Return to Delhi


Photo credit: yarnspinnerr

The Airbus A320 Neo landed back in Delhi after one of its two engines stalled in midflight to Ranchi. Passengers and crew were safely returned to the ground, but not allowed to approach the terminal. Investigators ordered the passengers to be deplaned and escorted to a quarantine area.

Captain Laghari was justifiably incensed as federal investigators held him and his crew on board the airliner.

“I apologize for this unusual treatment, but I don’t think you grasp the problem. How long was your total time in the air?”

“Approximately forty-five minutes. The normal flight time one way is 110 minutes.”

“What is today’s date?”

“It’s Sunday, June 3rd.”

The investigator removed his smartphone from his jacket pocket and pressed the Home button.

“That’s impossible. It says it’s the 12th.”

“Sir, on June 3rd at approximately 10:03 a.m., your aircraft disappeared from radar and was presumed lost, however no wreckage was discovered. Then, an hour ago, you reappeared on ATC screens and requested permission for an emergency landing. A lot more went wrong than just an engine.”

I wrote this for FFfAW Challenge 168 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long. My word count is 174.

Naturally, I looked up the airline company and found the news story IndiGo flight stalls engine midair due to snag. Apparently, this low-cost commercial air company has had more than a few problems.

Sometime ago, I wrote a short story called The Final Destination of Flight 33, which was based on a 1961 Twilight Zone episode written by Rod Serling. It’s the story of a commercial aircraft that travels through time into the past and then perhaps into the future.

I decided to give my little airliner’s passengers and crew the same problem today, but only projected them nine days into the future, although for them, practically no time had passed at all.

How would the authorities react to such a mystery?

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit

Oh, I’m suffering from another bout of insomnia so it’s going to be a rough time at my day job later.

30 thoughts on “Return to Delhi

  1. Great concept for a sci-fi movie. As mentioned ‘Lost’ did it very well to start with, then lost it’s way trying to spin the story out for several seasons too many. Good one, James. Hope you’re managing to stay awake.


  2. This reminds me of an episode of Star Trek: TNG when another star ship was caught in some part of space and the crew had no idea that they were there for years. Fascinating story–like the sci-fi touch.


    • When I wrote my “sequel” to Rod Serling’s television episode, I did so because I needed a resolution, a way for Flight 33 to get out of the loop (at least before they ran out of fuel and crashed). As far as “what is time” goes, that’s been argued back and forth by people a lot smarter than me with no resolution.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.