Everything seemed to happen at once. From Coach and Business Elite alike, more screams and herd terror-babble ramped up as the plane began to vibrate. Wild lightning rattled through the seas of clouds outside.
Turbulence shook everything with the force of an earthquake. Tray tables bounced. Drinks spilled hither and yon. My tea flew toward the front of the cabin. The kid’s empty coffee cup was nowhere in sight.
I turned around. In the front row of the Coach section, where the curtain had been yanked aside, a young girl with her hair dyed three different Crayola colors was clawing at her seatbelt, her eyes bugging out. Beside her, her boyfriend was still asleep.
A grossly fat yuppie with a Jimmy Carter part in his hair bulled to his feet, brandishing his briefcase and charged us, bellowing, “Allah this, mother fucker!!!” His tie was askew. His loafers pounded the aisle as his seatbelt clattered to the ground.
But the only friend of Allah on this plane was sitting perfectly still. The yuppie saw me… and then he saw Waite standing in the aisle, alive and alight and not a bit groggy at all.
Waite grinned with small, sharp teeth. One webbed hand came up, palm down, fat sushi-gummy fingers splayed. He croaked something that might have been a word.
The yuppie fell backward into seat 5-D, knocking over an old man’s martini glass. The old man screamed, almost scooting into the lap of a snotty-looking little princess who pushed him away. “No!! Ew, I—Help!”