Everything’s okay, says the voice on the loud speaker. Please return to your seats and remain calm.
And there’s that special type of fear that comes with falling, that life-affirming, last-ditch gasp as your hands turn to claws on the arm rests and you find yourself praying to whatever-god, any-god.
We will be attempting an emergency landing. Please do not be alarmed; we are trained for this. Assume the brace position.
Shudder, rattle, shake.
You wake up, of course, because it’s a dream. There’s no flaming engine outside your window. You’re not even on an aeroplane.
The fear is replaced by the familiar sensations of your bed sheets and your pillow. Your hands tangled in the covers.
How foolish of you to mistake a bed for an aeroplane.
Having safely landed from your dreams, you sit up and place your feet on the floor.
The floor feels solid beneath you; everything’s okay.
This post was originally published as “22022021“.