Monday, May 26, 2014

Persuasion

Airport Gate

At the airport, Gate B4.

A teenage boy, pointing to a picture book:
Air flows around the wing, and the air pressure keeps the plane in the air. See? The pilot knows how to fly the plane. It's very safe.
A woman, on the phone:
I took him to the store. I told him, "I'll buy you anything you want. I'll buy you everything in the store if you'll get on the plane." He picked out all this stuff, and I said, "Now you have to get on the plane," and he put it all back! He put it all back! What else can I do?
Teenage boy:
So are you going to get on the plane? Mommy and I need you to get on the plane.
The small voice of a young boy:
No, I'm scared.
Woman:
You have to get on the plane. Where else are you going to go?
Young boy:
I'm gonna see Daddy. You said he's at the airport.
Woman:
Oh, Jesus!
Teenage boy:
Daddy's at the other airport, in Baltimore. You have to take the plane there. Mommy and I really need you to get on the plane so you can go see Daddy.
Woman:
If you don't get on the plane, I'm going to call the police. I'm going to call the police, and they're going to take you to jail.
Young boy:
I'm not going! I'm not getting on the plane.
Woman:
Fine. Then you'll go to jail. Do you want to go to jail?
Young boy:
No...
Woman:
What do you think? It's a black hole up there? Nothing's going to happen. Get on the plane!
Teenage boy:
I'm going to get him some water. I'll be right back.
The teenage boy got up. He walked away from the gate toward a shop in the middle of the terminal. The woman took her young son by the arm and led him to the gate agent. She spoke quietly to the gate agent, then turned toward the shop, leaving the boy by the agent's side. When she caught up to her older son, her step quickened. He looked over his shoulder at his brother, torn, but continued with his mother. She never looked back; she just kept walking.

                       

28 comments:

  1. Oh Damn... my heart's in my throat. I think I'm going to cry. Excellent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment! That's a nasty mother, huh?

      Delete
  2. I'm glad she's not my mom. Oy! Great story.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It was bad enough that she threatened to have the police take him to jail if he didn't get on the plane... then she just leaves him there?! That's awful- poor kid!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a horrible thing to say about the police, right?

      Delete
  4. Oh wow. How heart-wrenching. As if he wasn't scared enough to begin with. Excellent take on the prompts!

    ReplyDelete
  5. When my youngest was lots younger she would not go to bed. She would climb out of her crib and leap to the floor to come back downstairs. We started tying the door shut and when she couldn't get the door open she would lay down on the floor and go to sleep. Ten minutes later we could untie the door and put her back in bed where she would sleep peacefully through the night. Sometimes, as a parent extreme measures are required. I feel more empathy for the mom here. Maybe it's just me.

    Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do feel for the mom's predicament, but I don't agree with how she handled it, and this is coming from a mother who's reversed her kid's doorknob to lock him in his bedroom. *hangs head in shame*

      Delete
  6. Yikes! That kid is going to have some serious PTSD when he grows up.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Really well written twist-in-the tale.. loved it

    ReplyDelete
  8. I... my kid sister used to pull that stuff all the time. The only way to get her to come with you was to ACTUALLY leave. Like, drive away leave. My vote is with mom. But then, I also think she told the gate agent to keep an eye on the kid and make sure he followed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had in mind that the kid needed to get on the plane without the mom and brother, so they left and the gate agent had to put him on the plane. I guess I didn't make it clear. Actually, part of this story is an actual conversation I overheard in the airport, and I wasn't sure if the kid was meant to fly alone or with the family. Now that I think about it, though, I suppose the family wouldn't have been allowed through security unless they were also flying. Oops.

      Delete
  9. Oh that poor kid! I feel so sorry for him. I was under the impression the gate agent was supposed to keep an eye on him and get him on the plane to go live with his father. That is maybe why they left him??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that is essentially what I had in mind. Live with the father or visit the father -- something like that. And my husband told me that family can go to the gate with a minor traveling alone, so I guess it is possible...?

      Delete
  10. How heartbreaking. I liked the format a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Christi. Part of this really happened, and it was heartbreaking.

      Delete
  11. I wasn't expecting that ending. I agree mom is one tough cookie. If the small child is so stubborn to give up all his gifts; I have a feeling he has the lungs to summon her back and the cops to her door to pick him up. Wow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point. Mom may not be done with this dilemma yet.

      Delete
  12. Oh, my! This is so, so sad. I admire how you laid it out, both in terms of the content and the visual. There is so much to read into here. I just have a pang.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading, and thanks for your comment!

      Delete
  13. Congrats on the Editor's Pick. I loved the format, too. No bad guys, just an unfortunate situation. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. My goodness she's vicious. She's not someone to make mad. This is seriously intense.

    ReplyDelete