The chapter below is from the sci-fi, triller book Fear is in the Air by Eva Newermann
Star Gaze Airlines (SGA)
We work for an airline named Star Gaze Airlines. I used to work for a big airline, but got an offer I couldn’t refuse.
SGA offered me more money and longer layovers and we have only first-class passengers. When we fly to Europe we usually have a three-day layover. That means plenty of good shopping and restaurants and of course, for me sometimes, a kill.
I’m slim, with one blue and one green eye, my waist length hair is naturally blonde, I have a light skin tone. I usually blend right in with the rest of the population of the Scandinavian counties.
My uniform is red and white, with a red short jacket and white slacks. It also has a white silk blouse with tiny red stars, red shoes with straps and a little red pillbox hat – the one Jacqueline Kennedy made famous in the ‘60s, designed by Oleg Cassini. The hat has SGA’s star on it and a little wing. My red shoes with straps are special made. All my life I’ve had problems with static electricity so my shoes have crepe rubber soles. This prevents all my handshakes from being a shocking experience. I also have a static shock eliminator that fits on my key chain.
I always wear my little gold airplane necklace around my neck when working.
It’s all topped off with white gloves and “Voila!”
When I get outside, the rest of the crew is waiting in the limo. This is far better than the buses we had to ride in when working for the big airlines.
Everybody is happy and chatting up a storm.
Suddenly the purser puts his hand under my chin and moves his face close to mine.
“Ewa, let me look in your eyes. You have one green and one blue eye!” he exclaims.
Now everybody is staring at me.
“Yes, yes. I was born with something called full heterochromia. My Dad had green eyes and Mom blue, so here I am with one of each.”
Lovise is nodding. “I once had a cat with different colored eyes.”
“Well,” I grin, “it’s relatively rare in humans, but common in some animals, like cats, horses and dogs. I’m in good company though. David Bowie, Jane Seymour and Keifer Sutherland have different colored eyes, too.”
“Oh,” Lovise says, “I just read an article in a magazine. The scientists say that in 200 years there will be no more blue-eyed people in the world, because brown eyes are so dominant.” She looks around at the other people. No one picks up on her conversational gambit, so she looks back at me.
“Ewa always has so many exciting stories. Why don’t you tell us one of your crazy stories, Ewa?” Lovise asks.
Too bad I can’t tell you what happened this morning, killing my Pharaoh.
“Yes,” I say, “I do have an exciting and scary story to tell. Maybe it will even save your lives one day.
“This happened when I was in flight training in Kansas City. I had rented a small apartment just ten minutes from the training center. I also had an old car that I used in the evenings to explore the area.
“One day in training the teacher was telling us security procedures and how to get out of difficult situations.
“She said, ‘If you are assaulted or kidnapped, it is very important to keep calm. Try to start a dialogue with your attacker. Tell him your name and other personal things about yourself. Sometimes this can be enough to stop him from hurting you or even killing you. If, on the other hand, you start fighting back, screaming or crying, this will trigger his aggressiveness. So try to stay calm, be inventive, smart and stay safe!’”
I continue, “Two weeks later, I’m coming home to my apartment very late at night. I park at the curb next to my front door and get out of the car. There are no streetlights, so I don’t see the person jumping me before I feel the cold blade of the knife against my throat.
“‘Get back into your car,’ he whispers in my ear.
“I feel his breath and long beard against my cheek. I can see he is wearing a black sweater, black slacks and black sneakers. He is not easy to spot in the dark. His skin is light, though and we are the same height. I get back inside the car and my heart and brain are working overtime.
“My mind starts to race. I need to stay calm and try to remember what the teacher told us. The guy starts pushing my body between the bucket seats. He puts the knife on the console, and with one hand on my throat and the other pulling my dress up, he is trying to get my panties off. This is not easy because he doesn’t have a lot of room to do so. He is panting and the perspiration is running into his dark eyes down his face dripping off his face onto mine. His sweat has a bitter, acrid smell.
“Finally I find my voice. ‘OK! OK! Take it easy. I will help you get the panties off.’ I’m trying to catch his eyes. My brain is racing. I’m thinking, ‘If I can sit up I might be able to open the door and scream (to hell with my teacher’s advice).’
“I have some nosy neighbors, always peeking through the shades. Maybe they will hear me. If they don’t, he will probably kill me. Should I maybe try to kill him with the knife? If I just hurt him and don’t manage to kill him, I’m a dead duck.
“Anyway, no matter how I look at it, I’m in deep shit! But first of all, I have to be able to sit up.
“’Listen,’ I say. ‘I’ve got my period and I’m using a tampon. If you are going to have sex with me I have to take out the tampon. Please let me sit up so I can take my panties off. Don’t worry, everything will be OK’
“He stops what he is doing leans back and wipes the sweat off his forehead. ‘OK,’ he says, ‘sit up, but no funny business!’
“’No! No! No funny business.’ I say, pushing myself up. ‘Just fun business and by the way, my name is Ewa.’ He looks startled and in one swipe I grab the knife, open the door and drop the knife under the car, screaming my head off.
