Fancy the mile-high club, then?

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I noticed.

I get paid to notice.

What good is noticing if you don’t act on it though?

I should explain.

* * *

Fifteenth trip of the year. Business Lounge congested as usual, thrill-seekers in their Club This… and World That… getting to use facilities previously reserved for the rich, living it up like royalty. It strikes me that the only reason for paying for a business class ticket is to avoid mixing with the proletariat and now, thanks to low high-price ticket sales, they’re welcomed as guests! I’ve a good mind to complain – maybe try and blag some free air-miles at the same time.

Before they widened the appeal of the lounges, you could expect to get some work done or have a meeting before the flight; even get some shut eye. For the first couple of years, I never understood why anyone would do that – if you slept in the lounge, you ran the risk of not being able to sleep on the plane. I thought you’d have to be pretty stupid to want to be awake throughout a flight.

When you travel a lot on business, you quickly learn that flying isn’t worth the expectation; boredom, dead time, repetition. Why not take advantage of the free booze in the lounge and drink yourself into a stupor; flight becoming little more than incubation for the most exquisite hangovers? That was how I travelled during my first few years in the job: asleep and dehydrating in the air. But I learnt.

My lesson was simple.

Stewardesses.

Or Cabin Crew as I believe they want to be called these days. Mark my words, it’ll be ‘In-flight Service Operations Professional’ before long.

Though their title may change, one thing remains constant: they are always good for a shag in the toilets.

I know, I know, I know… I was pretty ashamed of myself the first couple of times, it seemed so seedy. But I wasn’t going to prostitutes or, even worse, the lap-dancing bars where business-men the world over discharge expenses and bodily fluids in almost equal measure. This has always been consensual; no issue… Oh alright, maybe just a little.

After a while… Well, it became sport, more like a hobby, a convivial pursuit. Sampling them the world over, like fine wines. Some not so fine, it has to be said. El Al… Fantastic! Lufthansa… Challenging. Air Canada… Probably best forgotten if truth be told; older, wider women just don’t do it for me. United… Only ever good for a blow-job. And as for Virgin… Well, let’s just say they don’t do exactly what it says on the tin. Quite the opposite in fact.

Oh come on! You’re not going to be that judgemental are you? There’s a lot of travel in my job. I’m a single man. I look after myself, despite my age. Something of a silver fox, if truth be told. You don’t get to my years without learning a few things. Particularly relating to the female of the species. How deluded was I twenty years ago to believe myself in my prime? As I say, I’ve learnt. And I’m pleased to share my learning with others. Particularly when they’re gasping for it.

Look… It’s not as if I’ve broken any rules or laws. I’ve never lit up afterwards. Too many stickers warning that would be a federal offence, after all.

And anyway, before you get too high on your horse, correct me if I’m wrong but I’ve never seen any signs in or around a plane’s toilets indicating that sex is forbidden. And aren’t warning stickers everywhere on planes nowadays?

It would be an interesting one though don’t you think? The ‘No Sex’ sticker?

For smoking, you always get the red circle and line over the top of a fuming cigarette, no matter what airline you’re flying. There’s the one for litter – same circle and line over items being dropped into a toilet bowl. I’ve seen some variation on this one but, as a rule of thumb, a sanitary towel will be included in the iconised litter. I can’t recall ever seeing a tampon.

A ‘No sex’ sticker, though… You’ve got to wonder what they’d use for the image. It would have to be something that didn’t offend but clearly gave the meaning. No specific genital detail, obviously. Like using a sanitary towel rather than a tampon. The one just about bearable, the other much too indicative of it’s actual purpose. Hmmm… So… No pictures of her sitting on the pan giving head to him standing up. No taking her from behind as she leans forward on the seat.

So, if an image is too difficult maybe they’d use words? No, it would have to be pictures – too many languages to risk errors in translation; write it in English and pretty soon you’d have Chinese, Japanese, arabs and every other race that uses squiggly lines rather than good old letters shagging everywhere. As if they aren’t already. Only this time they’d have an excuse: I’m sorry, your airline is not suitably inclusive and diverse, you did not cater for my language needs, you disrespected my race!

