“We’re gonna crash!” I exclaimed as the plane went into a nosedive. We were plummeting straight to the ground, and the aircraft showed no signs of slowing down!
“Oh my god! Everyone’s gonna die!” the surfer man bewailed. “This so isn’t the drop I wanted to make on this trip!”
Everybody around us began to panic, which prompted Aidan to stand up and urge them all, “Stay calm! The crew has procedures for thai sort of thing! Where are our flight attendants?”
We glanced around and spotted the steward who gave me the wine curled up against a wall and weeping, “We’re doomed!”
The airplane made an abrupt jerking motion, and while we were no longer hurling towards the Yellowwood Forest, we also hadn’t gone upright again either! The pilot got onto the loudspeaker and very measuredly announced, “Folks, this is Captain Morgan…” Laughter erupted from the cabin, and Captain Morgan paused for a minute before continuing, “Now, we’ve been over this! I have no association with the pirate or the liquor! Anyways… We’ve run into a bit of technical issues, but we should have it repaired shortly. In the meantime, please fasten your seatbelts. If you need any assistance, please page a flight attendant!”
“Are you using this?” That male flight attendant grabbed the barf bag out of the nearest passenger’s seat pocket and hyperventilated into it.
“I told you Wade was up to something!” I quietly asserted to Aidan.
Aidan puzzled, “What are you talking about?”
I posed to him, “We smelled the stench of foul sewage, and then we ended up in a near death situation- you can’t say that’s a coincidence!”
“Yes, I can!” Aidan disagreed. “These two events had nothing to do with each other!”
“Oh, they’re connected, alright! And I’ll prove it!” I unbuckled myself, and I checked to see if anyone would stop me from walking around. I saw several people trying to aid our steward with his anxiety attack, so I esteemed that I’d be safe and darted into the lavatory.
The stinky odor had gotten eliminated from the aisleway, but it lingered inside of the bathroom! I put my shirt over my nostrils, and I scanned every inch of my surroundings. I wasn’t sure how, but I felt certain that this guy who recently used the facilities did something to tamper with the mechanics of the plane from here! As I combed through everything, Aidan opened the door and inquired, “What do you expect to find in…? Oh, bleck!” He pinched his nose to avoid the unpleasant aroma.
I replied to him, “I don’t know what I expect to find, but I do expect to find some type of clue in the area!”
“Babe, you know I normally try to encourage you in all your endeavors, but I can’t this time! You’re not gonna discover anything in the toilet that would cause the-.” Aidan started to cast doubt on my hunch.
“I found something!” I declared. He peeked in with intrigue as I indicated to the innermost part of the commode. “There’s a shiny object down there!”
As I put my head and shoulders into the lid, Aidan cautioned me, “Shannon, please be careful!”
I waved his concerns off, “Oh, come on! What could happen from-?”
Just when I discerned that the glossy item was a penny, the surface beneath me disappeared! It’s funny- my first instinct was to save the coin and not my own self! I nearly got sucked out of the restroom and into the sky! Luckily, the bottom half of me had been too big to fit into the hole! The floor closed back up, but when I tried to get out, I realized I was stuck! Aidan attempted to use his new wand to magick me out, but he couldn’t produce a potent enough spell to do the job! “Wow, these things are terrible!” Aidan noted.
“I told you!” I triumphantly reminded him. I never would’ve pictured feeling victorious while jammed inside of a john, but at this juncture, I took whatever small win I could get!
“How many times are you gonna say that today?” Aidan asked as he stowed away his wand and wrapped his arms around my legs.
I answered, “Possibly one more.” I couldn’t fathom how a mere cent could have proven my theory, but my instincts suggested I’d get proven correct about this!
Aidan initiated my rescue by pulling my limbs upwards. He faced a lot of resistance, which prompted him to do a lot of grunting as he strove to shimmy me out. Being upside down became really uncomfortable, so I exhaustively cheered him on, “Harder! Come on, hurry! Do it harder!”
“Open up in there!” a voice of authority commanded at precisely the same moment that Aidan got me out of my potty pitfall. We were both trying to recover our breath still when the door became ajar, and it dawned on the two of us that the sounds we made coupled with the fact that I had been somewhat bent over while Aidan’s trunk was pressed against my body portrayed a very different image than what actually occurred! It was too late for either of us to give off a different perception too! “Aha! Caught you in the act!”
“It’s not what you think!” I refuted his insinuation. “I know it looks bad, but we-.” After I turned around to face our intruder, I recognized the individual as the man who last used this water closet! I was now convinced he deduced that our olfactory system had led us to his allegiance to Wade, and he likely intended to prevent us from completing this investigation! I knew we were cornered, and with inferior wands, our defense would be weaker, so I went on the offensive and raised the treasure I procured in the air and proclaimed, “We figured out your little secret!”
He stared at me with total confusion. “Is that piece of money supposed to mean something?”
I shot back, “I dunno! You came in here, dropped the penny in the fountain, and then-!”
“Oh, I thought my sandwich tasted funny!” The man twiddled his mustache in reminiscence. I still held onto the belief that Wade attached some form of dark magic to this trinket, but knowing that it had been through someone’s tract made me chuck it into the wastebasket in disgust! The appeared fairly perplexed, but he decided to let the issue go, shook off his befuddlement, and informed us, “Listen, I’m Troy Osmond, US Air Marshal…” He showed us the badge he had inside of his pocket.
“Oh, you’re in law enforcement?” Well, we…” Aidan automatically reached for his shield, but once he remembered that we couldn’t bring them on this expedition, he lamely finished his sentence with, “… are in sales…!”
