This isn’t happening. Things like this don’t happen to people like me. I sit on a log and look up at the canopy of trees hovering over me. I glance around, seeing only other confused faces glance at me. It’s quiet. The loudest quiet I’ve ever heard. My head floods with thought and I close my eyes, pushing back frantic images. I inhale my surroundings, trying desperately to make sense of the silent riot occurring all around me.
My attention is drawn to a noise. My eyes wander, searching for the source. It sounds like the cry of a small animal; it sounds too familiar to be dangerous. It becomes louder and I recognize the innocent scream. I rise from the dead stump and hurry towards the sound. It has stopped but still it echoes in my mind. A bright whiteness washes over me and I find myself sitting uncomfortably in my adjustable seat. A newspaper sits in my lap but I’m too anxious to notice. Something is wrong, I can sense it. My ears perk up at an obnoxious noise. It sounds like the cry of a small animal. Aside from my aisle is an infant. A smile runs across my face, hiding my fear.
My feet strike the ground, launching me faster heading for the sound. Finally I reach it, almost wishing I hadn’t. Here lies a mother, child in hand and a red stream flowing down her lifeless face. The bundle in her arms screams again, snapping me back into reality. Taking the infant in my arms, I silently pray for our survival. I retreat to the small clearing to find the same glances staring back at me. I take a glimpse, surveying the scattered items laying on the earthy floor. I see a small first aid kit lying open by a sapling. It is empty except for a roll of white gauze. I take it in my hands, swiftly wrapping it around the small child and hoping the warmth of the thin fabric will turn purple lips back to a healthy hue. I hold the newborn to my chest and wrap it further in my own clothes.
“We’ll never make it.” A nameless voice utters, stabbing the silence. I glance up and glare at the thought. “It’s too cold, we have no supplies. We’ll never make it.” He repeats.
Ignoring the obvious truth I recall the items I carried with me on the flight. Things useless every day, but now could determine life or death. A small pocket knife, given to me by my grandfather just before he died, a complimentary air map I had tucked in my pocket after reading it before take off; and a bottle of whiskey I had held in my hand, taking sips to calm my nerves. My keys jingle in my pocket and I pull them out. On my key chain, a free flashlight I received from a catalogue order. I read the name on the smooth plastic cover, ”LifeLight”. I laugh at it’s simple irony.
While rummaging through my pocket I discover a familiar object. My metallic zippo lighter. I stroke the smooth metal with my thumb. I wish I had a...