My Scene Of Murder And Mayhem! Muahahaha!

Almost everything I write starts with a “What if?” question. For example, the manuscript I have out to editors right now began with the question, “What if those mushroom fairy ring things really were supernatural?” And thus, The Clearing was born.

For my current WIP, I asked the question, “What if a plane got hijacked – but the bad guys were actually the flight attendants?”

The story begins on a flight to LA. My protagonist, a girl who has just graduated high school, is going to stay with her dad for the summer – but as the plane passes LA and continues to zoom over the Pacific, mayhem ensues – especially when the passengers realize the flight attendants are the ones hijacking the plane.

So, my murder scene comes from these first few chapters, as the girl and her fellow captives are becoming aware that the flight attendants are not their friends. Enjoy!

*          *          *

“How about everyone just takes a seat, and no one will get hurt.”

The male flight attendant – a pretty stacked guy, I realize with a start – is aiming a freaking gun at all of us. Without looking around, I can tell everyone is wearing the same expression as me: Mouth open, eyes wide, face drained of color. One by one, people start sitting down. I slump as low as possible in my seat without actuallygetting under it.

“You gonna tell us what this is all about?” a man calls from the far right side of the cabin. He’s got a thick Texas accent, and when I find his face among the other passengers, I’m a little surprised he’s not wearing a cowboy hat and chaps.

Everyone looks back to the flight attendant. He shifts his eyes to one of his colleagues, and that’s when I notice the attendants are all spaced out around the plane. Four are standing in the aisles, two are up front (including the dude with the gun), and two more are guarding the bathrooms.

“Yeah!” booms the fat businessman. “What in the sam hill’s going on here? We want some answers!”

A few people vocalize their agreement, but most of us keep trying to blend in with the blue polyester we’re sitting on.

“Shut up! Everyone shut your mouths!” the flight attendant shouts, waving the gun in an arc around him. Silence falls on the crowd of passengers like a tidal wave. “You’ll find out where you’re going when you get there. Now make yourselves comfortable, ‘cause we’ve got a long flight ahead of us.”

“Oh no we don’t!” Texas Man bleats. Before anyone can process what’s happening, he leaps out of his seat and launches himself at the burly flight attendant with the gun.

“Doug!” the woman next to him cries, right before the gun discharges into Doug’s chest.

She screams, and it’s the most awful noise I’ve ever heard. She’s in the process of flinging herself towards Doug when another flight attendant – the one closest to her – pulls a gun from beneath her jacket and places the barrel on the woman’s skull.

“Don’t. Move,” the attendant barks. I recognize her as the tiny blonde woman the fat businessman was yelling at earlier.

A terrible thought seems to dawn on all of us at the same time. Everyone shifts their gaze from one flight attendant to another and registers the uniform bulges beneath their jackets.

Every single one of them is packing heat.

“Like we said,” the man at the front of the plane smirks, “if everyone stays in their seat, no one will get hurt. But if you’re as stupid as this poor idiot – ” he flicks his head towards Doug’s lifeless body – “we can’t be held responsible for our actions. Now, we’re going to be in the air for a while longer, but rest assured you’ll have a gun pointed at your head the whole time. Understand?”

No one moves a muscle.

“Good. Now sit down and don’t say another word. Oh, and if you have to pee?” He pauses for dramatic effect. “Hold it.”

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37 thoughts on “My Scene Of Murder And Mayhem! Muahahaha!

  1. Jenn Buird says:

    That was great! Let me be the first to congratulate you on an awesome Murder Scene post! I really enjoyed it and that bit at the end was a great touch. Cuddos (Sp?) on holding this blog fest! I’m glad you did! ^.^

  2. Charity Bradford says:

    What a great scene to start my reading with today. I like your pacing. You take just long enough. There is enough time to look around the plan and lump the attendants in it together, but the action started at the beginning.

  3. Summer says:

    Great scene! You can feel the shift in tension as the passengers realize that they’re suddenly in a hella serious situation.

    Thanks for hosting this blogfest! I had a blast.

