The Crash


Paige Skewes

Photography by Paige Skewes

Emily Newlin

It was an early Saturday morning in the big apple, when I woke up to my alarm clock ringing in my ears. I realized today was the day I’m going to the Caribbean Islands. I hopped out of bed with excitement and got ready to go to the airport to meet my friends Cassandra, JoJo, and Sydney. I soon called a taxi and sped off leaving all my life behind me for a well needed two-week vacation. On the way to the airport, my taxi driver got into an accident with another taxi driver, and my friend JoJo happened to be in the backseat of the other cab. We both thought it was a crazy coincidence, but time was running out and we are almost late to our flight. We went to the nearest bus stop where it took 15 minutes for the next bus to transport us to the airport. That gave us only 10 minutes to get through customs. Good thing I didn’t bring much with me, or else we were in jeopardy of missing our flight. The bus finally arrived and drove us to the airport. We arrive and see Cassandra and Sydney waiting for us.

After we all got together, we went through customs and got our bags checked. This was my first time being in an airport and flying on a plane. It was a little hectic going through the security with all the people running to their flights and trying to keep track of who they’re with. As we were waiting our flight was called and we hurried up to the gate, eventually, it opened, and everyone poured in. As we were walking towards our seats in the back, Sydney and JoJo got to them first. Cassandra and I got stopped by a flight attendant who informed us that our seats got used for a family and we got bumped up to first class. As everyone else is boarding, Cassandra and I see three mysterious men board. Looking closely at them, I did not notice any color on them. Nor did these men look like ordinary people. They were dressed in all black, the men in black. They had Bluetooth ear pieces in and were not saying a word to anybody. When we noticed these men, we both looked at each other in confusion, trying to figure out why they looked so mysterious. Cassandra let Sydney and JoJo know what we saw and asked what their thoughts were. I realized today was September 11th, 2002, the one-year anniversary of the horrific plane crash into the twin towers.

We have been up in the air for a couple hours now, everything seemed normal until all those same men in black got up at once, and started walking towards the front, middle, and back of the plane. They did a little thing with their ear pieces and that was when I realized, the plane was getting hijacked. The men equipped themselves with weapons stored in their luggage and one of them made their way into the cockpit. While the other two men began robbing the passengers on the plane of their valuables. Cassandra and I did not know what to do, and we were worried for Sydney and JoJo. Cassandra said, “What if I go get Sydney and JoJo so we’re all together?” I looked at her like she had the worst idea ever. “No way! If anything, we’re both going because what if I get killed while you guys are gone, or you get shot on the way back there!?” I exclaimed. We both ended up sitting it out together in first class. Everyone on the plane was freaking out but could not do anything. The man that went into the cockpit killed both the pilots and started flying the plane in a different direction. The two other men began to walk towards the cockpit and all everyone heard was a gunshot. “BANG!” The man in the cockpit was now dead. The plane hit turbulence. The oxygen masks dropped, and the plane was going down.

I look out the window worried and all I see is water, I realized the plane was going down and I braced for impact. I was terrified, so was Cassandra and everyone else aboard. The plane struck the ground with tremendous force. Parts of the plane broke off in different directions. I had then realized that the plane had ended up on a tiny tropical island in the Bermuda Triangle. I look to my left to see if Cassandra was okay, and she was unconscious. I look back to see if Sydney and JoJo were still there and all I spotted was a big gaping hole in the rear of the plane. That is when I realized I was on my own. I unbuckled my seatbelt and stood up. Everyone sitting around me was dead, besides Cassandra. I went to unbuckle her seatbelt and the front part of the plane moved. The nose was being held up by two trees and as I took one more step, it went down. “CRASH!” I got thrown to the ceiling of the plane and got knocked out cold.

I awoke to the pretty noises of birds chirping in the trees, and the smell of dead bodies. I look around and saw Cassandra next to me in her seat still. I look for anyone that was awake or alive, but no luck. I went searching for fresh water. Eventually, I came upon a stream with a miniature waterfall beside it. I ran towards it and began drinking from the stream. Suddenly, I heard a thunderous noise from what had to have been the other half of the plane. I ran towards it, but all I saw were trees. After about half a mile I reached the shore of this Island. I saw nothing. Just the water and the sky. I travelled back to the plane to check on Cassandra, and she was gone. Nervously I quickly walked to the stream of water. There she was drinking the water, as I did earlier, “Thank God Cassandra, I thought you got lost for a second.” I said. “I thought I lost you Emily! I went looking for you.” Cassandra exclaimed. After we hydrated ourselves with the stream water, we started to seek for Sydney and JoJo.