Troy raised his eyebrows at us. “You’re an odd pair! And you broke the rules! That usually comes with a penalty…”
My pulse raced rapidly! As a former police officer and a current detective, I prided myself in having a clean record, and I feared the repercussions of having a blemish in my background! Or putting a stain on Sophia Swetinbedde’s! Suddenly, a thought struck me! “Oh no! Are we gonna be banned from entering into Hawaii? Gosh, darnit!” I stated without an ounce of sincerity.
“Actually, you technically didn’t break any laws,” Troy assured us. “I could report you to the airlines and have you barred from using their services, but under the current circumstances, I’m sure they’d be willing to forget it. I know you were scared of dying and wanted one last caper before your demise, but we need to free up these quarters to let other passengers relieve themselves! Many already did during that dive…”
“Right… So, we should go return to our seats and spend our final minutes sitting upright with our safety belts on like good-little citizens?” Aidan hadn’t meant to come off that snarky, but when his words had merited us a slight glare from Troy, Aidan bashfully regarded him, “Bye! Thank you!” as he grabbed my hand and made a beeline for our chairs!
When we stumbled back into the cabin, we noticed a lot of eyes flickering towards our proximity! We hadn’t done anything wrong, but it’s not like we could have denied and revealed the truth of our activity in the powder room! I no longer suspected that Troy had a hand in the incident, but that coin didn’t wind up in his food by accident! If the perpetrator was in the vicinity, my accusation could evoke a confrontation, and until I got a better weapon, I wanted to avoid that possibility from taking place! I reckoned that we had no choice but to fake like we were busted in the midst of joining the mile high club, which isn’t something I truly relished, but oh well! Kinsey, who sat diagonally from us, groaned, “How often do we gotta hear about you guys doing that?”
I felt terrible for creating another awkward instance between me, my boyfriend, and his nieces and nephews, and while neither occasion was my fault, I harbored guilt for it anyways! Preceding my ability to apologize, Captain Morgan spoke into the loudsystem, “Attention folks! This is Captain Morgan again…” I could practically see him roll his eyes as some people still hooted and hollered over his name. “It seems as though there was a malfunction in the spell conversion unit, and it is now fixed! The good news is we’re all going to live, but the bad news is we can’t use the part ‘til it’s been inspected, so we can’t magically enhance the speed of our flight. It’ll take about four or five more hours for us to get to Hilo now!” The crowd all booed at this news, and I put my chin in my hands and anticipated a very tedious journey!
“Aloha, passengers! Welcome to Hawaii!” a female flight attendant, who glimpsed at her male counterpart resentfully as he remained blissfully passed out, addressed us as cheerfully as her weariness would permit her. “I’m gonna rest my eyes, so tap my shoulders if you wanna get lei’d before you get off the plane!” A few people casted Aidan and me funny looks upon hearing that last part. Neither of us responded out loud, but privately, I prayed that none of these judgy jerks would turn out to be our new neighbors!
“Yay! We’re finally here!” Jackson exclaimed as he and his siblings ran into the Hilo gate.
Laraleigh yelled at them, “Will y’all slow down? You don’t even know where we’re going!” She mulled it over for a second and then remarked, “Wait, I don’t even know where we’re going! What do we do now that we’re here?”
I let her know, “We’re supposed to meet someone by baggage claim that will transport us to the new… home.” I hesitated dubbing our next accommodations with any moniker that would imply a permanent residence, but I couldn’t figure out what else to call it! I was hoping to get down to the luggage area and learn that they’ve caught Wade and we can all go to our actual homes! I would have endured another nine hour flight if it meant that I could return to our beautiful apartment without ever considering this region as my habitation!
“For the last time, I don’t offer that sort of service!” a gentleman in a suit snapped at some rather robust dudes who gazed at his “Swetinbedde” sign in befuddlement. As the red-haired man held his fist below his goatee, we gingerly approached him in case he blew his top over our abrupt appearance. When he caught sight of our arrival, be cautiously petitioned us, “Are you the Swetinbedde family, or are you also misled by what you think this sign says?”
“Why is our last name baffling everyone?” Mason wondered.
The gentleman breathed a sigh of relief, “Oh, thank the heavens! You’re finally here! I thought for a minute you’d never get to the island!”
I joked (but not really), “That’s what we were hoping for!”
“Yes, well… Let’s get you all to your dwelling!” The gentleman beckoned us to follow him.
“Hold on, where’s Mi… I mean, Anna?” Mom scoped out the perimeter and didn’t behold her anywhere.
Aidan kidded (kind of), “Oh darn, we lost her! Eh, I’m sure she’ll do fine on her own! Let’s just leave!”
The gentleman enlightened him, “I had to send her off by a transportation spell.” He gestured towards a section designated for individuals who wished to use their wands to get to their destinations.
“Because she’s in a wheelchair?” Harper presumed.
“No, ‘cause she’s maddening!” the gentleman vociferated. “She wouldn’t quit hitting on me even after I said I was engaged! What is her deal?”
Aidan quipped, “Scientists have been trying to work that out for years!” Laraleigh gave him a light smack, and Aidan challenged her, “What, am I wrong?”
I felt a bit curious about this development since I got the impression that she was obsessed with her ex, but I refrained from bringing this up due to our adjacency to the public. The gentleman led us outside, and Willow enquired to her mother, “Mama, I thought you said not to take rides with strangers!”
“He’s not a stranger, he’s…” Laraleigh searched for the proper label to give him, but because she truthfully had no inkling who this associate was, she settled on, “Oh, hush and get into the van!” As we all climbed into the vehicle, a part of me agreed with Willow’s assessment- it did feel as though we were getting kidnapped! I logically knew that this wasn’t the case, but while we were heading towards the highway, I couldn’t help but speculate on what dangerous zone we would wind up in!