So, yesterday, I went to the airport to catch a flight. I was there appropriately early (I think at this point they ask you to be there 72 hours before your flight), and I waited around and fucked about on my phone. Then I went to the bathroom because boarding was going to begin soon.
When I came out, the departure time increased by 20 minutes.
No big deal. Tiny delay. Doable.
Then the time changed in front of my eyes and it became two hours.
The gate did not announce it (it’s United, after all, which means I should probably just be happy they gave me a seat in the plane and not on the wing), and I went to the counter to see if it was real or just some kinda funky glitch.
The woman behind the counter made a face. Not a good face.
Do they know what’s wrong, I asked her?
Another face. No, she told me, but whispered: I think it’s mechanical.
By now, a small line of people had gathered behind me. (One guy said last four United flights he was on had mechanical trouble, and were delayed or canceled. Another guy told his friend, “WHAT IF WE TRY TO GET ON THE DETROIT FLIGHT, THEN WE RENT A CAR IN DETROIT AND DRIVE TO CHICAGO.”)
Then she said that they were authorized (and told) to rebook passengers where possible — problem is, it was a small airport, so I had to rebook for today, a day later. All told, not a giant woe for me, because the airport isn’t far from my house, and the event at my destination (the Elgin Lit Fest) doesn’t actually require me until tomorrow anyway — so, ideally, all good.
But it did prompt people to share various travel woes, of being stuck in places for hours or days, of dealing with Planes, Trains & Automobiles levels of frustration. So, I thought, that would make a good cornerstone for some flash fiction.
So, do that.
Write a piece of story which revolves around travel woes of some kind.
How you interpret that is up to you. Get inventive. Any genre is fine.
Length: ~1000 words
Due by: February 2nd, Friday, noon EST
Write at your blog.
Drop a link to the story in the comments below.