Take the Day (Part III)

….. The tension was still there, immensely so. The destroying key still staring at me by my foot. My eyes running down along the plane’s narrow corridor. A full plane of the unwished, unwanted of this land. Close to 300 men, chained, loud, smelly, some even with the looks of demons. Air marshals had ceased their comings and goings along that corridor, now they huddled in a small groups in and among the chained human cargo….. There are small plaques here and there at the very back of the plane where the 12 of us were seated. Plaques stating, Alaskan Air Lines. Old planes purchased by the government from Alaska for prisoners, only. So old that no sale could be made except of those in our government wishing to transport America’s dreads, us that day, me. Me, on this day that turned into a living nightmare. A nightmare of my own choice that I must be loyal to, even till today….. It began….. The long, painful reaching. My chained wrist going slowly down and down, inch by inch. So far down that I truly felt I was reaching into a small part of hell. The smells coming up from the floor were even worse than the seats and above….. The key came closer and closer for my fingertips. The black grip wrapped around the key’s steel, becoming blacker, shinier….. My shaking fingers in pain….. I had it. This was it. To be seen holding the key meant instant death. I got the key, brought it to my stomach, encased it in my hand….. There were a small group of air marshals, maybe 12, 15 feet away. To call out holding that cursed key, would change my prison life for the worse for ever. Yet, for the key not to be found, meant that the entire plane of prisoners would not depart until it was found, even if it took days. We would be just kept on that craft, hungry, thirsty, with odors, human odors unbound. No, the key had to be found. Found in the right manner, unattached to any human hand….. I saw a spot, a groove next to a nearby service station. I held my breath, steadied myself….. In one lucky toss it landed length-wise in that groove. I exhaled….. “Hey marshal, marshal!” I finally called out, a squat bald caucasion marshal approached and I pointed. “…..Your key.” It took a few seconds for his eyes to find it. Once they did his eyes so enlarged. He quickly retrieved it. Quickly went back to his small group. Then ,they all came to search my area….. No words came my way, silent in their searching, yet, their eyes darting upon me….. (To be continued)

By: George Martorano