Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: TRAVELER (01/28/16)
- TITLE: Off the Shelf
By Jennifer Warren
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This was always exciting. Where were we going?
She replaced my batteries. Cleaned my lens. Snapped a few pictures of the room … oh, I hope this isn't it. Certainly she didn't take me out just to get pictures of her room.
Then she turned me toward a brochure next to her carry-on suitcase. There were letters or characters that I didn't recognize. We were going somewhere and I couldn't figure out where. The suspense was …
She secured my cap and returned me to my case. I felt lighter as I was lifted up … I must be going into her carry on! A car horn sounded and we started to move. I recognized this journey … across the threshold of her room, down the hardwood hallway, over the threshold of the front door, and down the sidewalk toward the curb.
I was lifted into the cab. Winding streets, stops and starts, blowing horns, and finally loud noise and fumes. The airport! Flight time!
Out of the cab. Inside the building. Check in. A long security line. I can't stand x-ray machines. Thankfully she doesn't like putting me through the x-ray machine either. Finally … success. Back into the carry on for now.
Oh! We were running! Last call. The agent passed us through and we were headed down the gangway. Some bumps and over the threshold of the plane. Oh, no. I forgot this means that I'm going into the overhead compartment. Up I go! It's all right. I can rest for … I don't know how long, but I can rest.
Reverse. Forward. Engines rev. And rev. Ascending. We settle in and I doze off.
A bell rings. A muffled announcement comes through the intercom. We descend.
We taxi to a gate and I hear the compartment door open. The carry on is lifted out and we start rolling. Out of the plane, up the gangway, down a long walkway, through something called customs, and to the curb where I hear cabs stopping and speeding off. I hear a language I don't understand.
We are now in one of the speeding cabs … speed, quick turns, blowing horns. She asks the driver something but I don't understand. She's speaking this language I don't understand. Although I do recognize two names: Colombo and Galle Fort.
The driver speaks in a reassuring tone. She slides back onto the seat and we settle in for a couple of hours. We finally stop and she asks the driver something. She grabs money from her wallet beside me. They have a short conversation and we walk away from the cab.
I roll over a little rough terrain for about 10 minutes. She pulls me out of my case in the carry on. Off comes my cap. The sun is beginning to set. She puts me up to her eye and focuses. Five metres away, a man stands on a cliff. He shakes his arms. He takes a deep breath. He rolls his head from side to side. He squats and then stands up. He stretches. He takes another deep breath. He dives! He's like a graceful bird … floating through the air.
And I see it all.
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