This wasn’t Daniel’s first plane ride, but it was the first one he’d taken by himself. At age ten, his parents thought he was old enough to fly alone from their home in Newport Beach, California to visit his aunt and uncle in Idaho.
He’d been very careful to look at each passenger on the plane as they boarded, as well as all of the flight attendants. Daniel even managed a brief look into the cockpit. He was relieved that he didn’t see any anomalies. They weren’t common, but they weren’t particularly rare either. It was terrifying for the normally controlled and stoic child to be in close proximity to one for very long.
Every year since he was two, Mom and Dad took Daniel to visit Aunt Abby and Uncle Ethan on their farm north of Emmett. For those first few years, his family drove, which took a couple of days, but by the time he was six, they always flew. It took Uncle Ethan over an hour to get from his farm to the airport in Boise, but he said it was worth it.
Ethan and Abby were actually Daniel’s Dad’s Aunt and Uncle. They were the only relatives his Dad had, and even as a small child, he could feel how much they loved his Mom, Dad and especially him.
This year, Dad was traveling across Asia organizing and attending various trade shows for his company. Being promoted to the VP of Marketing was great for his career, but not so good for his family life.
Mom was in the middle of supervising a major redesign of a big client’s website, which needed her to be more available than she could be working remotely, especially using his uncle’s satellite connection to the web.
But Mom and Dad didn’t want Daniel to miss his annual summer vacation on the farm, so he got to fly alone.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we are on final approach to the Boise Airport. Local time is 4:37 p.m. and the temperature is 76 degrees under mostly sunny skies.”
Daniel knew his uncle was already waiting for him. He always arrived at the airport at least half an hour before the plane was scheduled to land. Aunt Abby hated the long drive, and she wanted to spend the time preparing an extravagant supper for the first night of his visit.
Normally, Daniel enjoyed his vacations on the Harris farm, but as the plane touched down, he started to get nervous. The boy wasn’t prone to anxiety, and harsh experience had taught him that any uncomfortable emotions he had were usually predictive of the near future.
What could possibly be threatening about visiting his aunt and uncle? Daniel resigned himself to the fact that the grim answer was rapidly approaching.
This concept is loosely based on Iain Kelly’s recent A to Z Challenge 2017 story series. Every day, Iain crafted another puzzle piece to his murder mystery that had me and his other readers spellbound. I doubt I can create the suspense he conjured up, but when my wife got a giant A to Z jigsaw puzzle for our two-year-old granddaughter, I thought I’d give it a whirl.
I don’t have a lot of time, so I think each “letter” will be shorter and I’m not sure I can write one every day, but I’ll do my best.
The next in the series is B is for Boy.
Let me know what you think.