Fiction: What A Million Dollars Won’t Buy #amwriting #fiction


Here’s another piece from my course, edited of course.


Credit: Paul Paul @ProdigyPaul via Unsplash.


Eugene steps onto the plane as his stomach summersaults. In Eugene’s seat, fellow author Jerry Norman, reclines.

“I need the legroom, let an old man have the aisle.”

Eugen shakes his head ‘no.’ He stows his carry on and sits. “Thanks a million for not making this difficult, Jerry. The aisle seats are quicker to leave from when the plane lands.” Eugene winks.

Jerry’s eyes narrow. “I’d watch it if I were you. I don’t like you sassing me.”

Eugene grins, then his stomach flips. The plane’s wheels come off the runway, and he buries his face in his hands. He swears under his breath between prayers until the plane achieves flying altitude.

Jerry laughs, “Think you’re some tough guy, eh? You take an old man’s seat than can’t handle take off?”

Eugene rolls his eyes. He notes Jerry’s red face with sweat gleaming. His hands are fisted tight around the armrests. “I don’t think you’re such a flier yourself. You’re a bit of bullshitter, aren’t you, Jerry?”

“That’s neither here nor there, Eugene. I’ve ridden on a plane that’s nearly crashed. Stop being such an asshole. I’m not a bad guy.”

Eugene snorts. He removes his iPad from the seat pocket and closes his eyes to the latest Avengers movie. When he awakes, screams of terror resonate. His stomach lurches as the plane nose dives, rattling, bumping up, and down as the left engine sputters.

Eugene believes he’s having a nightmare. He blinks, and everything around him occurs in slow-motion. The breathing masks tumble down, and Eugene gulps in oxygen at a slow even pace.

Beside him, Jerry has knocked his head on the window and passed-out. Despite Eugene’s dislike for him, he stretches as far as he can. He displaces his oxygen mask for a moment, and attaches Jerry’s. Then, he does the only thing he can think of doing, he smacks Jerry across the cheek to wake him.

“Jerry, come on. Your head’s bleeding, and you can’t sleep until you see a doctor.” He watches Jerry’s pupils dilate as he sucks in deep breaths of oxygen. Eugene’s numbness permits him to remain calm as the plane alters from a nose dive to a straight position above a grassy field. The landing is rough and jars everyone. At the end, Jerry catch’s his eye. Both mean realize the plane nearly crashed.

Eugene’s numbness fades as his nails dig blood-filled crescents into his palms. When they leave the plane and slide into a verdant feel, he turns to Jerry. “Stay awake, we need to find you an ambulance before you fall down right here.” The other author leans against Eugene, as he supports him. They find a paramedic who checks them both over for injuries.

Eugene thinks of the million dollars he could’ve had for arriving early to the writer’s conference both and he Jerry were attending.

“All that money wasn’t worth this.” Jerry fumbles over his words, but Eugene knows they are the absolute truth. He nods at Jerry lying in a stretcher in an ambulance waiting to leave for the hospital.

“I’ll come with you, Jerry, might as well. Someone has to call your family and let them know what happened.” Jerry makes a noise, Eugene assumes is agreement.

He closes his eyes for a moment. One million dollars.


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