Wednesday, June 13, 2007
New Beginning 293
Raucous laughter pealed from the cockpit at shorter and shorter intervals as the Liberia Airways 747 knifed through the darkness seven miles above the Atlantic. Captain Ibrahim stood in the center of the flight deck with Fadi Haruna, both men hunched over almost-empty glasses of Scotch from the first-class cabinet.
Haruna wiped the tears from his eyes. "I must go, boys. Really. I must get some sleep."
"Come come, Alhaji," Captain Ibrahim said, stressing the honorific, "one more drink."
Haruna waved him off. "No, seriously. I drive to my village as soon as we land."
Captain Ibrahim grabbed Haruna’s forearm and squinted at him with malaria-yellowed eyes: "You will have time to sleep when you are on the job." The other men burst into laughter and he continued: "You will have time to sleep when you are with your wife." They all laughed again, this time much harder, like they had never heard such a funny thing.
Haruna held up his free hand and eased toward the door. "I will go back to my seat so you can get some sleep, Captain. But please don’t forget your old friends when you are a big airline tycoon." He hoped the captain was less intoxicated than he appeared. Ibrahim was, well, a real ass, but there were worse things to be.
The door clicked shut behind him; a heartbeat later the first thud came.
The second thud, a moment later, drew Herb’s attention away from the cockpit door back to his wife.
“This freaking seat doesn’t work.” Marge jabbed at the control again and with another dull thud her body contorted into one more unnatural position. “What the hell kind of airline only sells its tickets on eBay anyway? ‘Let’s travel first class,’ you said. First ass, more like it. I need a freaking translator’s dictionary just to order a Scotch -- which I then can’t have because the freaking pilot’s already finished both bottles . . . ”
Haruna shot Herb a sympathetic glance as he shuffled past.
“ . . . and the fact you can’t pronounce the main course without ejecting phlegm doesn’t make me feel good about the salad dressing,” Marge continued, “and I can't use the freaking bathroom because someone's keeping a sheep in there. A sheep?! Well?”
“Hm? What was that, dear?” Herb played dumb, but he knew already the return trip, on Delta, was going to be even more trying.
Opening: Anonymous.....Continuation: ril