Morgan Ravn arrives in Denmark seeking clues about her mysterious heritage. What she finds is a flirtatious stranger who regales her with a story about a jewel thief from 1958 and then abandons her with a large unruly dog.
I dropped my purse.
With a few clacking steps, I maneuvered back to where it had fallen. Was my skirt too short to bend over? I wobbled a little but snagged the purse with a finger. My heel stuck in the strap. I yanked. It remained immovable. I yanked again. No luck. With careful precision I attempted to liberate the purse while simultaneously lifting the offending heel off the ground. Standing on one leg while wearing girlish attire for the first time in nearly a decade is harder than it looks.
I pitched forward toward the rolling luggage carousal with windmilling arms and inarticulate squeaks of dismay. My fashionably-clad self plopped down amongst the luggage. Unmindful of my peril, the conveyer continued to trundle along toward a black tunnel where the bags were slurped down into the darkness. A red sign on the left caught my eye.
No Bags with Lose Straps No Luggage Constructed of Soft, Easily Shredded Materials. Any Damage is the Fault of the Ticket Holder.
My person was a plethora of soft, strappy, easily shredded material.
I struggled to escape. The fate of a flimsy duffel bag awaited me within the dark maw of that luggage tunnel. I kicked my legs like a frantic ladybug upended by a pack of Kindergarteners. Stuck. I was stuck and this infernal pencil skirt resisted all my efforts to right myself. My only chance was to wriggle like a worm and flap my arms, thus launching my person off the conveyer.
I glanced at the approaching tunnel, and then down at the gleaming tile where I would surely break my nose. Ugh, I had no choice. Perhaps I would manage some kind of miracle handstand and not actually smash my face. I flopped and scrambled until my head hung over the conveyer edge. My hands scrabbled at the slick tiles below me, but the conveyer failed to slow. My only chance was to jump. One last desperate wiggle and I began to tip. I closed my eyes and threw my arms out, hoping to soften my imminent crash.
I fell and landed in a pair of strong arms.
Someone had snatched me out of the air. My head rested against a large, solid shoulder. I lay there for a moment, dazed. My hairclip hung over my eyes in a nest of tangles. I pushed the mess of brown and gold strands aside and looked up. It was the dog guy. I was in his arms, pressed snugly against him, heart pounding, and mortally embarrassed. ‚
“Hey, you ok?” He peered around my fly-away hair, his blue eyes intent.
“Um, my shoe, and the purse, my luggage is pink!”
“So I would presume.” He grinned and tipped me onto my feet, leaving his hands on my shoulders for a moment until I was steady. Then he bent and scooped up my pink shoe. The dog started barking again, and the dog guy rummaged in his jacket for another treat.
“Sit here for a moment and catch your breath. You can watch Leroy for me. I’ll go ask about your bag.”
Oh, my goodness, he was adorable and gallant. But the power of my new clothes was surely waning. The linen suit sported black smears from the conveyer belt, and my left heel was now bent sideways.
Leroy blasted me with another deafening bark. His brown eyes were expectant, and drool glistened in moist strings from his jowls. He didn’t seem too ferocious, only hungry.
“It’s just one suitcase and under the name, Morgan Ravn.” He nodded and started off. After a couple steps, he turned back.
“And I’m August. August Bruun.” I shook his hand and pushed my glasses back up on my nose, as though this happened to me every day. I mean I talked to guys all the time for work. But they never, ever had dimples.
Kristen Joy Wilks is the wife of a Camp Director and board game enthusiast, the mother of three fierce boys, and the owner of a Newfoundland dog. She spends her time preventing her hubby from filling another wall of their dining room with board games, thwarting her 3 boys’ efforts to sneak their pet chickens onto their bunk beds whenever she turns her back to fold laundry, and trying not to trip over the throng of random teenagers that swarm her house to play all those board games. Kristen can be found tucked under a tattered quilt in an overstuffed chair at 4:00am writing a wide variety of dramatic tales or at www.kristenjoywilks.com.