Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
Thank you Lord that I spotted the three little old ladies in their long skirts and head scarves recoiling in horror at the prospect of riding an airport escalator. Made my day.
They were in a group of five, the three women and two men. The third woman let the other two ladies step on with giggles, gathering their skirts and holding each other in the descent. The men joined them, but without the giggling.
The third woman’s scarf was beige with flowers. She refused to join the others on the downward slope, moving out of the way of other travelers and eyeing the nearby up-escalator. It was frozen in energy saver mode and paused. She briefly considered just taking those stairs. One of the men yelled–husband-like–as he rolled on ahead. The other man, perhaps her grown son, hiked up the down escalator to save her from herself. He let some impatient passengers pass, then led his mother carefully back on track. He stepped first, she followed quickly, without breathing. Then she clutched her skirt and shifted from foot to foot. As the end approached, she dug her fingers into her son’s arm as he eased her onto firm ground. He wore a big smile, like a parent gazing at a child finally coaxed to eat their vegetables.
One more escalator ride stood between them and their gate. The husband-like man calling out, the two gigglers bounding ahead automatically, and the son speaking quietly with his mother to keep her mind elsewhere. By the second set of moving stairs, she had already grown less apprehensive. Her husband tried to hustle her and she stared beyond him. She stepped right on, haughty, not even looking down. She would come along as he called, but she wouldn’t be caught enjoying herself.
I understand the fear of Falling In Public