L.B.: Tony the flight attendant

L.B.: Tony the flight attendant November 3, 2003

Left Behind, pg. 18

Rayford and Hattie are milling about the plane, full of panic that so many passengers have vanished, yet also strangely serene in their incuriosity about what may be happening. Then Hattie discovers that one of their crew is among the missing:

She lifted a blazer, shirt and tie still intact. Trousers lay are her feet. Hattie frantically turned the blazer to the low light and read the name tag. “Tony!” she wailed. “Tony’s gone!”

Over the coming pages, we’ll learn more about who was taken and who was left behind. This is the great privilege for writers of fiction set in the afterlife. It’s a tradition that goes back at least to Dante, who settled political scores by writing his opponents into Hell.

L&J have some scores to settle as well — much of which gets played out in who gets raptured and who gets left behind, and why.

All we know about Tony is that he was a male flight attendant and he seems to have been a friend of Hattie’s. Neither she nor Rayford seems to have regarded him as a potential romantic rival for her affections and they do not mention that he was married.

Are we supposed to be reading something into this? Is L&J’s version of the rapture even more inclusive than they perhaps intended?


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