“He grabs my neck and starts squeezing, soon we are both purple in the face. Suddenly my neighbor’s face appears inside the car. ‘Get off that girl,’ he yells. ‘I’ve called 911, the police will be here soon. Let her go!’
“My attacker lets go of his grip and scrambles out of the car. He punches my neighbor in the stomach and disappears into the darkness.”
Just as I say, ‘darkness,’ the lights come on inside the limo. We are at the airport.
“Final destination!” I say.
“Heavens to Betsy!” Lovise blurts out, “Did they ever catch the guy?”
“No,” I shake my head, “I tried picking him out from mug shots, but the guy I said looked like him turned out to be Charles Manson, but he was already in jail.”
We all scramble out of the limo and the captain taps me on the shoulder.
“I’m sure glad it turned out OK for you, Ewa.”
I nod. “Just call me lucky and I hope I’ll never get in a situation like that again.”
“OK, gang.” The purser does a little shuffle, “Are we ready to take on the passengers? And here’s hoping there will be no violence on the plane.”
Finally we are on the plane and everyone gets busy. I’m in the galley, checking on the food supply.
Only the best is good enough. We have Norwegian salmon, Russian caviar, Caesar salad, filet mignon and lobster (Surf and Turf). For dessert there is cantaloupe with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.
Before takeoff, we serve drinks: Mojitos, Mimosas, or whatever the passengers want.
We are of course using silverware, fine crystal and white linen. No plastic in this house!
The passengers start boarding.
One of the passengers catches my eye. He has beautiful grizzled hair. Unusual, since he is in his late 30s. He’s got big brown eyes and a handsome tanned face.
When he stores his bag, I notice he is wearing a wedding band on his right hand.
We – Americans – wear it on the left hand.
His ugly brown eyes keep following me all the time, when I finally get around to serving him, his wedding band is gone.
OK, so he has removed his ring. The guy is very interested. This could be my next prey.
“Hi, Ewa, my name is Erik.” (He has read my name tag.)
I smile and hold his gaze, just long enough so he knows I’m interested, too.
Later I go over to my gray-haired Viking. I sit on his armrest and get some info.
He lives in Stavanger and next week he is going for an interview as a coach for the local men’s soccer team, called The Vikings.
He loves the outdoors, fishing and hunting.
Interesting…. I’m the one who’s going to hunt you.
“Did you know, tomorrow, the 17th of May, is our national holiday?” he asks.
“Yes,” I smile.
I always Google the cities and countries we are flying to. I even try to learn some of the language.
“Alt for Norge!” (Everything for Norway) I say, with my American accent.
Erik laughs out loud.
Oh, yeah, I think he’s hooked.
“You know, you look very Scandinavian,” he says.
“Yes, I hear that a lot. My ancestors immigrated from Selbu, Norway, in the 1850s. I think their last name was Storset. One of these days, when I get some free time, I should go there and try to find them.”
Later, when I serve him, I say, “Skaal!”
He slips me a piece of paper and makes the ‘call me’ gesture with his hand.
Lovise and I are sitting in our seats ready for landing. As usual, when we are flying together she wants me to tell her wacky stories. Things I have experienced on a flight or in different cities.
“Did I ever tell you about the flight with all the priests?”
“No, no, you haven’t,” she’s glowing with anticipation.
“Well, we’re flying from Shannon, Ireland, to New York and the plane is packed with Irish priests. White collars, robes and all. They start ordering Irish whisky and bellowing things like, ‘Guid forder’ (good luck) and ‘Bottoms up!’
“And drink up, they sure did. They were drinking the glasses dry. What I didn’t know, until later, was that many of them had brought their own Devil’s whisky on board. This was before the September 11 attacks, so it was open season to bring almost anything onto the plane. I guess nobody was going to pat down a priest.”
“Oh, my,” Lovise is giggling, “this is going to be good.”
“Right,” I shake my head, “and it gets better.”
“After six hours of heavy drinking, I had a whole plane full of crazy, boozehound priests on my hands. I’ve talked to the captain, but since we are flying over the Atlantic Ocean, there is really nothing he can do. We are just hoping they will all calm down, maybe even pass out.
“Finally the plane lands and the passengers are disembarking. I’m standing in the doorway together with the purser. Suddenly, this enormous priest, his white collar now on top of his red hair, locks his arms around my neck and declares, ‘I’m in love! I’m in love!’
“Now the purser is trying to pry open his hands, but he is not strong enough. He runs to the cockpit shouting, ‘We have a situation here!’
“The captain radios for help. The copilot and purser finally manage to get the priest off me. My face is nearly blue.
“The security guys arrive and handcuff him. They have to carry the priest off the plane.
“We can hear him babbling, ’I want to marry this angel. No more celibacy for me! Please! Please! Don’t take me away from my angel!’”
Lovise and I are still chuckling when we say goodbye to our passengers.
When Erik, my Viking, passes me in the doorway, he hands me a postcard “This is one of the things you should see in Stavanger. The giant swords of Hafrsfjord, it’s a monument of three large swords commemorating the battle of Hafrsfjord in the late eight-hundreds where Harald Hårfagre became the first king of Norway.”
“I sure will,” I give him my best smile.
When we get off the plane it’s evening in Norway and we have landed at Sola airport.