Similarities - Part 3
...After getting on the plane and locating my assigned seat, I reached into my shirt pocket to remove a stick of gum. I always like to be chewing gum as the plane pressurizes, it's easier on the eardrums. I could fully relax now and enjoy my flight after pushing that nightmarish experience of the stranger further behind me. As the plane rolled down the runway, the engines increasing rpm's caused its noise level to increase, making me momentarily paranoid of possible engine trouble. And when those jitters came, that imagined obituary once again flashed across my mind. But soon the plane was off the ground and in the air to begin it's ascent to its pre-programmed flight altitude, erasing my worries. It truly felt fantastic to be finally on my way to Chicago. As the plane soared higher and higher I kept breathing sighs of relief. ‘So far, so good.' I've always enjoyed flying. In looking out my window to view the Earth below has always been a scintillating experience. Rugged mountain peaks, winding rivers, deep blue lakes and the white majestic clouds all below remind me of godly things, making me appreciate them and feel the way God must have felt after he created them. It's absolutely astounding to see such beauty. And when the plane is either taking off from an airport or approaching to land somewhere, the city with all its tall buildings and cars look so tiny and insignificant. It's always a pleasure to fly the friendly skies. Plus, the stewardesses are always gorgeous and courteous of your every need. Strangers who could care less of who you are lost in their own world just like me. They sit next to you living similar lives and having similar needs, but yet are totally different. In now having a fresh perspective of my life (near death-like experiences will do that), I wouldn't change anything I got going for myself. It just makes me appreciate that much more of who I am and what I have. Suddenly the pilot was heard saying, the altitude we will be flying at on our trip to Chicago will be at 35,000 feet. Please keep your seatbelt fastened until you see the lighted sign directly in front of you go off. Thank you and enjoy your flight. Since I was very tired from all the brouhaha I just experienced, I decided it would be nice to take a short nap, if I could, so I would be more fresh and alert when the plane touched down at O'Hare Airport. I was pretty emotionally drained. I leaned my seat back, stretched my legs out as far as I could and closed my eyes. The now soft hum of the engines had a seducing affect on me and soon I was in a deep sleep, almost coma-like my wife always likes to tell me. ...I have no how long I was asleep before I felt a gentle tap on my arm. I dismissed the interruption since I felt I needed the rest. Then, moments later I heard a faint voice sounding a long distance away. Again I chose to ignore it. Sleep first, talk later was the order of things for the moment. "Hey buddy, wake up! You better wake up, mister!" an unknown voice, abrupt and screaming like a banshee interrupted my unconsciousness. I cracked an eyelid open to see a stranger's face no further away than six inches from my own, giving me an expression that startled the stuffing out of me. This time I knew I was unfortunately awake to stay. He kept wildly screaming "Wake up! Save your soul! The plane's going down! The plane's going down!" Instantaneously, his words shot through me like a prophecy from Hell. I quickly sprang out of my seat, noticing terrified passengers screaming amid mass hysteria! Oxygen masks were covering most people's faces as they were gasping for oxygen. I spotted a busted out window three rows up, hence the reason for no cabin pressure. Then it dawned on me..."Oh No! Oh God! No! This can't be happening!" Right away my thoughts turned to the stranger at the airport. "Could the stranger...? No, impossible! I dare not think that!" I openly said to myself. Then the terrified individual warning me of what was ahead interrupted me again. "Save your soul, man! WE'RE ALL GOING DIE!" Suddenly he turns away to run back to his seat. Frantically attempting to strap himself into it, he began to fumble with the belt buckle because of probable nerves shot to hell, unable to make it work. Then, after several seconds he finally gave up on it, sat up perfectly straight in his seat motionless, sweating profusely to await his immediate doom. I quickly realized I had no time either after seeing such terrified expressions of sheer horror on him and others. My instincts for survival were propelling me to do something, anything, to try and save myself. So I lunged toward the aisle, throwing myself up and over the laps of passengers seated next to me who were frantically screaming. I think they were too hysterical to even notice me doing so. I had to reach the cockpit and in a hurry, to know if what I thought was real and actually taking place. I hoped not, but I greatly feared it. In my desperation I fell to the aisle floor, banging my head hard on the way down. But with my adrenalin pumping bullets, I felt nothing. An overwhelming surge of strength made me feel unstoppable. I struggled to get to my feet, knocking over other passengers who were in my way. Immediately I took off running toward the cockpit door at full tilt, tensing my body for the impact only seconds away. And, after slamming my shoulder into it as hard as I possibly could, the door flew wildly open! ...And there, in the pilot's seat only a few feet away from me sat the stranger, that deviant of nightmarish propaganda, his filthy hands firmly grasping the controls of the plane. The sight of him instantly made my skin crawl and I began screaming at the top of my lungs, "It's you! No, it can't be!" Along with being emotionally at wits' end over the realization that my nightmare was