Family Feud

“As the pilot makes his announcement to prepare for landing, the old woman next to you suddenly takes your hand. “Don’t let go if you want to live,” she tells you as screams erupt from the back of the plane.”

12-year-old Tommy shoved his game into his backpack and kicked it under the seat in front of him as the pilot made the announcement to prepare for landing. His bag didn’t quite fit so kicked a couple more times causing the man in front of him to turn around and glare at him through the crack between the chairs.

“Do you mind?” he growled.

Tommy shrank back into his chair. “Sorry,” he muttered. When the man turned back around, Tommy shifted in his chair to look out the window. They were approaching the city and more and more cars were appearing on the roads below. They looked the Hot Wheels he used to play with when he was a little kid.

The old woman beside him shifted in her seat and stared down the aisle. “Almost, almost,” she whispered. She was a tiny woman in bright red pant suit. Her nails and her lipstick were also painted red. She let out raspy cackle. “Almost.” She was nearly bouncing in her seat.

“What was that?” Tommy asked.

She looked at him with surprise. “Oh, just talking to myself,” she said.

She leaned around the seat once more, “Haha!” she shouted.

She grabbed Tommy’s hand from the armrest. “Don’t let you go if you want to live,” she said, squeezing her eyes tight.

Tommy recoiled. Crazy old woman. He leaned towards the window in an effort to put some space between them, but his hand was still in her iron grip. How was she so strong?

Suddenly, loud screams came from the back of a plane, followed by an inhuman yowl that froze his heart. He stared wide-eyed at the woman beside him. She was grinning from ear to ear giggling like a little girl. Her eyes still pressed shut

He tried to pry his finger free from her hand. “No,” she pulled their combined hands out of his other hand’s reach, her eyes flying open. “They’ll be here any moment and he must see that we’re friends or he’ll attack you next.” She closed her eyes again. “No quiet, I want to hear what’s happening.”

“W-what?” his voice cracked.

There was another yowl from the back of the plane. People were shouting and screaming over each other. He climbed up on chair so that he was kneeling and peered over the headrest, not an easy task with the woman still clutching his hand.

The scene behind him was chaos. People were out of their chairs and in the aisles bumping into each other. One man was elbowed in the cheek as another man bumped into him with his hands flying about his head. Two flight attendants were desperately trying to calm people down, but no one was paying any attention to them.

Finally, one voice could be heard above the fray. “That. Is Enough.” A screeching yowl, followed by total silence.

The woman beside him frowned, looking disappointed. “I guess all good things must come to an end at some point,” she lamented.

People finally began to sit down again, and the aisle began to clear. Tommy slumped down in his chair feeling a bit disappointed as well.

Suddenly, a shadow fell over them as someone approached their chairs.

Another elderly woman with blue tinted hair and long red scratched down her arms and face appeared beside them with a white Persian cat resting the crock of her arm. As she stood over them, the cat hissed at the woman holding him, baring his teeth, but the woman paid him little mind. She clearly had him in an iron grip and he did not appreciate it.

One of the scratches on her arms was bleeding and a slow trickle of blood dripped down from her elbow. Her hair was disheveled and her glasses were askew.

“I believe this is yours?” she said, in a drab, unimpressed voice. She dropped the cat onto the woman’s lap next to Tommy. The cat hissed loudly again, the hair on his back standing on end. He caught sight of Tommy moved forward.

“Now, Now, Archibald. Don’t be rude. He’s a friend.” She scratched the cat behind the ears, then began to pet him. Her long, red fingernails disappeared into the fur as she rubbed it’s back.

The cat stared menacingly at Tommy. He didn’t dare move.

As a frazzled flight attendant approached the demeanour of the woman next to Tommy transformed. “Thank you so much for finding him,” she said to the woman with the long scratches. She flashed a look of relief and gratitude across her face. “I was quite beside myself. I simply don’t know how he got out.”

The eyes of the woman with the scratches narrowed, but she said nothing.

“Ma’am,” the flight attendant said, her voice breathless. “Is this your cat?”

“I’m so sorry!” she opened her eyes wide “He didn’t cause any problems did he?”

“You might say that,” the woman said, looking down at her scratched arms.

“You must put him in the carrier immediately. We’re landing,” the flight attendant said, sounding frantic. “Back to your seat.” She ushered the woman with the scratches back to the back of the plane.

“This isn’t over,” she said, as she was herded away.

The woman winked at Tommy. “Sibling feuds can be ever so much fun, don’t you think?” she asked, gently guiding the soothed cat back into his carrier.

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