Richmond III “Flight of Fancy”
This is a short story inspired (yet again) by my Malaysian connection Ricky, who speculated on a storyline where someone can read people’s innermost fantasies through touch. He was also flying at the time and wondered if he would strike up a connection with the people sitting next to him. I combined the two into this short excerpt. Because of my SqueeCapping and several other collaborative projects, my creative writing is sadly lagging. But hopefully soon I can finish the stuff I’ve already started! – Shuk
FLIGHT OF FANCY
Miranda huddled in her seat, wishing she was anywhere but here. Chattering passengers crowded the narrow aisle; some stopped to stow bags in the overhead compartments before moving to their seats.
She hated flying; in all actuality, disliked any travelling at all. Her gift, curse really, kept her away from many people, but her publisher insisted she leave her farmhouse in Richmond, KY and fly to New York City, to go on a talk show about her most recent book. Everyone wanted to know about the elusive M.D. Evans and her writings. Her romance books were touted as “realistic fantasy”, but those effusive critics never knew the effort it took for a single novel. She finally gave in after her manager relented and agreed on the “no touching” rule.
She was only 12 when she innocently asked her grandmother why her cousin was thinking about naked girls. As her puberty progressed, and with Grandmama’s help, she learned to filter the erotic images forced into her head whenever she inadvertently brushed against people, but sometimes they still got through despite her concentration. In crowds like the plane, she would get a migraine from the effort of avoiding any and all touch.
~ ~ ~
Jeremy was all but sprinting through the Bluegrass Airport terminal. Thanks to the Lexington traffic, he ended up clearing the full-body TSA scan right at the moment the prissy voice overhead announced final boarding for his flight. He skidded a little as he reached the gate desk, he breathlessly handed the attendant his boarding pass; he hustled down the gangway and into the humming plane.
The attendants began closing the door almost as soon as he entered. He took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the darker interior before he made his way to his first-class seat. The window seat was taken by an attractive woman, with café au lait skin and long dark hair pulled up into a messy bun. Even though it was a warm afternoon in Kentucky, she was bundled in a long-sleeved green tshirt and a maxiskirt in swirling shades of blue. She barely glanced at him as he shrugged off his computer backpack and, after extracting his ultrabook, stored the rest above.
After he settled down in his chair, the attendants began the preflight procedure, but he tuned them out. After racking up thousands of miles, flying was old hat to him. He was switching his phone to Airplane Mode when a movement to his right caught his eye. The Asian woman by the window had pulled out the laminated Exit card and was studying it as if her there was an exam at the end of the flight. He smiled slightly and shifted in his seat. His cell phone, perched precariously on the edge of the seat tray, slipped off. He leaned down to retrieve it, at the same time his seat mate reached for it.
Out of the corner of her eye, Miranda saw the phone slip off the tray, and instinctively reached out to stop its descent. Their fingers touched, and he jumped as her eyes widened.