Tuesday, July 24, 2012
LIFFEY RIVERS: THE ALASKAN SUN (Chapter 34 Excerpt)
EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 34
Liffey could not believe her ears. She had not yet recovered from the shock of Sinead's indiscretion when she heard a familiar voice coming from deep inside the crowd of glacier watchers: "Yoo Hoo! Liffey, darling!"
Things were about to get worse.
Aunt Jean had spotted her and was moving towards her with the telescope from their suite's balcony. The large fur hat with flaps she had purchased in Ketchikan was on her head and goggles covered her eyes. She looked like some kind of old-fashioned aviator in a soundless black and white movie. She looked ridiculous even for Aunt Jean.
"Liffey, darling! Sinead, dear! Here you both are!"
Liffey tried not to visibly flinch.
"Good morning, Aunt Jean. Yes, here we all are. Might I ask why you are wearing those goggles?"
"I am wearing these goggles to protect my eyes from sharp ice fragments, Liffey. You need more than those sun glasses, you know."
"But Aunt Jean, we are at least a third of a mile away from the glacier."
Aunt Jean ignored this observation and continued, "I have been watching the glacier for over an hour now, Liffey, and I think I can reassure you, with some authority, that the glacier is not going to have a calf."
Liffey wanted to jump overboard except that John's hand had tightened around hers and she could feel him trembling with suppressed laughter.
"I'm Harry Potter, Jean," John said, presenting his hand. "Pleased to make your acquaintance."
Aunt Jean glowed with approval, extended her own hand and said, "Your name sounds familiar, have we met before?"
'Welcome to my world, John,' Liffey heaved a sigh.
While Liffey was desperately plotting how to get her Aunt Jean to leave the vicinity without hurting her feelings, things continued to worsen.
"Jean! Is that you, dear?" a male voice called from a less crowded part of the viewing deck.
"Girls, it's Kenneth," Aunt Jean said breathlessly.
"You're finally going to meet him. He is the one who convinced me that cows cannot give birth to ice cream."
"What is she talking about?" John muttered under his breath. "Is she serious? Doesn't she get it that the whole calving thing was just a lame joke?"
"Nope, she takes everything everybody says literally."
Watching Kenneth making his way through the other glacier groupies with a permanent, fixed smile on his face, Liffey began to think about the scene from Titanic when Jack saved Rose from hurling herself into the ocean.
When she saw that her parents were now also walking towards her like a pair of deranged stalkers who had just cornered their victim, she wondered whether John would save her now if she stood up on the railing like Rose had done in Titanic and screamed at everybody to: "KEEP AWAY!"
Brenna Briggs is the author of the Liffey Rivers Irish Dancer Mysteries