Anyone in the mood to critique someone? I gotta little story!

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Anyone in the mood to critique someone? I gotta little story!

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    So, I don’t know if this would be considered a flash fiction (I think it’s too long) or a short story (I think its too short). Maybe its a hybrid! 😛 Anyway, I wanted critique on it — uplifting critique, of course. Anything grammatical, but mostly having to do with the story as a whole. I don’t really know how to paraphrase what I mean, LOL Anything that y’all think might need a tweak or two.

    Anyhow, its a story from 9/11, a true story about a man named Tod Beamer. I took creative liberties, but some of the dialogue really happened! Whenever I read or watch or hear about these tragedies, I’m always amazed. I’m amazed because of the people who stood up to fight and save others despite the fact that they themselves could die. And many of them did. This is what people do, no matter our differences.

    I’m really patriotic, and these stories just invigorate me. 😀


    I grabbed my suitcase and straightened my suit collar, stopping at the bedroom door. Lisa lay on her side, her arm stretched out over my empty pillow, a bit of drool dripping from her mouth. On a sudden impulse, I trotted over to the bed and kissed her cheek before ducking out of the room. I walked down the hall and passed the kids’ rooms where Morgan and Drew were sleeping. I smiled. I wouldn’t try to get a last look before I left for fear of waking them. Drew would instantly pop up and ask, “daddy, where’re you going?” if I opened the door, even though he already knew.

    In that case, Drew wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep, and he would go in to cuddle with Morgan, who would then be wide awake. After a few minutes, they’d both get up to go snuggle with Lisa, and no one would get any sleep at all. Lisa was expecting, and soon there’d be a fifth member of the family. She needed that rest.

    I slid into the car and checked my briefcase. Another business trip to San Francisco. I was used to it, but it didn’t make having to get up and go any easier. I was still working the sleep out of my eyes and the disappointment of having to be away from my family out of my heart. I had just gotten back from a trip to Italy with Lisa, which I had earned for being a top sales performer. I could have taken the early flight to California yesterday, but I wanted to spend more time with my family.

    “Well, let’s roll.” I backed out of the drive and headed on down to the airport, yawning so wide my mouth hurt.

    When I got there, I learned that there was going to be a forty minute delay until the plane set off; so, grumbling, I settled into a padded seat and pulled out my laptop to check the countless amounts of emails. Finally, it was time to go, and I grabbed a last cup of coffee before shuffling aboard with a mass of weary humanity.

    I tried to get as comfortable as I could in the cramped business-class section, with my legs drawn up and my computer balanced as well as possible on my knees. I had to give it up, however, when I kept elbowing the fellow next to me while trying to type.

    Strangely, however, after being in flight for a little while, several of the men got up from their seats and started walking up the aisle toward the cockpit. I watched, confused and a bit apprehensive. Why were they all getting up like that? They had a certain air to them, their eyes were fixed straight ahead, like they were up to something. I shrugged and stared out the window (I had the coveted window seat) and tried to ignore it. But when I heard screams and several loud crashes, I jerked out of my seat with the guy next to me and the rest of the passengers. A couple of the rogue men came thudding back down the aisle and started shouting in strange accents.

    “Get to the back of the plane, now! Move it! We’ve got a bomb! Back of the plane!”

    I was so shocked that I couldn’t comprehend it all, and my heart started drumming in my ears as we clustered together in the back of the plane. My armpits were wet with sweat. Who were these men, and what did they think they were doing? They were waving knives around, and one looked as if he did have a bomb strapped to his waist. As if in a dream, I realized that one of my fellow passengers was dead.

    I was in shock.

    Then the plane made a steep, banking turn, and we fell over each other as we shifted direction. They were turning the plane around?!

    On an impulse, I grabbed a phone on the back of one of the seats.

    “Help! Please! Our plane has been taken over!” I blurted frantically. Several others were doing the same and blubbering into their receivers. But it was a customer service representative who answered my call. After hearing my distressed cries, I was tuned in with a GTE airphone supervisor. I told her all that had happened as fast and clearly as I could.

    Then my heart just about stopped, and the others who had their phones to their ears looked at me with widening eyes. We had just learned the truth, each from different sources. The terrible, terrible truth.

    The twin towers have just collapsed; terrorists hijacked two planes and flew them into the buildings. The same has happened to the Pentagon. I’m sorry. 

    And the same will happen to us. I thought. Several women started crying and the men were stony. I stood for several seconds, legs shaky, my mind racing with thoughts of Lisa and the kids at home, of fire and planes smashing through wood and steel. “We’re going down! We’re going down!” I cried into the phone without thinking.

    The other passengers were pressing me for information, but I couldn’t give it, I was so distraught, and soon they were all crying into their phones, begging for help, for anything.

    But only God could help us now. Only God.

    Suddenly, a wave of calm washed over my heart. God. He could save us. I believed He would. He had to. He just had to. There was no one else.

    “Listen,” I cried into the phone, “I’ve got a plan.”

    I got the other passengers together and started talking to them. I set down my phone but left it on so the operator could still hear. “We can’t let these terrorists’ plans come through. We can’t let them win this one as well. We can’t let them kill more people. We have to stop them.”

