screamed in terror. The five Trans United attendants are busier than five Roman Gladiators facing one hundred and twenty-two ferocious lions.   

          "Yes! May your mysterious inner voice always be correct. There's another identical storm forming."

          "Moments before the wormhole sucked them away, an even larger fish jumped over the nose of plane, making Murray scream."

          "My goodness, Murray, you scream like a woman who's auditioning for a role in a slice and dice horror movie!"

          "I was spooked…"

          They instantly found themselves flying over a huge alien constructed island city on what appears to be a water world. The countless towering buildings making up the city are all connected together to form many geometric shapes. The rays from three small suns orbiting the planet are reflecting off the countless windows, creating maybe every color humanly perceived. "Wow, that's a beautiful city," said Murray. "I wonder what the aliens look like."

          "Yes, the city is beautiful," voiced the captain. "It makes me think of Emerald City from the movie 'The Wizard Oz', which was one of Sally's favorites. I remember her gorgeous smiling face on a past Christmas morning when she opened a gift box from me containing a special DVD fan's edition of The Wizard Oz."

          "I wish I was Dorothy Gale," muttered Murray.

          "Why?" asked Darryl along with a bewildered expression.

          "So I can click the hell out of my ruby red shoes and go home! This is the third alien world we've visited, and if we don't return to earth soon, we're going to run out of fuel."

          "The presence within my mind is soothing and familiar, and I believe we'll be okay as long as continue our autopilot's set course."

          "I hope you're right, Darryl." If you're wrong, we'll eventually be forced to make an emergency landing on an alien planet, and the three worlds I've seen so far aren't very inviting."

          "Look, Murray, there's another storm forming up ahead. Perhaps this will be the wormhole that'll take us home."

          The dark clouds rapidly engulfed the commercial jetliner. Darryl and Murray each took in a deep breath of air as the jet entered the wormhole.

          "Nope, this planet doesn't look like earth," voiced Murray, "and we need to be careful because our altitude is only at four hundred feet!"

          Darryl looked down at the planet's surface to see a vast green jungle, similar to earths Amazon Rainforest. Up ahead he noticed trees being parted by a large heard of Brontosauruses.

          "Dinosaurs," cried Murray, "could this be earth during the Jurassic Period?"

          "I don't think we've traveled back in time," replied the captain. "I'd venture to guess this is an earth-like planet where the Dinosaurs never became extinct."

          "Holy Jurassic Park! Up ahead I can see a Tyrannosaurus rex."

          They began to fly over a large grassy area that's teeming with the same prehistoric creatures from earth's past. Darryl and Murray recognized many of the giant animals, but they couldn't remember their scientific names.

          Each with expressions of wonder, the passengers, and the flight attendants are jammed in against the windows, peering down at the alien planet's earth-like Jurassic surface.

          The commercial airliner past over another jungle-like area consisted mostly of tall trees, and following the jungle, to their amazement, lying on its side in a grassy area, is a huge ocean ship."

          "Murray, I recognize that ship from history books. She's the USS Cyclops, which is one of the most famous early twentieth century disappearances. She vanished in the Devil's Triangle in March of nineteen eighteen with three hundred and nine sailors aboard. She's probably the Navy's greatest mystery of the sea."

          "Captain, look! There's a few dozen boats up ahead, and off to the right I can see an assortment of planes that appear to have landed."

          Darryl shook his head while gazing down at the junkyard. "I hope some of our passengers are taking pictures of these alien worlds."

          Murray giggled. "I don't think pictures are going to produce too many believers. What we're witnessing is alien life. People are going to ignore us and any proof within the photos because they're beliefs will be drastically rattled."

          A smirk formed on Darryl's face. "I know sixteen people on board our flight that people are going to have trouble not believing."

          "Who are they?"

          "Eleven priests and five nuns who are returning from a Catholic seminar in Boston."           

          "That's if we make it back to earth." Murray looked out to see they're heading directly toward a wall of giant mountains, and again he screamed like a frightened woman whose being attacked by a horror movie masked villain.

          "If you keep screaming in my ear like a flaming sissy, next time I voyage beyond our earth, you can stay home," voiced Darryl, followed with a chuckle.

          "Good! You do realize if you don't alter our course we're going to smash into one of those mountains!"

          "Have faith in my inner guide. Watch for another storm to form." 

          "And what happens if the storm forms on the other side of the mountains?"

          "Than one hundred and twenty-nine passengers and crew won't have to suffer through a short existence of attempting to survive on an alien planet where they're on the bottom of the food chain."

          "Good point, but I'd rather we fly over the mountains."

          "Where's your faith?"

          "Like chewing gum and fast food, faith of any kind is way over rated!"

          "That doesn't make any sense."

          "It does within my thoughts, especially when I'm facing death of being splattered like a June bug smashing against the windshield of a speeding car." Murray pointed at the giant wall of mountains. "I estimate we're going to crash into them within five minutes. If you don't alter our course, we're going to die!" he screamed. "If you aren't going to do it…I will!"   

