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Monday, September 21, 2009

A Shuttle Nightmare

It started innocently enough. I booked a Super Shuttle trip from the Denver airport to the hotel where our ACFW writer's conference would take place, not realizing I'd be imagining myself kidnapped before the end of the day. I know it sounds funny, but have you ever been in a situation where you truly thought your life could be in danger? Here's how it happened....

I arrived at the Denver airport and bumped into another ACFW conference attendee, Lisa Buffalo. Lisa and I made our way to the baggage claim area, then tootled on out to wait for our ride to the hotel. We passed the long line at the Super Shuttle desk, congratulating ourselves that we'd been smart enough to book our ride in advance. We confidently dug out our receipts and stood with the gathering crowd of women waiting outside. One of the gals was moaning about having to wait in the long line inside, and we suggested she might want to book online after this, and save the wait. She turned with snort of disgust. “I did. They made me go back in and get a ticket. The online receipt isn't good enough.”

No way. We couldn't believe it. I got right on the phone with the main office and they confirmed our fear....we had to go brave the line and miss this shuttle. We'd probably not arrive at the hotel for another hour, and we were both already tired from our early start and long day.

A shuttle driver who was clearly from a mid-eastern country (and had the accent that went along with it) from another company sidled over while I was talking on the phone I heard him urging Lisa to ride with him instead. “Only ten dollars each,” he insisted. She politely told him we'd already paid our fare, but thank you anyway. Five minutes later he was back. “Five dollars each.”

She and I looked at each other and from the look on her face I knew what she was thinking. I nodded and proceeded to cancel our reservation. By the time I hung up, our bags were in the van and the smiling driver was holding the door open. “Only twenty dollars and I take you right to your hotel.”

I help up my hand and shook my head. “Hold it. You said ten dollars, then five. What's with the change?”

He proceeded to explain that he'd thought the entire group would be coming and he couldn't take only two people clear across Denver for $5. each. The rest of the gals had already climbed on the Shuttle and it had driven off into the sunset.....er....bright, sunny sky....so we were stuck.

We climbed into the van and only then noticed a VERY scruffy man in unkempt clothes with at least two days growth of beard, was climbing in, as well. He slid into the seat directly behind us, and the driver slammed the door shut. I started thinking about the appearance of the van, and realized I'd only notice a small decal on the side, and the vehicle had seen better days. The locks clicked down and the driver walked around the van, heading for his seat. Something in my spirit rose up and waved a red flag, and dread clamped onto my stomach. Get out of here. Now. I didn't know if it was the Lord speaking a warning, or just the over active imagination of a writer, but I knew I wanted out of that van.

I turned to Lisa and whispered. “I have a very bad feeling about this. I don't think we should go.”
Continued tomorrow.......

1 comment:

bigguysmama said...

Miralee, are you kidding me? You're making us wait until tomorrow? Now THAT is torture. I can only scratch the surface of what you must've been feeling sitting in that van!!

Kinda freaked to read tomorrow's post.

~Mimi B

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