Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Potluck (Meal or Gathering) Deadline 7-26-12 @ 10 AM NY Time (07/19/12)
TITLE: Writer In The Sky
By Vicki J. Cypcar
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Before taking me to the airport my husband asked me if I had written an entry for the Faithwriters challenge. Feeling defeated I replied –no.
Mentally exhausted I trekked to the gate and awaited boarding – sat down, pen and paper in hand in hopes of pinning down some inspiration.
As a writer you always find yourself identifying and processing ‘characters.’ And airports are the ultimate cornucopia of ‘character building.’
Once the gate opened I funneled into the fuselage of strangers, my brain striving to make sense of the ambiguity.
Santa Claus is sitting in First Class. He’s wearing a Hawaiian shirt, khaki shorts and sandals. His long white hair tethered in a ponytail.
In seat 7A is a tall and lanky college kid in a John Deere baseball cap. He sits down with a McDonald’s bag and the cabin is now permeated with the smell of fresh French fries.
A country girl with brunette braids is reluctantly surrendering her guitar to the stewardess.
New parents board the plane looking like zombies - their cute brown-haired baby wide-eyed and drooling.
A traveling yuppie family of four is equipped with enough electronic devices to open a Best Buy.
My neighbor resembles Paul Bunyan and smells of cigars and Old Spice– this is going to be a long flight.
Before takeoff the flight steward resembling Lloyd Bridges asked me if I would be able to follow the instructions for the emergency exit where I am seated, I replied with a weak ‘yes.’
One last text to my husband and daughter to tell them ‘I love you.’
I held my notebook as the plane taxied down the runway. A last ditch effort to come up with an entry. Potluck- gathering-food…
Now starving I look over and see the college boy devouring his fries in the midst of hungry strangers –Eureka!
The plane sped down the runway and took flight – and so did my idea for Writer In The Sky.
I gazed out the bubble window to see the shiny wing as we ascended above the cottony clouds- high above of flock of geese.
A blue lake filled with speedboats resembling tadpoles.
Cars on roads look like fleas on a Coonhound.
A cruising altitude of 30,000 feet, and the only thing between me and earth is an emergency exit and a lot of air - and I’m afraid of heights.
Mid-flight we were served a beverage and a choice of snack. At this point everybody wants French fries. ‘College boy’ has now moved on and is devouring a gargantuan chocolate chip muffin.
Strangers shouldered together with our trays folded down. We look like infants strapped inside high chairs as we await our meager feast of peanuts, pretzels, or Lorna Boone cookies.
An hour later the cabin no longer smells of French fries – it smells of soiled diaper and the baby is screaming.
Suddenly the scent of cigars and Old Spice doesn’t seem so bad.
Minutes later the diaper dilemma has been addressed and the entire cabin now smells like Johnson’s baby powder and the baby is cooing.
On the descent pockets of turbulence make weary heads bobble. Nervous passengers grip the arm rest as the baby giggles.
The plane lands, everyone eager to de-board. ‘College boy’ is calling his mom to let her know he has safely touched down in Sacramento - followed by an ‘I love you mom.’ Good kid.
I closed my notebook and gathered my backpack. Once inside the concourse we all dispersed like leaves in a fall breeze.
The gathering is over and a story is drafted.
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