Shit, they’d be fucking in protest before you knew it! It doesn’t bear thinking about.

So, a picture it is.

Hmmm…

I know! Her sitting on the edge of the sink, legs wrapped around his waist, the picture drawn from behind him. Just his arse and her legs. It just about conveys what’s happening without being too literal. Maybe some of those cartoon motion lines to indicate movement?

However they might choose to depict the act, to my knowledge they haven’t and that means it’s not illegal. And if it’s not illegal, I’m going to do it. Take a leaf from my imaginary ethnic brothers’ book: it’s my right!

The powers that be have taken just about every pleasure out of life already, what with ban this and restrict that; every minority opinion becoming flavour of the month in the political rush to court votes and avoid tough decisions. For now, though, Sex is still free and whilever that’s the case, I’m going to indulge whenever possible.

That’s why I do what I do: because I can. And quite frankly, I couldn’t give a toss what you think of me for doing it. I’ve never had one against her will. They’ve always wanted to… Shit, why am I even trying to justify it for you?

Look… I’m a businessman in business class and I like shagging stewardesses. If that makes me a cliché then so be it.

* * *

Long sleeves. He had long sleeves on.

I noticed.

* * *

The first time, about three years ago, I was on a long flight from Cape Town to London.
Setting up an office in the South Africa is a little like running across a motorway in rush hour. With a limp. And an elephant tied to your ankle. Who wants to go in the opposite direction. Because he’s seen the crocodiles waiting for you on the central reservation. In the shark-infested pools. They’re in two minds as to whether to let you cross or not. Because they owe the lions on the far side for not rushing across to eat you where you stand; giving everyone a fair chance. Which is nothing to do with the pirhana pond between them and the crocodiles. Uh-huh, no way, niente, de nada… And probably some other ‘N’ words.

So, after getting the office set up in Cape Town, I was pretty blitzed. Wired from too much caffeine and adrenalin but wiped out all the same. On the flight – a red-eye special, about half full – I couldn’t sleep. Got talking to the stewardess, this and that, some of the other. Her colleagues were up front, chatting away, drinks and meals completed a long time earlier; mine had tasted like a soupy combination of Gnu fat and corned beef – still better than British Airways by a long way though.

Pretty soon, she’s sitting on the edge of the empty seat next to me, leaning forward, her cleavage all but announcing its imminent arrival. I was tired all right but not too much to notice how she laughed at every quip I made, no matter how slight. Throwing her head back just enough for her neck to stretch fully. Is there anything more desirable than the extended throat of a slim, attractive Afrikaans woman clearly indicating her intentions? Probably… But at that moment it was simply the most beautiful thing in the world.

She was the one who suggested it. Pointing aft and smiling.

In the rear cabin, the hoi-polloi were all towards the front, leaving rows of empty seats at the back near the toilets, even after they’d spread themselves out. I followed her up the aisle and no-one even gave us a second look. Might have been something to do with the fact that they were mostly asleep or watching the movie, maybe some of them getting a hand job under their blanket, who knows?

Whatever, I got mine.

An addicition was born. Sex with stewardesses. In confined places. The fuller the flight the better. The chance of getting caught. The search for a position I haven’t tried before.

Once, never to be repeated, a rare event by anyone’s reckoning… Two at once.

And on Emirates… Who would’ve thought!

* * *

What have I learnt?

You want to know what I’ve learnt?

Hmmm… Two things, I think. Two things.

Firstly, when you notice that a steward is wearing long sleeves, don’t just put it down to a variation in uniform between different airlines. It may seem like a small thing – inconsequential – but it is out of the ordinary, so once you’ve noticed, make sure you do something about it.

And secondly… Don’t believe everything you see in the movies. A lot of it’s made up.

* * *

“Take your coat, sir?” he asks, smiling at me. A hint of an accent. What… Turkish? Czech?

“Thanks,” I say.

“Your boarding pass?” He reaches over to take my coat while I ferret around in my pockets, trying to remember where I’ve put the little bit of paper.

