911 story

Choking on the Ashes of the Dead


Choking on the Ashes of the Dead
by Jeff Deeney

I woke up on the morning of September 11th before dawn, sweat drenched and badly shaken by a vivid nightmare about dying in a plane crash. In the dream I was at the end of an overseas night flight and was watching the light of land approaching with my nose pressed up against the glass portal of the window over one wing. The smooth hum of the jet's engines outside the fuselage was interrupted as the turbines began to sputter and choke. I saw the ocean's black waters rush towards me, whitecaps illuminated by the full moon's light, the ocean's churning surface glinting with reflections. My stomach hovered at the base of my throat while we plunged, and then the engines roared back into to life, the plane momentarily stabilizing and the force of forward propulsion slamming me backwards in my seat.