Delay

By Sam Jarvis

The flight had already been delayed 6 hours, but he was finally getting close to his boarding time. They’d pushed it back twice, once for bad weather and a second time because the incoming flight got rerouted, but Josh had a good feeling about this. They’d be on their way soon.

“Ladies and gentlemen patiently awaiting the boarding of flight 3775 nonstop service to New York’s La Guardia, I’m sorry to inform you there has been another delay.” The speaker system was muffled but the message clear. “We will now begin boarding at 11:15 instead of 9:05. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Josh slammed his ten-dollar Chilis To Go turkey Panini onto his lap. He then gathered all of his belongings, his roller carry-on, his suit bag, and headed to the gate desk.

“Excuse me, but what in the hell is going on here?” he asked a meek but adorable airline employee. She chuckled, lipstick on her teeth.

“Well this is pretty typical of hell, sir,” she answered, continuing to type on her outdated keyboard.

“What’s the hold up?”

“Hmm, help me decide. Should it be de-icing? That we have to de-ice the plane?” Her eyes were filled with excitement at the thought. Josh looked outside.

“It’s 85 degrees out,” he responded. She laughed hysterically.

“Oh my God you’re right. I can’t say that! How about like, a bird got caught in the engine? That’s a scary one.”

“I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I don’t understand.”

“You asked what in the hell is going on. This is always what’s going on in hell.” Seeing that he still didn’t follow, she glanced at his ticket. “Mr. Hartnett?” she said, now sweeter. “You do know you’re in hell, right?”

“Hell?”

“Yep! All the books had it wrong with that fire and brimstone business. Hell is just an airport where your flight gets delayed every few hours for eternity.” With this Josh Hartnett gasped, taking a few steps back.

“Wait, I’m dead? Why didn’t I get into heaven?!” She looked at him, very serious now.

“You know what you did.”

He was horrified, until a smile broke from her face. “I’m just kidding, I say that to everybody! I don’t know why you’re here. I mean sure, murderers are all over this airport, we all know that’s bad. But beyond that it could’ve been anything. Did you pay all of your parking tickets?” She laughed and touched his arm. “I loved you in Lucky Number Slevin, by the way.”

“Yeah, thanks. So my flight will he delayed forever?”

“Yep! But there’s complimentary shoe shining at gate B14, so that’s kind of cool. Although remember to tip.” Josh scratched his head. “Also I would buy a neck pillow if you ever want to get any rest.”

“There are only like, four places to eat here.”

“I know, right? Couldn’t Satan have made it an international terminal? Those are so nice.”

“So it’s just Chilis To Go forever,” he started, now losing hope.

“Afraid so. And don’t try to get a discount because of who you are. This place is teeming with celebrities.”

“And murderers.”

“Yes! And murderers. And people hogging the charging stations!” She looked at him warmly now. “Anyway, what should your next delay be? I’m thinking storms over Tulsa. An oldie but a goodie.”

Read more of my short humor pieces here.

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