I notice he’s wearing a long sleeved white shirt, which is unusual for cabin crew.

“I can’t seem to…” I begin.

“Did you put it in your jacket pocket by any chance, sir?”

He looks me in the eye, that smile still fixed on his face.

Yes I did, I remember, knowing that he knows by the look he’s giving me, but I’m buggered if I’m going to give you the satisfaction of…

“Let me have a look,” I say, holding my hand out to take my jacket back. He gives it to me and then just stands there, smiling. I begin to work my way through, all the time knowing it’s in the inside upper left pocket, that I’m going to palm it and then act as if I found it somewhere else.

I don’t know why I have to win this one… Maybe it’s because of the trouble in the St Petersburg office that I’ve been trying to fix; four days of negotiation, black market and internal politics only to have to admit defeat, to accept that we’re going to have to pull out of Russia after all. Fucking red mafia!

Not exactly the best trip I’ve ever had. Straight from the office onto the plane, still smarting from the onslaught, not even a chance to freshen up in the business lounge before boarding. The last thing I need is a final humiliation in this week of failure.

“I think you’ll find it’s in the inside left upper pocket, sir…”

“Huh?”

“Your boarding pass…” he still smiles, “it’s in the inside pocket”

“How do you…”

“Saw you put it there when you boarded, sir.”

I look him in the eye. Is he taking the piss or did he actually see me as he claims?

Oh sod it… I’ve had enough of second guessing and scrutiny over the past four days. He can have the benefit of the doubt.

“Oh yes, I forgot.” Tasting ashes in my mouth.

He takes the jacket back and turns to walk to the wardrobe at the front of the business class cabin. “I’ll bring it back shortly before we land, sir.”

I sit down. Pretty soon, he’s back with a complimentary glass of bucks fizz.

“You working the cabin alone?” I ask, knowing what’s in the back of my thoughts but trying to make it sound like an open enquiry.

“Oh no,” he says, “not on my own.”

“Oh?”

“No. Annie’s on this shift too.” He nods to the other aisle and, looking over my shoulder, I catch sight of a raven-haired stewardess as she disappears into the galley.

“Annie?”

“Yeah, she’s from Novgorod… Anushcka.”

“Oh.”

Interesting.

* * *

In-flight magazine. In Russian. I have a smattering but it’s not enough to decipher any of the articles. Political correctness ensures that the models in the adverts aren’t up to much. Nothing so much as a nipple glimpsed through hazy fabric.

The movie isn’t much better. Russian, of course, but with helpful subtitles. My heart gave a little leap when I saw the title – “Shepherdesses of the Urals” – but I shouldn’t have held out so much hope. Instead of Hardcore Heidi, I get Sherolova the Sheep Shotputter who only needs one arm to chuck ewes over a fence… Hardly the stuff of fantasy, no matter how much you might be into domination games, animals or a bit of both. And I’m not, so the film is ignored.

Twiddling my thumbs. Whistling a little. Constantly aware that I don’t want to look at my watch; like the space where a tooth’s fallen out, it calls to me though: Come on, you know you want to…

Boredom.

Worth writing that report on the St Petersburg office?

No, the memory is too fresh, it would only come out as emotive bullshit rather than the crisp analysis that’s expected. Being bored and tired in the air is a recipe for low quality work; after my first few trips, when I was diligent and keen and principled, I quickly realised it’s just not worth the effort.

Getting a hard-on even though I’ve not consciously considered the chase since she was pointed out to me. Even when she’d served me with my meal. Maybe it’s the vibration from the engines, maybe it’s the way my suit trousers pull a little tight whenever I sit in plane seats, or the way the tray table rubs at my thighs with every little pocket of turbulence; empty plate and litter chinking, clanking and rustling in time. More than likely it’s an automatic, conditioned response: I’m flying therefore my body expects to have sex.

Whatever, it’s now a conscious thought. What had he said her name was? Annika? Andropov? Angina? Anuschka… Yup, or Annie for short.

