Ewa Lowe: Chapter 18

Image

The chapter below is from the sci-fi, triller book Fear is in the Air by Eva Newermann


 

Arabian Nights

17-F

Outside, nine white, eye-catching Volkswagen Beetle limousines are waiting. They all carry two flags, one black and one white. The black flag symbolizes the deaths of Lillian and Dexter. The white flag symbolizes, the christening of Lilliana. 

 The cars following each other along the motorway are a spectacular sight. Each car seats six people. 

The inside is spectacular too. Each is equipped with a beautiful bar and a silver champagne cooler. A vase with two roses is hanging over the window. The small TV screen/DVD player is mounted on the ceiling. It is showing a documentary from Stonehenge. 

Between the seats is a gold telephone. The seats are made of leather, and so soft that when you sink deep into them, it’s hard to get up. But who would want to get out of this quirky car anyway?

The cortege of cars drives at a low speed on the motorway, so we can really enjoy the scenic English countryside.

Finally we can see our accommodations, the colorful tepees.

I will be sharing mine with Lovise. Our butler greets us in the tent. He is dressed in a red, open-neck silk shirt, black leather vest and black leather slacks. He has dark skin and, when he smiles, the whitest teeth I’ve ever seen.

“Welcome! Welcome!” He takes our bags and leads us into the tent.

Lovise is in front of me, I can hear her gasp.

We are of course used to luxury, flying around the world, staying at five-star hotels, but when I enter the tent, I have to gasp, too. 

It looks like a scene straight out from Arabian Nights. Including Genie’s oil lamp hanging from the ceiling. All the walls are painted to look like the inside of a cave. The cyclorama effect gives you a 360-degree view. 

Hundreds of lit candles are placed near the ceiling and walls. No, wait a minute! They are not candles, but lights with a bulb inside that flickers like a candle.

Our butler takes a bow. “Welcome to the Cave of Wonders. You may call me Genie.”

Of course, this is from the story “Aladdin and the Genie.”

On the floor is a Persian carpet and piles of large colorful silk pillows. In the middle of the room, a table holds grapes, dates, nuts and oranges.

I can see some small treasure chests filled with faux jewelry, pearls, crystals, glitz and glam. They all sparkle from the lights. 

Two laced chiffon draped canopy beds with elaborate red linens are standing next to a beaded curtain. When we slip through the beads we are inside the bathroom. There is a shower, a toilet and a sink. On the floor there is another beautiful Persian rug. 

Lovise and I look at each other. Unbelievable! When we get back after our little sightseeing tour, our Genie has set up a massage table. “Who wants to be the first one for a rubdown?”

“I do! I do!” Lovise hollers and I let her.

Genie has also lit some incense sticks and the whole tent is filled with an exotic aroma. I go to my bed and just lie down on top of it, resting. I must have fallen asleep, but I wake up when Lovise shakes me gently. 

“Your turn, Ewa,” she says and walks through the beads and into the bathroom.

“Please tell me a little about yourself while your fingers do the walking,” I say to Genie before I lie face-down on the table.

I just have to keep my eyes closed, so I don’t have to look into his ugly brown eyes.

Genie takes some aromatic oil on his hands and rubs it on my legs and starts working. He does have magical hands.

His voice is a little husky when he starts talking. “I was born in Egypt, a town called Alexandria.”

Hey, I once knew a good-looking Pharaoh, too bad he’s six feet under someplace now.

“I’m 24 years old and an exchange student. I study economy, I’ve got one more year left. I will go back to Egypt after graduation. I took this job to make some money. My parents are poor so I send them some money every month. I have an older sister and a twin brother. They still live with my parents. My hobbies are archery, horseback riding and girls.”

Not necessarily in that order, I bet.

“I don’t have a girlfriend right now, but I would really like to find somebody to marry.”

OK, so that’s his story. Nothing original. He does have good hands, though.

He works on me for an hour; Lovise is sound asleep when I go into the bathroom to take a shower. 

