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by Jubbly 

Posted: 05 October 2004
Word Count: 359

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I look at your face, so close to mine, yet you are a stranger. I guess youíre older than me, by at least a decade. Your shirt is immaculately laundered and I can tell your sweater is expensive, cold blue cashmere, slung around your shoulders pashmina style. You catch my eye and smile; Iím surprised and embarrassed to be caught out. I try and pretend I wasnít staring after all, but you arenít fooled. What do you think of me I wonder? Do I come across as sophisticated? Attractive? Do you look at me and wonder why Iím alone or do you know? Do you think Iím slovenly? That Iíve lost my looks, a fading beauty, a woman who no longer cares. Our faces tell our individual stories if you take the time to read them. I donít want to talk, Iím tired and my heart is heavy. Iíve so much on my mind right now, I sit back and try to relax, sipping vodka and tonic and crunching on tiny ice cubes. I put my drink down on the table, and watch the soft bubbles float upward, I feel your gaze and sneak a peek through my overlong fringe, are you about to speak? Possibly ask me if Iíd like another drink; wear me down with small talk until I warm to you. Maybe you see the unstoppable tears forming in my eyes, you suspect my sadness and think you can make it all better. But my plastic tumbler flies off the flimsy table, sending cold sticky fluid cascading through the air. Iím thrust forward smashing my forehead, crushing my chest then back again snapping my neck, the pain floods through me and the lights flicker on and off, I hear the screams now, shrill and loud, one long note, I look at you, you are staring open mouthed at me, we are together and it wasnít even planned. As our plane hurtles into a terrifying downward spiral and a frozen dread captures us and removes us from everything normal and human, we both realise that the last faces we will ever see will be each other's.

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Comments by other Members

Account Closed at 21:32 on 05 October 2004  Report this post
Fantastic, Julie. A terrifying conclusion. I had to re-read because I'd imagined them opposite each other, but you give no clues either way. Also the makeshift table - not sure if it is the right word. Whatabout flimsy or something along those lines?

I love the frozen realisation at the end. Each other's? (not sure)


me at 21:36 on 05 October 2004  Report this post
This struck me as very well contemplated but my mind became distracted as I read and interpreted the scene of a car crashing into an alfresco bistro or the like, rather than plane. I liked this very much.


Jubbly at 21:37 on 05 October 2004  Report this post
Whoa that was quick, yeah I think it should be another word for makeshift I'll think on that one. Inspired on a flight today, we hit some turbulance and the man next to me gripped the table until his knuckles went white, freaked me out I can tell you.

Thanks for reading


Anj at 22:04 on 05 October 2004  Report this post

I love the telling details you always sneak in - this time, particulary crunching the ice cubes. I love all the questions, she asks, how she's trying to read how he might read her.

Like Colin I was momentarily confused by the makeshift table, I thought they were in a tacky cafe.

But I love how the situation brings them together in an instant.

Take care

Mac at 06:31 on 06 October 2004  Report this post
Julie, it's something I've wondered about, last moments, final faces etc. I liked the concentration on detail, it made me think of how one might react in a final moment scenario, drinking in every last drop of your surroundings, trying to hold on to details.
Very good.

anisoara at 07:19 on 06 October 2004  Report this post

Wow. This is brutal.

Her thoughts were painfully honest. And we do wonder what other people think, Especially when we're vulnerable.

I asn't sure about the meaning here - "we are together and it wasnít even planned"

Last word needs an apostrophe: "each other's"

This has a real emotional impact. A great flash.



I wasn't sure (not "I asn't sure"!!!)
And I have a capital e up there where I need a small e, but I think you can still read that!

DerekH at 11:06 on 06 October 2004  Report this post
Julie, Wow...that was good. In so many ways.

One thing I find difficult in my own writing, is going from the 'norm' to that sudden dramatic event. I always feel I mess that up...You did it so well.




Damn! I fixed that typo I know I did...Just read it as though I have a cold.

PeterOC at 08:40 on 07 October 2004  Report this post
Hi Julie,

I can only echo the praise above. This packed a terrific punch. I thought the chap was attacking her for a moment there. 'Frozen dread' is a very good and succinct way of summing up their feelings. I could really picture their expressions as the realisation hit. It's funny, I know this is a pretty grim tale but it kind of left me with a warm glow afterwards because it's just so well written.

Jubbly at 17:56 on 07 October 2004  Report this post
Thanks to everyone who commented on this. I'm very pleased you liked it, it was one of those stories that just popped into my head and wrote itself. Anni with that 'together' line, it's referring to any possible flirting that may have gone on had they not been interupted, though I agree it's a tad obscure.

Best all


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