How was I going to get myself out of this one? I had to admit, it didn’t look good. The jet was in freefall, screaming towards the earth in a tight spiral, all the engines streaking flames. The oil refinery was coming up fast. We were already close enough to read the company’s name on the red-and-silver tanks. We had a handful of seconds left.
“You’ve really written yourself into a corner this time, bubby.” It was the salesman who’d taken the seat beside me when we took off from L.A. He’d been trying to get me to sign on the dotted line for the last three hours, but no matter how good he tried to make the deal sound, I wasn’t buying. “And none of that ‘and then I woke up and it was all a dream’ bullshit either. We both agreed that’s cheating.”
He noticed I wasn’t writing anymore.
I closed my notebook and capped my pen. “You’re right. I can’t get us out of this one.”
I saw the puzzlement on his face.
“What do you mean, I’m right?”
I shrugged. “You’re right. What more can I say?”
Then I saw the panic replace his puzzlement as he began to understand. Let me tell you, it was a rewarding sight.
“What? You’re not even going to try? You’re a writer. Use your imagination, dammit.”
“Sorry. It’s a narrative dead end. Tolstoy couldn’t resolve this plot.”
“You son of a bitch!” he screamed, joining the chorus of screaming, praying, weeping, hysterical passengers puking and crapping their underwear all around us. “You rotten, dirty motherfucking…you tricked me.”
I finger gunned at him and winked. “Gotcha.”
He tried to slough off his human costume, getting as far as freeing his huge leather wings and dropping the blandly smug salesman mask, revealing his true reptilian face underneath, but it was too late. He’d never be able to fight his way over the luggage tumbled into the aisle. Never get to the emergency door in time. We were too close to the ground. Moments away from impact. I’d sucked him in with my stupid story and he’d hung around too long waiting to see how it turned out in the end.
Will the dumb shit never learn?
It ends like it always does.
– Meeah Williams
Meeah Williams’s work has appeared in Otoliths, Phantom Drift, Uut, The Conium Review, Per Contra, Petrichor Review, Stone Highway Review, Dirty Chai, Shuf, *82 Review, Skin to Skin, Wilde, The Milo Review, Meat for Tea, Angry Old Man and others. She lives in Seattle and tweets at pussy_nagasaki@pussynagaski