Once We Left Tampa
Before the sun starts to set, we're doing the foxtrot in deep water because the airline did what it wasn't supposed to do and had us surfing waves instead of clouds. Going down, I thought about the morsel of granola bar I left on the stove. If I don't make it home before the mice smell it, they'll take over and when I get back to my place, they'll be crawling across my pillows, nesting in the crotch of my panties.
I can see the plane bobbing slowly, a metal island, the yellow raft flopping out like a tongue. I try to guess where I was sitting. I list the things in my bag still shelved overhead.
One of the flight attendants is nodding near me. She has on a manic grin, her bun soppy with ocean, brown eyes still sparkling like spun sugar, and she calls out, "We're looking for flares!" This makes me laugh because in high school there was a drama club that we made fun of called The Flairs. The guy to my left is picking at his earlobe, getting it red, and I'm thinking about his feet having to kick harder to keep him balanced.
"Don't," I want to say, but I'm not wired to reach out like that.
Sophie Rosenblum’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in American Short Fiction, Wigleaf, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She is currently the web editor of NANO Fiction, pursuing a PhD at Florida State University, and she is finishing her first novel, which was recently a finalist in the James Jones Novel Contest. You can find links to more of her work at www.sophierosenblum.com.