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Grace (standard:romance, 769 words)
Author: mysteryscribeAdded: Jan 06 2006Views/Reads: 2080/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
flash fiction... about five hundred words... a chance encounter in a gridlocked airport... I write dialogue in dialect... It ain't your daddy's rules my friend

Flash Fiction 

The airport terminal was shut down because of a rapidly accumulating
freezing rain.  Even though nobody was leaving, my fare insisted on 
getting to the airport immediately.  That's how I ended up stuck in the 
terminal.  The roads were awful, and my van was too light in the ass to 
be on them. 

The highway patrol shut down the road in and out of the terminal, but
only after I was inside.  They expected it to be shut down only a 
couple of hours, so I sought refuge in the coffee shop.  I couldn't 
really afford the prices, but I had no choice.  The van was far too 
cold and the terminal was packed. 

The coffee shop was packed as well, but there weren't as many bored kids
running all over the place.  I was into my third cup of coffee when the 
Oriental man seated across the table from me left.  Since the place was 
jammed even my small table for two had to be shared.  Worst of all, I 
had no choice about who I shared it with. 

Several very attractive young women were scattered around the terminal. 
A few were even made up and dressed well, though most looked like 
scruffy college kids.  I hate college kids, as a rule they don't tip at 

The woman who sat across from me was no college kid that much was sure. 
 To her credit she had asked before she slipped into the chair.  She 
wasn't exactly old, but she was past middle aged. 

"Are you waiting for a flight?" she asked. 

"No ma'am I drive a taxi.  The highway patrol has the road blocked.  I'm
stuck here, but not for as long as those of you awaiting flights." 

"Oh, I'm here waiting to get a flight home.  I've been visiting my
daughter.  It looks as though the flight will be canceled.  I can't 
stand the thought of going back to her house."  The woman got quiet 
after that. 

I drank my coffee and she did the same with hers.  If she had been
waiting for me to comment, she was going to have a long, long wait.  I 
learned a long time ago that people who talked like that didn't want 
solutions, they just wanted to talk.  I did nod now and then for her as 
she continued telling me far more than I wanted to know about her life. 

Her story wasn't all that unusual.  She was widowed at fifty.  Only
married men had asked her out since.  Her daughter had seemed to think 
she needed to be 'taken care of'.  She didn't have any intention of 
letting her daughter take over her life.  She was just fifty five so 
she wasn't ready to be 'taken care of' just yet. 

The woman had an easy conversational way about her.  Even thought I was
obviously a step or two below her on the social ladder, she didn't seem 
to notice.  I enjoyed her little story without adding anything much to 
the conversation. 

"There you are." It was a women about twenty years younger, but
obviously of the same bloodline who said it.  She also said it a little 
too loud.  "Didn't Harry and I warn you that your flight might be 
canceled.  Let's go get your bags off the plane.  The we can all go 

The older woman, I had come to know as Grace, looked upset.  Her whole
bearing changed.  She seemed to shrink in front of me.  I knew better, 
I swear I knew better, but I couldn't help myself. 

"I'm sorry young lady, but who are you?" 

"My name is Rachel an this is none of your business."  She was indeed
the bitch just as her mother had suggested. 

"Unless you plan to take your mother by force, it is my business.  You
see your mother is staying with me until this is all straightened out.  
We are just waiting for the highway patrol to open the road to the 
airport.  Judging from the fact that you are here, I suppose we can 
leave now." 

I turned my attention to Grace.  "Well Grace are you ready.  Don't worry
about your bags, I have a toothbrush and you won't be needing your 
clothes."  I smiled at her.  To her credit Grace stood, then smiled as 
we walked away. 

I drove her to my house, then returned her to the airport in time for
the next flight home.  Grace left me just as untouched as she had been 
when we met.  However, I'll bet you a grand, that her daughter never 
knew that. 


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