It was a nice day on the island as Cassandra and I wondered the island looking for the tail end of the plane. To avoid places we have already been, we left landmarks around the island. We became tired from the excessive walking and decided to set up camp for the night. Overnight we built a fire and were able to catch some fish in the stream for food. As dawn approached us, we continued our search for our friends. It was about mid-day and we came across some wild crabs scattered across the sand. These crabs did not seem like ordinary crabs. Their claws were enormous in comparison to their bodies, however, the bodies also appeared unique in size. Cassandra and I dashed deep into the jungle. So deep that we could not see the shore anymore. Suddenly, the sun disappears, and rain came pouring down in buckets. We made an attempt at building a shelter, however, we ultimately failed. The rain didn’t last long, and we resume our journey for JoJo and Sydney, and others.

On the second day of searching and we had nearly walked around the entire island. Cassandra and I had not hydrated since the day of the crash. We decided to head back to the fresh water we found yesterday, thus extending our already dreadfully long search. It was getting dark and fast and Cassandra began to worry. That got me thinking about how much Sydney hates the dark. Cassandra suggested they might have built a fire like we did. So, we went searching for a light. It was a couple hours into the second night and strange noises were coming from every direction. I had no clue where they were coming from, we chose a direction and ran. We made it out of the jungle and were now of the flat shoreline of the island. We looked up and there it was, a little light a few hundred yards away. We quickly made our way towards it. As we got closer we started to hear screaming and crying. Cassandra and I began run faster. We approached the light and there they were.

JoJo was on the ground crying; her left leg was missing. A clean cut from the knee down. It appeared someone had bandaged the wound with leaves from the island. We turned our heads to see Sydney running up with some more leaves for JoJo. Cassandra shouted with terror, “JoJo where is the other half of the plane?” JoJo yelled back sarcastically, “Where’s the plane?! I have no leg and you are asking about the plane?!”. Cassandra replied, “Sorry JoJo. Where’s your leg?” JoJo yelled sarcastically, “I don’t know. Don’t you think I would have it if I knew?!” JoJo soon passed out due to the extreme levels of pain. Later in the day, we awoke and figured out JoJo and Sydney’s perspective from the crash. Sydney explained, “We were just chilling, relaxing on the flight you know, the hijackers did their thing, and then we were in the ocean”. “Then we both were able to get out of our seats to swim to the shore in the distance.” said JoJo. “On the way there, JoJo got viciously attacked by this shark.” Sydney mentioned. That explained the missing leg. We together planned a way to get home off this island. Our first thing was to look for the black box on the plane in the cockpit, to determine our location.

It’s the next day and we are starting our way to the front half of the plane where Cassandra and I landed. As we approached the plane and begin to look for it. Also, if there is any source of signal to reach someone. No luck. All of us searched and searched and couldn’t find it. Our next hope was to just do it ourselves. Cassandra made a machete type tool to gather trees. Sydney sought for strings of some sort and tropical leaves. JoJo acquired fruits and coconuts, and I made a sail out of debris from the plane. We were building an escape route to home. Day and night passed, and we were almost done with our accomplishment.

It’s been a week since the crash, and we’re finally about to set sail. All of us are excited about getting off of this island, we were ready. The sun was rising along coast. We knew, it was time. We all gathered our things and prepared to set sail. Things were going smoothly, getting onto the water and getting situated. The noticed some clouds moving in our direction about an hour into the trip. Before we knew it, we heard a loud “CRASH!”. The storm was approaching rapidly. The waves were getting rough. Great concern was expressed in all of our faces because we knew the storm was going to be too strong for our make-shift raft. Cassandra and Sydney started panicking and it was all up to me and one-legged JoJo. The storm was atrocious, getting worse and worse by the minute. 30-foot waves were towering over the raft as we were taking on water. Lightning suddenly struck the rafts sail and everything went black. When I regained consciousness, I realized I was in an ambulance with JoJo, Sydney, and Cassandra surrounding me. “What happened?” I asked. “You were just in a terrible cab accident Emily!” Cassandra replied. Confused Emily asked, “What about the plane, the island, the raft?”. Also confused, Cassandra replied, “What are you talking about?”