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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Passport (07/25/05)

TITLE: Dashed Hopes
By Shari Brian


Dashed Hopes

I’m not one for air travel. If the ride involves my feet being off the ground, the stakes have to be pretty high to win my approval. I learned early in life on a county fair rock-o-plane with my older brother that to allow myself to be strapped into something that goes up in the air – especially if it has the capability to go upside down - is to lose control of the situation until I am once again on terra firma. But back then we were just kids and the fair only happened once a year. “I’ll only go on this ride if you promise not to turn it upside down,” I whined, finally relenting. “I promise. You’ll love it,” he said. “Slam!” went the door. Slowly the car lifted away from the ground as the big wheel began its ascent up and over and down, like a ferris wheel, only this one had individual cars that could spiral frontward or backward at the whim of the rider.

“Not bad,” I exclaimed. “Wow! This is pretty fun.” Then, with the help of my brother’s hand on the control stick, we spun perpetually forward over and over as the giant wheel continued its relentless circle. “It’s stuck!” he said. “I didn’t mean to do that.”

I’m sure the ride was only a few minutes, but to me it felt like hours. Even now the memory is vivid of the natural consequences of somersaults, summer heat and cotton candy.

Since that time I’ve endured several plane trips, but I’ve never gotten to the point of actually enjoying them. So when my husband wanted to visit Israel, it was with anxiety and trepidation that I agreed to the long flight.

For months we whetted our appetites pouring over brochures, discussing what it would be like walking in Jesus’ footsteps, the hush of the Garden tomb, seeing His birthplace in Bethlehem, and the pools of Bethesda. Perhaps we’d even be baptized in the Jordan and float in the Dead Sea.

My enthusiasm was overflowing by the time we attended the get acquainted dinner for the tour group. Now I could hardly wait!

Finally there was only 1 week left to departure. Packed and ready, we checked our passports and forget-me-not list over and over again. Nothing left to do now but wait.

“I’ll get it,” my husband said to the ringing telephone. “Hello?” Silence. As his face grew sad I guessed what he would soon tell me.

“Due to war breaking out last night, our trip has been cancelled.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Nina Phillips08/02/05
Awww...I felt as let down as you did when I read the last few lines..Good story, sad ending. God bless ya, littlelight
Julianne Jones08/03/05
The ending was so disappointing. Is it based on real life? Loved the introduction and the way you brought the fair experience and your dislike of flying together. Can relate totally! Thanks for sharing!
Shari Armstrong 08/04/05
Oh wow! I can't stand those kind of rides either - tilt-a-whirl is my speed (well at least before I had whiplash lol). I don't even like the giant swings.

What a disapointement!! But, better to find out before than have it happen after you were there.
Maxx .08/06/05
What was written was written very well! Definately have a smooth use of the language. The memory from childhood was strong. We needed to see at least that much space dedicated to the planned trip and then a real focus on the disappointment of the cancellation. Keep at it! Talent here!