I had told Genie to put the Do Not Disturb sign outside the tent. He promised nobody would disturb us until the next morning.

I sleep through the night without stirring, until I open my eyes and see Genie standing over Lovise’s bed, staring at her.

You’d better not get any sticky fingers here, Genie.

I turn towards them and he takes a step away from her bed.

“Oh, you’re awake? I was just going to wake you. Breakfast is nearly ready.” He walks to the door.

“I’ll bring the breakfast in 20 minutes. Do you want tea or coffee?”

“Give us one of each,” I say, while getting out of bed. 

Twenty minutes later, two servants and Genie serve us breakfast. In actuality, it’s more like an Arabian Nights feast. They have lit real candles, all over the place and in all shapes and sizes. I get my exotic-smelling tea and Lovise gets her Arabic Coffee. 

The coffee set looks to be made out of brass, but is fitted inside with a small china cup, which holds the coffee. There is also a serving tray, matching the cups, for the coffee. The coffee itself is made from freshly roasted and ground beans. My tea is called Arabic Chai and is served in a larger cup than Lovise’s. 

Instead of the usual eggs, bacon and orange juice breakfast, we are getting something different. 

It’s freshly baked pita bread with labneh. Labneh is soft cheese made from yogurt. There are also dishes with sliced tomatoes, salad leaves, chopped onion and tahini sauce. Tahini sauce is made from sesame seed paste, Genie tells us. 

“This breakfast is called Alafel, in Egypt you have something similar called Taameya,” I say to Genie. “I had that last time I was in Egypt.”

Genie nods and puts a beautiful silk napkin into Lovise’s lap. 

Didn’t his hands rest there a little too long?

Then he squeezes her shoulder, looks deep into her eyes and says, “Have a wonderful breakfast…and maybe somebody would like a massage afterwards?”

Lovise blushes, stammering, “Oh, I don’t know, maybe later.”

Genie smiles at us both and walks out of the tent.

“Well, well, well,” I snicker, “I think our Genie is getting a little fresh out of the lamp.” 

Lovise, saying noting, starts to eat.

What do I know? Maybe she likes the attention? I’d better shut up.

While we are using pieces of the pita bread to scoop up the veggies and labneh, I say, “By the way, do you know how the pita gets the pocket in the middle?”

Lovise looks up and smiles “No, but I’m sure you, the walking encyclopedia, will tell me.”

“Oh, this I learned at a bakery in Egypt. You put steam into the dough, which puffs it up. When the bread cools, a pocket is left in the middle.”

“Lucky for us,” Lovise grins, and fills her pita with goodies.

After breakfast we go outside and into the large tent. James, Irene and Lilliana are sitting at one of the tables, together with Liz, the girl who has managed to arrange all this.

“Liz!” I pull her out of the chair and hug her “This is so fantastic! I could never imagine anything like this! I don’t know how I can ever thank you!”

Liz is laughing, “Oh, don’t worry. Just wait until you get the final bill!”

Now nearly all our guests are in the tent. They also are raving about the accommodations, food and servants.

On a big billboard is our itinerary for the following days. This evening there will be three different events to choose from. Since we are living in tepees there will be a one-hour lecture on how the Native American Indians lived. 

The second event is storytelling from “1,001 Arabian Nights.”

The third is a lecture from the Summer Solstice Sunrise over Stonehenge.

They all sound interesting, so I decide to attend all three.

The next day, which would be the nineteenth century, there is a scheduled helicopter tour. If you don’t like flying, you can go on a limo sightseeing tour, which includes local bar hopping. 

Since I’m in the air most of the time, the bar hopping ride sounds good to me.

The June 20 event is billed as everything you always wanted to know about pit cooking but was afraid to ask. We’ll all be students of pit cooking, preparation and execution.

The tepees have to be disassembled and removed by June 22.

That’s why everybody is going to stay in a hotel the last night before flying back to Miami.

