Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Australia or New Zealand (01/15/09)
TITLE: A Trip of a Lifetime
By Debra Elliott
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The plane would be landing in Auckland , New Zealand in about thirty minutes. Butterfly's turned somersaults in her stomach.
She glanced at her watch again. Her deceased fiance Carlton Bradenton of Bradenton Oil had given the jewel encrusted gold
watch to her when he proposed. Now, she was about to land in a strange country and what seemed a million miles away
from her old life to start over.
The flight attendant made final rounds before the plane landed, instructing the passengers to put away any belongings and to
buckle their seat belts. Clarissa hesitated at first, and she forgot where she was. Painful memories invaded her mind.
Carlton was suppose to pick her up after work, but he never made it. She could hear the sirens in the distance as the rescue
vehicles sped down the parkway. A feeling of dread washed over her and she knew without really knowing, that something
was wrong. She turned on the portable TV set and reports of an horrific accident were all over the news.
Carrisa picked up the phone and dialed her parents number. Bob and Judy Aderholt were Christian missionaries and at the
present were in New Zealand. Tears started flowing while she waited for a connection. Finally, her mother's comforting voice
came on the line.
Mrs. Aderholt could barley made out the voice on the other end of the line. "Carrisa, is that you?"
"Yes mom. Mom there's been a terrible accident and I have a bad feeling that Carlton was involved", her fingers twisting the
phone line tightly cutting off her circulation as she spoke to her mother.
"Carissa my darling child, are you sure? Maybe you're mistaken. Have you officially gotten word that Carlton was involved?"
Carissa began to shake, "mom I just know." She couldn't stop crying. "Mom, I'm going to call the police, then I'll call you
For what seemed like eternity, she finally got in touch with an official police spokesperson. She explained who she was and
demanded to know if her fiance was involved in the crash.
The news was not what she wanted to hear. It was Carlton, now what?
The next week, she went through the motions and didn't want to live. Finally, she called her parents.
Her dad answered this time. "Dad, he's gone and now what am I suppose to do?"
Carissia, let's pray first and then we'll talk."
They prayed together. " Carissa, you need to get away. Come to New Zealand for a visit. Your mom and I haven't seen you in
three years. You need us now."
"Yes dad I do. I'll make arrangements to leave this week-end."
The sound of the pilot's voice brought Carissa back to reality. She felt something wet on her face. Tears. She hadn't realized
she had been crying.
The flight attendant approached her. "Miss, are you OK?"
Carissa nodded she was.
"Alright miss, you can exit the plane now." The flight attendant directed Carissa to the nearest exit.
"Thank-you. You've been very helpful. God bless you."
She grabbed her carry on and exited the plane.
Once inside the terminal, she scanned her surroundings for her parents. Carissa didn't see them.Where could they be?
She went to pick up her luggage,sat down and waited for her parents. Maybe they were delayed, she thought.
About ten minutes passed and a strange man approached her.
"Miss Aderholt?" the man queried.
"Yes, and you are?" Carissa was puzzled.
"Doctor Jonathan Harper at your service, Miss Aderholt. Your parents sent me to retrieve you. They are tied up and couldn't
get away. Hope you don't mind?"
She hesitated,"no of course not." She couldn't believe her parents, sending a stranger in their place. She needed to be
comforted and she expected them, not some doctor.
"Are you a missionary like my parents Doctor Harper?"
"Please call me Jonathan. Actually, no. I'm a member of Doctor's Without Borders."
"Really?" She was impressed.
"We have a long journey to where your parents are staying, so if you need to take care of anything before we leave..."
Carrisa interrupted him, "no, I'm fine."
.She wasn't sure what it was about Doctor Jonathan Harper or why her parents had sent him in their place, but one thing
she did know "this was going to be a trip of a lifetime."
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