The sky was pink, with an orange tinge. The sun was setting. Alex Mclain stared out through the economy class window of his flight. His mother was seated behind him. Alex was tall for his age of thirteen, but he wore average clothes so that he wouldn't stand out. He was heading home after summer vacation, having left Italy with a stopover in Spain. His father, unfortunately, couldn’t go with them, as he was a doctor.
Alex noticed that the boy sitting next to him was very tense. He was shifting in his seat, fidgeting with his spiky blond hair, Alex himself had slick brown hair. “Are you alright?” he asked him.
“I think so,” the boy replied, “this is my first time flying, I’m alone as well.” He tugged at his hair again.
“Well, I’m sorry. My name’s Alexander, but you call me Alex, or Xander, or Zane,” Alex comforted him.
The boy grinned, “My name’s Samuel, you can call me Sam.” He frowned again, “I appreciate your effort, but I’m still kinda unnerved. I’m used to being on the ground, I’m thirteen and this is the first time I’ve gone this high.”
“Oh, I’m thirteen as well,” Alex said. “I have an idea, you can listen to music with me.” He pulled out two headphones and plugged them into the headphone jacks in front of him. He gave a pair to Sam, who took them without hesitation. He played his favorite music playlist on youtube, and Sam’s blue and green eyes lit up at the first beats of the upbeat music
Sam started to smile as they nodded their heads to the beats, giving his thighs a drumroll. When the song ended, he had changed completely. “Thanks, Alex” Sam smiled warmly, having decided on a nickname for him. “Let’s play another song.” He tapped the play button. “Awesome!” He exclaimed as the next song started to play, “This playlist knows me too well!”
They kept on playing music until Alex felt a tap on his shoulder, he turned and saw his mother motioning to a bag in her hand. He sighed and got up, “I have to do something.” He told Sam, he nodded and scooted back to make way for him. Apparently everyone on the plane decided that they would get up just as Alex was walking by and block his way, making the process of throwing away a bag of trash way more difficult than it was supposed to be.
By the time Alex got back, his mother was talking to the woman seated next to her. He made his way to his seat and fumbled with his headphones, Sam had already switched to a new song. Alex tapped the “Location” option on the screen on the back of the seat in front of him, they were flying over the Strait of Gibraltar, not far from mainland Spain. He leaned back and closed his eyes.
Suddenly, there was a loud drone, Alex thought it was from the headphones but one look at the other passengers told him that this wasn’t a headphone malfunction. The buzzing grew louder until everyone heard a loud, muffled explosion. The lights flickered, the music cut out, and the plane was thrown into darkness and silence. But not for long, though, the giant aircraft started dipping and was plunged into a dive, there were screams and cries. Oxygen masks dropped down from above, everything was shaking, unsecured objects crashed onto the ground.
As the ocean came into view, the plane suddenly began to pull out of its rapid descent, the structure creaking as it pushed to its limit. The lights flickered in short, random bursts. Food and beverage carts rolled down the aisle, drinks fell to the ground. Luggage tumbled down from overhead, breaking open and throwing their contents all over the floor. There was chaos and mayhem throughout the plane.
Alex’s first instinct was to buckle his seatbelt and throw himself into a brace position, but he saw Sam beside him frozen with terror, pressing back against the seat, Alex buckled Sam’s seatbelt and pushed his head down. Then, when they were both in brace position like many others, they felt the Gs bearing down on them. Alex’s belly was pressed against his thighs, he couldn’t breathe, his head hurt, fear finally grabbed hold and he began to hyperventilate and panic. This-can’t-be-happening-this-can’t-be-happening, IT SIMPLY CANNOT! Then, as if Alex wasn’t pressed down enough, the impact sent Alex’s knees to his face “Oof!” Goodbye, consciousness. Hello, comatose.
But something strange happened before everything went black, Alex saw an explosion of green light above him that seemed to pull him towards it, tugging at his T-shirt. Now, when Alex came to, he saw only darkness, the dark and dank environment smelled of the sea, it made him nauseous. He was lying on what he believed was stone, but it had a strange texture using the right joystick on a steep incline. Looking around, Alex heard flowing water from below, but when he looked up, there it was, light!
Alex attempted to move only to cry out in pain as a thousand sharp daggers of pain stabbed deep into his body. Slowly, painfully, he began to crawl towards the source of light, he lost his footing on the damp, moss-covered stone and hit his knee. Alex had to bite his tongue trying not to scream, but his vocals echoed off the walls some sixty feet above him as he let out a small yelp. The higher Alex crawled, the more fatigued he began to get, he had woken up with a splitting headache and by now it was getting harder to think, his clothes were shredded and he was pretty sure some ribs were broken. The light seemed to be getting further and further away, he was losing his vision. Must get to… the light… Even his thoughts were dissipating.
Alex was losing his grip, he looked around for anything to hold onto. He saw something shiny. It was a metal pole, sticking out from under a boulder and keeping it in place. Why would a metal pole be in here? Alex wondered, Why am I here? He looked up again, That noise… That buzzing! He reached and grabbed the metal pole.
Warm liquid enveloped his hand, Alex looked down again and his heart stopped. The metal pole he grabbed had morphed into a liquid form, it had crawled up to his forearm, stretching in length and width as it wrapped around his entire arm. He stared in horror as the mercury-like liquid sunk into his skin, the pain in his chest instantly disappeared, as did the fatigue and dizziness. There was a loud crashing noise next to Alex and he whirled around. The boulder had been dislodged and broke the ground under which he was seated.
This was when Alex heard footsteps to his right, opposite the boulder. Out of the darkness emerged Sam, his clothes in tatters and just as terrified as him, he was unhurt, however. “Alex?” he called out, “Is that you?”
“Help me!” Cried Alex, “Pull me up!”
“Huh?” Sam was still in shock, “What?”
“The ground is fragile, I’ll break my neck if I fall through!”
“Hold on!” yelled Sam as he grabbed Alex’s outstretched hand. It took Alex everything he had to keep himself from screaming, the agonizing pain pulled his mind away from the mercury-like substance encounter, but words still swam in his mind. What happened? What is that? That thing is alive! It’s inside me! Alex repeated these thoughts in his head over and over again until- CRACK! The ground beneath Alex crumbled, sending him tumbling into the endless abyss beyond. Alex watched helplessly as Sam got pulled down with him, falling, the hole getting smaller and smaller until there was another blast of green light, then darkness.
Alex… Alex… Alex…“Alex!” Alex awoke with a gasp, his mother’s face appeared in his blurry vision, he was lying on hard, cold metal. Upon seeing him awake, Alex’s mother hugged him tightly, “Oh, Alex, I thought you were dead!” She cried brokenly, “You scared me so bad…” They held onto each other for a while until Alex reluctantly pushed her off. Sitting up, Alex saw that he was on a rescue boat, helicopters flew overhead while dinghies sailed around, picking up survivors clinging to wreckage. The plane had broken up, but the fuselage was still in one piece, help was finally coming.
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