By: Jeremy Ridnor
A•vi•o•pho•bi•a [ey-vee-uh-foh-bee-uh, av-ee-]–noun Psychiatry. Fear of flying in an airplane or other aircraft.
Henry is forty-seven years old and is an Accountant who makes a decent six-figure salary. Henry suffers from two disorders; obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD, which ironically comes in handy for his job. The other disorder is dysthymia, which means Henry is mildly depressed, but luckily, for him there is Prozac, which regulates his dysthymia. Henry is well-adjusted man who typically gets along with people. He is divorced, but frequently dates on E-Harmony.com under the user name Counter47.
Typically, Henry does not have to travel, or he does not choose to travel often. Today however Henry was to be on flight 801 by 11:40 AM sharp, in order to go to his mother’s funeral in Boston. Henry was terrified to fly, and his therapist Dr. White told him that he suffered from Aviophobia, which is the fear of flying. Henry had never actually been on a plane before, but always cringed at the thought of it. At the moment, he was more worried about the flight then his own recently diseased mother, not to say he did not love his mother he was just overwhelmed by fear.
Henry was not that familiar with the airport procedure, so he did not know what to expect. As he waited in the line with his brown briefcase, Henry started to feel the urge to urinate. Maybe it was the fear of flying that made him suddenly have to pee, or perhaps it was the three mocha lattes he had before he arrived at the airport.
“Next,” shouted some security guard. “Please take any valuables that might set off the metal detector out of your pockets and put them in this tray.”
Henry did as he was told and took out his wallet; some lose change, and a pack of bubble gum. Then he proceeded through the metal detector, but stopped after he got halfway through because he heard a loud high pitch noise. It was the alarm, and Henry started to get a tad worried, he was not sure what that meant.
“Sir I need you to stand over here.”
“I’m sorry I don’t know what could have sounded the alarm off.”
“Well we will find that out.”
Henry did not know what that meant. He began to tense up as the security guard waved the wand around every inch of his body. Then the wand lit up and rapidly start to beep. The security guard poked around in Henry’s shirt pocket and pulled out a pair of nail clippers. The security guard looked down at Henry’s fingernails and they were extremely long and sharp. Then he looked back at Henry.
“Sorry about that I forgot that was in my pocket.”
“No problem sir, just collect your stuff from the other side and proceed to your gate.”
Henry did not know why he thanked the man, but was glad to have gotten out of there with out a cavity search as he had heard about from television. He had felt violated to the point where it made him sick to his stomach. He proceeded to gate fourteen, and found a nice cushioned chair. He glanced at his fossil watch and saw that it was only 9:48 AM. He had nothing to do, but sit in a chair and solve cross word puzzles for exactly one hour, twelve minutes, and thirty-seven seconds.
One hour, twelve minutes, and thirty-seven seconds later a voice said, “Now boarding Gate fourteen to Boston, Massachusetts, once again now boarding Gate fourteen to Boston, Massachusetts.”
Henry put down his G-2 pen and looked up. He looked exactly like a deer does right before a car hits it. He grabbed his stuff, put away his crossword puzzle, and headed towards the gate entrance.
“Ticket please,” said some grinning woman with fluffy hair.
“Oh sorry, here.” Henry mumbled as he handed her the ticket.
“Thank you sir, have a nice flight,” she said in a cheerful voice.
According to Henry’s ticket he was suppose to sit in seat 44J which was conveniently located between two large sweaty men, which he later found out were named Bob and Howard. Henry was very preoccupied and could not focus during the flight safety orientation. He felt as though he was stuck in the middle of two wet and squishy sponges. With so much limited room and immense body heat that extruded from Bob and Howard made Henry extraordinarily hot. The worse part however was not the heat as much as it was the smell. Sponge Bob and Sponge Howard had quite a putrid smelling body odor, which made Henry queasy and slightly lightheaded. All of a sudden, a rumbling sound could be heard, and then a slight vibration followed it.
