By Aslan Ahmed
Aslan Ahmed, a school-going child from Canada, has responded to Balochistan Times’ call for original short stories written by children under 17. Enjoy his first story.
Imagine this. You are falling from a plane six miles in the air. Your airplane chair and a bag of pretzels are all you have. There is no one else falling with you. You’re falling into probably the East Pacific ocean. And also, you’re a 12-year-old dude. What do you do?
Exactly. I don’t know either. Now you’re probably thinking this is a really crappy situation. How the heck does this happen? Whoever’s in this situation should be dead. Well, I was in that situation. And I survived! So, this is a story with a fairly happy ending. But let me tell you how I survived.
I, my mom and dad was entering a plane. My mom found a cheap airline online and got three tickets. We were going to the UK because my dad got a job there. Luckily, we got three seats next to each other. We sat on our seats and started eating our pretzels because we were extremely hungry from the drive to the airport. I noticed that many seats were empty. Flight attendants were coming through the plane to check that we had our seatbelts on. As the plane started moving, the flight attendants walked back. While the plane was taking off, I felt a bump under my seat. It wasn’t a normal bump. I bet my mom and dad felt it too. A flight attendant slowly walked to our seats. She stared at me as if I did something wrong. She felt it too. But the rest of the ride was normal, so I drifted to sleep.
I felt my hair fluttering rapidly. I opened my eyes. Blue. That’s all I saw. But I was looking down. I looked up. An airplane, with a hole. A face popped into the hole. My mother was staring at me in horror. I couldn’t scream at all. I was falling so fast. I couldn’t breathe. I looked down again. I was falling into the ocean, on my airplane chair. I unbuckled my seatbelt on the airplane chair. Bad idea. I was falling faster. My pretzel bag and chair were falling with me. I was falling faster than ever. To be honest, this was fun. Although I couldn’t breathe and I was probably going to die, this was fun. Falling from an airplane six miles up into an ocean is a slower process than I would think.
One minute later, I was still falling. One more minute later, I was still falling. One more minute later, I fell into the water. I froze. Literally. Imagine being in the North Pole, without proper equipment or clothing, hugging a giant ice block. That’s how cold I felt. I forced my eyes open as I swam through the water. The salty water stung my eyes. My chair was floating on its back and the pretzel bag was floating too. I reached the surface of the water and grabbed my chair. I pulled myself on. I sat on the chair while it shook side to side. It could carry me. Good. I grabbed the floating pretzel bag. I started rubbing my hands together to warm myself up. I felt like I got hypothermia and frostbite together. I shook vigorously to warm myself up. Bad idea. I almost sunk myself. Nothing was working. I was still cold. I shivering rapidly.
The plane. I looked around for it. It was still in the air. Thank god. They can go to the nearest airport and send a search party to find me. Yay. I cheered on the airplane. Just then the plane tilted. Downwards.
The plane was rocketing downwards at an insane speed. No. They can’t die. My parents are on that plane. I tried to move the airplane chair. It didn’t work. The plane dived into the water, creating a giant splash. I simply shouted one word. No!
No one came out of the water. Nothing floated to the top. I was hoping a luggage bag or two would come to the surface. Shoot.
I always thought I was going to die old in my sleep. That would be nice. Rather than falling out of a plane and dying of hunger.
These were my depressing thoughts at that time. Don’t worry. I’m narrating this story in retrospect. I survive all of this. I’m just telling you how.
I called for my parents. Mom! Dad! No reply. Man, how am I gonna survive this? I started thinking about that. I remembered some survival myths. How some people drank their own pee. I hoped I didn’t have to resort to that. I didn’t think sea water was going to be exactly appetizing either. I didn’t know what I was going to eat. I could be able to grab fish straight out of the water and eat them raw.
To be honest, my fate is really unfair. I was literally half asleep when I fell out of that plane. I could been awake and aware, so I could think better.
Yes. I was pretty much screwed. But I do survive. Just you wait.
I watched a flock of migrating birds fly over me. I had the feeling they were looking down at me. I bet they were thinking, “Wow, how’d that loser get there?”
I thought back to what had happened in the plane. So, basically, a hole opened up underneath me. How’d that happen? The bump. That strange bump I felt when we were taking off. That’s what made the hole, it had to be. Stupid bump.
Pop. I heard that behind me. Small ripples moved through the water. Fish. I stuck my hand in the water, hoping to catch something. Nope. Bad idea. My hand was freezing cold.
All my ideas were bad back then.
Pop. I heard that again. This time I took off my shoe and put it in the water. After a few minutes of putting my shoe in the water, I took it out. But then I realized something, it got darker. The sky was still blue, but there were grey rain clouds above me. Finally, some good luck. It’ll probably rain overnight.
Slowly, night came. I held out my pretzel bag so it would catch any falling rain. Then I started to sleep.
Raindrops tickled my nose. I woke up. There were more clouds, and it was still raining. I looked at the pretzel bag. Half full with rainwater. I gulped down every last drop. Then I held out the pretzel bag to the rain and said, “Refill please!”