Most of the guests choose to stay in Southampton, close to the airport. I, on the other hand, have booked a room close to Stonehenge. This is a hotel that had been built using some of the stones taken from Stonehenge.

Every day now, our butler, Genie, has been behaving like a horny, sex-starved jackass. 

Lovise has finally had enough of his insinuations and comes crying to me. “Ewa, I just can’t take it anymore! What a jerk! He thinks he’s God’s gift to women.”

I pull her into my arms and talk soothingly. “Don’t you worry, Lovise, I will take care of the problem.”

This butler doesn’t know who he is dealing with. Instead of “the butler did it,” maybe I should do the butler?

He has been coming on to me too. This guy should be easy prey. 

Lovise has finally calmed down and I go looking for my Genie. He will need a big lamp to get out of this trouble. I find him in the main tent and have him sit down at a table.

“Do you know who I am?” I’m forcing a smile. Genie looks at me a little puzzled.

“Well… You are Ewa.”

“That’s right, I’m Ewa. Ewa Lowe, and I’m the one who is paying for everything. This is my party and I can hire and fire whomever I want.”

He looks a little worried, as I continue.

“Lovise has a boyfriend in America. They are going to get married soon. I don’t want you to bother her, or even talk to her in the next two days, is that clear?”

He nods, and looks like a puppy that has just been kicked.

“OK,” I go on, “now that’s out of the way, I would like you to give me a Swedish massage.” I get up from my chair, put my hand on his shoulder and squeeze it gently, smiling. “I, on the other hand, like your company very much, and I’m free as a bird.”

Trying not to look too long into his ugly brown eyes, I start walking back to my tent, Genie following his master, of course. After the massage I mix us both Ewa’s easy-on-the-Coke Cuba Libre. 

He takes his drink, saying, “I’d better be careful, I’m not used to hard liquor.” 

“Don’t worry.” I lie, “It’s not very strong.” 

A little plan is developing in my mind. Well, maybe not so little….

 


 

The chapter “Arabian Nights” is from the sci-fi, triller book “Fear is in the Air” by Eva Newermann. Available on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books

Advertisements

Ewa Lowe: Chapter 17

Image

The chapter below is from the sci-fi, triller book Fear is in the Air by Eva Newermann


 

Red Alert

I want the flight to Southampton to be a little crazy, too. I call the flight crew and invite them to my place. There will be five of us, the captain, the copilot, the purser, Lovise and me. I tell them to think of unusual and fun things we can do on the flight.

When they arrive, I have some suggestions.

“Since we are going to stay in tepees, why don’t we dress as Indians when we serve them?”

I show them a coin. 

16-F

“This coin has a picture of an Indian Shoshone chief’s daughter, Sacagawea. She was born around 1788 in Lemhi County, Idaho. She died in 1812, but when she was around 12 years old she was kidnapped by an enemy tribe and sold to a French-Canadian trapper. 

“He married her and she got pregnant in 1804, the year Lewis and Clark were going on an expedition, trying to find a route through to the Pacific Ocean; they hired Sacagawea as an interpreter. 

“She spoke the Shoshone language, which helped the expedition a lot. I think this is an interesting coin and a good story to go with it. So I want to give one to each of the passengers. That way they will have a souvenir from our Indian flight.”

They all think that’s a great idea.

Lovise raises her hand. “There is one thing I have always wanted to say in my safety announcement. It has to do with the air masks falling down.”

“OK,” I say, “on this flight you can do and say whatever you want. Don’t tell us now, but surprise us on the flight.”

The captain is waving his hand. “Listen, I can’t do too many crazy things. I have to go by the book, but I sure will try to think of something.”

“Well,” our quick-witted copilot grins, “while you go by the book, I can go and get me a squaw in the galley,” he spreads his arm out, “maybe a squaw I can hold in my paw, or maybe I should be dressed like a cowboy, then I can tell everybody, ‘Save a horse – ride a cowboy!’”

After everybody has stopped laughing, I serve them a mimosa. The champagne and orange drink is garnished with a slice of pineapple, mint leaf, red cherry and an umbrella.

