End Evil

The Case

By Simon Hill

Harry was angry, he was hot and tired, he was sweating profusely and his back ached, his feet were sore from walking and his hands felt burnt because of the cheap plastic handle on his suitcase. He stood patiently in the queue anyway, fighting the desire to shout out or throw his suitcase at the counter or even kick the fat woman in front of him who seemed to have doused herself in half a bottle of perfume, a practice which Harry abhorred and which in these circumstances was seriously impairing his ability to breath.

The queue he had chosen to stand in didn´t seem to be moving at all but of course, he observed, the queue next to him was disappearing fast, he flinched as he saw that stupid couple he had met earlier approaching the counter, damn it he thought, he´d already been standing in the queue for a good twenty minutes when they turned up. He remained composed, to look at him you would have had no idea of the internal turmoil he was going through, he looked just like any other middle-aged businessman the suit, tie, nice shoes. If you were observant you may also have noticed that his suitcase looked out of place, it was a huge, bright blue thing which looked very cheap in contrast to the nice suit and expensive shoes. Eventually the fat woman waddled off leaving behind a thick cloud of cloying perfume which caused Harry to cough violently just as he walked up to the counter.

The old woman behind the counter looked disgusted at him and did not wait for the coughing to subside before demanding "Passport please". Harry fumbled his passport out of his jacket pocket between coughs and handed it over. The woman checked it thoroughly, shooting the occasional suspicious glance in his direction. "Any baggage?" she enquired. "Just this" said Harry holding up the ugly blue suitcase, the woman shook her head and pointed to the platform at the side of the desk. Harry slid the briefcase on to the rollers and watched as the woman attached some stickers to the handle. She then gave it a shove and it disappeared behind the plastic hanging curtain. The woman was immaculately turned out, the usual airline uniform, with her hair tied up neatly, she must have been at least fifty but Harry thought she was still attractive. He imagined sleeping with her, slipping into a side room for a cavity search of his own, thoughts like this were becoming all too frequent in Harry´s head and he knew it, but it had been some time since he had had any sex. The woman behind the counter handed him his boarding pass and passport, all the while giving him a wilting look which suggested she had been reading his mind and knew the kind of smutty thoughts that were to be found there. Harry said "Thankyou very much" and sloped away from the counter.

He had an hour to kill before boarding and so he decided to go for a drink, this was not normally something Harry would do because he hated having to use airplane toilets, but he felt nervous and figured a quick drink or two may help. He wandered into one of the airport bars, all wooden furniture and rows of plants in concrete boxes. Harry ordered a straight whisky from the young continental barman, he couldn´t make out if he was French, Belgian or possibly Dutch, it didn´t matter. The drink went down easily and so did the next two, he decided to visit the toilet quickly before boarding and realised as he stood up that the drinks had gone straight to his head.

Harry walked slowly towards the toilets, as he reached the entrance he was struck with a sudden feeling of total panic "the suitcase" he blurted out aloud before realising with some embarrassment that he had already checked it in. As he was washing his hands his flight was called and he hurried out of the toilet without bothering to dry them. Gate 14 was his target, and after traversing some crowds and hurrying along a couple of those flat escalators, he was there. The entrance to the tunnel which led to the plane was blocked by a couple of airline staff, a small queue of people was slowly filtering through showing their boarding passes and passports on the way. Harry did the same keeping a careful eye out for someone he was hoping not to see. Once through he made as if to pick up one of the free papers which were sitting in a promotional stand and quickly scanned the remaining boarding passengers. No sign of him, "I'm home free" thought Harry to himself. He turned and strode down the corridor to board his plane. Once seated Harry had felt a warm glow of relief aided in part by the whisky he had consumed at the airport bar. "What on earth had all the fuss been about?", he wondered to himself. Maybe he was just too good for the rest of them, still he had expected something else and he still couldn´t figure out why they hadn´t sent someone after him, he had fully expected to see the dreaded Hart waiting at the airport but there had been no sign of him.

Harry sat back in his seat and closed his eyes, mentally preparing himself for take-off. He cleared his mind of all thoughts and tried to breath regularly, he had found this routine helped to keep him calm during airtravel. He had had trouble in the past, in fact on a flight to Spain he had attacked some of the cabin crew and been removed from the plane, but he had flown a few times since then and besides this time he had more reason to fly. The case, the big ugly blue case, Harry couldn´t wait to open it back in the safety of his own house, he would never have to worry about money again. He was pulled from his thoughts by the air stewardess who was moving slowly down the plane checking everyone´s seat belts were fastened. Harry´s wasn´t so he was instructed to fasten it immediately, the stewardess stood watching until he had complied and then continued down the plane. A few minutes later the plane shook and rattled its huge metallic bulk off the ground and began to climb high into the sky.

Harry relaxed, every muscle of his body took a momentary sigh, he became fluid. All except for one niggling brain cell, deep in the recesses of his mind, one determined thought fought it's way through his conciousness, persistently, inevitably. The relaxation was a distant memory as the full ramifications of the thought struck home, reeling Harry felt his atmosphere slide into surreal. The case was a bomb. He knew it was bomb, it explained everything, the ease of his escape, the lack of chase given, especially the absence of that Hart freak at the airport. This was to be the end then? Deep in the hold of the aircraft the case sat inocously, almost innocently. Harry gripped the arms of his chair until his knuckles seemed to be threatening to break free of his skin, his breathing was laboured and his brow covered with beads of cold sickly sweat.

Harry struggled to control himself. Then it occurred to him that they were all going to die, so why bother. "We're all gonna die!" he screamed manically. This was a line he had seen delivered in so many movies and he relished the opportunity to say it, he was just sad that it had to be true. Unlike the movies nobody reacted except one old guy sitting behind Harry who gave his seat a little kick and said "Shut up, asshole". A stewardess was soon over peering sideways at crazy Harry. Harry turned and heard a loud boom and a rushing noise, the stewardess was momentarily engulfed in yellow flames but they receded almost as fast as they had arrived and she was visible for a second more, looking confused, hair aflame, before she was whipped out of the gaping hole in the back of the plane. Harry turned and looked after her, he could see the blue sky, framed by twisted metal and charred luggage. The plane was a cacophony of noise and panic all deadened by the rushing of the wind. Harry faced front and folded his arms across his chest, he would have thought of the people he loved but there were none so he thought about a prostitute he had slept with once. The plane began to break up more rapidly and plummeted along with its contents into the Atlantic Ocean, taking Harry and his smutty thoughts with it.


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