continuing, seething anger quickly inflamed every pore I owned. This whole affair was pushing me to the point of complete utter madness. I must do something to save myself, even kill him to halt this unfolding insanity. I didn't want to take it anymore. I don't know if I could. That damned demon, that disturbing distributor of devilish images, assuredly he ought to be called that by now, continued to be arrogant when he jokingly said without turning around, "I told you I was going to my brother's funeral! Yours!" An abrupt sarcastic chuckle crackled from his lips, sending my seething anger boiling to a higher degree. And in the process pushing me closer to that perilous edge of no return, that final edge of utter madness! As my rage boiled within, I screamed, "I'm not your brother, you sick bastard! He's alive, well and living in Chicago! You're some creature from Hell!" Again as if on cue from some scripted play, and as cool as a cucumber he methodically turned around in his seat, looking as calm as an actor who knew his lines all too well. And what I saw put all the pieces of this torrential nightmare together. I knew at that very moment, that magnifying split-second of incredible realization, that Eternal Damnation was going to be my destiny. That protuberant knot in my gut suddenly snarled itself so tight that I immediately doubled over in pain. What he shockingly revealed to me, along with a giddy smile, was the face of my brother, Phil! "No! It can't be! You're not real!" erupted from my mouth as my mania continued to teeter toward permanent sheer madness. Shocked totally numb, I could only stand there lost in horror as I felt my sanity quicken its pace toward obsoleteness. My brother's face, a personification of pure evil, was wildly sparkling with contempt as he said, "You're partially correct, Stan. I am from Hell!" My soul, mostly leftovers of missed opportunities gone by, suddenly began to have a slight burning sensation to it. With it quickly being absorbed by the warming darkness, its heat penetrated deep into the last pockets of resistance my flesh had to offer. Continuing, he said, "I was killed last night, my brother. I was on a flight from Chicago to see you. I wanted to reconcile our past. But the plane was struck by lightening during that awful thunderstorm, sending it crashing to the ground into a huge fireball. My body was burned beyond recognition, along with everyone else of course." "And because I never made the time to worship the Other One, you know, the one up there," he says as he mockingly points his dirt-encrusted finger skyward, "I soon found out that down there," he points the same filthy digit downward, "was going to be my new home for all eternity. Now I'll never again have that chance to try and solve our problems, Stan. And I blame you. You really pissed me off and now I'm going to make you pay for your arrogance...for all eternity!" He paused for a moment to enjoy my misery before continuing, "I requested you as my first assignment from the Great Evil One." Smiling, Phil continues, "He's not that bad, actually. You'll learn to like him. Although you'll never get used to the pain he so willing hands out to the ones who end up down there, the food is terrific!" Then he calmly checks the clock on the instrument panel before further saying, "You've got one minute before we crash. Any last requests?" sneering all the while as he toyed with me. My brother, now a damned servant of the Devil, perverse in the worst way and ever so glistening of sweat, gave me one last sarcastic smile before turning back around in his seat to continue steering the plane. He was obviously enjoying every second. I couldn't help but notice the roar of the plane's engines. They seemed to be grinding their way through my eardrums, as if clearing a passage to my soul to be swarmed over by the dark. Upon seeing that my own brother was the stranger all along, a different kind of reality suddenly seared through me, burning me like a red-hot branding iron. Now that he's getting his revenge against me for the pain I caused him for our personal differences, a dimension of resolute magnified horror took shape before my eyes, along with a gut feeling in knowing that this time the horror was going to last for all eternity. Then those same images of damned demons with disfigured faces wearing twisted smiles running amok atop piles of rotting human flesh returned. The stench emitted from the rot was real this time, entering my senses and instantly causing me to throw up. I knew this time my mind was his to do with as he pleased and that the horror of it all was never going to leave me. It would remain in my mind to haunt me forever, along with a new reality, one that offered no chance for reprieve. When the cold also returned, it caused me to gasp for each new breath, making my breathing raspy and cumbersome. The stranger, that prognostic fellow who indubitably knew me very well has come back to take me home with him. His first assignment will soon be completed and stamped as a job well done. His Master, the insatiable Lucifer, will be pleased that he acquired another lost soul. This I have become sure of. Suddenly Phil looked back at me to sarcastically say before steering the plane into the ground, "Ten seconds to go before we're blown to bits, Stan! Very soon you'll know what real pain is like!" pausing just enough to enjoy my fear before turning his head back around. Then his last words were "See you on the other side, brother!" immediately followed by a mad laugh erupting from his discerning mouth, an insane laugh that permeated the entire cockpit. The burning darkness finally arrived to swallow me, like some last remaining tidbit to savor. And the pain, oh God - that awful piercing pain began to invade my flesh... Aahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!