The clouds eventually cleared out, revealing a beautiful blue sky. My pretzel bag was a half-quarter full of rainwater. Now that I forgot my thirst, I remembered my hunger. My stomach roared. It’s not like I was going to catch a fish anytime soon. Slowly, the light of day moved on and night came. And guess what, there were a bunch of rain clouds above me. Yay. I never loved rain so much. I slept once again with my pretzel bag out.
I woke up, but without rain clouds above me. Those clouds were so big, they couldn’t have cleared out. Something wasn’t right.
I looked far back. There they were. Big, grey rain clouds that were still raining. I moved. Somehow. It couldn’t be the ocean currents that moved me. Something else moved me.
Little did I know I wasn’t alone. Huh, that sounds pretty cool.
To make things worse, my pretzel bag water evaporated. Life’s amazing, isn’t it? Splash! A giant silhouette from behind me flew over me and landed in the water in front of me, creating waves that soaked my body.
Ladies and gentlemen, a whale jumper over me. I sat on my airplane chair, motionless and speechless. Maybe that whale moved me. Yeah, that’s it. The whale swam far ahead of me and disappeared. That was probably the only not-boring thing I would experience today. I used to think of boredom as a dark grey colour. Now, I think of it as an ocean blue colour, because the ocean is pretty boring.
I stared at the small, white clouds above, as they moved across a painted canvas we call the sky. The sky painter accidentally spilled a black paint can over the canvas we call the sky, that’s what we call night. He also sprayed white paint droplets on the canvas and we call those the stars.
I decided to wait a while before I sleep. Half an hour later of not sleeping, I started closing my eyes. Just a millisecond before my eyelids would close, an orange-ish colour filled the water around me. I looked into the water. My theory about the whale moving me was wrong.
Hundreds. There were hundreds of them. Under my boat. All I saw were circles of orange. I stuck my head in the water for a better look. Jellyfish. Big. Orange. Jellyfish. A fish floated to the top. Dead. Aw, they killed it for me to eat. I grabbed the fish out of the water and gobbled it up. I may have swallowed a bone or two. But nonetheless, it was delicious. Who knew raw fish could be so good?
I felt the chair move. No, stop moving! Wait a minute. They could get me to land. And I could be rescued. Despite having no brains or bones, jellyfish are pretty nice animals. I had the urge to touch their JELLO heads. I lied down on the chair and closed my eyes. Now this, is fine cruising.
The morning sun awoke me. I looked down at the water. The jellyfish were gone. But why? Perhaps they need to get food for themselves. My throat felt dry as sand. I had no water at all. I might just drink seawater. Either that or my own pee. Imagine drinking your own pee. I shuddered at the thought. I carried some seawater in my hands and drank. The salt stung my mouth, but I swallowed it. I choked and coughed a little. That can’t be good for you.
I had the urge to go into the water and drown to death. Or jump in the water and stay there till I get hypothermia. I had only two options here. Do nothing and die, or do something and die. Maybe I could depress myself to death. That’s probably possible, since I feel kind of dead inside already. Then I remembered a song. I started singing, a song with a life message.
“Don’t worry about a thing,”
“‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright!”
“Singing’ don’t worry about a thing,”
“‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright!”
Everything Gonna Be Alright by Bob Marley.
I sang for hours. It increased my thirst, but I didn’t care. Screw it, I’m going to at least smile before I die.
The jellyfish came back and started moving me. They shouldn’t have helped me, I’m going to die soon anyways.
Not true, my past self.
I laid back and closed my eyes. Probably my last rest.
I woke up, but not on a chair. I felt a silky sheet under my hands. Am I on a….bed? I got up rapidly and banged my head on something. I got off the bed. It was a bunk bed, with a sleeping man on the top bunk. There was a knife on a table next to the bed. I grabbed it for safety. It sure was dark in the room. I stuck my hand out and felt around. A door. I pushed it open. A wooden floor below me. I was on a boat. I looked out the boat. Ocean. Was I rescued? Or kidnapped? I looked at the right of the boat. A net, held onto the boat with a single rope. In the net were big, orange jellyfish. They were caught. I took the knife and cut the rope, dropping the net into the ocean. They swam deeper in the ocean and disappeared. I should’ve thanked them. They’re probably the ones who brought me to this boat. I dropped the knife into the ocean too. I hope it wouldn’t hurt anything. I walked around the boat, till I found a man driving the boat. He walked over to me.
“Who are you?” I asked him.
“My name is Captain Dale. I found you sleeping on a chair in the ocean. Hey, you wanna see something?” He was taking me to where the jellyfish were caught. He looked down the boat in disbelief.
“What happened?” Captain Dale asked me. I shrugged. He stared at me and then looked at the ground. He believed my little lie.
And that’s pretty much my story. The boat sailed to France. Where I was put into a foster home with a new family. I explained my story to them. My story became worldwide news. They searched for my plane but they couldn’t find any remains. Now, I’m a jellyfish-obsessed teenager living in France.
“Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright!”
– Bob Marley