Mid Flight
Lisa Wilkes
Publication date: March 31st 2023
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

2037 was a really bad year.

Lexi Brennan’s best friend was killed in a plane crash. Two weeks later, an intergalactic crisis threatened the fate of humanity. Authorities responded by launching a genocide.

Lexi opposed this vicious attack. Then again, what could she do? An eccentric flight attendant drawn to glamorous trysts, she felt powerless to incite change.

Until tragedy struck close to home. Suddenly, Lexi was forced to acknowledge the widespread atrocities. She uncovered a network of lies along with an opportunity to restore basic human rights. To protect others, Lexi would have to launch a movement that could destroy everything important to her, including her promising new romance.

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EXCERPT:

Wordlessly, Lexi grabbed her purse and darted for the exit. She needed to see it. She had to know for sure.

The midnight sky was pierced by jagged red veins. A thousand burgundy fingers tore through the stratosphere like lightning etched in the wrong color. Puffs of smoke dotted the horizon, mushroom clouds rising toward the ominous red ether. From the descriptions and images in Lexi’s VirtuAlarms, it appeared Santa Fe had gotten off easy. Other cities looked like they’d been struck by an atomic bomb.

The world was blazing. The sky was breaking apart in pieces.

AutoScan—Jorge Rodrigues, I didn’t see your texts ‘til just now. They’re grounding all planes immediately? Scary stuff. Wish I was there with you. Where’s your plane landing?

With a rapid-fire double blink, Lexi sent the message.

Jorge’s response flitted across Lexi’s cornea. His words felt frantic. Can’t get down. Capitol Hill is burning. Dense population, nowhere to land. 80 miles from Dulles Airport. I don’t think we’ll make it.

Lexi read the last sentence and crumbled. She fell to her knees on the hot New Mexico concrete, sirens blaring in the distance and meteors crashing to the ground with a fiery scarlet vengeance.

“No,” she begged the universe. “Please, no.” Her vision blurred. Lexi ached to rip her skin off her body, inch by inch, melting into a heap of exposed veins. It was so enticing. She wanted it so badly. It was what she deserved, truly.

She should’ve been on that airplane with Jorge. Self-reproval flitted through her mind on an endless loop. Should have, should have, should have, you worthless idiot.

She gasped for air.

AutoScan—Colin Brennan, dial right now, she instructed, calling her brother via electrical impulses connected to her cranium. Five beeps sounded in her ear, then the line went dead.

Tears rolled down Lexi’s cheeks as she mentally composed another note to her best friend at SkyLine. AutoScan—Jorge Rodrigues, don’t talk that way. You will land safely. Reagan International probably has space for diverted aircraft. You’ll be fine. I promise.

As she waited for Jorge’s reply, she dug her nails into her leg, reopening the wound on her thigh. She picked at it, forcing the gash to widen. It was the size of a dime, then a quarter. She kept pulling, peeling, exposing her insides. She wanted her entire soul to leak out.

“Don’t leave me, Jorge,” she whispered. “Don’t you dare leave me.”

Colin tried to leave all the time. Lexi couldn’t handle another loss. She needed Jorge. He was her partner in crime, her other half. He was the best thing about being a flight attendant.

Words appeared in front of Lexi’s eyeball. Her chest tightened.

I don’t think we— Jorge began.

“What?” Lexi murmured aloud. Her hands fell to her sides, limp. “What is it, J.R.?”

Lexi craned her neck toward the red-streaked sky. She shouted, pleaded, implored her buddy bidder to write back. She wanted to hear details about his safe landing, after the pilots found an open runway someplace in Maryland.

Arms clasped around Lexi’s waist, dragging her back into the restaurant. She kicked and screamed, fighting to stay outside. She wanted the sky to collapse on her and drag her into the deep black unknown. She didn’t deserve the safety of four solid walls and a roof. She didn’t deserve to be in a city that had received minimal damage from the celestial hellfire.

Lexi began to chuckle as she was forced back inside the restaurant. She could barely breathe from laughing so hard. Through narrowed eyelids, Lexi saw customers and staff staring at her in disbelief. She continued flailing her limbs. She laughed with all her might, a deep guttural guffaw that echoed through the bar.

When a VirtuAlarm informed Lexi that two planes in the Northeast had been struck down, she was convinced she’d dreamt the whole thing. The aircraft she was supposed to be on that night had not burst into flames. No way, no how. Jorge was not dead. Lexi would wake up soon, she knew. She would call him. They’d talk about her silly nightmare, her tendency to imagine the worst possible scenario, her bizarre fear of erupting into laughter during a moment of crisis.

Lexi would wake up and chat with Jorge for hours. And she would not swap out of their next scheduled airline trip.

Author Bio:

Lisa Wilkes has spent 13 years as a flight attendant, jetting across the globe and collecting inspiration for her writings. Her debut novel, Flight Path, is a fast-paced romance laced with serendipitous encounters. This book follows a daydreaming stewardess as she learns to navigate a new terrain: unconditional love.

In her second novel, Mid-Flight, Lisa transports readers to the year 2038. A flight attendant begins to unravel after her best friend is killed in a plane crash. In the throes of unspeakable grief, she uncovers a political ploy to decimate one-fifth of the population. To combat this sinister plan, she must risk everything. Including her breathtaking new romance.

Lisa’s writing is provocative and timely, with a focus on societal issues and powerful internal conflict. Flight Path’s readers will appreciate Mid-Flight's emphasis on hope and redemption, while newcomers to Lisa’s work will be drawn to the power of her storytelling.

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