Excerpt: "Fire-left engine! Fire-right engine!" The automated cockpit fire detection system blurted as we plummeted towards the ocean near a small island off the coast of Greece. The flight attendant yelled frantically, "Bracing positions, bracing positions!" The small twin engine Beach-Craft was dropping rapidly. I sat white knuckled, clenching the armrest of my seat, transfixed. The weather conditions were impeccable. What was happening? There were twelve other vacationing passengers on board going into a state of shock. An elderly couple across the aisle from me were both clutching their small dog, and screaming frantically. In front of me were two nuns making the sign of the cross over and over again, kissing their crucifixes, praying very softly-almost at a whisper. The aircraft quivered and vibrated with such force that it caused the interior of the fuselage to cave in. Dense gray and black smoke rolled in on the ceiling of the plane, like threatening storm clouds. The smoke was eating up the oxygen. Breathing became very difficult. My eyes and my throat felt like they were being torched. I knew from my flight attendant training that the most toxic air was high and the more breathable air was low, around armrest level. I lowered my head. The two-man cockpit crew diligently tried to stabilize the aircraft. The terrified expression on the flight attendant's face revealed the reality of our destiny. People were screaming in terror and looking to the flight attendant for help. I never in my eight years as a flight attendant had been so close to an emergency situation or death. Now, traveling for pleasure, I was in the worst-case scenario. My eyes closed tightly from the smoke that enveloped me within the cabin walls. The plane jolted violently, into an uncontrolled rapid descent. All were screaming; hysteria reigned. Everything was happening so quickly. The precious cargo I had in my possession under my feet jarred loose. My mind revolved in a whirlpool of images and faces. I was haunted by the memories of my homeland where I spent my youth, my mother and aunty, my lover, my life all flashing.flashing.quickly disappearing from my mind. The cockpit crew was yelling to the flight attendant as to how many feet remained before we hit the water. "Nine thousand! Eight thousand! Seven thousand! BRACE YOURSELF! BRACE! BRACE."