Surviving Flight 1432
by Bob Brill
part 1 of 2
Laura Battaglia arrived at the gate for her flight to St. Louis just as the boarding procedure was being announced. She was a woman in her mid-fifties who showed the unavoidable signs of her age but who also retained much of her former beauty. She had black hair sprinkled with strands of silver, large dark eyes surmounted by expressive brows, prominent cheekbones and a wide generous mouth.
She was dressed for traveling comfort in baggy slacks, flat-heel shoes, a light sweater, no hat. Her carry-on was a huge sacklike purse slung over her shoulder that contained among other items a deck of well-worn Tarot cards in a multi-colored cloth bag, a romance novel, two roast beef sandwiches, a pickle, a container of coleslaw, a bottle of apple juice and two plastic bottles of water. Her reading glasses were there too. Should she feel inclined to dip into the romance novel on the flight she would need her glasses, but as she did not like to be seen in them, it was unlikely that she would open the book.
Passengers were beginning to line up for boarding. Observing them against the large glass window panes, she found it particularly easy to see their auras and was shocked to discover that most of the passengers displayed auras that were faded, some had no auras at all. “Oh no,” she murmured. “This is not good.”
She walked up to the desk and tried to get the attention of the woman who was directing the boarding procedure, but the woman was speaking into her microphone announcing the boarding of the first-class passengers and those with special needs. Laura looked around and caught the eye of a security guard. She beckoned to him and he approached.
“I don’t know how to say this, but it is imperative that this flight not take off. There is extreme likelihood that the plane will crash.”
The security guard pulled out his phone and called for assistance. Two armed guards came over on the double. “What’s the problem here?”
“Lady says the plane’s going to crash.”
“There’s no time to lose,” said Laura. “They’re already boarding.”
“Do you have any information that leads you to believe there’s a safety hazard?”
“Yes, so many of their auras are fading away to nothing. I'm talking about the passengers. Look at them. You have to understand that people know when they are about to die, not consciously of course, but at the unconscious level, and if they are prepared and ready to die their auras fade and disappear.”
“I don’t follow what you’re saying. Have you any reason to think that the plane has been infiltrated by terrorists or that there might be some mechanical problem with the aircraft?”
“No, I have no idea what will cause the plane to crash. I just know that it will. The human spirit is the most sensitive detector of coming events and this unconscious knowledge shows up in the aura.”
“This sounds like a crock to me,” said one of the guards.
“Wait, Jack,” said the first guard. “I had an aunt who could see auras. Don’t you know about auras?”
“Oh yeah, Darryl, I’ve heard of them, but do you really believe it?”
“Yes, I believe it. What do you think, Peter?”
“Auras? I’ve read about them somewhere, but what exactly are they?”
Laura responded, “I’m talking about the energy fields emitted from the soul and which surround the body. Look at these people lining up over there. Can you see their auras? Colored bands of light that play over them? Many are fading and are hard to see, but a few here and there are bright and shining.”
“I don’t see anything. Do you see anything, Jack?”
“No, Darryl, I don’t see anything, ’cause there’s nothing there to see.”
“You see it, Peter?”
“No, I’m afraid not.”
“It takes training and practice to read auras. And some natural psychic ability. I have years of experience in this field. Please believe me, there is a great danger in letting that plane take off.”
The three guards discussed the issue. Jack asserted that this was just another nutcase which, in his view, was something they encountered all too often. Darryl accepted the existence of auras but was uncertain about their connection to the fate of the plane. Peter was neutral and neither affirmed nor denied the existence of auras or their link to a possible disaster.
Darryl stepped forth as the spokesman. “I’m sorry, lady, we can’t see the auras, and even if you can, we don’t understand how you could make a reliable prediction of a plane crash. Meaning no disrespect to you, but that’s not sufficient reason for grounding the flight. But what I will do is call the Chief of Security and put the question to him.”
“Well, thank you for that. I’ll be very surprised if the flight is cancelled. The official wisdom has always been that of disbelief, but I know better and I’m not stepping onto that plane. But I checked my suitcase. Any chance I could get it back?”
“I’ll check, but I doubt it. Give me your baggage claim.”
She gave her baggage claim to Darryl and the three security guards went on about their duties.
Laura turned her attention then to the passengers. She spied a young girl who reminded Laura of her younger self, a pretty girl of college age, stylishly dressed, whose aura was sparkling and bright. “Excuse me, Miss, may I have a word with you?”
The girl turned and looked curiously at Laura. She smiled and said, “Why? What’s up?”
“Do you believe in auras?”
“Well, I can’t see them, but I’ve read about them. Everybody’s got one, right?”
“That’s right. Yours is especially vibrant and bright in the blues and pinks.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means you have a spiritual nature, open to love and acceptance.”
A thoughtful expression crossed the girl’s face. “That feels right. My name is Violet. What’s yours?”
“I’m Laura. Now Violet, I have to tell you seriously that I don’t want you to board this plane. I look around me at the other passengers and many of them, most of them, have auras that are fading away. That indicates foreknowledge of death. This leads me to believe that the plane is doomed to crash.”
“Oh, my God. That’s terrible.” The girl looked into Laura’s face. “Somehow I know I can trust you. Can’t we stop the plane from taking off somehow?”
“I already tried that. They don’t understand. They’re doing their best, but they just don’t get it.”
