Flash Fiction: Falling
“Temisan.” Mother whispered.
“Temisan wake up.”
I reluctantly opened my eyes and saw she was out of the bed, looking out through the window.
“My God.” She said.
“Mama what is it?”
She came over to my side.
“Remember son, you must be strong at all times.”
“Mama what’s going on?”
She pushed me under the bed and told me to stay quiet. I heard footsteps coming slowly towards our room and the door was flung open. Someone came in but I couldn’t see who as the light was off in Mama’s room.
“Agatha!” A raspy male voice called.
“Why are you here?” I heard her say.
“My son. I am here for him. He has been away from me for too long.”
“Never! I won’t let you take him. He won’t become irresponsible like you.”
I heard a slow chuckle coming from the stranger. He advanced towards her and grabbed her by her neck.
“Temisan run!” Mama called out.
As if pushed by some force, I sprinted from underneath the bed and found myself running towards the open front door. A gun shot sounded behind me and I hesitated.
But run she had said. So I ran towards the main road.
“Temisan!” The street seemed to echo.
Exhausted, I crouched on a path by the side of the road. In a blink of an eye I was falling, down into the dark. Falling into the unknown. My feet landed with a splash and I became aware of the walls around me. I was in a well.
“Mama!” I screamed.
“Mama!” I muttered.
“Were you talking to me?” Ik asked.
“Not at all.”
“I thought you said something.”
I shook my head and turned my attention back to the control panel of the aircraft I was flying in front of me. The blue sky seemed a bit dull today and it was probably because of the harmattan weather. It made it easy to manipulate the aircraft though.
Then my eyes saw it. My heart skipped a beat.
“Ik!” I shouted.
My co-pilot Ikeoghene turned towards me.
“Was this aircraft refueled yesterday?”
“I don’t know. I’m not in charge of that.”
“Oh my God! Ik this craft has hardly any fuel in it!”
The body of water underneath us was almost making me hyperventilate.
“Chimo!” He exclaimed.
“What do we do now?” I wondered, my heart starting to beat fast.
“There should be parachutes in the supply trunk.”
“So we jump out?”
“There’s no other choice. We can’t make it.” He gestured towards the red light blinking under the fuel meter.
I put the craft on autopilot, my heart racing now. Oh my God. I’m going to die.
“Temisan have it.” Ik handed me a parachute. The red light was blinking faster now and the plane was starting to swerve.
“Temisan let’s go!”
“I can’t do this. I’m hydrophobic.”
“I can’t stand water.”
“You be officer like this?”
Ik pulled open the emergency exit open.
“We have less than 10 seconds.”
“Ik I can’t do this.”
Then came flashes of memories.
The gunshot resounding.
The walls of the well closing in.
Mama! I’m drowning.
Is anybody there?
It’s that boy from the house down the street. His father shot his mother and himself you know.
A missionary is adopting you.
I want to be in the air force.
Mama! I’m drowning.
“Temisan let’s do this. The plane is on fire!”
“I can’t. I’ll fall to my death.”
“Come on. I’ve got your back.”
“You’ll leave. Just like Mama did.”
“Oh boy I’m not going to leave you.”
He grabbed my hand and counting to three, we jumped out.
In the free fall, the wind hit my face and I could feel freedom and a faint voice like Mama’s
“Temisan face your fears.”
But I was falling.
Falling but free.
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