• Peter

Taxi to Hamburg [excerpt]

Two years ago on 9th March, I got the phone call that my father had had a massive stroke. Unfortunately, about an hour later, I learned that he hadn’t made it. Both my sister and I didn’t make it to see him before he went. To help me get through it, I wrote a short story. I’d love to get it published. I’ve already had some feedback from a super publisher of short stories, and I know I need to change some things. But here is an excerpt:

James couldn’t breathe. He put his phone in his pocket and grabbed hold of the overhead bin to steady himself. There were too many people, and they were in his way. It couldn’t be true, could it? Not now, please not now. His fingers were holding on so tight to his suitcase that they were turning white. He had to do something, he had to move. “Excuse me,” he said to the couple blocking the aisle, “excuse me, I have to get off.” He reached the back but was stopped by the flight attendant. “Sir, we can’t disembark yet; we’re still waiting for the steps.” The door was open, and James could feel the fresh air against his face. Breathe. Breathe. “Sir, are you alright?” He tried to respond, but all that came out was a garbled recollection of the phone call he had just had. “My…I…must…get…now” was his actual reply. He could feel a gentle hand guide him firmly into the attendant seat at the back of the plane and a plastic cup of water was placed in his trembling hand. His suitcase was placed by the locked food trolley in front of him and he looked at the floor. He could feel the stares of fellow passengers as they shuffled past him to go down the steps, which by now had arrived. A long line of happy holidaymakers, or people returning home, lining up to change transport from the plane to the bus that was patiently waiting to take them to the terminal building. The hand of the kind attendant never left his shoulder as she wished the other passengers safe onward journeys.

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Peter J Fullagar. Reading, UK.

peterjfullagar@gmail.com

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