The Flight (Another Trifecta Challenge)

My ID and boarding pass in hand, I wait with the masses; all squished together but painfully alone.  The feeling that brought me here in the first place.

I want to divorce my heart and escape the hurt.  My future awaits in seat 19D on flight 1483.

Car seats, laptop bags, strollers, purses, bloated carry-on luggage, quart-size baggies stuffed with three-ounce bottles.  I observe bits of peoples’ lives crammed into gray bins, progressing down the conveyor belt.

When my turn comes, I place my shoes neatly in a bin.  No belt.  No watch.  No coins to drop in the bowl before I cross the threshold.  By all outward appearances, my life looks uncomplicated; free.  My arms are empty, but no one can see I carry my baggage on the inside.

No beeps when I walk through the scanner.  I imagine my life being shaken like an Etch-a-Sketch.  The messy black scribbles magically disappear the moment I cross to the “screened” side.  A clean slate.

I don’t know where my flight lands, but it doesn’t matter, really.  By then, with any luck, I’ll have left my heart in San Francisco.

Lombard Street – San Francisco (taken June 2010)


The Trifecta challenge this week is to write a response between 33 and 333 words, which includes the following word/definition:

flight (noun):  (a) a trip made by or in an airplane or spacecraft; (b) a scheduled airplane trip

If you want to submit your own response to the prompt, click the tricycle picture to view the complete instructions on Trifecta’s website.


52 thoughts on “The Flight (Another Trifecta Challenge)

    • jannatwrites August 7, 2012 / 2:40 PM

      Thanks for reading, Dianne…I appreciate it 🙂

  1. judithhb August 7, 2012 / 2:23 AM

    Beautifully written and so sad. I do hope this is another fiction Janna. 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 7, 2012 / 2:42 PM

      Oh yes, it is fiction. Sure, there’s stuff going on, but nothing so desolate that I’d need to hop a flight with just my ID and boarding pass. Thanks for reading, Judith!

  2. habibadanyal August 7, 2012 / 3:37 AM

    I carry my baggage on the inside,,,,,, the line that did the trick for me! Good take. 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 7, 2012 / 2:43 PM

      I appreciate you taking time to read and share your thoughts, Habibadanyal!

  3. Gina August 7, 2012 / 5:45 AM

    I hope you left whatever needed leaving and that “you” (from the story) feel lighter. I carry way too much baggage inside too!

    • jannatwrites August 7, 2012 / 2:45 PM

      I hope the person in the story feels lighter, too. But, as a carrier of internal baggage myself, I suspect it will be a case of same emotions, different location. Thanks for reading, Gina!

  4. MOV August 7, 2012 / 6:01 AM

    I like the part about her life being shaken like an Etch-A-Sketch. Great image.


    • jannatwrites August 7, 2012 / 2:46 PM

      Thanks for sharing what stuck out of you, MOV. I like feedback about what works (or doesn’t work) in a story.

  5. Debbie August 7, 2012 / 8:51 AM

    This one is so short, yet filled with sensory impressions. There’s sadness at leaving, hope at something better down the road, and a bit of confusion as to the “baggage” your narrator is carrying with him/her. Is this part of something else you’re writing??

    • jannatwrites August 7, 2012 / 2:51 PM

      This is just something I wrote for the challenge, Debbie. I don’t know what the baggage is, or even if the character is male or female. My first thoughts are that it might be either betrayal or guilt – those are the heaviest burdens 🙂

  6. Carol Ann Hoel August 7, 2012 / 9:03 AM

    Very touching story, Janna. The last line alluding to song lyrics, “I left my heart in San Francisco,” brought tears to my eyes. Very insightful ending that added much depth at the perfect moment.

    • jannatwrites August 7, 2012 / 2:55 PM

      Thanks, Carol. I’m glad this story evoked an emotional response. I wondered if anyone would tie it to the song. I appreciate you stopping by!

  7. Linda Vernon August 7, 2012 / 9:54 AM

    Love the comparison with the etch-a-sketch and how going through the scanner cleanses her life! Great story Janna! (But the picture didn’t show up on my computer anyway:(

    • jannatwrites August 8, 2012 / 12:50 AM

      Glad you enjoyed the story, Linda. I don’t know what’s wrong with the picture…I can view it on my PC and my phone. Oh well, you didn’t miss much 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  8. lumdog August 7, 2012 / 12:12 PM

    This is packed with a lot of emotion and sadness and was beautifully written.

    • jannatwrites August 8, 2012 / 12:51 AM

      I appreciate you taking the time to read it and share your thoughts, Lumdog.

  9. Jeanna August 7, 2012 / 2:26 PM

    I too like the etch a sketch reference. Good job.

    • jannatwrites August 8, 2012 / 12:52 AM

      Thanks, Jeanna…I’m glad you liked that part of the story.

  10. pattisj August 7, 2012 / 2:48 PM

    Nice, Janna. Good twist on SF at the end!

