Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CHECKING IN OR OUT (hotel/motel on vacation) (08/27/15)
TITLE: Check In Without a Check-up
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom
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Payton bounced in her car seat while waving her hands and yelled, "Yay! I can’t wait to go swimmin'."
Gram brushed the sweaty red locks of hair off Payton’s freckled face. “First we have to check-in, find the room, and–"
Leaning forward, Payton slipped her pinkie under Gram's sleeve and tugged. “I don't wanna check-in." Payton lowered her eyebrows and stuck out her bottom lip.
Gram patted Payton’s knee. "Shhh. Don't worry; it won't take too long. You and I can check-in while Grandpa unloads the car."
Grandpa peered at Payton through the rearview mirror. "Hey, why do you get the easy job?”
As Payton started to cry, Gram and Grandpa winced and pulled their heads close to their chests.
Suddenly, Payton stopped crying and pointed to Gram. "Hey, whys you guys pretendin' to be turtles?"
Grandpa snickered, and Gram covered her smile with her hand. "Grandpa and I are wise. We know when you make your sad-puppy-dog face, we need to act like turtles to protect our ears from your yelps. Why were you crying?"
“Hmm,” Payton tapped her finger against her chin. "Oh, yeah, I don't wanna check-in. I’m on ‘acation."
Gram handed Payton a toy and said, "Everyone who stays at a hotel has to check in. It’s the only way to get the keys to our room. It may take a few minutes, but it doesn't hurt anyone...except maybe the credit card."
Payton shook her head as tears filled her eyes. “Mommy says it won't hurt, then that nurse gives me a shot in my fanny. It's no fun."
Gram twisted around in her seat and lifted Payton's chin with her finger. "Oh, honey, I’m sorry. You misunderstood me. Mommy takes you to the doctor for a check-up, not a check-in. I promise no shots for you on this vacation."
Payton looked at Grandpa. He nodded his head.
Payton sighed and said, "Phew! That's a relief!"
This time, Gram didn't hide her giggles. Soon everyone was laughing. Payton laughed so hard she snorted, and a big boogie flew out her nose.
Grabbing a tissue, Gram wiped Payton’s face. “Yuck. For a little girl, you sure do have big boogies."
Grandpa tapped Gram's shoulder. "Good news, we're here."
Payton cheered while Grandpa parked the car. Once Gram unbuckled Payton, Payton grabbed her bag, hopped out, and said, "Hurry up! I need to see that pool right now afore someone else takes the best spot for swimmin’.”
Gram held Payton's hand as they skipped through the hotel lobby. Payton grabbed a travel brochure. "Look Gram, after swimmin’ in the pool, we can swim with dolphins!"
Gram took the flyer. "One thing at a time, first, we check in."
The clerk smiled and said, “Good afternoon. May I have your credit card, please?”
Suddenly, Payton scrunched up her face and started crying.
Gram knelt down and scooped Payton into her arms. "Did you hurt yourself?"
Payton choked back her tears. “No, I'm crying cuz you said checking in would hurt the credit card." She pointed to the clerk. "I don't want anyone to get hurt just cuz I wanna go swimmin'."
Gram stood up and sat Payton on the counter. She fumbled through her purse and pulled out her credit card. She showed it to Payton. "This is a credit card." She glanced at the man’s name tag and handed him the card. "This is Tim. He likes credit cards. No one will get hurt. I was just joking when I said that."
Just then, Grandpa entered carrying the suitcases. "Who wants to go swimming?"
Payton jumped off the counter and raised her hand. "I do! I do!"
Tim handed Gram the receipt and said, “Have a nice stay. We'll see you at checkout on Sunday at eleven AM."
Payton spun around, her lower lip protruding. "What'd he say?"
Gram grabbed Payton's hand and pulled her towards the elevator. “He said to have a nice swim."
Payton let go of Gram and put her hands on her hips. “”Are you lyin’, Gram? Mommy says it’s not nice to lie.”
Gram’s face turned red. She took Payton’s hand and said, “Let’s hurry; you don’t want to lose your spot in the pool.”
Grandpa just laughed.
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