Over Corfu Sea
“But I want the story to go on!” said David with a pout as I put ny notebook down.
We laughed. Nothing else had happened after the Easy Jet Airbus cut down through the thick clouds as it banked into Corfu.
“I see raindrops,” Dave announced, peering through the window at the now grey mass outside.
Gone were the puffy happy white fields of clouds we’d seen at 37 thousand feet, being replaced by these ominous rain-filled dirty sheets.
Ravenously the shutter of his camera clicked and clicked as we clawed out of the cloud, hovering now a few miles above the electric green ocean and the island of Corfu.
Everywhere little white houses with red roofs dotted along the shore and up the hills. Interspersed was the odd hotel, large and ungainly, gashing ugly slashes across the pretty green hillside.
Slower, ever slower we glided over the sea towards the runway which we couldn’t yet see.
“We’re over Mouse Island now,” said Katia. But it must’ve slipped under the right wing because we never saw it.
“OK, OK we need land now,” said Dave with a tiny hint of anxiety as still the water below rose faster and faster to greet the underbelly of the plane.
With a sudden crackle, the overhead speaker burst into life,
“Brace! Brace! This is an emergency! Brace! Brace!” Commanded the captain.
Gasps and screams filled the air as we all tucked our heads into our knees.
Katia, grabbed our hands and started to speak in rapid Greek.
“Oh my God we’re going to crash!” I yelled.
“No, No!” said David, “we’re going to be fine.” He craned his neck to snap a couple more pictures through the window, as if to prove that everything was all right, but through the din I heard him muttering, “Shit … water … close …” and he braced again.
Screaming, wailing, crying, howling noises filled the cabin, coupled with the bitter smell of feces and vomit. The steward on the overhead speakers attempted to calm the crowd hysteria.
Nano seconds crawled like grey months of winter and the crescendo of panic grew as the passengers fed off one another.
“Remain in your seats!” yelled the steward, “maintain the brace position. This is only a precautionary measure”
“I don’t think so,” said Katia in English now, “I never heard the under carriage come down.”
“Damn,” said David and I together – but there was no laughter this time.
“Prepare for emergency landing! Brace! Brace!” Ordered the captain and in a split second an eerie silence filled the stinking air, dread and body fluids mixing.
From somewhere in the back, a soft, calming tenor voice began, “Our Father who are in Heaven …” and one by one, from the muffled confines of their laps, strangers became one as they prayed aloud, awaiting the inevitable.
It was a surreal moment when, with a rubbery, bouncy squish the great AirBus touched down on Corfu soil.
Still clicking away, David looked over at us both and grinned, “Kalimera! Welcome to Greece. I’ve never been happier to see a runway. I wonder what adventures are in store for us?”