Author : Asher Wismer

30,000 feet above the ocean, my fighter jet went into a barrel roll. This was not optimal. I hung on the control stick for dear life, opened the flaps, and grunted as we decelerated hard.

In the air around me, flashing lights tailed and surrounded my plane. With a shriek of terror, my copilot hit the eject and blew out, leaving me with a malfunctioning plane and a big rushing hole in the canopy. Over the roar of the wind, I worked to stabilize the jet while the flashing lights moved in.

Nothing happened. I lowered to 20,000 feet. Some of the lights moved through the plane, through me. I felt nothing. A small chuckle escaped my lips as I contemplated my copilot. Shaky on the nerves; he’d key a transponder and the Coast Guard would pick him up.

Of more concern were the lights. Several of them were congregating in front of my plane. Others were still trailing me by several yards.

In front of me, the group of lights came together in a blast of white. My mirrored visor kept the lights dim, but I still squinted. There was now a big flashing light, keeping pace with me. I checked the radio. Still jammed. Ahead, I could see the coast. There was no landing strip nearby, but I could dry-land the fighter if necessary. I just needed a long enough stretch of relatively smooth ground. A low-traffic highway would be perfect.

The big flashing light suddenly came toward me and enveloped my plane. I could see nothing except the light, not flashing from the inside but bright and steady. My instruments said I was still about 15,000 feet above sea level.

A voice came from around. “You have been selected for our special offer, just 19.95 while supplies last! Just relax and take it easy, and you’ll receive three nights and two days in beautiful Las Vegas! As seen on TV!”

Shocked, I watched as my altimeter plunged towards the ground. I hit the eject, but there was no response. I braced for the impact–

And nothing happened. In awe and horror, I saw that my altimeter was registering 10,000 feet below sea level.

“Ah, shit,” I said. “All this time we’ve been looking to the sky–”


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