“Another thing,” I take a sip of my drink, “let’s forget about all these family friendly movies we always have to show. Let’s find the world’s worst air disaster movies we can think of!”

“Here, here, I’ll drink to that!” they all raise their glasses.

Now it’s the purser who wants to speak. “You know these murder-mystery theaters they have at some restaurants and on train trips? What if we have something like that? We could come up with a plot and one of the crew will get murdered and the passengers have to find out who did it.”

This is a little too close to home for me, does the guy have any suspicions? No, I don’t think so, just smile and play along.

Everybody is excited as we try to work out a plot, and trying to decide who is going to get murdered.

“Just don’t make it anyone in the cockpit,” the captain grins. “Why don’t we write down different scenarios and give them to the purser? He can then choose one and he will be the only one who knows. That way it will be interesting for everybody.”

It takes us three more drinks and many more canapés before we each hand our papers to the purser.

After they have looked through the telescope on the balcony and admired the ocean view, they go on their merry way.

Finally, the day for takeoff, June 17, has arrived.

Lovise and I have been shopping for Native American outfits at a costume shop in Fort Lauderdale. 

We would have liked to wear dresses from the Shoshone Indian tribe, like Sacajawea, but they didn’t have any. So the dresses we ended up with were made of light brown suede, with an ornate diamond and cross design in red, brown and turquoise.

Fringe embellishments cross a leather belt, featuring a black leather flap with a matching design. It also has some fun fringes with beads along the sleeves and hem. 

The moccasins also have fringes with beads on top of them. We have bought some long black braided wigs and headbands with a beautiful feather in the back, to top it all off!

The pilot and copilot arrive, dressed in their usual uniforms, but they are carrying some large suspicious-looking shopping bags….

I thought nobody could top us, until I see the purser. He is dressed as an Indian warrior chief. His headgear is so tall he has to stand outside the plane, he is standing there majestically greeting everybody. “Cowabunga! Cowabunga!”

Shoot, the guy stole my line!

Well, since he is greeting everyone, I hand him the bag of Indian coins, so he can give them to the passengers. 

James and Irene with little Lilliana are the first people to board. They have dressed Lilliana in the cutest Indian outfit. She has a headband with a feather. She coos with delight.

Finally all the guests are seated and we are ready for takeoff.

Thank heavens, the purser has another scaled-down Indian outfit he can change to. If not, there would have been no room for the rest of us in the galley.

We are flying Miami –New York –Amsterdam –Southampton. We’ve got everything planned. 

The Miami—New York leg is only three hours. So all we need to do for the passengers is to give them drinks, feed them some snacks and run a movie.

New York to Amsterdam will take about seven hours. First, we’ll serve some drinks and dinner. Then some live music and singing. 

I’ve brought some films from last year’s Stonehenge Solstice Festival. That’ll give everybody some background information about Stonehenge. 

The passengers then get a time out, around two hours of nap time. Then, it’s time to wake up for coffee and snacks. 

The purser can start his murder mystery play. He has written clues on a sheet of paper and anybody who would like to participate will get one. He also has a $200 prize for the person who solves the murder first.

Before landing we’ll serve breakfast. Yes, this will be an easy flight.

The Miami—New York leg goes smoothly. We make all the passengers leave the plane, so they can stretch their legs. 

One hour later we are on our way to Amsterdam. Now Lovise can make her famous announcement. 

“Ladies and Gentlemen, in case of an emergency the air mask will drop in front of you. When you stop screaming, put your mask on.” 

I have to laugh, too. I must agree that the real announcement we make, saying put your mask on and breathe normally, is ridiculous. Who can breathe normally in a situation like that?

We are climbing to 30,000 feet altitude. While sitting in our seats Lovise and I usually spend the time telling each other true stories from our lives. Something we have experienced on a flight or other places.

Of course, my own hair-raising stories I couldn’t tell her, only the good-natured ones. If you could call bomb threats, people getting heart attacks and extreme turbulence good-natured.

