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Hallie Sullivan
English 2 Honors
Mr. Stock
16 Jan 2011


Island of Quarrel

(the unanticipated landing and the events that follow)

The golden red light, from the sun's dying breath, kisses the funny rounded nose and the port flank of our plane. This light moves across our faces as the baby jet gently turns, out of the San Fransisco airport, and onward to the west and Hawaii. I lean to my friend Sierra, and giggle out a thoroughly unintelligible sentence, to which she replies jokingly, "What are you talking about weirdo?" This of course only makes me laugh harder. I try repeating myself, ending only in muffled giggles. Sierra sighs and leans into her chair and avoids looking at me while I fail miserably. I think to myself as I watch the last bit of land speed farther and farther behind us, how extremely fortunate I am to have the wit and mental stamina to argue my parents into submission, meaning I get to fly away by myself while no family member hinders my need for speed! I look over at Sierra who's in an amiable silence, although tinged with a bit of what.. worry? annoyance?....maybe, I don't mind No Parents, but well.. this new thought let my face relax from smiley to somber. Seeking distraction I prop my torso..hmm torso.. What if the plane crashes and all that's left is my wriggling torso? bleagh...letting that go I lean up and forwards to survey my surrounding classmates. All 26 or so of us had scored the ultimate prize of skedaddling off to Hawaii! Because we have the most awesome English skills of course. Our teacher would like to think it was all him..but we know better.. I spot most everyone and only a few new faces..the people in front of me are Cesar and Christopher, I've known them both since..ahh..well..I met Cesar in seventh grade and his not-ignorance irked me and pinched my ego. But now, not so much. Chris I met in eighth grade, and I was always jabbering on and on to him trying to make him laugh. He had always seemed nervous..so I tried to get him to laugh it away..but anyhow he and Cesar are always marching about school together, opposing twins in looks, much the same as Ana and Ashley. These girls could be sisters, except the first thing you notice, is that they look opposite, one dark toned and the other light. Although if a deaf and blind person were to know their conversations, I doubt they would believe it was two different people talking to one another. As these thoughts spin dizzily around my cranium, I put in the ear buds, give Sierra a look to say, "Abyssinia" and lay me down to rest..

About an hour later I wake up, only a few of the planes over head lights are on. Sierra is asleep I think. And now I really really have to go. Inching past the crumply-I'm-squashed-on-a-plane figure I practically topple over her and everything else, the half light incandescence, makes everyone look sick or old..yucky. I feel like this could be a premonition, hope not..I shouldn't think such crazy things...its just the plane and inherited worry genes. The bathroom is cold and foreign and smells like mold.....and now of all times the wind gods decide to add a little fun turbulence. Joy. Gladly I exit the stenchy john, and return to my seat. The Stockman stands and heads toward the back, as the turbulence worsens. Gazing about the cabin I see various drool patterns on sleeves and neighbors, everyone seems to be sleeping. The animated map on the seat before me shows we are little more than halfway there, I'd been asleep for lets see.. jets go at 645 mph and the earth goes...how fast? at an 8000mi diameter...circumference?..ahh phooey just check the time smarty pants. Turbulence is worse still and the SEAT BELTS sign flashes on the little screen, as an especially bad jolt shakes the plane.


Things are now constantly juddering, I don't have time to think about sensibility, as every possible bad scenario flashes through my mind's eye. Peripherals signal Stocks emergence from the loo, he grips the sides of the exit, knuckles the yellow/white that means strain. Staggering he moves towards his seat, a few rows ahead of mine. Lips pursed and eyes constricted on the path, he's conducting neuro flashes that signal "nimble" to the leg muscles. My mind is still babbling like a baby in distress, and I try taking hold of it by stating the reasons why nothing awful is happening, that turbulence is a mere fact of flight, and I've been through it before and..and.. Peripherals again signal movement. But oddly Stock is.....is he? Sliding backwards I believe, in the outer darkness the horizon is invisible, and it is therefore impossible to determine this sight before me..I think we're in a nose dive..

Seconds later someone is screaming, it sounds like Thaddeus, he must've woken up to this surreality. And as every one else wakes and screeches, Sierra jumps and looks at me frightened and befuddled, "whats going on?" she yells to me, but I don't even know how to speak, my face is contorted into a fearful stare. I can only look at her and try to convey the situation with my eyes. How long can we dive at this rate of speed until impact is completely inevitable? Unable to judge my position in the night sky only worsens this horror, we can only tense in anticipation, when the plane starts to level out... it feels like we're at less of a forty-five degree angle and more of a twenty-two degree angle but who can say for sure? Then the oddest feeling encroaches my awareness, but it only lasts for about a third of a heart beat, the seat feels like the front of the plane is swooshing along in water, then from the nose of the plane we hear the most unearthly screech of metal meeting rocks and scraping along them carelessly. All this mayhem in a matter of blinks, and the sudden stop of the plane lurches in the dark.

All the lights have since fizzled out, I don't know if Sierra is unconscious or not, Slowly I unlock my self and poke her in the side, She makes no move and I croak out a question, no reply...I don't believe she's dead I think that's her breathing...is everyone dead? Well I'm about to find out;

"Is everyone here and alive?" my voice quavers,

"We're okay I think, although Chris is shaking alot, I think its shock..." Cesar's voice carries over the seat and into my ears thankfully. "Well I'm not sure about Sierra, she might be unconscious," and louder,"Who else can answer right away?" no response...then;

"I'm here, and so is Ashley we're ok.." that was Ana n Ash..further towards the front of the plane where I expected giant gashes and mauled up bodies, judging from the awful noise we heard, a voice presses its way past disturbed molecules and air-born dust bunnies,

"We're okay too...my finger got mushed I think... so far its me Betzy, Jade, both Shawn and Sean, and I can hear Cinthya." that would be Thaddeus, thank God for loudmouths.

