Post by bubbles4play on Aug 5, 2006 23:06:03 GMT -5
I feel like a lost child here...haven't been around much.
HurlT...oh, been wondering when you were going to throw us a bone...can't wait to see the meat you are going to put on it this time. You have an incredible vision for story and detail. As always, I love to peruse your words.
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."
Author’s Note: This is a fictional story- exclusive for thewilsons site. Please note that current individual airline policies provide specific rules and safety provision to ensure unaccompanied child travel. The two wonderful little girls that sit ahead of our family during church service each week may never know that their beauty and antics translated into pure creativity- hurltomato
Strand Of Pearls – Part I
Twin streaks of flowered pink and purple flew past his seat once again. This time the powder puff pair had narrowly avoided his computer brief, but had managed to flip his Coke bottle over. Even if the white plastic cap had been a promotional contest loser- the Sorry Please Try Again had at least saved his leather boots from a carbonated cola bath. The boarding gate and surrounding area was teaming with anxious travelers primed to bolt and avoid any further delay as the flight was already forty minutes behind schedule. With his miserable luck, he figured that by the time his flight made a scheduled stop in Denver and got off the ground again, his younger brothers would be out cruising and placing losing bets on most of the college bowl games. He mentally congratulated his accomplished handle on college ball. Congratulating himself in other areas? Well-
He had not planned to head down south alone for Thanksgiving this year. In fact he had foolishly put off pre-planning flight arrangements until the last minute; ergo his current travel dilemma. It did little good to dwell on the matter because he had been agreeable to the holiday exchange for his child due to emergency circumstances. However in doing so, he found he had voluntarily joined the ranks of other single parents doing the best they could without their children during the year end holidays. That is, at least most parents…
For the past ten minutes he had been watching the airline’s customer service attendant engage in an on-going battle trying to pacify a brash, bullying father whose vocal impatience was fast becoming an embarrassment. The loudmouth demanded to get his kids on board the empty plane so he could get moving to his own boarding gate, his dolled up trinket on his arm. Emphatically “the jerk” continuously waved his e-tickets for Fiji or some other hootchie island under the attendant’s nose. The safe passage for his adolescent children traveling alone to their destination became a side issue while his sugar honey kept tapping her Revlon polished toe. Turning away from the less-than-private spectacle, his attention was snagged once again by another pink & purple drive-by and he felt an irrational sense of injustice when he saw them latch onto “the jerk’s” legs and beg for a hug & kiss good-bye. Damn and damn again …He didn’t really care that his own hootchie island was still uncharted, but it mattered greatly that the innocent actions of two very alive little people had made him long for his own child’s hug. He watched the flying puff patrol disappear down the boarding ramp with the customer service attendant; juggling the matched pair along with the three other children she had acquired courtesy of the California divorce court custody system.
The flight was completely full and walking down the crowded passageway into coach class he felt his long legs wither and groan with anticipated travel cramps. Of course there was always the remote chance that he could bargain or barter for an aisle seat. When he reached his designated row to find a trio of unoccupied seats, he offered heaven a mental high five and accepted the unexpected bonus of a first come, first serve opportunity. Sitting down and feeling suddenly exhausted, he stretched his legs out and nearly tripped a stressed out stewardess making a hasty beeline toward the back lavatories. A beer… a nap… a little calculated flirtation with the hottie across the aisle, would just about round out the first leg of this trip. Eyes focused on a superior pair of tanned legs across the aisle, he blindly followed his trailing seat belt searching for the buckle end and grabbed onto a—moist, repulsive mess. Ughh! Shifting his position and ignoring a slight dig in his backside, he looked down into the middle seat where a smashed cupcake lay in perfect ruin next to his seat buckle. Somewhere the comedy gods just had to be laughing at him as he stared at the Hostess Ho-Ho chocolate icing smeared across his palm. The last time something like this had happened, his brother’s dog had left a fragrant pile on his patio chaise and come to think of it- it hadn’t been very funny then either.
