Wacky Wednesday – “Smuggles”

8 Aug

There was a delightful squeaking sound as the seven-year-old girl skipped on sneakers through the airport terminal.

Her pigtails bounced and flapped, pinched together with yellow scrunchies. She hummed tunelessly, swinging her arms as she whisked through the throng of people and luggage. Amidst the lumbering asteroids in their dull business suits and baggy sweats, she was a bright meteor, streaking hot pink and striped. She wore a flower pattern t-shirt and a gossamer tutu over rose-coloured tights, and her Hello Kitty backpack jangled with countless baubles and beads.

She had left the crowd behind when she reached the security terminal, slowing her pace and pirouetting gracefully toward the waiting official. She looked up at the man, smiling a gap-toothed smile into his looming ill-shaven face. He was a great whale of a man with sweat stains spattering his uniform, which was stretched nearly taut over his massive gut. He leaned over to look at her, and his eyes narrowed.

“Where’s your parents,” he inquired in a thick voice. “Shouldn’t you be with them?”

The little girl giggled, as if he had asked her a silly question. “I’m by myself,” she sang, and then added, “I’m going to see my Nana.”

The official eyed her suspiciously, and then straightened up. “Put your bag in the tray,” he said in a mechanical voice, which suggested he’d said the phrase so many times that the words had lost all meaning. He retreated behind his console and the girl flung her backpack up onto the conveyor belt with a trilling “Laaaa laa lalala la laaa!”

She hopped through the sensor, landing on pointe, and turned back to look at the official, who was squinting at his x-ray display and frowning. Suddenly his eyes popped wide and he roared “STOP!”, flinging his great bulk off his stool and thrusting his hammy fist into the girl’s tiny backpack. It emerged trembling, clutching a small plastic toy in white worm-like fingers.

“What…is this?” he demanded, pushing the toy into her face.

She laughed long and hard, and veins began to bulge along the official’s cranium. She reached out and took the toy from him, flicking a switch and showing it to him in her palm. “It’s just my Tamagotchi, see? He’s called Tinkles and he’s a bear! He’s got four best friends, but they’re not here, my friends have those ones. There’s Maggie and Fluffy and –”

“Okay! Okay,” said the official, immediately bored. He waved a huge arm listlessly. “Go ahead.”

The girl squealed and clapped, and before the official could blink she was skipping away again, toward the departure lounge.

**

Fourteen minutes later the girl stood on the tarmac, swaying on her sneakers, humming her tuneless tune and thumbing through an enormous stack of hundred dollar bills. Two men in Italian suits stood before her, and one of them was holding her Hello Kitty backpack. He put a hand in, pulled out a sizeable Ziploc of raw grade-A sweet Mexican black-tar heroin, and grinned a gold-capped grin.

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2 Responses to “Wacky Wednesday – “Smuggles””

  1. Sarah August 10, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    I was so nervous the whole story thinking she was carrying a bomb. I never though I’d say ‘Oh thank god, that child is just trafficking heroin’, haha.

    • Justin Alexander August 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

      HA! Amazing. I’ve definitely heard you say that before. Happens more often than you’d think.

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