It started on an airplane. I was sitting next to a guy from my Sense and Perception class. I was sweating and my legs were sticking to the leather seat because I had worn very short shorts. I was just praying that we'd make it to our destination (Boston, I think). One of the flight attendants got up and started dancing around in an attempt to calm us down. I began to think that everything was okay.
Then, a guy stood up. He was wearing a flight attendant's uniform and carrying a pistol. He told us that the plane was being hijacked and we all needed to get to the back of the plane.
I thought, "Great. I'm going to be on the news."
All the passengers had prepared for this, however. The male passengers were sighing as if this whole thing was annoying and tiresome. They started taking out scissors and razor blades so they could save us. I was more scared of knowing I was going to die than the actual act of dying itself. If this was going to happen, I wanted it to be over with. I didn't want to stand at the back of the plane in fear.
The hijacker got scared of the passenger cabin and disappeared into the cockpit. It had been outfitted with a makeshift "barrier" of thin plywood boards that the terrorist could easily break through. We heard a few shots, and the plane kept going normally. We figured the terrorist had been shot. All of us passengers were still standing at the back of the plane, and we broke into an enthusiastic rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." We headed back to Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta, where we landed in a parking lot. The landing was a little rough, and the plane started spinning around, but I punched out a window and jumped out so I wouldn't get dizzy.
I figured everything would be okay.
I went inside the terminal and prepared to get my luggage and go home. At one of the elevators, though, a guy with dark skin and a mustache was blocking the door. I didn't want to stereotype people and become suspicious of him, so I nicely asked if I could get into the elevator. I kept pressing the "up" button, but no elevator came. The guy started laughing. I began jumping up and down. The guy asked if I was "having babies."
I said, "Yes!" hoping someone would take pity on me and put me on a stretcher or something.
Eventually an elevator came, but just as I was escaping that floor, I saw the guy shooting people in the stomachs with a small ring he wore on his finger.
I met my friend Emily, and we started making our way through the airport. All over, we saw people being shot in the stomachs by foreigners (they looked more like Mexicans than Arabs, really). But we kept saying, "We can't stereotype people! We can't assume anyone with dark hair and skin is out to get us!"
However, in this drea, they were. Even women and children were in on the plot. The odd thing was, I didn't see any dead bodies anywhere. The whole operation seemed to be undercover, and not even the police realized what was going on (despite the trucks outside the airport that read "United Enemies" on the side. Terrorists were posing for pictures by them, pretending they were tourists).
Emily and I finally made it outside. There was construction going on and we had to trudge through the mud to get to the road. We saw armed tanks going down the street in a line, and Em said, "Wow, we're at war." (No, really?)
We found our way to a brand-new Old Country Buffet, sat down, and started eating some good Southern food. Em called her dad, who was on assignment in Virginia, and told him what had happened. He didn't believe us.
A man walked up to our table, and stood staring at us. I decided I wasn't going to take the chance of dying in a buffet restaurant, so I tried to defend myself. I took my butter knife and shoved it into the man's stomach. He doubled over in pain. I looked more closely at him and saw that he was American.
"That's okay," he croaked to me. "I would have stabbed me, too."
I started crying loudly. Then I stood up and started running back and forth down the aisle of the restaurant. I was rubbing my forehead and yelling, "This didn't happen! This didn't happen!" When I turned around, I saw the man I stabbed sitting down at a table with his wife and young child. I had erased what had happened. I wanted to tell him that I had technically saved his life through time travel, but I didn't really know how to say that. Instead, I asked him where he had gotten his ice water, because I wanted some of my own. He just looked oddly at me.