“So,” Lovise says, “what’s new?”

“Well, the other day, on a flight from LA, I had a couple joining the mile high club, going at it under a blanket.”

“What did you do?” Lovise is chuckling.

“I just pulled down the darn shades and turned off the task light,” I say smiling, “do you by any chance know how the autopilot was invented?” Lovise shakes her head.

“Ewa, where do you get all the information?”

“I read a lot. Well, anyhow, in 1914, this pilot, Lawrence Sperry and his girlfriend are on a flying trip in his Curtiss Flying Boat. The urge hits them and they start banging away. 

The airplane crashes, but they survive. Later on he invents the autopilot, and everybody is happy.”

Now we are both laughing. I bet the passengers are wondering what’s so amusing.

“Here is another piece of information,” I continue, “the first flight attendant in America was a nurse named Ellen Church, that was in 1930.”

Do I see a flicker of admiration in Lovise’s blue eyes?

“My life is so boring,” Lovise sighs, “I feel all I do is just work, work and work.”

Just then, we hit an air pocket, the plane is in a dive, everybody is screaming. I take Lovise’s hand and say calmly, “Yes, this is a really boring job.” 

“Cowabunga! Sorry about that,” the copilot comes over the speakers. “Lucky the Indians weren’t serving you hot coffee. We will try to fly in a different altitude. There is some bad weather ahead, so just sit tight and don’t wander off to anywhere.”

Twenty minutes later, the fasten seat belt sign goes off. We start serving the passengers.

The passengers seem a little shook up and are ordering double drinks. After dinner, they get coffee and cognac.

Lilliana has been mad as a hatter ever since we hit the turbulence, but now she’s finally sound asleep.

Most of the passengers are sleeping too, but some are watching air disaster movies. The purser comes up to me and whispers in my ear.

“Red Alert! Red Alert! The galley, now!”

We hurry to the galley. I can see smoke coming out from behind the microwave oven. I grab a fire extinguisher and start spraying. The purser runs to the cockpit.

Now the smoke is really heavy and people start coughing. The captain comes to the galley and starts helping us pull out carts and drawers to get a better look. 

Finally the smoke disperses and the captain goes back to the cockpit.

Five minutes later, the copilot appears in the cabin, dressed in a beautiful Indian feathered hairpiece. I’m kind of disappointed he’s not dressed as a cowboy, screaming, “Save a horse, ride a cowboy!”

He walks down the aisle, doing an Indian dance, waving his arms and tells everybody, “Nothing to worry about, we are just sending some smoke-signals to the people at Stonehenge saying we will be landing there soon.”

Everybody laughs and the tension is gone.

One person is not laughing. He is still coughing and his face is red. I follow him to the back of the plane; he seems to have problems breathing. 

I know there are two doctors on board, so I get one of them. He brings his doctor’s case and starts examining the guy. 

After a while he tells us everything will be fine, the guy just needs to go outside for some fresh air (very funny…).

The purser pulls me over. “Listen, after all this commotion I don’t think the passengers are ready for our murder mystery play. Why don’t we just ask the band to play some music?”

I nod “I’ll talk to the guys.” 

After some music it’s time for breakfast. The rest of the flight is without any further excitement. 

We land in Amsterdam, change to a smaller plane and after a short flight we land in Southampton, England where Liz, from the Fantastic Funeral Company, greets us.

16-L

 


 

The chapter “Red Alert” is from the sci-fi, triller book “Fear is in the Air” by Eva Newermann. Available on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books

Planet of the Month: Neptune

Image

NeptunEnglish

Neptune was named after the Roman sea god Neptune. The name fits well, because it has such a beautiful blue color, just like the sea. 

It is also very cold there, -214 °C. Here on Earth we think it’s cold when it is -20 °C. 

Uranus and Neptune are often called Ice Giants to distinguish them from the Gas Giants.