“This is going to cost me a hundred dollars to change my ticket.”
“Small price to pay for your life.”
“And oh, I’ve checked two suitcases.”
“If the security guard comes back give him your baggage claim. That’s what I did, but I doubt he can do anything. Now let’s look around and see if we can save anyone else.”
Laura spotted a man who appeared to be about her own age, a man of striking appearance. Tall, broad-chested, erect posture, large oval face and almost entirely bald. Brilliant aura, plenty of energy, self-confidence, success. “Good-looking guy,” she murmured. White shirt, open collar, clean unwrinkled slacks with a fine crease, tan polished shoes. His carry-on was a leather attaché case.
“Violet, I’m going to approach that good-looking guy over there.” She looked around. “See that woman in the red hat. See what you can do with her.”
She stepped up to the gentleman in question. “I’m going to be very forward here,” she said, “but I must speak to you.”
“Thank you,” he said, smiling. “I’ve been contemplating the idea of speaking to you too. I’ve noticed you and you seem agitated about something. Can I be of any help?”
“Yes, yes, you can. Do you believe in auras?”
“No, not really. But if anyone could convince me of their existence it would be you. You have a strong presence that I find quite compelling.”
Laura found herself oddly moved by this assertive style of flirtation, but she plunged ahead and once more explained about the fading auras and the probable fate of the plane.
“My name is Oscar Martinez,” he replied. “Here is my card. I’d love to continue this conversation at a later time. You’ve opened a fascinating subject for discussion. Now I’m going to board the plane. May I know your name?”
She fished in her purse. “I’m Laura Battaglia,” she said. She produced her card and handed it to him. “But if you board that plane, I don’t expect I’ll ever be seeing you again.” She was surprised at how deeply she felt the loss of this person whom she had only just met, but there was no denying that she was strongly attracted to him.
“Thank you, dear lady. If we never meet again, I shall regret it deeply.” He turned, showed his boarding pass to the agent and disappeared through the doorway.
Without a moment’s pause for reflection on the scene that had just transpired Laura became aware of a child’s high-pitched screaming behind her. She turned and saw a woman pulling a five-year-old boy by the hand toward the boarding agent. “Hush your crying, Curtis. We are getting on this plane, so quiet down and behave yourself.”
“No!” screamed the boy. “I won’t go.”
“Yes, you will.”
“Aunt Ginger, I don’t want to go.” He tugged with all his might to break away from his aunt. She tugged the other way and the child broke out again into screaming.
Laura saw their auras, bright glowing red, his from fear, hers from anger. Laura tried to intervene. “The boy is right. He knows something you don’t know. He’s trying to save your lives.”
“Mind your own business,” the struggling woman declared. “This is not up for discussion. Young man, we’re getting on that plane.” Struggling to show her boarding passes to the agent she dragged little Curtis screaming through the doorway.
Violet came up to Laura and said, “I’ve had no luck at all.”
“Me neither,” said Laura. “It’s most disheartening.”
Inside the plane Oscar had settled into his aisle seat when he heard the approach of the screaming child and the angry aunt. The sound sent a bolt of anxiety through him. He was suddenly overwhelmed by a sense of dread. It occurred to him that if there were such a thing as psychic ability it might well appear in a very young child before the influence of adult beliefs and education could suppress it. He pulled the card out of his shirt pocket, thinking of the woman with the dark flashing eyes.
Laura Battaglia * Registered Psychic * Tarot Readings
It’s been years since I’ve been so attracted to a woman at first sight, he thought. He saw the aunt struggling to place her valise in the overhead bin while still hanging onto the child’s wrist. Oscar stood up in the aisle and said, “Please let me help you with that.”
“Oh, would you? Thank you. I’ve really got my hands full here.” The child continued to scream and try to tug free of his aunt’s grip, which kept pulling her off balance. Oscar took the valise from her. She watched him place it in the overhead bin. Suddenly she cried out in pain. The child had bitten her finger and freed himself from her powerful grip. He ran screaming from the plane, the aunt in quick pursuit. Oscar grabbed the woman’s valise in one hand, his attaché case in the other and followed after, struggling to break through the stream of passengers still entering the plane.
At the front of the plane he turned and faced the passengers, who by this time were all riveted on the drama that was unfolding before them. “Listen up, everybody. From information I’ve heard today there is a strong doubt in my mind that this plane will arrive safely at its destination. There’s been a serious prediction that the plane will crash. Anyone who wants to get off, better get off now.” He turned and ran off the plane.
A young man at a window seat begged permission of his seatmates to be excused and allowed to leave. He looked about with embarrassment, but he walked up the aisle holding his backpack to his chest and left the plane.
An elderly couple in the back of the plane hesitantly rose from their seats, pulled down their carry-ons and advanced slowly up the aisle. The flight attendants were told to prepare for departure, but they waited till the elderly couple had stepped off the plane. Then they began the process of sealing the door.
“Wait,” said one of the flight attendants. It was a young girl still in her first week of flying for the airline. Her face was chalk white. “I’m getting off.” The two older attendants looked at her disdainfully. The male attendant continued to dog down the door. “I’m getting off,” cried the girl, raising her voice.
“You may as well,” said the male attendant. “You’ll be fired whether you leave or stay.” He opened the door and the girl fled. “Clearly in the wrong profession,” he said. “Better for her to find out right away.”
Copyright © 2009 by Bob Brill