Funny stories in under 500 words.

We Now Request Your Full Attention as the Flight Attendants Demonstrate the Safety Features of this Aircraft

Leonard grabbed for the seat in front of him as the airplane dived. The words This seat is used as a floatation device for flight attendants only was etched on a gold-colored plaque on the back of the seat. He had been reading it over and over during the course of his flight. Leonard turned his head as the contents of his stomach, five complimentary packets of airplane peanuts and two whiskey sours, began a frantic race from his stomach and up his throat. Cindi, his Attendant in Flight-a bleached blonde with a giant mono boob-wobbled her way down the aisle on two ice pick stiletto heels. Earlier in the flight, Cindi refused him a seventh complimentary bag of peanuts. Mr. Clowtauer, there are no more peanuts. She said his name with a look on her face like he just crop dusted her and turned her back to him. It’s Leonard. Mr. Clowtauer is my alias. His attempt at humor didn’t budge Cindi. This made him angry, which made him order more whiskey, which Cindi reluctantly handed to him. Leonard couldn’t help but insult her dye job.

As the airplane continued its rapid descent, Leonard and Cindi both lunged for the flotation seat, their last lifeline. Water gushed inside the plane as the lights above flickered in rapid succession. Cindi wasn’t going to move despite his 280-pound weight being tossed her way. She was proving herself to be deadly with a right hook. As Cindi’s fist bludgeoned his face with a boxer’s accuracy Leonard made up his mind: there was no way in hell he was going down after being bumped from first class to coach.

Leonard mouthed a quick prayer as he managed to grab the seat’s cushion and hug it against him. The plane was dropping like an empty cocktail glass at a holiday office party. Cindi glared at him, her index and middle fingers frozen in the gesture of Please exit the walk way and take notice of your exit doors. Leonard tossed his head around like an injured bull, unable to recall Cindi’s opening speech where she efficiently and with timed articulation pointed out where the exit doors were located. She was a blue and white uniformed dart torpedoing due south with her middle finger raised, she was his only hope of escape, and she was pointing to the broken shards of sunlight-their only exit-as it disappeared under a heavy, suffocating blanket.

Hillary Leftwich resides in Denver with her son. In her day jobs, she has worked as a private investigator, maid, and pinup model. She is the associate editor for The Conium Review and Reader/Marketing Coordinator for Vestal Review. Her writing has been nominated for a Pushcart and appears in a number of journals including Hobart, Smokelong Quarterly’s “Why Flash Fiction” essay series, Matter Press, WhiskeyPaper, NANO Fiction, decomP MagazinE, Monkeybicycle, Dogzplot, Cease, Cows, Pure Slush,, Gone Lawn, The Airgonaut, FlashFlood and others. You can find her at or follow her on Twitter @HillaryLeftwich.


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