I take the pen from my pocket, inscribed with the company logo, a freebie for my fifth anniversary.

“You’re a veteran,” the boss had said, “soon be heading this place up.” Hadn’t been far wrong, the way my career’s gone since then. I think it’s the willingness to travel, the no-journey-too-much-no-notice-too-short attitude. None of them have any idea of my hobby. Why would I let them know? This is between me and the cabin crew of the world: personal business tacked on to the professional.

I rip a bit of paper out of the magazine – some advert or other, I don’t really look at the product name, the butch model in the picture obviously some moscovite ad agency’s impression of beauty. Obviously haven’t been to the west recently; the ‘East German Athlete’ look went out with the cold war.

On the paper, I write a simple message; one that’s got me results about eighty percent of the time I’ve ever tried it. Something to do with the simplicity, the lack of embarrassment, the clarity of purpose. Pure business, nothing more.

On the paper:

Anuschka,

Seat J8… Fancy the mile-high club, then? Yes or No when you next pass by will be fine.

I’ve tried variations over the years. Asking them to bring me certain drinks for yes and others for no. Following them to the galley after five minutes to get their response. Going via a third party to heighten the suspense, getting them to send their answer via another member of cabin crew, all the while keeping the messenger completely oblivious to the seduction.

In the early days, it was all about subterfuge, all about acting the big ‘I am’; James Bond eat your heart out. For the first few attempts, a major part of the chase was my presumption that the intended victim was hard to get, that I faced the uphill task of persuading them to go for it. I used to tear myself to pieces running scenarios through my head; I say this, she says that, so I say this and she says that and… Bingo! Or maybe not… Maybe I should’ve said this, in which case she would obviously say that and then I’d need to say this and she’d… You get my drift?

How wrong I’d been…

In most cases, it took very little at all to get them fired up. All right, it still took guile, charm and subtlety but the truth is that it’s really hard for stewardesses to maintain relationships when they’re constantly jetting here, there and everywhere. That’s why there’s such high turnover in the industry. Doesn’t mean that they’re gagging for it but, as I learnt, they’re at least open to the suggestion. And anyone who pays them more than a superficial amount of attention has a pretty good chance of striking gold at some point. Believe me, it really is that easy. I soon stepped out of the shadows of hyper-sensitive subtlety.

My note complete, saying just enough, I fold it and place it on my tray, writing ‘Annie’ on the outside just to make sure.

* * *

When she collects my tray, I have an open smile on my face, not too smarmy, not too cold – just right.

The sort of smile that only comes with practice.

* * *

She has brown eyes so dark that they’re almost as black as her hair; raven, tied up behind her head with those chop-sticks or whatever they are. Naturally, I take a glance at the back of her neck – even though I’m likely to be staring at it closely fairly soon. Something about women’s necks – a real turn on for me. With the cabin lights and the whiteness of her untanned skin, her jet-black hair looks like it continues all the way down the nape of her neck, even though it’s tied up. I’m sure it’s just the shadows playing games… Or maybe a few strands come loose.

A small nose, but quite flared at the end, wide nostrils. Polite breasts; more than a handful each but not likely to sag too much. Wide hips below a tiny waist.

And those eyes.

Within moments of her taking my tray, I’m praying she says yes.

* * *

Which she does.

With a smile.

And a whisper.

“I’m already a member of lots of clubs,” she says close to my ear, quiet even and yet audible over the roar of the engines, her voice heavy with accent, “I’ll show you a thing or two.”

And it’s this promise, the statement rather than the possibility, that really gets me worked up.

“That would be… um… Nice,” I say with an unexpected wobble in my voice, desperate to get back on the level, regain my composure, “your place or mine?”

Hearing Connery resound in my head.

She just smiles at me: yes, Mr Bond, you are soooo beguiling.

And I have no idea what to say to move things forward. I’ve never been so flummoxed; her eyes boring into me. Heavy eyebrows, looks like she might even have to pluck them above her nose – not enough to turn me off though… If anything she’ll be an addition to my collection, a new butterfly; so many lookalikes on so many airlines, clones of some mythically ideal stewardess cooked up in the nineteen-fifties, so little external variation, so many predilections. But never one so… earthy as Anuschka.

