Airline pilots struggle to stay focused? I'm sorry...don't we all? Boo-hoo...I can't stay focused. It's not like you're running the copy machine hub at Staples or screwing up the Jack-In-The Box French fry order. Jesus! I mean... (and I do believe the Lord will forgive me here) JESUS! Son of El Hombre friggin' Key-riiist!!! You are cruising at 30K feet! Is it so hard to cradle lives? That little girl and her sick mother in row 12 E? Dave White white knuckling it in 29 A? Dude, ever hear of Red Bull, espresso, (ahem) low-level CRANK?
Ah. Plane crash crime fiction. It's a common mechanism. An original take might be James Hall's opening to BLACKWATER SOUND. Hell, freaking Jim Hall had me at "hello" with UNDER COVER OF DAYLIGHT. He could write a slur on a used swatch of toilet tissue and I'd say sign here.
For me, I recall plenty of turbulence on the flights here and there. One in particular. A shake-n-quake puddle hop from the USVI to the BVI. One pilot--kind of crispy (if you know what I mean) deep trenched in the island lifestyle.
"Don't you have a co-pilot?"
"Nah, we go down, yo, it all be beauty."
I looked at my wife, my two friends, our gear...and said--been real, people.
Of course, there was the that time when we flew into Caracas...
KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir ...as well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.