 

Norwegian2

Neptun fikk navnet sitt etter den romerske havguden Neptun. Det passer jo, for den har så fin blåfarge, akkurat som sjøen.

Det er også veldig kaldt der, -214 °C! Vi her på Jorda synes det er kaldt med -20 °C.

Neptun er så stor, at nesten 60 jordkloder kan få plass inni den!

 

The Universe a Work of Art

Monthly facts brought to you from my eBook The Universe a Work of Art.

Ewa Lowe: Chapter 16

Image

The chapter below is from the sci-fi, triller book Fear is in the Air by Eva Newermann


 

Planning Cosmic Events

I’m now on the computer daily sending e-mails to Liz, my connection in England. Liz works for a company called Fantastic Funerals. They will help us with all the arrangements and needs for our funeral and Cosmo Christening. I’ve told her money is (nearly) no object and we want the best. 

James has invited the same people who attended his wedding, including the flight attendant Lovise. We will be 46 people. 

Five of these people belong to a rock band, I’ve told them to bring their instruments. One person is a magician and three are professional singers. I think this is going to be a fun trip!

For the Cosmo Christening of Lilliana, there will be a priest who is also an astrophysicist. 

I have bought a beautiful Spanish silver holy water fountain at an auction. It’s from the eighteenth-century and has floral decorations and a Sun symbol. Instead of holy water I will bring some water from the ocean outside my apartment. The ocean Lillian and Dexter loved so much. 

I will fill the water into one of the silver bottles my father got from the 100-year-old woman in Hawaii, on his honeymoon. When the Sun comes up over Stonehenge, Lilliana will have her Cosmo Christening. 

We are renting a plane from Star Gaze Airlines, and since SGA only has first class we will be flying in style.

At the Southampton airport in England we will be driving in style, too. A cortege of Volkswagen Beetle limousines will pick us up and drive us to Stonehenge.

Outside Stonehenge we have rented a large field from a farmer. There, 17 beautifully painted tepees will be our accommodation. The conical tents the Indians built were mostly made out of buffalo skins. Ours will be made out of canvas. 

Each tepee will come with a personal butler. These tepees will look like the traditional tents the Native American Indians lived in, but inside is a different story. No expense has been spared. 

There will also be a mini tent next to each containing a shower and toilet. The Indians would have been envious. 

One day, probably June 20, we will do some pit cooking. To cook a whole lamb or pig takes careful planning. First a hole has to be dug in the ground. Then a fire is lit. It will be at least 24 hours before the coal or wood is ready for cooking. Then it will take about 12 hours before the meat is ready to eat. 

This means the chefs have to start preparing at least two days before.

I’m also trying to find an astronomer who is willing to set up some large telescopes for gazing at the beautiful sky at night – that should be an interesting and educational pastime for all the guests.

15-F

Every evening there will be at least one hour-long lecture about Stonehenge and other Neolithic and Stone Age monuments around the world.

The Stonehenge festival was closed for 15 years, after a pitched battle with a group called New Travelers in 1985. 

The Travelers had their own festival next to Stonehenge for 11 years, but in the following year the police decided to stop them. They herded a convoy of New Travelers’ vehicles into a field. 

When the Travelers tried to escape, the police smashed their vehicles, using sledgehammers and beating people on the head with truncheons, and so the Battle of the Beanfield went down in history.

Ever since then, people have been fighting for their right to watch the solstice at this exceptional historic monument.

Finally in 2000, the police reopened Stonehenge to the public.

Last year, in 2001, about 15,000 people from all over the world attended the Solstice Festival. This year, the numbers will probably increase.

Another thing I have to consider is if we get bad weather, what then? The smartest thing was to have a tent big enough for 46 people. Then it won’t matter if we have pouring rain outside.

One day, while reading a magazine, the text of an ad catches my eye.

From ashes to diamonds! 

There is a company – Phoenix Diamonds – they make beautiful diamonds from the ashes of your loved ones. I had never heard of such a thing, so I Googled them. 

