Flash fiction under 300 words. Prompt: when I looked again it was gone
| Jazz streams through my blood but it doesn't pay benefits so I work for Delta. I've just finished three days with that last flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta. I need a drink. The orange and brown earth tones of Dolly's Donuts invite me to sit down.
Somewhere over Nashville a shouting match had broken out. We had gone around one storm to just end up in another. It was up to me and Otis to intervene and calm everyone down.
"There's a gremlin on the wing!"
"You're drinking too much."
"Then you must've been watching Twilight Zone."
"I swear..." We got in between. Otis listened attentively to their concerns. I crooned, "We'll be landing soon, safe and sound in Atlanta."
It was time to do rounds, serve the last drinks and then... I saw an upside down grin at the window. Sticking it's tongue out. Waving his... I stumbled. The guy in 29C held out a hand, asked me whether I was okay. I pasted on a smile. When I looked again, it was gone.
I... really wanted the head steward to notice how good a job I was doing. I finished serving beverages: sparkling cokes, coffees, a tea with lemon, collected trash and collapsed into my seat in the back where I hoped no one would notice me singing softly to myself.
Otis gave me a look but said nothing. We landed safely.
I can't get those two faces out of my mind. A grinning goblin and Otis hiding his concern. I sip my black coffee in the darkest corner of Dolly's Donuts, breathe in the jazz, moving my mouth along with Aretha, dunking my donut to the rhythm of r.e.s.p.e.c.t. where Otis finds me, asks me, "Did you ever see a gremlin grin like that?