Wallace Page 4
    "Yup. He's dead."
    The flight attendant shushes him with a hiss and a nervous glance around the cabin~the woman across the aisle ducks back into her book. The flight attendant escorts the doctor back to his seat and comes back with a blanket and pillow. She drapes the blanket over his face, pulls his head back by the hair, and shoves the pillow behind him.
    "Are we going to land to get him off?" I whisper.

    "We'll be arriving in Chicago in less than fifty minutes, sir."
    "Well, are there any other seats?" The plane jolts and the blanketed head angles towards me, as though it forgot to tell me something.
    She shuffles down and back up the aisle, looking for empty seats. "I'm afraid that we can't accommodate you there, sir. Can I get you a drink instead?"

    I order a Sprite to keep my stomach down. The flight attendant whisks away, leaving me to my drink, when suddenly, from under the blanket, the old man clears his throat. "So, as I was saying, my wife was an insomniac. Died of a hemorrhage in the brain~no one saw it coming."
    I spill soda across the foldout table and flatten my back to the window.
    "Those kinds of things no one can really predict, and I'll be the first to admit that waking up next to a dead woman who's soiled herself is not a great way to start your day."
You're one to talk, I think, but I'm not about to say anything back. The woman across from me has somehow managed to fall asleep and the flight attendant is at the other end of the cabin.
    "That's how my dog died," he says. I look over to see if his mouth moves behind the blanket. Thankfully, all I can see is the peak of the nose. I don't want to see his blue-