          "What you need to do is calm yourself by filling your mind with pleasant thoughts, and if you attempt to disengage the autopilot, I'm going to break your fingers and arms."

          "Calm myself! I'm about ready to fill my whitey tighties with a mushy brown substance."

          "Look, the storm clouds are forming on our side of the mountains, so please don't stink up the cockpit."

          The clouds began to form around the airliner.

          Murray frightfully closed his eyes.

          Within forty feet of the tallest mountain's rocky face, they're jet entered the wormhole. "Okay, Murray, you can open your eyes."

          "Have we returned to earth?"

          "Afraid not."

          Murray opened his eyes and looked down at the alien planet's surface to see many active volcanoes and twisting rivers of flowing lava. "Is this hell?"

          "No, it's not hell," sputtered Darryl "I think what we're flying over is a young planet that's still forming. Luckily, our altitude is at nineteen thousand feet."

          "Darryl, you really cut it close before crashing into one of those mountains. Your faith in whoever is telling you not to alter course must be extremely strong."

          "As I said, this inner conscious is soothing and familiar."

          "Do you think you're experiencing a religious connection."

          Darryl laughed. "Are you asking me if I'm in communication with God?"

          "Yeah. I suppose I am."

          "Ever since God allowed cancer to take away Sally's life, I haven't had anything to do with him!"

          "Than whom do you think you've been communicating with?"

          Darryl's forehead wrinkled with thought. "Murray, you know I don't believe in ghosts, and up until today I've always believed there's a logical explanation for every plane and ship disappearance within the Devil's Triangle, such as pilot error, mechanical problems, or bad weather. We now know the truth behind all of the disappearances. I think my inner guiding spirit is Sally, my wife."

          "I've never believed in ghosts," voiced Murray, "but we are the only two people locked up inside this damn cockpit, so maybe Sally's spirit has been communicating with you, or you're a few twists short of being a slinky."

          "Murray, I'm not crazy! I'm convinced that Sally's spirit has been guiding us through this bizarre Devil's Triangle phenomenon."

          "Here we go again," Murray muttered while jesting toward the forming storm clouds. Two or three more trips through the wormhole, and we're going to be empty of fuel.

          They instantly passed through the wormhole to find themselves flying low over a vast metropolis, although all the buildings appear to be much smaller than their earth buildings.

          "Murray curiously gazed down at the small buildings, the plant life, and webs of roads containing small vehicles scurrying around like ants. The surface is made up of so many different colors that it looks like Walt Disney throw up. "Hey, this must be an alien world for Munchkins."

          Darryl noticed many small blips heading toward them on their radar screen. He knows there's nothing he can do about them, so he decided not to say anything to Murray. With luck, they'll enter another wormhole before the alien flying machines catch up to them."

          Murray curiously continued to stare down at the densely populated planet.  

          The storm clouds appeared just as one of the alien flying machines caught up with them.

          Murray looked out his side window to see a small aircraft shaped like a foreign mini car with stubby wings. Two perfectly round alien eyes are looking directly at him through a large side window. "We have a visitor," screamed Murray. "From what I can see, he or she looks like a short lime green frog person."

          "Wave the alien away. We're about to enter the wormhole."

          "Okay, the little frog alien has veered off."

          "Good."

          They passed through the wormhole and wide smiles formed on Darryl and Murray's faces when they realized their back on earth, hidding toward Miami's International Airport. They can hear the passengers muffled happy whoops and cries.

          "Oh, an icy chill just ran down my back," said Murray.

          "Yeah, I felt it too."

          "Light!"

          They turned toward the source of light. A beautiful glowing angel is hovering in front of the cockpit's door. With amazement in their shimmering eyes, Darryl and Murray recognized Sally within the partially transparent form.

          "Thank you, Sally," said Darryl, "I love you."

          With a loving smile on her face, she gestured with her hands as if she's releasing a white dove to a flight of freedom, and then she blew Darrel a kiss while she vanished.

          "That was beyond incredible," voiced Murray.

          "Yes it was. She loves me so much that freed me to go on with my life. This weekend, I'd like to meet Susie's friend, Cindy Sherrod."

          "Okay! I'll tell Susie."

          "Thanks."

          Darrel released the autopilot and made a slight course change to avoid any future storm clouds.

          "That was the scariest flight I've ever taken," said Murray. "For all we know, we may have traveled millions of light years throughout the universe."

          "Thanks to Sally's spirit, our aircraft is probably the first to escape the Devil's Triangle wormhole. The passengers probably snapped many pictures of the alien worlds we've visited, although I wish we had some physical proof."

          Unbeknown to everyone aboard Trans United Flight 527. There's a small aircraft attached to the roof of their jet, and sitting in the pilots chair is an alien who looks like a short lime green frog person.

 

 

The End!

© October 2011

 

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