“Please fasten your seat belts,” the flight attendant’s voice crackled over the plane’s speakers.

I looked at my sister and mumbled, “There must be some turbulence from the storm.”

She just nodded and fumbled with her seat belt with her shaking hands. She was terrified of flying, but I had convinced her to fly to Paris with me. It had always been a dream of ours to see the world together. I grasped her hand and said soothingly, “Marie,

it's going to be –” The lights flickered, and the plane jolted. “ – fine,” I finished with a chuckle.

Suddenly, I felt something cold and damp grab my neck from behind. I couldn’t breathe as those cold, cold hands choked the life out of me. I thrashed wildly in my seat, trying to shake off the hands of my attacker. Why wasn't anyone helping me? Darkness closed in, and I could feel myself losing consciousness. The hands withdrew as quickly as they had attacked. As soon as I got my breath back, I started to unbuckle my seat belt to do something about my attacker. I turned around with my fists clenched, but there was no one there. The three rows directly behind me were empty, and the people a couple of rows back were chatting, all buckled in their seats. I plopped back down in my seat and told Marie what had happened with my voice shaking. Her eyes got wider and wider, and by the time I had finished, she was shaking, too. There was a loud crash, and we both jumped. I saw a flight attendant bend down and pick up a tray that she’d dropped. I let out a breath that I hadn’t known that I’d been holding. I was too jumpy, even though something unexplainable had just happened.

My heart sped up as I thought about the attack again. My vision blurred as I blinked back tears. My mind raced. I had almost died. Someone had tried to kill me, but maybe it was just my mind playing tricks on me. Maybe the high altitude caused me to

have some kind of lung spasm, and I freaked out. I had just overreacted. Yes, I had just overreacted. It HAD to be a misunderstanding. It couldn't be anything supernatural. The

lights flickered again and someone screamed. I felt the hand on my neck again; this time its touch felt more tender, almost like a caress from a lover. I looked behind me. There was no one standing behind me. I felt warm breath on my neck and heard a faint chuckle. The lights flickered and went out. I kept waiting for them to turn back on, but they didn't. People screamed as the engine sputtered and died. All I could hear as the plane hurtled down was that … creature’s laugh echoing in my mind.

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