See Previous Chapter: Stranded: Part I
One Day Earlier
“Another delay, seriously?” he thought quietly.
It had already been an hour since the plane was originally supposed to take off but bad weather had continually delayed the flight. Kellen, a Sergeant in the U.S. Marines, was currently on his way back to America after being deployed in Seoul, South Korea for the past year. Being a marine certainly tested and tried his abilities to handle whatever life threw at him but these flight delays were trying his patience. Hoping for the best, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his iPhone 5 and began to surf the web. What else is a guy supposed to do in this situation? An hour passed with no promise of boarding, then another hour, and another. Frustrated, he walked up to the front desk…
“Can you please explain to me why we are still here?” He asked.
“Sir, we’re waiting for the storm to pass and we will let you know of any and all progress made on the sit….”
Before she could finish her sentence, a voice came over the intercom announcing the end of the delay.
“Well, I guess that answers that!” She replied laughingly.
As frustrated as he was, he couldn’t help but grin and begin to think of embracing his wife and daughter for the first time in 12 months. Seoul was a beautiful place but it simply would never compare to holding his wife, and feeling the warmth of her love.
He quickly gathered his things and boarded the plane; wishing Korea a final and hearty goodbye. He meandered through the thin aisles of the plane and finally found his seat.
“For a sergeant in the Marines you would think they could afford better accommodations than this.” He thought to himself sarcastically.
Packing his things away, he took his seat, got comfortable, and fell into a deep sleep.
Flashes of red and orange filled his mind as he dreamed of warfare; bodies in countless numbers lay bleeding on the side of the road as a vicious battle was being fought. He ran to one side of the street, blasted a few rounds at his enemy and took cover.
Boom! An enemy air strike rocked the very foundation of the earth’s core. Another blast echoed through the air and Kellen found himself unwilling to move.
“Sir, we have to get out of here! Sir, wake up! Wake up!”
Kellen snapped out of his dream and was instantly shaken by the sight around him. People were screaming, crying, and frantically searching for a way to breathe. Oxygen masks were dangling from the ceiling, as would a man being hung. Searching for an answer he looked out of the window and to his horror he saw what every person fears while on a plane. One of the engines had caught fire and the plane was losing altitude drastically. He shot up out of his seat and ran to one of the employees.
“What’s happening?!” He shouted.
In broken English the flight attendant replied,”Sir, please take your seat and put on your breathing mask!”
“I want to know what happened!”
“Please! Take your…”
One of the doors of the plane ripped from it’s hinges and flung into the sky taking the flight attendant with it before she could finish her sentence. Kellen was almost taken as well but a passenger behind him reached out and pulled him back right on time.
The plane tilted, throwing belongings, bodies, or any other loose object through the air. Kellen looked up just as a free-flying knife implanted itself into the heart of the passenger that just saved his own life. He pried himself from the grip of the now dead passenger and ran to an open seat. Just as he was beginning to sit down the plane tilted to the other side and threw Kellen across multiple rows of people. Having landed on top of two men he tried to sit up and locate an empty seat; but before he could make progress the plane jolted and threw Kellen to the ground. He pulled himself up to the empty seat in front of him and locked himself in. Eerie silence took over the cabin and all seemed to move in slow motion. He noticed the screaming children, the panicked mothers, the dead bodies; he had seen it all before. The only difference is that this wasn’t war. These were families going on vacation, these were individuals searching for a new start. None of them deserved this. Hell had taken its place among the passengers of the plane and there were no amount of guns that could protect these people. He was useless. The impact of the plane hitting the earth shattered the silence and knocked Kellen unconscious.
Having escaped the exploding engine and taken a seat on the sand, he sorted through his knowledge of his whereabouts. The last time he had looked on the digital map aboard the plane they were somewhere over the Pacific Ocean; not quite to Hawaii but a substantial ways from Korea. His mind raced to try and think of any known landmass in between the two countries but to no avail. Kellen had no substantive clue as to where he was. Despite his confusion his mind turned to more important matters: Food, shelter, and the nagging pain in his leg. Taking hold of his left sleeve, he tore it off and fastened it to the fist sized gash. Certainly not medicine but it was enough to stop the bleeding and last him until he could locate the body of the plane for supplies. Thunder rolled off the shoreline just a few miles away from where he sat, instantly reminding him to make a shelter. He obviously didn’t have enough time to build substantial covering but he did what he could with what he had. Using his foot he pushed some of the thinner trees down to the ground and used the bulk of the matter to hold up his palm branch roof. With the storm advancing on him, he had no choice but to stop his work and settle in for the night. Fear was something Kellen rarely dealt with but for the first time in a long time he was afraid.
See Next Chapter: Stranded: Part III