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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)

TITLE: Mother Knows Best
By Marita Thelander


I bolted upright, panic seized my heart. I grabbed my coke-bottle lens glasses and stared at the still blurry red glow of numbers in hopes that my momentary panic attack was needless. Nope. Indeed it was greatly needed. Adrenaline propelled me out of bed and launched me into the shower. My flight left in ninety minutes. I tried not to draw blood with each hasty razor swipe. My lack of success pained me.

I followed the gaze of the shuttle driver and realized my long wet hair dripped onto my white blouse making me eligible for a wet shirt contest. I felt the blush crawl up my neck, but worse than that, sweat prickled my skin when I rushed past the driver and accidently rolled my suitcase over his toe.

Can it get any worse? I stared at the ceiling of the van, visually sending my question heavenward. Dumb move…before the day was over I was living proof that God does have a sense of humor.

I wrung moisture out of my hair onto the van floor and twisted my tresses into a claw-clip. With my hair safely attached to the back of my head, I fumbled through my carry-on in search of a sweater. Who cares that its ninety degrees with eighty-percent humidity? Ugh.

When we arrived, the driver reached for my unzipped bag and out plopped the little pink box of women’s necessity.

Yup, you’re funny, God.

I watched people while the security line inched forward. Couples clung to each other with smiles indicating a great adventure awaited them out there somewhere when their planes landed. I’m painfully reminded of my Facebook status: single.

At five-foot-six and a hundred-seventy-five pounds, I’m thinking this klutzy thirty-two-year-old will always remain pure. Not from a righteous heart, but more because of lack of opportunity. I stared at my right ankle. Mama always said I’d stumble into the right man someday. In eight hours I’ll confess to her I’ve stumbled, alright.

I grabbed at my shoes and tossed them into a grey bin, along with my sweater and other personal items. I rushed through the metal detector, my eye on my bag rolling down the conveyer belt. The TSA agent’s gaze followed mine, and low and behold, I won myself a pat down.

Did I look suspicious? Sheesh!

My knees trembled and the legal molestation proceeded in front of God and everyone. God and everyone! Yes, I’m inwardly shouting at You, God.

Exceedingly pressed for time, I drooled on by Starbucks. My math skills quickly calculated: long-line plus distance-to-gate does NOT equal caffeine-boost. The milli-moment it took to glance in the direction of the aroma, I slammed dead on into Mr. Businessman. Macchiato foam bubbled up through his sippy-hole enough to splash on my right breast. Great, now I’m lactating lattes.

I trotted through the airport with my carry on clickity-clicking behind me while my hair slipped from the hasty style on the back of my head. Profusely sweating, the last to arrive, I shoved my boarding pass at the young man whose eyes were riveted on the latte stain. I breezed past the first class and barely noticed the tidy military uniform sitting in the first seat. After much ruckus, with every eye on me, I grabbed a random shirt out of my carry-on, shoved it in the above compartment, and plopped my size fourteen frame between an older gentleman and an overly tan, prissy, forty-something woman.

The seatbelt light glowed for an eternity while the plane reached a safe altitude. The instant the pilot turned it off I headed to the forward restroom. I’m not sure how I did it or how much noise I made, but I managed to bump around in the tiny facility to change my top and redo my hair.

I emerged through the doorway at the exact moment the plane hit turbulence. I lost my balance and landed right in the lap of the man in the first class seat nearest the restroom.

Shocked he didn’t eject me like a fighter pilot on fire, I was mesmerized by the shiny buttons and awards pinned to McDonald’s dress uniform. In fact, I felt his arms encircle my curvy form.

He smiled and his blue eyes sparkled when he whispered in my ear, “Mother always said true love would have to land in my lap for me to recognize it.”

I didn’t tell Mama about my short stumble in faith. I wore socks. God laughed…and forgave me.

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Member Comments
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Carol Penhorwood 08/25/11
This was delightful! I've had days like this and even had my own humbling experience with "women's necessaries". But what I loved most was your "lactating lattes"! Really a fun piece well told.
Beth LaBuff 08/25/11
Oh my! I LOL'd (for real) several times. What a gal. You concocted a fabulous story for this girl to star in. Can you write a sequel?--I LIKE your MC! Super work!
Laury Hubrich 08/26/11
Where do I begin? Funny girl:) Keep the socks on for sure, Mama might have a stroke with that tattoo! True love from first class? Maybe a sequel can be squeaked out of another topic? :)
Noel Mitaxa 08/29/11
Loved the voice in this piece, along with the relentless chaos she attracts - no plane sailing here! The twist at the end was a hoot; with your MC meeting somebody from MC- Donalds. (Maybe my inference more than your intention.)
C D Swanson 08/30/11
Hahahahahahahha...This was too funny, I loved it. Nice comedic tones throughout, and great depictions of the characters. Nice job! God Bless~
Sarah Elisabeth 08/30/11
What great charaterization of your poor mc! Perfect fit for the topic, cute ending.
Rachel Phelps08/30/11
SO great! I chuckled throughout, your word choices were stellar. Well done!
Linda Goergen08/31/11
Entertaining and comical throughout but the “lactating lattes” just made me laugh out loud! Terrific job on this!