And We're Off

The captain pulled the lever, turning on the propellers. The airship slowly began to rise into the sky, leaving behind the town where Barbara grew up. She felt a twinge of regret as the familiar streets began to shrink below her.

As the buildings faded from sight, Barbara let the tears fall down. She was halfway to the wheel, about to tell the captain to turn the ship around; when she caught sight of the small box Sarah had given to her before takeoff. The box she was to open if she ever felt homesick.

Barbara toyed with the strings.

There had been nothing in Sarah's directions saying the ship had to be out of the country before she could open her present. Granted, the country was large enough that it would take days before they reached the border. Sarah would have been cruel indeed if she made Barbara wait that long.

“Are you opening that now?” A gruff voice spoke from behind her. “I would think you could wait until landing.”

Barbara bit her bottom lip and looked at the captain of the ship. “Sir, I realize you don't know me as well as you know my companions. However, there was no set time on when I could open my present. In fact, the only stipulation was that I wait until we had left town.”

“No worries, I just thought you'd want to keep it safe is all.”

Barbara gave the captain a confused look. “Keep it safe? This is the safest airship in the country and the ship seems to hardly move. I believe it to be quite safe enough to open my present.”

The captain laughed as he turned the wheel causing Barbara to stumble and almost lose her hold on the present. As Barbara glared and made her way down to the passengers' quarters, the captain straightened out the airship.

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