Monday, September 23, 2013

Pride and Prejudice and Planes

This is a compilation of some posts I did a few weeks ago where I imagined what our friends (and enemies) from Pride and Prejudice would do on an airplane. Enjoy!

     "I dearly love to fly, is it not the most invigorating experience?" The eager faced man took his seat next to Mr. Darcy who did his best to be polite without encouraging further discourse. Undaunted, the other man put out his hand in a manner which required a response from Darcy. "I'm Chuck, Chuck Bingley. Just love flying. On my way to a sales conference. My father died and left me the business and now I'm learning the ropes." 
      "I am sorry to hear about your father," Mr. Darcy said and turned to look out the window. 
      "Pops was quite a guy. I just hope I can do as good a job with the business as he did." 
      "So, you're in trade?" Darcy turned back from the window and examined his seatmate. 
      "Trade, buy, sell. We do it all." 
      "Fresh from the oven cookies, gentlemen?" A flight attendant with vibrant eyes and a name tag that said "Liz" presented a tray of gooey confections in front of Mr. Darcy and his new, unwanted, friend. 
      "They appear tolerable, but not enough to tempt me," Mr. Darcy said. 
      "Upon my word, man, I would not be as fastidious as you for a kingdom. I've never seen such temptations." Chuck Bingley said reaching for a chocolate chip and a Snickerdoodle which he gobbled with delight and washed down with an enthusiastic gulp of milk. 
      Liz, the flight attendant observed all of this without speaking further, then turned away, though Darcy could swear he heard her giggle once she returned to the galley. 


      The plane was just about to pull back from the gate. Mr. Darcy glanced around and noticed the two seats behind him and his new friend, Chuck, were empty. If no one showed up, perhaps he'd be able to move and have those two seats to himself. He was ill qualified to recommend himself to strangers and thus preferred to travel without the necessity of social chit chat. 
      Just as he was about to release his seat belt and make his move, a clatter arose at the entrance to the plane and two women, presumably mother and daughter, clamored onto the aircraft, their hands overflowing with shopping bags. 
      "Oh my dear Lydia," the elder woman said. "We made it. Right on time. I always knew we would." 
      The commotion created by the two newest passengers brought Liz out of the galley. Mr. Darcy noticed that the look in her eyes went from vibrant to horrified to calm in an instant. She assisted the two women to get their bags stowed so that the plane could take off on time. 
      "Lord, I'm so hungry," the younger woman said. 
      "Look at us, flying first class. I always knew we were meant for such luxury. How fortunate that the odious Mr. Collins died before your father so that we were able to keep all of his frequent flyer miles." 
      "I never thought I'd have so many miles on me," Lydia said. 

      Liz patted her hair to make sure it was in place, then softly tapped on the cockpit door before entering. 

      Her heart fluttered when Captain George Wickham turned from his piloting duties and smiled at her. She'd met many pilots in her day, but none looked so handsome in their uniform as George Wickham. Perhaps it was the way he wore his hat in rakish disarray, but she suspected it was the way his eyes looked at her and made her feel tingly and naughty; like he knew just how to get her wheels off the ground. 

      Their hands touched when she handed him a glass of soda and a shot of electricity spurted through her body. 

      "We're all meeting up for drinks at the hotel bar after we land, Liz. Will I see you there?"

      The invitation was just what she'd been hoping for. "Of course I can't stay out too late, but it would be nice to get out and see everyone." 

      Wickham winked at her. "I'll make sure you're in bed early." 

      Flustered, Liz retreated to the galley where her friend, Charlotte, was preparing hot towels for the first class passengers. She surveyed Liz and said "I see you've been flirting in the cockpit again." 

      "You told me that a woman needs to let a man know she's interested. I'm just following your advice." 

      "I would advise you to stay away from Captain Wickham. He is a notorious flirt and rumor has it he is broke since his first two wives have taken him to the cleaners. Better to find a nice steady man who has his feet firmly on the ground." 

      "Charlotte! What about love and romance?" 

      "Finding love is really just a matter of chance. Better to make sure you have a roof over your head and money in the bank or you'll be serving coffee and danish until you're old and gray." 

      This discussion was interrupted by a signal that the passenger in seat 1A needed assistance. "Oh, that man is so disagreeable. I can't imagine what he wants other than to complain," Liz said. 

      "I was just out there," Charlotte said. "I think he wants to see you." 

      "I am sure that nothing that I can do will please him," Liz said then left the galley to see to the somber gentleman's needs. 


  1. This is really quite brilliant. You've nailed Jane Austin's style. Well done.

    1. Thank you! It was so much fun to write these little scenes. Maybe I'll keep going.


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