Chapter 5

Written by: Kalli Deschamps

There was nothing illegal about the key. Mia grabbed the damaging item, dropped it into her pocket, retrieved her shoes and ran toward the waiting room searching for a clump of people. A group of bodies lined the check-in desk. She bounded toward them nearly knocking an old white-haired lady to the floor. Mia was embarrassed as she apologized to the lady. She ingratiated herself into the group.

            He crept closer. Japanese? Surely he wouldn’t create a scene.

            The key. Somehow she had to hide the key. Sean Stevenson had given it to her many years ago for safekeeping. When asked about it he refused to explain. “Just make sure you don’t lose it,” he whispered. “It’s worth more than you can ever imagine.”

            A week ago he called her at work writing for a features magazine in Tokyo. “This is Sean Stevenson. Remember me?”

            She hesitated, stalling for time. “Why should I remember you? You’re just a voice on the phone.”

            “The key for God’s sake!”

            “What key”

            “For Christ’s sake, Mia. You’re not stupid!”

“How do I know you are Sean Stevenson? Fill in some blanks. You never did tell me what the key was for.”

The voice on the phone dripped exasperation. “1997 and a guy named Max.”

Silence hung like a monsoon cloud. Finally, Mia whispered, “What do you need?”

“I need you to fly to Los Angeles ASAP. I’ll fax you a ticket for  the correct flight. Be sure you have the key. Do you have a passport?”

“For God’s sake, Sean, of course I have a passport!

“In your name?”

“I have two.”


“Long story. I’ll tell you sometime.”

“Use the fake one. What’s the name?”

“Amanda Campbell.”

“Where do I send the ticket?”

“Mia Bradley at International Travel, Inc. I’ll e-mail the number so  you get it right. I’m due for a holiday anyway so no one will think anything of it.”

Mia tried a cautious look behind her. Duckbill was rapidly casting his angry eyes around the waiting area where Mia still hid in the midst of the anxious passengers. She fingered the tiny silver key where it nestled in her pocket. Where could she hide it? She should have thought of that when she was in the rest room. Too late now.

Duckbill had spotted her. Just as his rapid steps seemed inches from her trembling body, the flight was called. Her group formed another tight surrounding cluster. There were no disabled or children. She was in First Class and managed to be the first to board. Just as she reached her seat, the First Class flight attendant called her name. “Ms. Campbell, you are requested at the check-in desk. There is apparently some emergency. “

Mia panicked. “No! What can I do? Where can I go?”

Just as she reached the door to the waiting room, she was grabbed by two enormous thugs who pushed her into the grinning malicious eyes of the Japanese man she called Duckbill!


OOoooooh! Duckbill. A great chapter Kalli but the name got me. Somehow seems synonymous with thug and evil when applied to a man. Dialogue is well done, Keep writing 'Ducky.'