Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Trying something different...

You know how beloved Charles Dickens is, right?
Well, did you know he wrote for serials?  Which means he was paid by the word.  Makes so much more sense now, doesn't it?
So I am going to try something new, in hopes of not only increasing my cute little blog's readership, but also to get out some of the original content of my book, Two Fat Girls on a Volcano (preceding the blog, mind you).  And that something new? Serial blog posts!  So please please stay tuned, and don't forget how much I love feedback...

This is the beginning of my and Mom's travel adventure.  It is written in third person and the names are changed, to protect the innocent.  I hope you find it as funny as I do.



Bags packed, with an escort to the airport from loyal husband and father, two anxious girls stood in front of the ticket counter three months later. 
“Checked for first class domestic, coach to Heathrow?” the well accoutered flight attendant asked Ellen.
“What, first class? Um, no.” Ellen was immediately flustered.  Jade looked over her shoulder to see her father trying and failing to hold back a smirk.  In fact, at this point he was practically chortling. 
“Mom, I think Dad may have upgraded us.”
“What are you talking about, honey?”  Ellen asked, turning first to her daughter, and then glancing at her husband.  “Did you?” she asked him.
“Yeah, well I have all those frequent flyer miles, and I thought you girls would like first class,” he said, grinning.  He clearly was quite pleased with his surprise.
And so were the girls! Their first foray into international jet setting was getting better by the minute.  What surprise would they encounter next?  Neither of them could wait to find out.  They quickly hugged their goodbyes and headed for the departure gate after checking the luggage.  Hopes high and excitement running through their veins, Jade and Ellen boarded the flight to Dulles, where they’d connect for Heathrow.  Enjoying the spacious luxury of first class was something these travelers could get used to, and each settled into quietude, pondering the upcoming vacation and its possibilities. 
The flight landed uneventfully in DC, and Jade and Ellen made their way to the connecting flight.  Ellen was nervous, she was never the one in charge when traveling, but felt the duty should fall to her.  Jade was not nervous; cocky may have been a more accurate description.  She was quite confident in her ability to find the next gate and get to it and she saw no reason why Ellen shouldn’t be able to keep up.  Which Ellen did, well even, despite the worry written on her face and lacing her words.  The girls even had time to powder their noses and relax a little at the gate before boarding began.  So Jade stuck her nose back into her novel, and looked up only when the gate agent started to call boarding.
But Ellen was nowhere in sight.  Not unusual, Ellen was often on a bathroom break.  But this seemed a long time to be in the restroom, so Jade headed in after her to smoke Ellen out.  She wasn’t in the ladies room.  Jade’s mind raced a bit, where could her mother have wandered off to now?
After 10 minutes and still no Ellen, Jade started to worry they would miss the flight.  The plane was boarding now.  She went up to the desk and asked the airline representative if she had any idea where Ellen could be.
“Oh yes,” replied the gate agent.  “She went to the baggage claim.”
“What?! Why?” Jade’s intense personality could easily have been mistaken at this point as incredulity. 
“Well, there was a problem with your luggage, it wasn’t checked through to your final destination, so she had to go to the bag claim and then recheck it to London.  Hopefully she’ll be back in time to make the flight and have gotten the bags checked.”  The airline rep had this plastic, sort of insincere polite expression, probably in an effort to placate Jade.
“Which way is the baggage claim?” Jade was rushing now, no time for pleasantries. “How long before the gate closes?”
“It’s down that hallway of flags, you can’t miss it.  The gate closes in another 10 minutes.  Good luck!”
Good luck? It’s not luck if it’s in someone’s control, which closing the gate most obviously was – in that Stepford wife of a gate agent’s control, to be precise.  Jade used her frustration at the situation to propel her down the hall of flags; she was a girl on a mission.  She was bound and determined to find her mother, their bags, get them checked, and make it back to the gate.  Her sheer will was impressive, and her facial expression cleared the foot traffic out from in front of her.  Until, at the end of the hallway, she found her mother.  Ellen was shuffling along hurriedly, whispering to herself as she commonly did.  In fact the girls were each so much in their own world that they almost ran into each other.
Jade grilled Ellen if she’d accomplished the goal before asking, “why didn’t you come get me, I could have helped?” It was half question, half accusation.
“I thought I’d be able to do it, and I didn’t realize how tight the time was,” Ellen answered, as Jade herded her toward the departure gate as fast as humanly possible.
“We only have like three minutes to board, Mom, we have to hurry!”  Luckily, Ellen was very accustomed to Jade’s high strung nature, and was only mildly annoyed.  After a pause from conversation, while still speed walking toward their gate Jade remembered to say, “hey, thanks for doing that.  It would have sucked to get to London and have no luggage.”  After all, Jade wasn’t truly selfish, she was just disinterested in a lot of things.  But she also had little desire to be the center of attention, and was by no means vapid.
“No problem, hon, I hope we make it.  Do you think we will?” Ellen answered, half panting.
As Jade and Ellen arrived at the gate and promptly boarded the plane, they breathed sighs of relief while settling into their coach seats.  Note:  first class always seems like a good thing, but remember to reserve an upgrade for the final flight of the day; going from first class to coach is a great way to dampen your spirits.