  4. Heather says:

    Nice scene! I like the hints of your MC’s voice that we get – the “dude” with the “freaking gun” really broke up the tension nicely. She seems like someone I’d want to get to know – though maybe not in this situation. And I would love to find out the situation that led to the attendants hijacking the plane – or did they become attendants so they could hijack? See, you’ve got me intrigued. Love it!

  5. Adelyn says:

    Great murder scene! I really love the plot behind it and the way you use the character’s voice. I wouldn’t want to be caught on that plane!! 🙂

  6. Simon says:

    Hahaa! Talk about taking a bad situation and making it worse! Not only are you not getting to LA when you wanted to, but some fat guy just got shot, and you can’t pee for the next six hours… awesome!

    Nicely done, good lady. Way to kick off the murderfest!

  7. Dawn Embers says:

    Great scene and interesting set up. Never would have thought to do a scene on an airplane but it works very well here. I like using what if questions as well.

    Also, love the blogfest it was a great idea and fun to take part in.

  8. Raquel Byrnes says:

    Loved the tension and the vivid descriptions. The passenger’s sudden realization that all the attendants are armed was great. Really ratched up the worry. Great post.

  9. Ashelynn Sanford says:

    Yeah…I sure hope I don’t have to fly sometime soon – or maybe not this year. O.o

    Very good scene, Anne. The tension worked for me – creepy, but just enough that I worry for the passengers on the plane. Nice. 🙂

  10. Courtney Reese says:

    Great post, Anne! What a fun idea to work with on you WIP– flight attendants always creeped me out when I was younger, so this is a natural fit. lol
    Thanks for host this awesome blogfest!

  11. VRBarkowski says:

    Superb scene, Anne, loved it. Excellent tension in a setting familiar to all of us and one more reason not to get on an airplane. 🙂

    Many thanks for hosting the blogfest – it’s been great fun!

  12. Elaine says:

    Great post, Anne
    I loved your line “I slump as low as possible in my seat without actually getting under it.”
    I shivered and imagined doing just that in the situation.

  13. Katherine Nabity says:

    A plane being taken over by its crew is a very disquieting idea. Well done!

    My one niggling complaint? I think “Don’t. Move.” has a whole lot more power than the same sentence with a dialog tag. The comma steals the thunder.

  14. Jemi Fraser says:

    Awesome scene Anne! Love the concept 🙂

    Congrats on holding such a popular and awesome blogfest – I’ve read a few entries now and they’re all great. Super job!!

  15. EJ Fechenda says:

    Awesome scene! The confusion of the passengers and your mc is realistic and conveyed well. When Doug launched out of his seat, I was yelling at him in my head to sit down! Very believable and intense. BTW, thanks for hosting this blogfest!

  16. Rebecca T. says:

    Great excerpt! I really enjoyed it. Good job 🙂 My brain is toast or I would leave a more detailed explanation as to why I liked it. Honest.

  17. layinda says:

    Great story, Anne! It was like watching a movie, very visual. It put me in mind of Bel Canto, a large group being held captive like that, but obviously a totally different angle. Tense like that, though.

    Thanks for hosting the Blogfest! I’ve never participated in one before, and it was a lot of fun. 🙂

  18. Lorel says:

    That was so exciting, Anne! Great work! The scene flowed so well, and I could totally picture all the passengers and their reactions. The final line was worthy of the best action movies. Awesome!

  19. Anne Riley says:

    Woohoo! Thanks everyone! I really enjoyed reading all of your scenes, too – what a bunch of talented folks you are. This was a lot of fun – maybe I’ll host another blogfest sometime in the future! Thanks again for the kind words!

  20. Carolina Valdez Miller says:

    Oh my word, I’m so sorry I didn’t get an entry in. I’ve been so caught up with query prep…blah. I could kick myself for it. But I enjoyed your scene though. Loved the voice in it. I laughed several times. If my plane ever get highjacked, I hope I can see it in the same way–well, you know, minus the murder. Nicely done, Anne!

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