Writing me Down

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Exercise 6.3 – Trapped

Eloise glanced around the cabin at the faces – all studiously not looking at her. Diddy was now screaming, his face purple.

“Shh, Darling. Here, do this colouring book with Mummy.”

“Want down NOW!”

“You can’t sweetie, I’m sorry.”

Diddy recommenced screaming, punctuated by the sounds of seat belts being snapped into place. Eloise felt her own seatbelt tight across her hips, restricting her movement.

“… expect to be in Adelaide in 8 hours time …” the voice crackled over the tannoy above Diddy’s screams.

The seats in front of her seemed too close, crushing her legs against the bags stuffed with toys and toddler snacks. The smell of perfume, strong and sweet, made her feel nauseous. She heard the rattling of packets behind her, and the smell of roasted peanuts started to compete with the perfume. Her stomach rumbled loudly. She remembered with regret those snacks she had had to ditch at the check-in desk to reduce the weight of her hand luggage. Diddy’s snacks, of course, continued to press into her legs through the bags. She sighed and looked out of the window. The blue sky and sunshine seemed remote, miles away from the grey cabin interior.

Diddy started to drum the back of the seat in front with his feet. Eloise saw the top of the passenger’s head shift slightly to the side as she whispered something to her companion, who turned and stared at Eloise. She shrugged and smiled weakly. What could she do? The tannoy crackled again:

“ … special offers … scratchcards … win holiday vouchers!” The voice, smart and groomed as its owner, marched on through the onboard commercial shopping entertainment. Someone shoved past on the way to the toilets, knocking her elbow, and she caught a whiff of ammonia as the toilet door opened and closed.


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