“Where?” One word, the only thing I can manage to spit out.

She laughs a little, a husky sound. Very, very sexy.

“You like to come to the point, don’t you J8?”

I feel myself blushing for the first time in years, hope that the dim lights in the cabin allow me to get away with it.

“I’m sorry,” I say, “it’s just that you… You’re a little… Unusual.”

“Thank you very much,” she says, raising her eyebrows.

“I didn’t mean… Oh shit! I’m sorry.”

“So you said,” she says, and then abruptly cuts to the chase, “front or back.”

For a second, I don’t know quite what to say. She can’t mean… She wouldn’t… Many stewardesses may have fallen for my well-rehearsed if a little dubious charm offensive in the past but never – and I mean never – have I had one talking about the sex itself until we’re in the toilet. For her to be asking which way round I like to…

She shakes her head, still smiling.

“Tch…” she tuts, “front or rear toilet… I’m beginning to think you’re not quite up to the job, J8. That your… How do you say it? Mouth is worse than your bite.”

“Bark,” I say.

“What?”

“Bark. It’s bark, not mouth. And mine isn’t… Worse, I mean… I…”

She leans in close to me, lips actually brushing my ear as she speaks.

“Be quiet,” she growls, “it is time to fuck.”

“Oh,” I say.

She nods. “Front, I think.”

So everyone can see us go over there, see us enter the bathroom. Maximum exposure. Maximum risk. She’s playing games with me and loving it. And to tell the truth, even with my curious embarrassment, I’m loving it too.

Sooner we get in there the better.

“What are you waiting for?” I ask, suddenly regaining my composure.

She nods and walks up front, hips swaying as she rides the slight turbulence. She disappears through the curtains before the toilets.

Front or back? I think to myself and this time it isn’t a question of location. Or maybe it is, depending on your viewpoint.

After a count of twenty, I stand and make my way forward. There are two toilets on this side of the plane, the one next to the fusilage is locked, the other free. She knows her stuff; more chance of being heard when you’re in the centre aisle toilets.

I take a quick check of the galley in front of the toilets. No-one there. No-one looking back at me from the very front cabin. Curtains shut behind me.

Perfect.

I knock on the door and wait, hoping that I haven’t just embarrassed an old matron caught short after the meal. The lock slides back and the door opens.

“J8”, she breathes huskily.

She grabs my shirt and pulls me into the cubicle. Hard.

* * *

I’ve never had a woman growl during sex before. Moan, groan, yelp… All of these, but never this low-down, guttural, back of the throat growl. It’s sexy as hell and I start going over the St Petersburg figures in my head again just to distract myself.

Taking her from behind as I am, her face hidden, the noise is all the more alluring.

Even as I try to stare into the middle distance and summon phantom spreadsheets to view, my eyes are drawn to the back of her neck, where her uniform blouse is ruffled up slightly; the whiteness of the material offsets the dark hair that runs beneath the collar. It is thicker than it looked when she was at my seat, what I thought was shadow was in fact dark criss-crossing hairs travelling all the way down her neck. Leaning away from me as she is, her hair has fallen forward, about her face, and I can see the nape of her neck clearly. I would almost describe it as furry.

Thanks to this sight, the sheer weirdness of it, I can only remain distracted for a couple of thrusts. Every time I push into her she snarls, grinding her hips and arse back against me.
It’s too much, I’m not going to be able to hang on much longer.

Her throaty voice, spoken through that low-down rumble.

“Come,” she growls, “now!”

Well, who am I to refuse?

* * *

“That was great,” I say, working hard to catch my breath.

“Mmmm,” she agrees, her voice no longer so deep or throaty, “it was.”

She gives me a little kiss on the cheek as she buttons her blouse. Just as her fingers reach the buttons that will close over her bra, she looks me square in the eye, her eyebrow raised in a question.

“Yes please,” I say and her hand falls away.

* * *

Here it comes, I think, the silence.

