Summary: When their plane crashes on a remote Alaskan mountain, two strangers must find a way to work through their differences in order to survive the freezing temperatures and harsh terrain. B/E, AH, HEA
A/N: Inspired by the movie of the same name. I started writing this thinking I could submit it to one of the writing contests, however it became too long to whittle down to a one shot. I wrote "Twilight on the Blue Lagoon" a few years ago, and after watching this movie, I thought another stranded type of story could be fun. We shall see… lol
Disclaimer: I do not own "Twilight" or "The Mountain Between Us". All recognizable characters and places belong to their respective owners. No copyright infringement was intended.
Now let's get this plane crashed! :-D
The Mountain Between Us
Chapter 1 - The Storm
"You have got to be kidding me," I said to the lady at the check in desk. "I can't stay here. I absolutely have to get to Washington today."
"I'm sorry, Ma'am. All flights have been canceled due to the storm. You'll need to hurry if you want to get a hotel room for the night. They're booking up fast."
My frustration wasn't isolated. People on both sides of me were arguing with the airport staff, however the conversation to my left caught my attention…
"Listen to me. I'm a doctor. There's a patient in Seattle who needs me to perform an urgent surgery, that could potentially save his life. He's only ten years old. Do you understand what I'm telling you? It's vital that I get to this patient. I must fly to Washington today," a man insisted.
When he was turned away again, I suddenly had an idea. After doing some quick digging, it was coming together. I just needed the stranger to agree.
"Um, excuse me," I said while chasing after the doctor with my phone in hand.
He paused, and turned back to me questionably.
"Hi," I said awkwardly. "Uh, I couldn't help but overhear your predicament back there, and I'm sort of in the same situation. Well, I mean, I'm not a doctor trying to get to a patient, but I absolutely must make it to Washington today. I just so happen to have a pilot on hold, who is willing to fly his private plane to Seattle for me… but it's a bit pricey. So… being a doctor and all, I figured you may be willing to split the cost? He has enough room for just the two of us."
The man looked at his watch, and then back at me. "When can he leave?"
"He's available now. I just need to let him know."
"I thought all planes were grounded due to the weather?" he questioned.
"Only commercial flights. Private planes are allowed to go. I just checked," I said while holding up my phone.
"Alright, let me just… make a couple calls."
"Well, I have the pilot on hold, so I sort of need to let him know."
The doctor was clearly a bit apprehensive, but thankfully he finally agreed. As we headed to the smaller tarmac, however, I feared he was going to back out.
"This is the plane?" he asked incredulously as we looked over the small aircraft.
I didn't want to admit it, but I was slightly nervous about the situation as well. Especially as the snow fall began to increase in density.
"She is solid as a rock," the pilot said as he came up to us from around the opposite side of the plane.
"Rocks don't fly," the doctor replied evenly.
"Listen, I've had this beauty for over ten years. She's reliable," the pilot insisted.
"And the weather?" the doctor questioned.
"There's nothing wrong with this weather. It's only inexperienced pilots who get nervous while flying in storms. I've flown in every type of situation you can think of. I was a fighter pilot in 'Nam. You don't have to worry. I will get you to where you're going."
"He's got this," I said encouragingly. "I'm in. You in?" I asked the doctor, hoping my confidence would ease his doubts.
He took a deep breath, and regardless of the conflict in his eyes, he nodded. "Yeah. Let's get this over with."
We paid the pilot our shares of his fee, and then we boarded the small plane.
"Oh, you have a dog. Wonderful," the doctor said as a large yellow lab made himself at home by his feet.
"That's Jake. He goes everywhere with me," the pilot confirmed.
"A dog named Jake… That's not weird, or anything," the doctor grumbled to himself.
I laughed, hoping to lighten his mood just a bit. "You don't like the name Jake, or you just don't think it's suitable for a dog?"
"Um… both," he replied as the plane's engine rumbled to life. "I'm not much of a dog person, but if I was, I'd think a name like Buster or Rover would suffice."
I laughed again. "When I was growing up, I had a dog named Seth."
He scrunched his face at me. "That's… interesting."
"You guys buckled up? This might get a little bumpy on the takeoff," the pilot warned.
"We're all set, Mr. Clearwater," I assured him. "What's your first name, by the way?"
"Harry," he yelled back at me as he drove the plane towards the runway.
"I'm Bella," I introduced myself. "I really appreciate you doing this for me. Well, for us," I said while gesturing towards the doctor.
"It's my pleasure. What's your husband's name again?"
"Oh, we're not together. Just two people going in the same direction," I explained. "I'm actually heading to my wedding tomorrow… My wedding to someone else, not to him."
"Well, congratulations!" the pilot said sweetly. "What are you doing in Alaska so close to your wedding?"
"I know, bad timing on my part, huh? But it couldn't be helped. I've been out there shooting photos of the humpback migration to submit to the National Geographic contest. That's what I do. I'm a photographer. I just couldn't pass up that opportunity. Not even for my wedding."
"Ah, I see. And what about you, Mr...?" The pilot peeked over his shoulder, just as he pushed down the accelerator to speed towards our takeoff.
The doctor was clearly scared shitless, and was holding on to his seat armrests for dear life.
"I think your question may have to wait until we are at altitude," I told him loudly with a giggle.
When Harry said the takeoff would be bumpy, he wasn't joking. It had to be the most turbulent incline I had ever experienced before. Surprisingly, however, I was more curious than scared.
"Is it always this bumpy in these small planes?" I shouted over the thunderous roar of the engine.
"Yeah, the weather leaves little pockets of unstable air. No biggie. Everything is under control," Harry yelled back at me.
