A flying fear.

flight flying plane air travel
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‘You nervous dear?’

Sat next to Rio was an American lady. She looked to be in her 70’s, but her exact age had been externally distored by a Beverly Hills surgeon. Whereas her neck was shrivelled like a prune, her face was perfectly smooth, looking like it was being stretched by a thousand Lilliputians.

I’d never get plastic surgery, sod that.

The woman was elegant, her attire more suited to a first-class, rather than economy passenger.

Why can’t I be in first-class?

Her sleek, well fitted, black suit he guessed to be Chanel, and the womans shiny Rolex was certainly not one you’d pick up in Thai flea market.

Underneath her perfume was a hint of lemon sherbet. The sweet, sickly aroma reminded him of his beloved grandmother. How he wished to tell her that he was sorry.

‘Don’t worry, everybody’s got a little fear of flying.’ Her accent was like that of Dolly Parton, he half expected her to finish the sentence by shouting, ‘Yee harr,’ before slapping her thigh.

‘It certainly is.’

I hope she doesn’t talk the whole journey.

‘My granddaughter Taylor gets into a terrible state everytime she travels on a plane. You sure you’re ok sugar?’

The old lady was mistaken, his anguish had nothing to do with flying, it was owned by something far more sinister.

She placed a hand onto his arm, it was clammy.

‘I’m fine,’ he lied.

He was anything but fine. His whole existence was about to be twisted into the realms of no return. The brakes of life had been cut, he was now hurtling towards a wall at 100 miles per hour.

He turned his head, stared out of the window and began to cry.

The girl with caramel curls.

woman standing in a field
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When the girl with caramel curls opens her mouth my ears become alert to life’s possibilities.

‘We have nothing until we embrace honesty, it must become our loving guide.’

I desire her words. I wish to place them in my hands and gently caress before putting into a shiny box. Her precious words, safe from harm.

The next time I bump into the girl with caramel curls she’s sat in the quiet room staring out of a window. Her open toe sandals are too small and make her toes look like meerkats peering out of their burrow. 

‘You can live forever, this is the hardest part then it gets easier.’

Her face contains no hatred or pain. I wonder how she ended up in here?

Raw Literature: Young Sung Hero

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Raw Literature posts as an ongoing conversation about those first works we create as writers, as literary artists. Guest Authors share personal insights on their craft, its process, the experience of creating raw literature and what they do with it.

Carrot Ranch is a dynamic literary community that creates raw literature weekly in the form of flash fiction (99-word stories). If you have an essay idea, pitch to Charli Mills, Lead Buckaroo, at wordsforpeople@gmail.com.

We welcome a university student to Raw Literature this week. He’s working on his master’s degree in creative writing and explains how he came to write the following short fiction and why.

The Best Days of Their Lives? by YoungLee Giles

Charlie was sat on the floor with his arms wrapped tightly around his knees. He took a long, slow, inhale but continued to shake like someone who’d just been pulled out of a frozen lake…

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Dead flowers

red rose on brown wooden surface
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On the table was a drooping bunch of roses in a clear vase. The flowers once offered hope, but now took it away. A single drop of sadness clung to a wilted petal before eventually plopping into the water below.

 Were they in denial?

The room smelt musty, like a charity shop on a hot, summers day.

Does everything serve a purpose before dying?