The Tethered Goat
© 2011 Nicholas Winer
In the distance, giant cumulus clouds floated like icebergs in the blue tropical sky. The little plane was weaving a path between them, banking and then settling, rising and falling on the unseen thermals. The plane lurched again and instinctively Mark looked out of the window. He stared down along the wing. His hands tightened and relaxed on the armrests. Seeing the whirring circle of the propeller blades soothed him. Everything had the appearance of being normal. He rubbed the palms of his hands along his thighs to dry them and looked cautiously around at the other passengers. Most of the faces were impassive and settled. There was nothing unusual in the sudden dearth of talk after a contagious and instinctive rush of fear. Now they were all quietly composed again, blanketed in the reassuring drone of the engines. He settled back in his seat as the hum of renewed conversation filled the cabin.