I glanced at the doctor again, and couldn't help but crack a smile at the way his white knuckles looked like they were going to rip right through his skin. I didn't think he could speak even if he wanted to, and I was slightly worried about the enlarged veins protruding out of his neck and forehead.
He nodded, but did not answer verbally.
Finally, when we reached our maximum altitude, and the plane smoothed out, the doctor exhaled a sigh of relief and was able to slightly relax.
"Not good with flying, huh?" I concluded.
"No. Sorry. I've never liked flying," he admitted.
"We may run into some more turbulence in a bit, but for now the air is smooth," Harry told us. "You going to tell us your name now, buddy?"
"Yes, sorry. I'm Dr. Cullen," he replied shakily.
"Doctor huh? So you got a first name?" Harry asked, slightly annoyed.
"Yes, of course. I'm sorry, I'm still a little jittery. I'm Edward."
"I'm Bella Swan, and that's Harry Clearwater," I told him, just in case he didn't catch our names the first time we exchanged them.
He nodded a hello, and then returned to anxiously gazing out the small window.
"You know, it helps if you don't look out," I advised.
"Yeah, but I'm slightly claustrophobic as well, so this small space is just as unsettling as the height," he explained.
"Wow, you have a lot of fears, don't you?"
"Not typically. It just seems the fears I do have are all compiled together in this one situation," he said with a slight laugh, making his first attempt to sound friendly.
"If it makes you feel any better, I took a smaller plane than this on my way to where the whales were migrating. Landed on the water. Now that was something."
"You're a photographer?" he questioned, clearly only catching part of my conversation with Harry a few minutes prior.
"Yes. But I've only recently decided to do it full time. Which is why I really wanted to enter that contest. It's so hard to make a decent living as a photographer, unless you do something kind of big. I mean, I was shooting families and weddings part time while I did clerical work, but I just couldn't stand sitting behind a desk everyday anymore. And my heart is really in nature photography. I got some amazing shots while in Alaska, so I have some high hopes for my career moving forward."
Edward nodded as if he was paying attention to my ramblings, but I could tell he was probably bored, so I decided to turn the tables on him.
"What about you? What kind of doctor are you?" I questioned.
"I'm a pediatric neurosurgeon actually," he said unexpectedly.
"Wow. I'm sorry if I'm being rude, but you look a little young for that."
He shrugged. "I graduated high school early. Moved through college and med school as quickly as I possibly could. Much of it came easily for me. Now I'm one of the top doctors in my field."
I nodded. "So, do you live in Alaska, or…?"
"No, I'm from Seattle. I was in Alaska visiting relatives. I'm not due back at work for another week, but then I got a call about a patient in need of surgery as soon as possible. So here I am. In a tiny rickety airplane… Flying over a frozen mountain range," he said nervously before looking out the window again.
"And your wife stayed behind?" I questioned while gesturing towards his wedding ring.
"Uh… she didn't accompany me to Alaska this time," he mumbled, before oddly moving his left hand out of my view.
"My fiancé couldn't come with me on this trip either," I told him. I looked down at my engagement ring, where it rested on my finger, and I started rolling it around anxiously. "He had to work… and, of course, take care of all the last minute wedding details. I'm so lucky he's the type of guy that's willing to help with all the prep that goes into it. We're getting married tomorrow. It's a beautiful venue right on the coast."
Again, Edward nodded politely, but he clearly wasn't engaged in the conversation, so I forced myself to shut up. I didn't even realize how overly talkative I was being until right at that moment. It was rather stupid of me to think a neurosurgeon would be the least bit interested in my wedding plans anyway.
Just as the humming of the motor began lulling me into a near sleep, there was a sudden jerk.
"Whoa," I said, startled by the jolt.
"Everything is fine," Harry tried assuring us, but by the sound of his voice, everything was clearly not fine.
"Mr. Clearwater?" Edward asked him concerned.
"Harry? Are you okay?" I asked as I followed Edward's lead, and got up to check on him.
The plane abruptly veered to the side, and both Edward and I stumbled into the wall of the plane. We recovered ourselves, and climbed our way back up to the pilot.
"Harry. What's wrong?" I asked, beginning to panic.
The plane took a sudden nosedive, which made me bang my head on the roof.
Harry managed to momentarily stabilize us, and then he mumbled an apology, but something was very wrong.
"Mr. Clearwater, I'm going to take your pulse," Edward said while placing two fingers on his neck.
"What's wrong with him?" I asked with my heart racing.
"I think he's having a stroke," Edward replied quietly.
My heart jumped, and then sunk into the depth of my stomach.
Edward began asking Harry questions, but he was struggling to stay lucid, and the plane began thrashing around as a result. I quickly grabbed a hold of the radio, and immediately began reciting "Mayday, mayday, mayday."
The dispatcher came on the line, but the connection was jumbled at best.
"Please help us. Our pilot is suffering some sort of medical emergency, and…."
A sudden dip sent me hurling towards the back of the plane. As soon as I was able, I fought my way back towards the front, just in time to see a giant iced mountain coming straight at us.
Edward tried to grab the controls, but it was of no use. The plane wasn't responding.
"We're going to crash!" he shouted at me.
We both reflexively jumped for our seats, and I struggled to buckle my seatbelt. It clicked in the moment before the plane came to a violent impact with the ground. The velocity of our collision sent us into a chaotic, deafeningly loud, tornado of mangled destruction, skidding across the jagged icy terrain, until we finally came to a brutal halt… And then everything was quiet.
***A/N: Anyone interested in coming along for this ride? Let me know….
***If you're on Facebook, send me a friend request at KC Nicnort. I like to post scenes and pics from my stories, and we can chat and discuss the chapters. Hope to see you there ;-)