International Writers Magazine: Adventure Travel Story
Laura Anne Styles
the middle of the Vatican Museums I desperately rummage for my camera.
Standing before me is the biggest globe I have ever seen and try
as I might I couldnt stop myself from laughing, picturing
my sisters eleven year old face as vividly as if it were yesterday.
I hold the camera to my eye remembering the moment of my sister
and her globe. With a click I flash back to 1995.
my Mothers voice called from a place in my dream. Laura
darling, its time to wake up she said, softly. I rub my
sleepy eyes awake and find my father standing at the end of my bed holding
the home-movie camera.
Daddy and I want you to get dressed, brush your teeth and come
downstairs. We have a surprise for you. She whispered, a telling
smile on her lips.
Emerging from her bedroom door my sister Sarah stands sleepily blasé
in the morning light. Passing the clock on the stairs we descend at
four thirty in the morning. Nervously excited we clasp our hands together
and peeking through the glass panels of the living room door we see
two tiny purple suitcases.
Now then girls, my mother states, why do you
think weve woken you up so early today? Sarah and I grin
at each other and through excited smiles we acknowledge were about
to have an adventure. Urged on by our anticipation Mother reveals a
small blue book from behind her back and opens the lounge door.
Mummy and I have written a story for you, my Father says
from behind the blinking green light of the camera. But you must
only turn one page at a time.
Restlessly we perch on the edge of the sofa and with a nod from our
Mother, my sister begins to read aloud.
Open these pages and all will become clear, a gift for you both
and the joy may bring a tear. We are going on a trip but is it far or
near? We could be going on one of these... The page is covered
with cut out pictures of cars, planes, trains and...
Look Sarah, its a rocket! I shout, unable to contain
my nine year olds excitement.
And you definitely need to pack plenty of these, she continues.
Toothbrush, we chime together, sunglasses,
And we definitely definitely definitely need those, I pipe
And whats that Laura? my Father asks.
Passports, Sarah and I answer in unison.
I bet youre getting warmer, it certainly is there.
I recite, my eyes gleaming at the pictures of golden sunsets and beaches
with palm trees. Were here for one week, our home base to
explore, however the beach is not right next door. But never fear, we
have our own of these, and there right in the middle of the page
is a photograph of our very own swimming pool!
For week number two were at the beach, where from the hotel
the surf and the sand are within an arms reach.
Have you guessed where were going yet? Mum prompts,
trying to hide her own joy at knowing the answer to the riddle. Come
on, weve given you lots of clues. Its not very close, nearly
ten hours up in the sky!
I sit there, thumb in mouth, not knowing how big the world is and I
begin to wonder how far ten hours could take you.
Spain! my sister reveals.
Spain I agree, my face all joy but my mind an empty blankness.
As my sister tries to count the hours to the land of Spain I stare at
the picture in the middle of the page. A sea lion is captured midair
hitting a white and red stripy beach ball through a hoop and I feel
a strange familiarness. The answer hits me and I urgently whisper in
Eurodisney? No, she instantly dismisses.
You think were going to Eurodisney? My Dad asks, a
little surprised at my confidence.
We cant Laura, thats not ten hours away. Sarah
states, her own assurance resolute.
Oh, but Ive seen that ball somewhere, I huff in temper.
She turns the page and reads
Say hi to Mickey and all his friends.
I said it was Eurodisney! I gloat.
Read on, Mum urges.
And have a good day yall. What's yall, I think?
With a funny sounding voice Mum rereads Have a good day yall.
Images of cowboys and women in frilly dresses fill my mind. Slowly uncurling
the final page, large red letters spell out the word Florida, the page
covered with recognisable faces. Disney World.
Im gonna get to see Cinderella! I say, my voice escalating
to no more than a squeak.
But you said, you said wed never have enough money to get
there, Sarah whispers in total shock.
Laura, do you know where Florida is? my Father asks. I shake
America, Sarah grins and with that she leaps from the sofa
bounding across the lounge calling over her shoulder, Wait there,
Ill get my globe!
Anne Styles - November 2008
Laura is studying for her Masters in Creative Writing at the University
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