    I took a deep breath. “We’ll have to take the cockpit back. We’ve got to fly this plane.”

    Fire burned in my fellow passengers’ eyes, and they gritted their teeth and listened with definite nods of their heads. Three other men, Tom Burnett, Mark Bingham, and Jeremy Glick helped me come up with a plan, and more passengers chimed in. I felt pride rising like in my heart like a bubble. These were my fellow patriots, and we were all standing together, huddled together, planning, plotting, taking action in the face of death in the back of a plane. It didn’t matter what our differences were, our beliefs or our pasts. We were Americans, our country was under attack, and we were going to act.

    Then I started saying, almost crying, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want . . .” Then I went into the 23 psalm while tears streamed down my face. Those who knew it repeated it with me, as well as the lady operator listening on the phone, Lisa Jefferson. The other passengers joined in. Then I spoke to Jefferson in a chocked voice I was desperately trying to make audible. “If I don’t make it, please call my family and let them know how much I love them.”

    I turned to my friends and smiled wryly. “Are you ready? Ok. Let’s roll.”

    With the bigger men in front, we raced forward down the aisle. But the door was wedged shut with an axe, and we could hear the terrorists inside arguing with each other as we began to pound on it. My knuckles throbbed and my hand was wrenching the door-handle to no avail.

    “Should we bring it down now?” I heard one hijacker cry.

    “No! Wait until they’re all in here!”

    The door wouldn’t budge. I turned around and screamed “get the food cart! Get the food cart!”

    We used it like a battering ram as the terrorist pilot pitched the plane back and forth, then tilted the nose up and down. We stumbled, but we kept going. “Let’s get them!” a passenger yelled.

    Then there was a crash! And the door burst open.

    “Allahu akbar!” a terrorist exclaimed.

    We flew into the cockpit, and we started wrestling the controls away from the enemies. We were frantic. We were going to die if we didn’t get control. We had to get control. We had to fly this plane. We couldn’t die, and we couldn’t let it reach Washington. “Turn it up!” a male passenger cried.

    Then a hijacker screamed “pull it down! Pull it down!”

    We couldn’t get control. The hijacker, he rolled the plane around, and he pointed its nose straight like an arrow toward the ground. Now we are plummeting. The terrorist who’s piloting starts to plead “hey! Hey! Give it to me. Give it to me. Give it to me. Give it to me. Give it to me!” as we continue to wrestle and shout.

    “Allah is the greatest! Allah is the greatest!” one of the terrorists starts to wail.

    We are coming up on the earth; I can feel it.

    Someone screams.

    But there is a peace in my heart, and I am faintly shocked that it is even there.

    But I know what that terrorist doesn’t know. I know that it is God the Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth, who is the greatest. And while we might not be, He is in control. And while I can feel the fear and terror in my companions, I also feel their courage and hope. I feel their patriotism. I feel their hurt, but I feel their determination. I feel American.

    I feel that God is with us.


    There was a kid. He stood at his bedroom window, and he saw the plane come down, there in Pennsylvania. He saw it skid along the ground, plowing up soil and grass and spurting oil and then flames. It had been twenty minutes away from the hijackers target: either the White House or the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

    The boy learned later all that had happened from watching the news broadcast over the television, and he heard the voice of a man named Tod Beamer calling the other passengers to action; and he was invigorated with the cry of “let’s roll!” and the bravery of this man, these people, who were as average as himself. 

    And that boy knew, that no matter what happened in his county, in America, in the great “U.S. of A,” that there would always be those who would rise to the occasion and give their all to freedom.

    He vowed that he would always answer that call like those people on Flight 93.

    “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena . . . who strives valiantly, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in worthy causes. Who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement and who, at worst, if he fails, fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt.

    I light the arrow, pull the bow,
    Shoot that fire right through my soul.

    Arindown (Gracie)


    I don’t have anything to say, except wow.

    Good job. I can almost feel the fire burning in the hearts of those men and women. May they never be forgotten.🤧

    Not all those who wander are lost.



    Thank you so much!!!! 😀 And thanks for reading it! 🙂

    Good job. I can almost feel the fire burning in the hearts of those men and women. May they never be forgotten.🤧

    I’m so glad you found it so vivid! It was just what I was aiming for. 😉 And I totally agree.


    I light the arrow, pull the bow,
    Shoot that fire right through my soul.



    First off, that was amazing.

    Second off, I don’t even like to call myself American (even though I was born in America) and I’ve never been very keen on the whole patriotism thing. That being said, I am super impressed with how you managed to get even me to feel the passengers’ fire and passion to save the lives of others.

    The flow of the story was really well done and by the end I was a little surprised that I had just read all of it. I felt like time had flown by. Oh, and speaking of flow, when you switched from past to present tense here: “Now we are plummeting” it caught me off guard but I think that’s a smart move since it just emphasizes the climax even more.

    One last random thing:

    I love this: “before shuffling aboard with a mass of weary humanity.” XD

    Again, really nice job on this! 😀


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