    • jannatwrites August 8, 2012 / 12:55 AM

      Thanks, Patti. I scratched at least ten endings before it finally came to me 🙂

  11. nrhatch August 7, 2012 / 4:48 PM

    You’ve covered lots of ground in few words. Well done.

    • jannatwrites August 8, 2012 / 12:56 AM

      Thanks for reading, Nancy. Appreciate it 🙂

  12. Tessa August 7, 2012 / 8:39 PM

    Touching, sad! Nicely done!

    • jannatwrites August 8, 2012 / 12:57 AM

      I wanted to do something fun and upbeat, but that story wouldn’t come to me this week. Thanks for reading, Tessa!

  13. GodGirl August 8, 2012 / 4:26 AM

    Wonderful stuff! Her aching loneliness is riveting. I really love the Etch-a-Sketch bit… And the idea of the baggage inside. Really powerful descriptions here.

    • jannatwrites August 8, 2012 / 11:32 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, GodGirl. I’m glad you ‘felt’ the descriptions!

  14. Ruby Manchanda August 8, 2012 / 8:44 AM

    Oh poignant and well compiled. It is such a gripping post.

    • jannatwrites August 8, 2012 / 11:32 PM

      Thank you, Ruby. I do appreciate you taking time to read the story.

  15. Imelda August 8, 2012 / 1:00 PM

    Sad, but there’s hope for a new life. 🙂 I like the contrast between the outward freedom from baggage and the inside heavy with baggage. Nicely written as always.

    • jannatwrites August 8, 2012 / 11:35 PM

      There’s always hope, Imelda. The literal and figurative baggage can both weigh us down if we aren’t careful. Thanks for stopping by to read my story.

  16. philosophermouseofthehedge August 8, 2012 / 2:14 PM

    Applause. The reader can really feel the heavy emotional weight. Outstanding contrasts.
    “wait with the masses; all squished together but painfully alone.” – well stated, nice word choice with “masses”
    Really great read.

    • jannatwrites August 8, 2012 / 11:38 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story, Phil. I appreciate your feedback on what worked for you. As always, thanks for reading!

  17. Sandra August 8, 2012 / 10:27 PM

    How do you make these challenges seem just so easy? This is melancholy and hopeful at the same time. I also left my heart in SF. We left after college and were never able to go back like we wished. It’s a beautiful place full of culture, diversity, and life. You just brought it all back to me!

    • jannatwrites August 8, 2012 / 11:41 PM

      You’re too kind, Sandra. I’m just glad I post my entries before reading the others or I’d chicken out every time 🙂

      San Francisco is beautiful. I’ve only been there once, but I enjoyed the cooler weather. I had to wear a jacket- in June. Unheard of in the AZ desert 🙂 I hope you make it back to visit again someday.

  18. Renada Styles August 9, 2012 / 7:53 AM

    love the last line, and the sense of escape and freedom in this piece. i especially like the comparison to an etch-a-sketch and ‘divorce my heart’. most excellent write.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2012 / 8:48 PM

      I’m glad you liked the story, Renada. I appreciate you taking time to read it and share you thoughts.

  19. Carrie August 9, 2012 / 9:34 AM

    particularly enjoyed this line: My arms are empty, but no one can see I carry my baggage on the inside.

    So true 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2012 / 8:50 PM

      I think most of us carry a heavier load than we’d like, Carrie. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  20. jesterqueen (@jesterqueen) August 9, 2012 / 12:01 PM

    I have only been to San Francisco once, and I want to go back so very badly. I want to go with my kids. I want to go without my kids. I want to go with my husband. I want to take off walking alone like I did before.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2012 / 9:03 PM

      San Francisco is beautiful. I went there for the first time two years ago and I loved it, too! I hope you do get to go back, Jesterqueen 🙂

  21. Tara R. August 9, 2012 / 1:37 PM

    I loved this line, “I imagine my life being shaken like an Etch-a-Sketch.” Such a wonderful description.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2012 / 9:14 PM

      Thanks, Tara. I’m glad you liked that part. Thanks for reading 🙂

  22. Wisper August 9, 2012 / 2:17 PM

    What a great piece. You managed to pack so much into a short bit. I want to know what happens next!

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2012 / 9:22 PM

      Wisper, I’m glad you liked this story enough to want to know what happens. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  23. Trifecta (@trifectawriting) August 9, 2012 / 6:26 PM

    I carry my baggage on the inside. That hit me like a ton of bricks. Oh how I love the idea of wiping the slate clean with a simple scan.
    Thanks for sharing this bit of awesome with us. Please come on back tomorrow for the weekend prompt.

    • jannatwrites August 9, 2012 / 9:24 PM

      If it were as simple as a scan, I’d go to the airport more often 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my entry (and for doing the prompts each week.)

  24. Annabelle August 10, 2012 / 8:22 AM

    Love that idea of shaking your life and clearing it like an Etch-a-Sketch; great image!

    • jannatwrites August 10, 2012 / 5:52 PM

      Thanks, Annabelle. I’m glad you stopped by and enjoyed that part 🙂

Got an opinion? Share it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s