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 Adventure Begins

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Petaljumper
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PostSubject: Adventure Begins   Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:57 pm

It was close to midnight when the pilot’s voice came over the speakers, “Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen, We begin our descent into LAX in approximately five minutes.” Though this announcement awoke some passengers, Serena’s anticipation had not allowed her to sleep. Her seat sat over the wing and was currently affording her an excellent view of the Los Angeles nightscape. Recalling trips from her young childhood, cityscapes at night had always been her favorite part of the destination. More recently when planning this trip, she had imagined what the lights of L.A. would look like with their brilliant colors and promise of adventure.

Sitting at the table six weeks before, Serena and her mother had gone over every detail of the trip. As they talked about luggage, cabs and other important information, she noted the twinge of sadness in her mother’s voice. Putting on a brave face, her mom described the joys of life on her own at college. Although her mom was happy for her, nothing could match the excitement Serena was feeling! She was looking forward to life in the dorm, and experiencing the atmosphere of a new city—not to mention making her own decisions.

Now, when she was minutes away from starting that life, Serena’s happiness was almost too much to bear! Was she really this close? It was hard to believe that only five hours ago she said goodbye to her childhood home in Oahu and took the first steps of freedom.

Jolted back to the present by the captain’s voice, Serena listened as the captain described their situation. They had begun to circle LAX, but had not yet begun their descent. He continued, “There are some small difficulties with the landing gear, but everything should be fixed momentarily.” Suddenly very pensive, Serena observed the stewardess rushing by with a worried expression. Feeling anxious, Serena was frightened and only a little comforted by the presence of other passengers.

Having just turned 18 years old, Serena was naturally outgoing and comfortable in most situations. She had just cut her long, brown hair and now wore a short bob just slightly tucked under. Tan from her job as a lifeguard, her natural beauty and warm nature drew everyone, including strangers, to her. Trying very hard to be calm, she began to realize how serious this situation was. Although this was not her first time on an airplane, this was her first flight alone. Meeting her aunt and uncle at the terminal could not happen soon enough.

Breaking through the nervous silence, the captain’s voice announced, “Thank you for patience, ladies and gentlemen, it appears that we are not going to be able to fix the landing gear. We are going to attempt an emergency landing and the emergency crews will be waiting for us on the ground. Please remain seated and secure all loose items. Keep all seatbelts latched, and if you need help, the stewardesses will attend to you. Thank you.”

Whatever strength Serena had been drawing from now drained, and fear now flooded her heart. She had no idea what to expect in this situation and did not have anyone to comfort her. The stewardess observing her panicked expression, attempted to calm her uneasiness. Once the stewardess checked her seat belt and offered some encouraging words, Serena began to silently pray.

Although it began sooner than she anticipated, the descent was slow. Announcing a good luck to everyone, the captain signed off with “See you on the ground.” Circling the runway on the final turn, Serena was able to see the foam on the runway piling up from the large sprays of nearby trucks. She also observed several emergency vehicles, all with red flashing lights, and more approaching. Slowing further, the airplane lined up for the final approach. Hunkered in her sear, Serena closed her eyes tightly. Feeling the plane slow while descending onto the runway, she waited for the scraping sound of metal on asphalt and wondered if she would survive. Finally, she felt it, down, down, down, and then swoosh! They were on the ground! Sliding smoothly, she could feel the brakes slowly taking hold of the asphalt. At the end of the long runway, Serena realized that every muscle in her body was tensed. Taking a deep breath, she slowly began to relax and feel the blood flow freely through her again. Looking out the window, she observed the precautionary spraying of the airplane and thankfulness overtook her. With tears of joy and release, she gratefully thanked God for an easy ending to a scary situation. After being towed to the gate, the airplane’s passengers were finally released. When Serena saw her uncle and aunt, she ran to them with a tight embrace.

After retrieving her luggage and beginning the drive home, Serena looked back at the airport. Her first adventure of freedom had been a scary one indeed, and she had come through with flying colors. Feeling very confident about her future, she looked to the road in front of them and felt courage flood her being. Surviving that circumstance had given her a brand new outlook on her future and she was ready for anything!


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Lora
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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Begins   Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:14 pm

This is a great start and has the makings for a very dramatic adventure. I love the idea you have for this story.

As for suggestions:
I think you will pack more punch with it if you develop more drama in the ending when they land.

To take this sentence out of the passive voice, consider rewording:
Though this announcement awoke some passengers, Serena’s anticipation had not allowed her to sleep.
For example:Though this announcement awoke some passengers, Serena's anticipation kept her awake.

This sentence is a bit of a tongue tangler after the comma. Maybe, consider revising or putting the information into two sentences.
Putting on a brave face, her mom described the joys of life on her own at college.

Comma splice in this sentence:
She was looking forward to life in the dorm, and experiencing the atmosphere of a new city—not to mention making her own decisions.

This hit me funny. I imagine a pilot might say this in this situation, but what a terrible thing to say. I pictured bodies all over the ground after the landing. I don't necessarily think you should change it. I just thought you might be interested in what it brought to mind when I read it:
Announcing a good luck to everyone, the captain signed off with “See you on the ground.”

Found a typo in this sentence:
Hunkered in her sear, Serena closed her eyes tightly.

If they were without landing gear, I don't think there wouldn't be any brakes:
Sliding smoothly, she could feel the brakes slowly taking hold of the asphalt.

The word, being, seemed an odd word. Perhaps heart or body would sound better:
Feeling very confident about her future, she looked to the road in front of them and felt courage flood her being.

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Petaljumper
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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Begins   Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:19 pm

Thank you Lora--I appreciate the critique for sure! This was one of the first stories I ever wrote, and I can definitely see so many ways to improve. It's funny to see how far you keep going and improving by writing more as time goes by. Thank you so much, and I appreciate all your suggestions! :)

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Lora
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PostSubject: Re: Adventure Begins   Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:31 pm

I suspected the other story was more advanced. You have come a long way. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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