"Who can get out easily? and can anyone see Stock or the Flight Attendant?" that would be me yelling from the aisle.."we need to get out and see if we landed on the edge of a cliff or something, so nobody start jumping around ok?"
"Flashlights would be a good idea, Hallie, do you remember where the Attendant lady said the emergency stuff was?" Cesar leans over the seat, eyes that I knew were searching for my voice, gaze near my face. Sierra moans and I can just see her head move in the black, dropping near her seat I ask quickly;

"Hey Sierra! are you ok? You were unconscious, and the plane has crashed, and so far most of us are okay.."

moaning.."Hallie?..... is it really dark?...>breath<...or am I blind?"

"You're not blind, nobody can see very well but I think my eyes are adjusting.."

"Mine too, Chris?...hey buddy..were you trying to say something?" Cesar looks at Chris who is on his right, mumbling. " Chris? I can't hear you.." I turn towards the supposed front, and call out to the guys ahead,

"Hey, who can come with us out side and who can't? We need at least two able people to stay behind and watch whoever cant come,"..

Thaddeus the spokesman, "I can come and Sean Derum can too, the others want to stay"

"Okay those who stay, should check out every one and see how they are, I've got paper for you to write stuff down on.." Cesar interrupts, "Why hasn't any one tried their phones? We could use those as temporary flashlights, and call some one.." We're all silent at that one.. and then there was light. Our faces lit with the ghostly light of this generation's necessity.

"Thanks Cez..." we giggle sheepishly. We squint against even this gentle light, and I turn to others and search their faces, seeing most of us there.. some bleeding not much too serious..but what happened to Stock? Spinning about faced holding my cellular aloft, I weave through the small debris, books, backpacks etc, looking for Stock. Cesar, Thaddeus, and Sean move to the back of the plane following my steps, Savannah stands and squirms from her window seat on the left of the plane grabbing her glasses as she leaves.

"Stock?!...Miss Attendant? Stock!..." Neck craned, phone aloft, I search first visually so that I don't disturb any wounded. There are airplane blankies strewn everywhere, so i cant see anything defined right away, plus our phones keep blinking off to conserve their energy, as if this was no crisis....

"Hey guys.. do you see any thing?...Whoa, do you see that?..its a big dark stain.." I lean down to examine this stain, probing gently with my fingers..is it blood? water? the color isn't very certain with this light..my fingers come to my nose for inspection.."Smells like.. I don't know.." Sean asks "Is that even a flavor?" apparently trying to lighten the out-look, Savannah comes into the group to peer at the stain and my fingers..I look up at her and ask "Hey Savvy, how are you?" she nods.."Thaddeus, is your finger really squashed? Cuz, I think this might be blood and you especially cant touch it,"

"Well its not cut or any thing, it just hurts like it got caught in a door," As he speaks, I'm shifting the blankets, looking for the source of the stain.. sadly it was not an overturned coke or water bottle..because beneath the blankets Stock's face lay. His head badly injured, probably from hitting the ceiling as the plane crashed, Turning my head quickly to ask for first aid things, I see Savannah turn and grab the nearest kit and hand it to me. I thank her, rummaging through the kit for antiseptic and bandages etc. "Hey Cesar or someone, will you check to see if he has any fractures..And someone else go look for the attendant please," The group behind me semi-disperses and Cesar removes the rest of the blankets, looking for further injuries as Thaddeus, Sean and Savannah search for the absent flight attendant. Stock is breathing steadily, the injury is located on his left temple, I think the gash might be a good five inches...why is that a "good" five inches?...the blood continues to well out of it, the wound so fresh has not had any time to dry at all. This realization illustrates exactly how fast this has all happened, and i realize we need to figure out where we are now. As in right now. The wound is clean and I bandage it wishing I knew how to do it so when we needed to change it, we could do so without making it bleed again...he might need stitches...eww. I'm not sure if I could handle giving him some...temple cuts are bad, but head wounds bleed alot...but then again,

"Hey Cesar, do you think stitches are nessicary? or are they mostly cosmetic?"

"I dunno..wait lemme think, you can use tape, and it'll heal."

"So the stitches would be a cosmetic choice...Okay Stock looks like your scar's going to have to be one of those 'chick magnents'.." Cesar looks at me solomly, as he presses a cellular button to relight its screen.

"Its okay Hallie, it'll be an improvement, like you said." Automatically I laugh, the dismal scene before me lifts and for a moment things seem natural.

"We've found her!....I think she's dead..." Finishing with Stock's bandages, Cesar and I rise and move to the other's call. Thaddeus is simultainiously holding a door open and a cell phone out for illumination, he's leaning far, far away from the closet. Sean and Savannah are looking at us with astonishment, I move ahead and see the Lady head slumped forward. "Thad, did you check her vital signs?" I reach t'ward her head,

"No" he admits, " I wasn't thinking." The name tag glints; Kristin Garcia.

"Ok Kristin," I murmur mostly to myself as my hand slips into the closet to feel for a pulse on her neck. Nothing. Pulling myself closer to examine her, I hold her wrist and seek the pulse. None. "Her eyes haven't moved since the begining." Savannah practically whispers this to me. " We should make sure anyway."....I could not feel a single molecule of air stir before her mouth...I rise to my feet and look in their eyes, " I think we need to see the outside now. does anyone know how to open the doors?" Thaddeus and Sean move to one of the exits, look at it a minute and decide how to open it together.

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