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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Saturday Sample and Weekend Writing Warriors

Today I'd like to share an excerpt from my new WIP. I started writing this a few years ago, but I put it aside in favor of other manuscripts. It's time now to pick it back up. I'm struggling to find a title for it, and I don't have a blurb yet, but here's the beginning of the book. If you see anything I need to fix please say so. I've given you ten sentences and a few more to spare.

Last Week

The plane shuddered, and the seatbelt light flickered on.  Almost immediately the passengers heard Captain Anders’ voice over the intercom.  “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve hit a little turbulence, but it’s nothing to worry about.  Please remain in your seats until the seatbelt light goes off.  We should be landing in Miami within the hour.”

Brent Holloway looked out the window and saw that the plane had entered a dark cloud.  Couldn’t the weatherman ever get it right?  This morning’s forecast had called for clear weather.  

The middle-aged lady in the seat beside him cleared her throat and tapped Brent’s shoulder.  “Ah, you don’t think we’re in trouble, do you?”

“No, ma’am, I’m sure everything’s fine.  It’s not unusual for planes to encounter turbulence.”

“I haven’t been on a plane in years,” the woman confessed.  “I’m afraid to fly.”

Brent gave her a reassuring smile.  “I don’t think you have anything to worry about. I’m a pilot myself, and I’m not concerned.”

“What kind of planes do you fly?”

Brent grinned.  “I fly these big babies.  I work for this airline.”

The woman’s shoulders relaxed.  “You must have been on vacation,” she correctly guessed.  Do you have any idea where we are?”

“Yes, ma’am.  We just passed Bimini Island.”

“Isn’t that in the Bahamas?”

Brent never answered because Stephanie Monroe, one of the flight attendants, stopped beside their seats and said with a smile, “Captain Holloway, Captain Anders would like to see you for one moment, please.”            

“Sure thing,” Brent answered.

His companion had started to chew on her bottom lip, so Brent gave her shoulder a little squeeze.  “I’ll be back in a minute.  Then I’ll tell you about the time one of my passengers sneaked a pet squirrel onboard.  It caused quite a commotion.”

The woman laughed.  “I bet it did.” 

Brent followed Stephanie toward the cockpit.  “What’s wrong?” he whispered.

“I don’t know.  Anders just said to get you in a hurry.”

Excerpt: We've picked up at the place where I left off.

She knocked on the cockpit door and Frank Healy, the copilot, opened the door. He looked worried. “Holloway, thank God you’re here.  Maybe you can help.”

“What’s wrong?” 

Captain Mike Anders shrugged as he answered from the pilot’s seat.  “Damned if I know. Take a seat and look at this.”

Brent did so and stared at the electronic display in front of him.  “This…This can’t be right,” he sputtered. Every single gage on the control panel spun wildly and indicated that nothing worked, not even the engines.  But they had to be.  If the engines had failed, they’d be falling from the sky.  “How long has this been going on?” he demanded.  “Have you notified Miami?”

Anders shook his head.  “The gages went wild right after we entered the cloud.  I tried to contact Miami, but I couldn’t get anything besides static on the radio.”

“Better try again.  I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Frank Healy tried the radio, but no one answered even though they all heard garbled, fragmented voices.  

Brent’s eyes left the gages, and he stared out of the window as they briefly exited the cloud.  Horror washed through him. “Sweet Heaven!” he cried.  “Look!  The horizon just disappeared!”

The entire world had turned a strange, milky white color.  The sky and the ocean blended into each other so seamlessly you really couldn’t tell where one began and the other ended.  

“Without instrumentation or visual we can’t fly this thing,” Healy quavered.  “We might be flying straight into the ocean.”


Veronica Scott said...

So far, so great! I'd read it definitely. Minor nit but it threw me out of the story every time - gauges not gages. At least here where I live! But a wonderful snippet.

Teresa Cypher said...

Wow! I'm so glad you went back to this WIP! I can hardly wait to read more!

Kate Hill said...

This is a terrifying situation!

Ed Hoornaert said...

Very scary indeed. One point puzzled me, though. If they're flying through a cloud, how could they have seen the horizon to know it disappeared?