“Hello, this is your captain speaking. We are just about ready for take off, so everyone buckle up for safety. We should be in Boston in about three to four hours. Until then sit tight and enjoy your flight with Swiss Airlines.”
The plane started to turn around, which made Henry want to jump out the window. Then the plane started to go down the runway, going faster and faster. Henry’s stomach knotted and his blood turned cold. He tried closing his eyes and counting down from a hundred, but while he did this he started to grind his teeth and sink his long fingernails into his own knees which caused them to bleed a little. Before he knew it, the plane was in the sky and there was no turning back. Henry’s eyelids quickly pealed open and then he whipped his head to the right. He could barely see out the small window from where he was sitting, but he managed to see some clouds that were parallel to the window.
The voice inside Henry’s head began to scream with horror, which cause him to have a major headache. Henry started to perspire profusely particularly on his forehead and palms. His fingertips and toes felt tingly as if being pricked with little sharp needles. His heart started to race and not only that his chest started to feel like it was on fire. He began breathing hard, and with each breath he took, his chest burned more and more. His throat swelled up which made breathing even harder to do, and it caused him to wheeze. All this happened in a matter of seconds.
Howard looked at Henry and put his hand on his shoulder.
“Hey man you don’t look to go, what are you afraid of flying? Don’t worry these planes hardly ever crash.”
The man started to laugh finding his own antidote to be hilarious. Henry felt as if he was slipping into madness or even dieing. He started to flail his arms and legs about trying to withstand the pain. He grabbed Howard’s red necktie, which seemed to knock the wind out of him.
“I need to get off this plane now,” coughed Henry.
He stood up and began strutting up and down the aisle yelling.
“Please stop this plane.”
“Sir I need you to find your seat, the seatbelt sign is lit up. If you need some water I could get you that, or even an extra pillow, but I need you to sit down” said the one of flight attendant.
“No you don’t understand this is an emergency, I’m dieing,” shouted Henry.
“Sir I need you to calm down, and don’t raise your voice to me sir. You are probably just a little nervous about flying, but don’t worry our pilot is quite cable of flying this aircraft. Now I don’t want to ask you again, please take your seat sir and fasten your seatbelt.”
Henry felt a cold chill, which made all his hair stand on edge. He felt as though he was having a heart attack. His eyes began to water up from all the pain, or maybe it was a combination of pain physically and emotionally. He still never grieved over losing his mother. Henry is the type of person who never shows his true emotions, but eventually they come out in other ways.
“Get off this plane Henry,” cried the voice in Henry’s head. “You gotta get out of here no matter what it takes. You are dieing, do you hear me, do you want to die? Now get out, get out, get out, get out, get out!!!”
Henry started to walk towards the flight attendant, but then stumbled and fell. He then began to inch forward by crawling, but the pain was just too much.
“Oh no we’re gonna die, why here why now? I feel so dizzy please make it stop. Alright Henry the only way out of here is to kill your way out. Do it now you don’t have time. Use the nail file part on the nail clippers, and stab anyone who gets in your way, and get to the cock pit to tell the pilot to turn the plane around.”
In a state of hysteria and delusion, Henry grabbed his nail clippers and managed to twist the sharp nail file out. He briefly got a look at himself in the reflection of the nail clippers and saw how insane he looked. He got up slowly using two of the seats to help balance him. Henry was drenched in sweat, and his eyes were glazed over. He moved towards the flight attendant with the nail clippers in his right hand.
“I love you mommy,” Henry cried out as he plunged the nail file into the woman’s throat.
Blood began to spray out of her neck in the fashion of a sprinkler. The passengers were rained on with blood, as the flight attendant screamed in agony. Other flight attendants came running down aisles to see what all the noise was, but the psychotic man greeted them both. Henry put the nail file between his knuckles and punched one of the flight attendants in the eye. He proceeded leaving the other flight attendant unharmed. He slowly made his way to the cockpit, until he felt a sharp pain in his back. One of the flight attendant had shanked Henry in the back with a knife. His eyes rolled back into his head and he collapsed.