These are short stories put up each Friday that you can read for free. By the next Friday the post will be taken down and a new one will go up.
Special Note: This is an excerpt from my upcoming thriller novel, Flight 370, to be released August 11.
“What the hell?” Sheila whispered to Virgil beside her. “Is that Neil Diamond?”
“Sure as shit is,” Virgil said, looking out the window for some idea of where the sound was coming from.
“My God, these people are something else!”
Virgil chuckled. “And we’ll have to be something else if we want to stop ‘em.”
Sheila cut herself off as another of the Sri Lankan guards came into their particular cabin. He was counting, she and Virgil quickly saw, counting the passengers.
“Shit,” Virgil muttered beside her.
“This is it,” she said, and glanced over at Mathis, sitting across the aisle and a few seats up. He glanced back her way at the same time, and gave a slight nod.
“This is it,” she said again, and reached under her leg for her 9mm.
The guard was getting closer to the back of the cabin, and to where the last of the passengers were. There would be seventy-three passengers instead of the seventy he was expecting, and when he counted seventy-one, Sheila fully expected his face to take on a look of confusion, just before he turned around and signaled to the other guard that something wasn’t right. If that happened they’d have about five seconds, probably less. If they allowed that to happen.
The guard was a few seats away from them, and counting off in English.
Sheila gritted her teeth, felt her pulse quicken, the adrenaline begin to flow.
The man’s eyes took on a confused look as he said the “one” in “seventy-one,” looking at one of the Chinese women passengers in confusion, and then over to Virgil and Sheila who were to come next. His eyes narrowed and he was just about to blurt out something to his companion when Sheila gave her most ingratiating smile.
“Were we not supposed to get on at Saudi Arabia?” she said as she started to slowly rise. “I was sure this was the plane to the French Riviera!”
Sheila didn’t give the man a chance at a response, though from the baffled expression on his face, she expected he wouldn’t have been able to give much of one. It didn’t come to that, however, for Sheila threw up her hand, the one holding the silenced-9mm, and fired a single shot that took the man right in the forehead. He was still falling to the floor of the cabin when the first passenger screams went out.
“Go!” Sheila yelled, but beside her Virgil was already rising up, and a few seats ahead of them, Mathis was doing the same. The guard at the front of the cabin was still wearing an expression of shock, and only beginning to turn around to rush to the other cabin when Virgil threw up his shotgun and fired a round of birdshot right into his gut. The man went down screaming and moaning, demobilized until Mathis could move up and slit his throat. They’d decided that reducing the number of bullets flying around the pressurized cabin would be a good thing, and birdshot wasn’t likely to do much more than superficial damage to the fuselage. Sheila had the only real gun that could kill with one shot, and that’d been decided because she was the best shot among them.
“Get down!” Mathis yelled a moment after Virgil had fired his shot, but it was too late. From the cabin partition came another guard, and this one was not messing around. He fired two shots in quick succession, not at all worried about cabin pressure or the fuselage, and took down two of the passengers that were fleeing toward the forward cabin, a man and a woman. Mathis fired one quick shot from his Ruger 2R22 handgun, a .22 caliber pistol that wasn’t likely to do much damage if he missed. Mathis had promised himself before boarding in Saudi Arabia that he wouldn’t miss, however, and he proved true to his word. The shot hit the guard in the chest, and a moment later passengers were swarming over him, kicking and punching, for it wasn’t likely a .22 shot was going to do the job of killing him.
“Get their guns,” Sheila called out, and within moments the men’s machine guns were being ferried back to them.
“Get back in your seats!” Mathis shouted out as quietly as he could while rushing up to the front of the cabin. He pulled out his serrated knifed and made quick work of the wounded guard’s windpipe, and by the time he was scurrying back many of the passengers were already seated and beginning to huddle down. Sheila and Virgil just looked at one another with surprise – why were no more guards coming?
This novel will be released on August 11.
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