We get into trouble almost as soon as we take off. The captain’s voice sounds distant and wary over the cabin speakers as he tells me and my fellow passengers that we are heading into a severe thunderstorm, and the quickest way through it is the center.
It starts just seconds later, a rumbling beneath my feet that climbs up into my chair, and then my armrests, which I white-knuckle grip at the first sharp crack of lightning. The person sitting next to me and the person sitting next to him are both telling me that the plane we’re on will crash, and I am going to die, and after that all there will be is blackness. While they speak to me I have to just sit here and be shaken. It’s my only option. Maybe because it’s the only thing I can stand to move, I close my eyes.