“I Can’t Think….”

I can’t think about
the sixteen teenagers
who are
but a half-generation
younger than I.

I can’t think about
the pretty young
I’d like to ask
to tea.

I can’t think about
the Siegfried singers
I heard perform
so well.

I can’t think about
the chill I felt
as I clicked
the latch
on the cabin door
and activated
the descent button.

I can’t think about
the last-minute doubt
that comes before
the guilt of glory.

I can only breathe
in and out
careful to maintain
a steady
calming rhythm
during these
final moments
that are taking
so long
and passing
so quickly.

(Written for dVerse Open Link Night, March 26, 2015.)

This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Poetry, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to “I Can’t Think….”

  1. what a chilling PoV.. I cannot really understand all the horrors that was ongoing in that airplane and how you manage all those feelings and still go through. I wonder if he took some drug to stay focused.

    • vbholmes says:

      I suspect it’s incomprehensible for most of us to understand how his breathing could remain regular during the horror of those eight minutes of descent. Perhaps a knock-out drug is the answer. Thanks for reading and suggesting a possible clue, Bjorn.

  2. Gabriella says:

    The point of view you adopted as well as the clinical tone make your words all the more frightening. Even as we know more about the copilot’s psychological issues, it is awful to think that someone could be so depressed that they would decide to kill 149 other people.

    • vbholmes says:

      His “short and curt” answers to the pilot about preparing the aircraft for landing seem prescient now that we know what happened. Hard to conceive of a depression so deep as to ignore the lives of so many others in one’s search for earthly release.

  3. Mary says:

    What a terrible tragedy. I appreciated the way you got inside of the co-pilot’s head. Really hard to imagine what he must have been thinking, but you did this effectively. Now today we learn that he was decreed by a medical doctor unfit to work, which adds to the horrific-ness of this.

  4. Alex Dissing says:

    This tragedy weighs heavy on all of our minds. What could he possibly have been thinking? You took us there, & it was a chilling glimpse into a deranged mind. Interesting write, very effective.

  5. You’ve truly captured the incomprehensible nature of this tragedy. Peace, Linda

  6. haunting… you took us to a place of wanting to know, “WHY!?” but we’ll never know the answer…
    powerfully written

  7. Grace says:

    Such a tragedy, I can’t imagine how he could do it ~ Admiring the point of view, he has mental issues, I say ~ Good one ~

  8. Incomprehensible. Horrifying description of someone that we trust in and depend on. How does one hide depression of that degree? Very effective POV.

  9. billgncs says:

    what a selfish man

  10. Sabio Lantz says:

    Your have captured well the chilling horror of a deranged mind — uncomfortably well.

  11. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) says:

    Wow, brilliantly imagined and written.

  12. claudia says:

    it is terrible and i cannot even imagine what those last minutes must have felt like for those outside the door when they realized he’s not going to open it

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