They had to stay out of harm’s way until they could get off the plane, and he knew just how he could achieve that. Kirsti followed him without question. Walking aft they approached the rearmost toilets. “Come on,” he said, opening one of the middle doors in the row.
“Is there enough room?” Kirsti asked, apparently unfazed by his intentions. Neither of them were thinking ‘Mile High Club’ at that moment.
“Just, if we hold our breath,” he replied, smiling and trying to exude confidence. They both squeezed in and closed the door. Locking it, Nick put his foot at the base of the concertina joint in the middle and his hand on the equivalent place at the top and leaned into the door.
“Now no-one can get in. Did you notice that none of the cabin crew took their seats?”
“No, I didn’t think about it. But now you come to mention it…”
“Exactly. Something is really wrong and I think we need to stay out of sight. At least until we land.”
Kirsti put her arm around Nick’s chest and held onto him tightly. “Are we going to die?” she asked hesitantly.
“Not if I can help it,” he said, gaining strength from his primitive need to protect her. The one thing he had always noticed when looking at videos of post-crash sites was that the tail of the plane always seemed to be intact, just lying there like a memorial stone – he just hoped they were close enough to it to survive should they crash.
The upper body strength she had developed from her rock climbing hobby told on him as he struggled to breathe. He put his spare arm around her and she relaxed a little. Damn, I don’t think I want to arm-wrestle this girl any time soon, he thought, impressed at her strength.
From outside the small cubicle, the groaning, screaming and thumping noises intensified as what sounded like dozens of people ran amok, victims and aggressors mixed in mortal combat the groans intensifying in frustration and occasionally with what sounded like triumph, all the while bodies crashed into nearby walls and the door of the occupied toilet. Nick wondered if he hadn’t just inadvertently consigned them to their doom in this cubicle, this make-shift coffin, a place from where they couldn’t escape if they wanted to. They both hoped and prayed it would hold out against the violence mere inches away on the other side of the thin walls so far keeping them safe.
At one point the adjoining side wall bent as tremendous pressure was exerted against it. Was someone trying to get in to attack them or had a few people had a similar idea to their own to stay out of harm’s way? Suddenly, under his hand he felt the door bow slightly. Shit, something was just the other side of the door. Kirsti’s left hand moved to push back against the middle of the door. The thumping and groaning increased, something was trying to get in; they had been discovered. Someone must have seen them hide or at least sensed their presence in the confined space.
Nick and Kirsti began hyperventilating in fear and anticipation of the worst. A scratching sound caught their attention; it sounded like someone was trying to pick the lock on the door. Waiting for a vocal challenge from a stewardess, they held their breath, trying to be as quiet as possible, praying they would be left in peace. Nick knew how easy it was to unlock these doors from the outside and doubts of their safety flooded his mind. It was too late now to do anything about it.
All of a sudden the aircraft pitched onto its side, throwing everyone outside the door across the aeroplane, setting up a low, thundering vibration as bodies collided with each other causing screeches of protest. Kirsti was crushed against Nick as the g-force of the manoeuvre pressed them against the side of the toilet, causing them both to groan in fear. Suddenly Kirsti’s lips were against Nick’s and for a brief but thrilling moment the surrounding turmoil was lost to the pair. As the plane was thrown the other direction – it felt like someone was struggling to control the massive aeroplane – they were catapulted against the opposite wall, the sudden intensity of metallic screeching drowning out all other noise. And then everything went dark.