Winner of 2017 Giller Prize

Winner of 2017 Giller Prize
Michael Redhill for his novel Bellevue Square

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Seatbelts


 Kayla Warburton, 10 years old, wrote the following story for her grade four class.  Jane and her mother are flying to Florida when their plane meets a severe thunderstorm.  A remarkable composition and fun to read.

The sound of thunder shattered through the plane followed by the sound of cracking metal. All the windows shattered as the hurricane moved in.  Suitcases flying, pets panicking and people screaming.

It all started when Jane’s mother got a job at Sea World, and they had to move to Florida. Jane and her mother were waiting at the airport when the loud speaker crackled to life. The man’s voice filled the room as he spoke: “pardon me ladies and gentlemen but for people travelling on flight 13 to Florida, you will be passing through a harmless thundercloud during your flight, so please do not panic.” 

Jane and her mother recognized it as her flight so they agreed to keep their seatbelts on just in case.
Boarding the plane had always been the best part for Jane. Walking through that long tube thing always felt so mystical. She also liked closing door to her seat so that it felt like she was trapped in a plane seat. This time she closed it AND locked it because the man sitting across from her looked kind of creepy. (Did I mention that Jane wasn’t too smart?)

Jane put her Chihuahua, Squiggles, in a specialized dog carrier that looked identical to a purse so that security wouldn’t tale him away from her.  Then she got out a tube of Pringles (sour cream and onion, her favourite) and waited for the plane to take off. There wasn’t much on the plane to entertain her, so she just read the front of the creepy man’s newspaper. Jane was shocked when she saw the headline. It read: TROPICAL STORM RAGES THROUGH FLUORID. FIVE HUNDRED PEOPLE ALREADY LOST! DEADLY FLOOD ON THE WAY!

Jane was terrified what she was flying into such great danger and no one seemed to care. Her mother told her not to be alarmed because the man in the airport and told them that thunder cloud was harmless and the newspaper always exaggerates. Jane agreed and turned on the tiny TV set in front of her. She tuned into her favourite cartoon while the plane took off. The plane engines whirled, putted and roared before finally lifting off the ground.

About half way thorough the flight, they heard the loudspeaker boom over them.  “Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts for we will be flying through a storm cloud in about five minutes.  Jane broke into a nervous sweat. She couldn’t believe that the captain was actually okay with flying through a tropical THUNDERSTORM.

As Jane counted down until the dreaded moment when the thundercloud swallowed them whole, she grew more and more panicked that they would never get back out once they were in.  Once Jane realized that there were only thirty seconds until the cloud arrived. She started spazzing in her head. “Hjbxfuzwebrb,” her brain said. All of a sudden the lights went out.  Jane spazzed triple time. She had never felt so petrified in her life.

All of a sudden Jane felt her sense of gravity tilt forward until she was standing on the back of the seat in front of her. But she wasn’t on that seat for long before slamming into the ceiling and then crashing back into her seat. It only took a matter of seconds before she realized that the plane….was falling.

Jane looked over at her mother who was fumbling with her seatbelt.  She started to panic when she realized that her mother was stuck in her seat because the seatbelt would not come undone.  The parachutes for evacuation were just down the aisle. Jane frantically pressed the button on her seatbelt but it wouldn’t unclick. The hundred thousand feet turned to one hundred thousand, then twenty thousand and kept descending until they were only one thousand feet above the ground.  Jane finally made the seatbelt unclick but the captain said that they were too close to land for anyone to evacuate.  Jane and her mother watched in horror as the plane rocketed toward the ground at two thousand miles per hour.  The problem was, the fatal impact into the ground never happened.

Jane opened her eyes and found herself in her room. She was relieved to find that is was all a dream.  When she got up, she realized she was floating. She panicked and floated over to the widow. When she looked down, she was on a cloud. And beneath that cloud…was a plane wreck.

No comments:

Post a Comment