The Charm – Chapter 12


“They said we have to wait till tomorrow …”

Traci doesn’t wait to hear any more. With the subtlety of a bulldozer, she drags Jemma away from the bemused men to a bank of vending machines.

“Can you watch our bags?” Jemma calls back. Terry nods and draws their backpacks closer to his seat. Mark is gesturing urgently at him. Traci remonstrates with her the same way.

“How lucky are we? Must be a chance in a million to meet these guys. We’ve gotta go to Darwin with them. I bet you can change our tickets.”

Traci’s ability to connect their flight being cancelled with good luck infuriates Jemma, though she manages to contain herself.

“We haven’t got enough money, Traci. We barely had enough to come here in the first place.”

“Mark said they’re getting paid to drive the van straight to Adelaide so it won’t cost us nothing. And their flight leaves in an hour. You wanna sleep here tonight waiting for a cop to tap you on the shoulder, or would you rather be in Australia, half way home, seeing a bit of the countryside?”

Traci at her most insistent is a force to be reckoned with, and her argument regarding the Thai police is compelling.

Jemma carefully considers the alternatives then folds, burning to throw Traci’s true motivation in her pleading face. Once more she swallows words that would be hard to forgive.

“You take advantage of me you know. Ok, let’s see if we can change the tickets. That arsehole I got last time wasn’t very helpful though. Ouch!”

“What’s up?”

“My medallion. It’s really hot.”

Traci hooks a finger in Jemma’s top and yanks it down. She lets go after a quick look.

“There’s no burn. Must of been static or something. Why don’t you take it off? It’s ugly.”

Jemma tries, but it won’t fit over her head. It catches in her hair and jams tight beneath her chin. She lets it drop, figuring the cord shrank when she washed her face. The Charm now hangs high, at the hollow of her throat.

“Bloody Hell! I can’t get it off.  Guess it can stay on for now. Its a bit cooler now.”

They mine a ‘please wait, we’ll be back in a minute’ that Terry seems to understand and approach the ticket desk. It is still manned by the same irritable employee. Jemma stops a few feet away and deftly undoes another button of Traci’s blouse before turning to front him. She’s about to make her spiel when a blood red light briefly illuminates the clerks face. He jerks his head up and smiles uncertainly at her.

Traci embraces her role of eye candy by adjusting her breasts a little higher. She looks up in surprise at the red splash.

“What was that?”

“Probably some idiot with a laser pointer,” Jemma says out the side of her mouth and applies a fake smile for the clerks benefit. She pushes their tickets across the counter and asks if it would be possible to transfer to the Darwin flight.

“There’s no way they’ll change our tickets with only an hour to board,” she says quietly to Traci.

They are suitably impressed as the clerk’s finger blur in a rapid interrogation of his computer. The printer delivers two standby tickets that he issues to them immediately. The only problem is their bags. They are over the carry-on weight limit and must be checked. The computer flashes and buzzes at the lateness of this request but a baggage handler is summoned and their back packs are rushed away.  Slightly stunned by the VIP service they thank him and leave, pleased with their result. They are unaware of the clerk’s slowly slipping smile that turns into a puzzled frown. The transaction he’d performed should not be possible and his fingers ache as though they’ve been slammed in a door. He flops into a chair, totally exhausted, thinking he’ll leave early for the day.

Traci can’t restrain her high spirits and insists on yelling the good news even as she runs to their new friends.

‘Way to go playing hard to get,’ thought Jemma, retaining her dignity.

The two men make the right noises of congratulations but their eyes flicker about, distracted by passing security guards and any loud noise. Traci won’t be ignored. Her thrust out ‘heaving bosom’ performance is continued, competing for their wandering attention.

Traci chooses her conquest and sits beside Mark to chat the time away. His brooding face and lack of response is no barrier to her non-stop barrage of gossip. Jemma chooses not to be pushy. She sits one seat down from Terry. He gives her a sickly smile and fidgets nervously. She can see something bothers him. Maybe he has the same stomach.

(Chapter 13)

Published in: on Thursday, 30 October, 2008 at 8:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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