Author: Drew Marvin Frayne
Release Date: December 11, 2017
Format: ePub, Mobi
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Word Count: 9500
Sex Content: Explicit
Connection to Christmas
Drew Marvin Frayne © 2017
All Rights Reserved
“I’m sorry, sir,” the counter attendant rotely states, staring at her screen while she busily clack-clack-clacks on the keyboard in front of her. “Your flight has been canceled.”
I confess that in my current state—lack of sleep, lack of food, lack of anything more stimulating than an in-flight magazine—I’m not really paying close attention to her. But that last word hits home like a bolt of fresh lightning.
“Canceled?” I ask, roused to attention. “Why—how—how can it be canceled?”
“The weather,” she replies, never looking up from her screen to meet my gaze.
“The weather?” I repeat incredulously. “But it’s perfectly clear outsi—” Yet even as I say these words, I move my gaze to the large window behind her and notice, for the first time, fat globs of white snow pelting against the glass. Shit. Well, that’s flying in December for you.
“There’s a large storm front coming in,” the woman explains, finally stopping her incessant typing, though she still won’t look me in the eyes. At least she has stopped calling me “sir.” I’m at least half her age, and I can tell the appellative annoys me as much as it does her. “Much of the entire Northeast corridor has been grounded. No more flights will be getting out tonight.”
“But it’s Christmas Eve,” I say, as if somehow that will make a difference. Now she looks up and meets my gaze, though only to arch an eyebrow at me as if to say, What do you expect me to do? Send Santa Claus for you?
I sigh and try a different tactic. “Isn’t there anything you can do?”
She goes back to clacking on her keyboard. I really hate that noise. “I’ll book you on the first available flight tomorrow. Let’s see, to your destination…Binghamton…that should get you in around seven.”
“Seven in the morning?” I ask.
Again, not meeting my eyes. “In the evening.”
Great. “Ma’am, I don’t think you quite understand. I have been hauling my tired ass on planes and through airports and on busses for—” I pretend to consult my watch. “—a day and a half now. I took a small cargo flight from Sable Island—do you even know where that is?—over to Nova Scotia. Threw up—twice! That’s how bumpy it was. Then I took a bus to Halifax. That was another four hours. And the bathroom was out of order, so I spent half the trip doing the seated version of the pee-pee dance. Then my flight to New York got rerouted to Portland, Maine. Maine. It took me forty-five minutes alone just to clear customs because the one customs agent there was in the bathroom. He’d had Mexican food the night before. It was delightful to learn that. Then from Portland, they sent me to Boston. And then here to Philadelphia. I started my trip just after noon on December 23. It is now—” This time I consult my watch for real. “—almost 8:00 p.m. on December 24. I’ve had no sleep. I’ve barely had anything to eat. And I have four dollars left to my name, which in this airport won’t get me a bottle of water. And now you’re telling me I need to stay here another entire day? Christmas Day?”