Chapter 1 – Extract 7 from The Paradise Induction!
The smell of breakfast was beginning to conquer the stink and passengers’ loosened their hands from their faces.
“All sorted,” said the airline employee, who’d cleaned up the vomit.
“Thank you love,” said Eadie. “Come on Darren.”
The boy moved into the row to sit down and so did his mother, flashing a smile at Chris before he followed them.
Breakfast was now being served and Chris saw as the crew moved through the cabin placing down white trays, full of delicious wrapped treats. His stomach gurgled in response and he pulled down the seat-back tray table in front of him.
A crew member passed two trays across Chris to Eadie and Darren, then placed one in front of him.
He began peeling the wrappers of each small plastic container, revealing portions of different foods. It was a full English breakfast with strawberries and kiwi segments on the side. He was into the toast and bacon quickly. Each tasty bite reminded him that he was actually on a plane travelling somewhere far away from everything he’d ever known. The meal also delivered comfort.
Things will be okay. This is life. People make big changes all the time. Things will be alright. It’s all going to work out. This is what life is about. Travel. See things. Learn new things. Grow.
Chris brushed his hands and grinned inside himself.
It will all work out. It will all be fine.
The seat in front shoved back into Chris’ face, just missing his nose.
Chris tensed his jaw and looked at Eadie, who smiled. “That was close,” she said.
“Indeed,” said Chris quietly, but with sufficient emphasis for the passenger in front to hear.
Finishing his meal, it was as if the air pollution pardon had been granted solely so everyone could enjoy their breakfast.
As the airline staff collected empty trays, the smell of a rat’s corpse sneaked in, like an infiltrating army. The stench was bold, confident, and relentless, promising to make everyone spew this time.
“You have got to be bloody kidding me,” shouted the same man who by his voice might have possessed British aristocratic blood. “This is appalling!”
Some people laughed, but he was right. It was horrific, like entering a labourer’s van who’s gorged on copious egg and cheese sandwiches, and made his vehicle his own animal litter box.
Chris looked over to try and catch a glimpse of the guy’s face who he suspected was the culprit. The man kept his eyes firmly faced down.
Chris smiled and closed his eyes.