Simultaneously, the cabin attendant hustled back from the lavatory with a damp towel and two matching problems in tow. She was scowling, her tone clipped as she asked him to stand and let his “responsibilities” get by. Too stunned to correct her, he realized the comedy gods had also neglected to mention that The Cat in The Hat’s progeny -Thing One and Thing Two were alive and well on Flight 845 heading to Denver. After cleansing his hand, the stewardess reached over to pick up the congealed Not-So-Ho-Ho. Strangely enough, he felt included in her adult wrath when she barked at the trio in row 41 A-B-C to heel and behave. While she tromped off to secure her cabin, he glanced at his seatmates, experienced a remembered moment of digging discomfort and a subsequent soft snap when he sat down again. Right down upon a former matching and now hopelessly broken Hello Kitty comb & brush set. Ever at fault before liquid brown eyes, he looked into the warm, wide-eyed gaze of a six year old angel in the making. Her barely audible, “I’m so sorry sir…” nullified any anger he could muster as she carefully put the small broken pieces into her purple vinyl Hello Kitty purse. He looked at the two girls, so alike and yet so very different. Their coloring and age was the same, but the unique features of each delicate little face held subtle, separate qualities and deemed them fraternal twins from the get go. The little beauty next to him must have been the shy version, her dark honey blondness falling from a waved side part to cover sparkling wide-eyed innocence. Veronica Lake would have glowed with admiration. Her hand was clenched tightly around a Hello Kitty barrette that had yet to find its way into her hair. He secretly smiled thinking that she was probably scared to death that he’d break that in two if she gave him half a chance. From the far window seat, her sister flashed an impish version of a similar smile. It was all too obvious that this lovely little filly was the inventive, precocious “dignan” of the pair and he sensed a wildcat streak up her spine as familiar as the wheat streaks in her hair. Abundantly animated and right now terribly indignant that, “That lady was just plain mean. I was fixing Justina’s hair and she didn’t even knock on the bathroom door-- mommie always makes us knock! She just budged in and didn’t want us in there.”
Barely heard over the passenger buzz, the quiet beautiful Justina murmured, “Aunt Izzy didn’t want us either. She had special plans…”
He had a strange moment of realization that the fish line was tugging and his newly acquired “responsibilities” and their dual sets of amber brown eyes were positively reeling him in. What a champion oxymoron- four sandy-lashed unblinking shots of whiskey combined with innocent adolescence. A most unholy combination and yet it persuaded and brought out a protectiveness he had not felt since the last time life had dealt an unfair blow to either of his younger brothers. He had always tried to be there for them. Whether dishing out stupid childhood crap, inexperienced teenage bullshit, or damned hurtful adult counsel, he had always wanted the best for them. His close sibling relationship had been his recompense.
“What is your name?” he targeted his glowering young window seat buddy.
“I’m Joni Lind Berquist and if that lady thinks that she’s the boss, she’d better watch out. I took some free bags for the popcorn party and I’m not gonna give ‘em back.”
Huh? He watched as Joni pushed the wheat blond strands of her fine hair back over her ear, pulled her shirt down over a sliver of bared tummy, and finally fastened her seatbelt. Justina, in the middle seat, just looked up from under incredibly long lashes and smiled.
“I want you to have one of our extra bags when they start to pass the popcorn bowl around. I saved one in my purse.” With that she opened the magical purple vinyl contraption- her boarding pass, empty HO-HO wrapper and a well-creased magazine ad came spilling out. Neatly and precisely folded, she kindly handed him a narrow smallish bag with generic flowered clip art and a hygienic message regaling the necessity of feminine sanitation. Her next generous salvo completely undid his composure when she added,
“Joni will make sure they give your bag a ‘special refill’ because you’ve been so nice to us.”
It was all he could do not to laugh, make a frantic grab for the stack of incriminating contraband and stuff it between the seat cushions. These two were the absolute limit and he couldn’t stop smiling his private enjoyment. Thank God the restroom didn’t have a condom machine or the stewardess might have found them trying to fish for one of those giant gumballs. Grinning, he gathered the bags together, informed the girls that popcorn was not on the menu, but he would make sure that their trio would have the peanut bags and soda snack passed around after take off. He watched as both girls launched into sisterhood mode; Joni helped Justina secure a swathe of hair back with her barrette. Justina double-checked her sister’s seat buckle, closed Joni’s box of Milk Duds, and put them in her purse for safekeeping. He noted their unusual quiet and unexpected pale faces just before take-off and made a huge decision. Unbuckling his seat belt, he moved Justina to the aisle seat and purposefully placed himself smack-dab in the middle of dual duty. Jack-knifed knees be damned…his reward was the death grip that each held onto his long-fingered hands and the unquestioned faith that each had in his ability to keep them safe. Winking at both of them, the engines roared and Hello Kitty just held her breath.