Subcutaneous Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 36

Plane Ride to Hell by Tony Mazzarra “Control tower, this is Bravo-Alpha-Delta-Niner-Two-Seven, requesting permission to land. Over.” “Bravo-Alpha-Delta-Niner-Two-Seven, we have you on radar and you are clear for landing on runway three. Descend to three-thousand feet at two-hundred. Over.” “Roger that. Descending to three-thousand at two-hundred. Landing on runway three. Over.” “See you on the ground. Over.” Harry’s personal plane descended to three-thousand feet. He adjusted his speed to two-hundred miles per hour. The plane had two pilot seats and three rows of two in the back, one on each side of the plane, but they were empty on this flight. He was successful and wealthy; almost too much by some people’s standards, though he had worked hard to get to where he was in life. He was currently flying to New York for a meeting that could get him hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few years if all went well. The small air port was in sight. As he readied the plane for landing, the master alarmed blared. “What the hell?” Harry muttered. Fluid gauges fluctuated. Warning lights blinked, indicating eminent danger. “Come on,” Harry pleaded, trying to fix the problem, hitting switches. The single engine on each wing sputtered. The plane veered as Harry lost control. It took a nose dive, sending Harry on a collision course into the ground below. The engines struggled to work again, and he braced for the impact. He tried to right the plane as it fell, hoping to careen the ground rather than smash into it. Brief moments of fire appeared in Harry’s vision, and intense heat pierced his soul. There were screams of pain and agony that were soon forgotten when his senses failed. Then there was nothing. Unintelligible voices were muttering in the blackness, and Harry woke to peace and quiet. He was on his back in a bed in a white room. Sunlight came in through a window, making the whiteness brighter. Harry squinted as his eyes adjusted. Harry tried to get up, but he could barely move. Something covered him. He looked at his body to find that it was covered in bandages. His flesh felt like it was on fire. His body hurt all over. He had survived the crash, but his body had been burned and broken. He had no way of gauging how bad the damage was. A nurse came into the room, reading papers on a clipboard she had in hand as she moved. She was middle-aged and plump, the kind of woman who had never been more than average-looking, even in her prime. When she was done with her reading, she looked over at Harry and realized he was awake. The nurse put the clipboard on the bedside table as she approached her patient. “You poor thing,” she said. “You’re not supposed to be awake.” She briefly left, returning with a syringe of clear fluid. She pulled the plastic protector from the needle and held it up to her eyes, checking the measurement. “Do NOT let her do that,” the voice whispered into Harry’s ear. Harry struggled to turn his head. He was sure nobody was there. “It’s poison!” “Don’t you worry,” the nurse said as she injected the fluid into the clear, plastic tube connecting the IV to the vein on Harry’s hand. “Now you go back to sleep, and we’ll fix you up as best we can.” As best you can? Harry thought. Harry was asleep in a matter of moments, the white room leaving so the peaceful blackness could return. There were no dreams, just voices speaking in a language he had never heard before, but he was somehow able to understand them. They spoke of power and of bones... A throne of bones. Harry awoke again, once again unsure of how long he slept. He might have been out for hours or days. There was no way to tell time. The white room was exactly the same, but it all felt different. The walls moved like a viscous fluid, flowing but not fully changing. He felt as if he were looking through a camera lens or someone else’s eyes. He wondered if he had awoken from the blackness, only to find himself in a dream. His body was still in an immense amount of pain, and he could barely move. He was able to lift his right arm with some painful effort. His eyes widened in horror as he saw the bandage around the stump here his hand once was. He couldn’t tell the extent of the damage, but he had lost all of his fingers! He put his arm down and shut his eyes, not wanting to see anymore. He