In Limbo

Would the recipient of this message please contact Luke Hutchinson in Ottawa, ON, and tell him that Anna and the children are alive...

At least I think we are.

All we wanted was a nice vacation to escape harsh Canadian winter. Spend a few weeks with my parents in a small fishing village in Italy, soak up some sun, watch the children splash in the sea under the brilliant Adriatic sky, smug in the knowledge that in Ottawa they still wear winter coats – it sounded like a great fun. Luke had to stay behind to finish of a project, but would join us in a week.

At first, it all went our way: a booking error was resolved without the extra cost (and we get to stay in Paris overnight on our way back!); boys’ passports were done in time and delivered to the right address. We even made jokes that if the airplane company does not lose our luggage, we’d buy a lottery ticket.

 

Would the recipient of this message…

 

The trouble started as soon as we boarded the plane. The newly developed storm front left us stranded on the tarmac for hours. We finally took off, starved, frustrated, and exhausted, four hours later then scheduled.

The ride, turbulent from the beginning, soon got worse. There was no drink service, we were given a bottle of water with our plastic meal trays and that was it. Flight attendants sat strapped in their seats ever since, only occasionally responding to a call for a sick bag. I managed to keep a brave face until boys, exhausted, finally fall asleep, then almost fell apart amidst dimmed lights and hushed voices. A nasty-tempered giant has grabbed our plane, pushed it down with one huge gnarly thumb, than caught it in his hand again. We fell, then were caught, and fell, and were caught, time after exhausting time.

 

...please contact Luke Hutchinson...

 

Religion, left behind in my college days, when Luke - a scrawny exchange student from Canada - showed me that there was life beyond 11 p.m. curfew my parents enforced, caught up to me again. In turns I prayed to Madonna of my youth – a fragile statue in an azure veil from the tiny church in Pescara, and stared at the screen showing our progress of a tiny plane as if my glare would make it go faster. My nails dug bloody crescents in the soft flesh of my palm as I prayed that all would be well...or at least better as soon as we are over solid land again. As the toy-plane on the screen crawled to the edge of the Greenland our plane reared like a panicked horse, and fell, but this time it was not caught. The plane continued to fall, we were thrown at the seats in front of us, someone let a long shrill scream, I grabbed the boys – bleary eyed Paulo mumbled "Where are we?" and I think I even squeezed "Greenland" through my clenched teeth and Joey was crying and we were falling, spiraling down, until Madonna’s azure veil blossomed in the sky, enwrapping the plane, and us, and everything.

 

...and tell him that Anna and the children...

The End

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