Other people

There’s a woman on a plane.
Her screen tells her she’s flying over South Sudan.
She looks out of her window, over the wing.
It’s dark outside, but she sees lights down below.
Clusters of people’s homes, probably, and trucks speeding around dirt tracks made by their own tyres.

There’s a girl looking up at the plane.
She sees its wing and tail lights flicker between the moon and stars, as her mother screams through another life-threatening home birth in the hut.
The girl used to think the plane’s lights were the souls of dead people floating towards heaven.
Then her school teacher told her they were things that take other people to places where they could enjoy the things they prayed for.

The woman pulls the shutter over her window and closes her eyes. The girl blows a kiss to the sky.

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Short story writer based in York, UK. Video profile: youtu.be/5OTcLPQkGAU

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