Urban Volcano

Fiction by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

“A window seat,” I answered when the man at the check-in counter asked if I wanted to sit by the window or the aisle.

20F — Illustration by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson
Illustration by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

“I have 17A,” the man said. “How does that sound?”

“That is impossible,” I replied. “I cannot be in an A-seat. I cannot watch over the ocean when we come in for landing. I need to see land. I cannot imagine the descend into the ocean. Don’t you have any F-seat available.”

“Yes,” replied the man. “20F is free.”

“20F,” I echoed. “That is 527 in the hexadecimal system. 17 times 31. 17 times 3 plus 1 is 17 times 4. 174. Which is more or less like 17A. Almost exactly the same seat as you offered me in the beginning!”

“Excuse me?” asked the man. “Does that not suit you either?”

“But, yes,” I replied. “Don’t be silly. Of course that suits me.”

The flash fiction story 20F is part of the flash fiction collection Flash 52.