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The International Writers Magazine: Adventure Travel Story

Sarah's Globe
Laura Anne Styles

In 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 couldn’t stop myself from laughing, picturing my sister’s 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.

‘Laura’, my Mother’s voice called from a place in my dream. ‘Laura darling, it’s 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 girl’s’, my mother states, ‘why do you think we’ve woken you up so early today?’ Sarah and I grin at each other and through excited smiles we acknowledge we’re 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, it’s 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 up.
‘And what’s that Laura?’ my Father asks.
‘Passports,’ Sarah and I answer in unison.
‘I bet you’re getting warmer, it certainly is there.’
I recite, my eyes gleaming at the pictures of golden sunsets and beaches with palm trees. ‘We’re 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 we’re at the beach, where from the hotel the surf and the sand are within an arms reach.’
‘Have you guessed where we’re going yet?’ Mum prompts, trying to hide her own joy at knowing the answer to the riddle. ‘Come on, we’ve given you lots of clues. It’s 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 Sarah’s ear.
‘Eurodisney? No’, she instantly dismisses.
‘You think we’re going to Eurodisney?’ My Dad asks, a little surprised at my confidence.
‘We can’t Laura, that’s not ten hours away.’ Sarah states, her own assurance resolute.
‘Oh, but I’ve 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 y’all.’
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.
‘I’m gonna get to see Cinderella!’ I say, my voice escalating to no more than a squeak.
‘But you said, you said we’d never have enough money to get there,’ Sarah whispers in total shock.
‘Laura, do you know where Florida is?’ my Father asks. I shake my head.
‘America’, Sarah grins and with that she leaps from the sofa bounding across the lounge calling over her shoulder, ‘Wait there, I’ll get my globe!’

© Laura Anne Styles - November 2008

Laura is studying for her Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth

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