It’s the only thing I’ve never got used to.

There isn’t much to say after such a casual, basic bout of sex. Not as if you can talk about the weather when you’re in a space that’s roughly three foot by five foot. And politeness – such a stupid concept after what you’ve done – ensures that you don’t talk about the fucking… It’s not even as if the sex was some sham pretence of long-lasting commitment. Nope, it was sex, two animals doing what comes naturally. In those moments, I’ve often begun to wonder whether the woman in question’s about to whistle as if nothing had happened, like she’s a music-hall comedian trying to avoid getting caught.

I’ve found there’s a simple way to extract myself from the situation.

Just as my invitation has become blunt, to the point, matter of fact, so my escape has simplified over the years.

I check to see that she is fully-dressed and, seeing that she is, effect my release.

“Thanks for that,” I say with a practiced smile and turn to open the toilet door.

“Wait,” she says, still breathless and for a moment it crosses my mind that, for the first time, I’ve found the one who thinks it meant more than it did, that we’re going to settle down, that little me-and-hers are going to be running around our cosy two-up, two-down before you can say boo to the proverbial goose.

Then I remember that it’s Anuschka that we’re talking about, that growl, those penetrating eyes, the come-on in between… There’s no way she’s looking for commitment. I’m not ready to go again… to be honest, I’m ready to go back to my seat and…

“We have beds,” she says and I catch my breath.

I turn to look at her and find her smiling, biting her bottom lip a little. “What?” I ask.

“At the back of the plane,” she says, nodding, “we have beds… How you would say: Crew quarters?”

“Really?” I find it hard to believe. My experience of flying, no matter what class, is that it’s a matter of crunching as many people as possible into the minimum space without breaking any bones. Forget the social taboos of personal freedom and space, of body odour and halitosis, just get as many in as possible. So it seems a little bit of luxury to think that there might be some beds on board. Hard to believe. Just imagine the possibilities…

She nods.

“Where are they?” I ask, suddenly ready to go again – horizontal and shagging on a plane… And there was me thinking that I’d tried everything.

“At the back of the plane,” she answers, “one of the doors looks like a wardrobe but it goes down into a little room with eight beds in it. It’s unusual but this is an old plane…”

Russians! I think, can’t rely on the latest technology but what they do have is well worth living in the dark ages for… I’m going to get fucked in a bed on a plane! It’s so…

“What are you thinking?” Annie asks.

“Oh… Not much,” I answer, keen to get to it in a space that doesn’t cause my thighs to cramp, “shall we go?”

She nods, smiling.

“Good,” I say.

And then she floors me.

“I’ll ask one of my colleagues to join us, yes?”

Like I say, it floors me.

“Give me ten minutes to get things ready,” she asks and what choice do I have but to smile and nod. I’m already in the crew quarters; already deep within her, hearing that growl.

“Of course,” I say, sensing that I’ve finally hit gold-dust, the chase well and truly on again.

* * *

Sure enough she’s right. At the back of the rear cabin, past all the sleeping Russian hangovers, among what I thought was a block of toilets there is a door with no markings. It almost looks like it could be a wardrobe or something.

She’s left it ajar, heading down there before me. Glancing over my shoulder to check that there’s no-one trying to get to the loos behind me, it’s clear I’m not going to be spotted. I step through the door. On the chase once more, tracking down my prey, eager for the hunt but even more so for the reward of capture. If it had been like that in the toilet, imagine how it would be in a bed. That growling, her rhythms…

I close the door behind me as gently as possible and find myself at the top of a simple staircase lit only by some floor-lamps, the sort that guide you to the exit if there’s an emergency, the ones you ignore in the video at the start of the flight… “Annie?” I speak into the half-light.

“Down here,” her voice comes, all guttural undertones.

I descend into the semi-darkness.

The cabin is fairly small, eight bunks and not much room between them. But it’s a hell of a lot more room than in the toilets upstairs.

“Where are you? I can’t see you,” I speak into the gloom and I see a hand snake out from the shadows that fill the far bunk. The hand waves at me, the arm bare, beckoning me toward her.

