Flight Down to Mexico
Suddenly, the plane jolted. Without any warning, the smooth ride became very bumpy.
Before Nora had a chance to steady herself, she dropped everything she was holding and was thrown against the wall.
Tightening his grip on the controls, Anthony reached to activate the intercom as he raised his voice to tell Nora, “Sit down and buckle up!”
Nora started to go back the way she had come when she felt a hand grip her arm and push her towards the co-pilot seat.
At her shocked expression, Anthony explained, “This is closer. Buckle up, now!”
As Nora fumbled with the seat belt, she heard Anthony say over the intercom, “We are going through some turbulence, folks. Please put your seats in their upright position and fasten your seat belts. We should be out of this soon.”
Finally, Nora heard and felt the buckle snap into place. She watched the clouds pass by from the panoramic windows of the cockpit. Overcoming her own fright, Nora slowly became aware of yelling coming from outside the cabin.
She shot a glance at Anthony. His jaw was clenched as he focused on his job. Nora started to unbuckle, and the movement caught Anthony’s eye. He scowled when he asked, “What are you doing? I said to stay buckled up!”
“Someone is screaming out there!” Nora slipped off the restraints holding her in and she was almost flung to one side from the turbulence. “I think it’s her first time to fly. I’m going to try to calm her.”
“Get in a seat as soon as you get back there,” he ordered.
Nora braced herself as she tried to stand. “Believe me, I will!”
The door to the cockpit was still open, so Nora was immediately able to see her guess was correct. She saw the teenager with whom she had spoken earlier fighting with her seat belt and heard her yell, “We’re going to die!” at the top of her lungs.
Just then the airplane lurched, throwing Nora back into the cockpit, catching the edge of Anthony’s chair. Nora fought for purchase as she struggled to stand.
Before she could duck, Nora’s head was smacked against the molding above the door…
Nora Stuck in the Desert
Nora left the car lights on in case a passerby might see them and stop to help. She knew the chances of her being spotted were slim to none, but one could always hope.
Curling up on the backseat of the car, Nora tried to relax. It was much more comfortable than the concrete floor where she had spent the last few nights.
The cold desert air seeped through the doors. It was completely dark now. If it hadn’t been for the car’s lights, Nora wouldn’t have been able to see her hand in front of her face for the blackness.
Though she was slightly uncomfortable in the cool air, Nora fell asleep quickly. The last days had been hard, both physically and emotionally.
Before she had fallen asleep, Nora’s thoughts took her back to Anthony.
How was he holding up? How badly was he hurt from the beating Rodriguez had given him? Surely, he had suffered several broken ribs. She tried to force the images away of Gordo dealing Anthony’s weak body blow after blow. She shook her head to dispel the images.
Nora prayed Rodriguez wouldn’t see the need to give Anthony another beating. How could Anthony expect her to go without giving him a second thought while he was forced to stay behind?
She realized she would always think of him, but it would be with a heart full of gratitude for his willing sacrifice. With these thoughts, she drifted off to sleep.
An unusual sound woke Nora. What was that? Something was illuminating the front passenger seat.
Someone was calling in!
In her hurry, Nora struggled to sit up and reach between the seats. Before Nora could get to it, the ring tone quieted and the phone darkened. The spark of hope died before it had a chance to ignite into a flame.
Nora sat back on the seat, still holding the phone, and sighed. It was then she noticed the headlights had turned off. The car battery must have died.
The next moment the phone light came back on and began to ring again. A familiar number came up on the display.
“Gage!” A burst of joy filled her heart. Nora pushed the talk button, but as soon as she did, the call was dropped. Despair threatened to engulf her.