TITLE: KARMA PEACE
GENRE: Adult Contemporary Fiction
It was a whisperthing, that’s all. An echovirus contaminating the metal and fiberglass tube that I was trapped inside. I glanced around. No one else seemed to hear, so I prayed for the sound to stop. I even stopped breathing. But the thumping of my heartbeat became the betrayer. The whisperthing continued, like a fistful of flesh-eating worms. “Apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, now does it, girl?”
“Not far enough,” I replied, white-knuckling the armrest confining me.
“Two peas in a pod, I swear. You’re just like me and you know it.”
“I’m not doing this with you,” I hissed, tiny bits of spittle tickling the insipid air. “Not here. Not now.”
“Shush. Need I remind you about my first runaway fiasco? It was Pearl Harbor’s eve, doll. I was only twelve. Ah, but you? Sneaking up on thirty-six, slinky bug. Tall number, I’ll say.”
“Get lost,” I snapped, thwacking a plastic tumbler from the asylum of my tray table. But my anger did nothing to quell her. She maundered on, with a brutal epitaph-a-laugh deluxe.
“If I hadn’t had you, I might have done something with my life.”
“Go away,” I cried, glaring at the invisible onslaught. “Freakin’ leave me alone.” Then something touched me. I jerked.
“There, there, madam,” an Asian flight attendant calmly reassured, rearranging reality along with my pillow. “You’re dreaming. You’re talking in your sleep.” Damn it all to hell, I wasn’t sleep-talking. I was wide awake, and she darn well knew it.