Behind me, I hear the door unlatch at the top of the stairs. ‘I’ll ask one of my colleagues to join us, yes?’ she’d said. I haven’t seen another stewardess since I came on board but it’s a big plane and… Well let’s face it, I’ve spent most of the flight investigating Annie in the business class bogs. For a moment, light flows down the stairs like lava, illuminating the scene as if through a ground-mist. The effect lasts for a couple of seconds only. I try and spot Annie, to see her fully naked, as I assume she must be by now.

But before I can find her the light is gone, semi-darkness reinstated.

Oh well, it’ll just have to be done by feel.

It’s such a hard life…

“Aren’t there any lights in here?” I ask.

There are footsteps on the stairs now.

“Oh yes,” Annie breathes out and I walk over to the bunk.

“Can we not have them on?”

“Not yet,” she says and I feel her hand on my crotch, feeling me through the material, harder now than ever, “it’s better this way, no?”

“I’d like to see you,” I say and, realising that the other stewardess in our ménage a trois is standing just behind me, “both of you…”

I feel hands reach around from behind me, grabbing the front of my shirt and undoing the buttons. Once they’re open, she pulls it backwards, down off my shoulders, effectively tying my arms to my body. While this is happening, Annie’s busy at my waist, unbuckling my belt, dragging the zip and trousers down in one motion, briefly stroking my cock as she pulls my boxers down.

“You want the light on?” Her voice is really deep now, the growl has almost taken over again, “you really want to see both of us?”

I can hardly talk my mouth is so dry. “Ye… Yessss,” I finally breath out.

The other stewardess must hit the switch at that moment because the small cabin is suddenly flooded with white light. I’m blinded. Can’t see a thing.

“Fucking hell!” I yell.

They don’t say anything in return. Neither of them touches me, neither of them speaks. But I hear a sound that sends a shiver right through my bones.

It’s a growl.

“Annie?” I say into the blindness, hoping that she’s just more turned on than she was earlier. A lot more turned on.

The growl turns into a snarl.

“Annie?” Louder this time.

Two snarls, one from behind me now. Shit.

“ANNIE!”

That’s when one of them bites me. In the rounded swell of flesh that people refer to as ‘love-handles’. Whatever just bit me thrashes, tearing at me, burying its teeth deeper into my flesh. Pain races through my flank like wild-fire. “Wha…”

A second bite, this time on my shoulder.

“Aaagh!”

Now the blindness begins to fade, detail washing in like a photo in the developing tank.

And what detail. The first thing I notice…

Their uniform… Strewn about…

I noticed… He had long sleeves on… I noticed…

Long sleeves… Hiding…

Blood is sheeting out of my side, gushing from my shoulder, the cabin sprayed with it… What…
Everything’s covered in sheeting… Plastic sheeting…

I feel sick…

Another snarl. I whirl to face it and…

TWO FUCKING GREAT WOLVES…

“Annie?” I say and my voice sounds tiny, like a toddler lost on Dartmoor in winter dressed only in pajamas.

One of the animals snarls, curling its lip and… I recognise its eyes.

The werewolf leaps at me, jaws wide open, fangs ready to slice thorugh the skin of my throat, rip out my windpipe…

In that last second, a weird thought goes through my mind.

They fly towards the moon, I think, they fly towards the moon.

Her teeth surround my neck, massive forepaws pushing me backward onto the floor; rustle of plastic, wet spattering of blood. She’s over me.

The movies were wrong…

She’s over me.

They never said that they could be so controlled, that the change could be so… The werewolves in the movies were always prey to the moon, to the animal within… But these…

Her mouth lowers around my neck.

The movies lied… How foolish I was to think I was on the chase, that I could never be prey…

The movies lied…

There is a hideous, knowing light in her eyes as she bends over me.

As the bones crunch, flesh collapsing in her mighty jaws, the flow of blood redoubles, dowsing her muzzle crimson and I know that I was never in control, never on the chase… That I was…

I recognise her eyes.

The predator.

Which makes me the prey…

One bite and it ends.

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