15-L

Sure enough, they do have a certified laboratory that will create a diamond using small particles of carbon (200 grams) extracted from hair or ashes. 

The diamond is created as a memorial of people who have passed away. The diamonds come in different colors, blue, gold, pink or clear. You can get pendants, rings or pins. I ordered a two-carat, pink diamond pendant.

From the mantle I take Lillian and Dexter’s urns and pour 100 grams of each of their ashes into an airtight container. I will mail it to Phoenix Diamonds and wait for my diamond pendant. 

They will ship it to me in a beautiful gift box exclusively designed to hold my precious gem. I will take it with me to Lilliana’s christening in England. The rest of Lillian and Dexter’s ashes I will bring to Stonehenge and spread among the giant stone monuments.

I just have to do one more thing. I pick up the little box with ashes and walk out on the balcony. The wind is nearly ripping my dress off. The sunshine from the ocean stings my eyes. I lift my arms high over my head –clutching the box –and say out loud; “Lillian and Dexter you are going to a much better place. I will eternalize you for ever and ever!” 

Am I crazy, or am I crazy? 

 


 

The chapter “Planning Cosmic Events” is from the sci-fi, triller book “Fear is in the Air” by Eva Newermann. Available on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books

Ewa Lowe: Chapter 15

Image

The chapter below is from the sci-fi, triller book Fear is in the Air by Eva Newermann


 

Casino Fun

Well, I didn’t go to any psychiatrist. If I had, he or she would probably find out what kind of sociopath I am, and tell me I have something called a Brown Chromato Ommeta Phobia or something. The odds are high that he or she would have brown eyes, and I would lie on the couch trying to figure out a cleverer way to do my killings.

No! No psychiatrist for me. Instead, I start going to the casino.

The Seminole Indian Coconut Creek Casino is only a 20-minute drive from my apartment. It was built in the year 2000 and was loaded with more than 1,000 noisy slot machines. 

When you walk through those large glass doors it feels like another world. The only bad thing is, smoking is permitted. When I get home, I always have to jump in the shower and wash my hair and clothes, because everything reeks of tobacco smoke. 

The casino also has Las Vegas-like shows and one of the world’s best buffets. Every day the casino has a drawing for money, expensive cars or a boat. All you have to do is put an entry slip, with your name on it, into the tombola. 

You have to be there in person for the drawing. If you should win you will have to show your driver’s license and Social Security card. 

Today I’ve invited James and Irene for dinner at the casino’s buffet. Before they show up I go to the Customer Service Desk and get my entry slip. After filling it out, I put it into the tombola. The tombola already has hundreds of slips inside. The drawing is at nine in the evening, and the prize is $30,000. 

I’m meeting James and Irene at six o’clock, but it’s only five now, so I have time to hit the slots for an hour. 

When you are a whale (a high roller) like I am, you accumulate points on your casino card. Then you can spend them at the casino’s restaurants. 

The buffet has warm and cold dishes. The dessert table alone is ten meters long. All the baking and cooking are done in the casino’s kitchen, and of course the chefs are the best you can find. 

At the buffet there are five chefs ready to prepare whatever your heart desires.

James and Irene arrive promptly. The hostess seats us and we all get champagne.

When we have gorged ourselves with food and champagne for an hour, I say to them, “Remember when we were talking about christening Lilliana? 

“I think I’ve found a great solution. I want to have a second funeral for Lillian and Dexter at Stonehenge in England. They always wanted to go there and see the gigantic stone monument. That will be like a closure for me, realizing they’re really gone. Then, afterwards we can have a christening for Lilliana. What about calling it a Cosmo Christening and have an astronomer and a priest do the ceremony?”

“What a fantastic idea!” Irene exclaimed.

James is nodding, “Yes, this sounds like the right thing to do. We could charter a plane and invite our closest friends. In fact I have some connections in England who could be helpful.”

“Great,” I say, “I also have connections. I’m e-mailing a company called Fantastic Funerals in England. They are going to help us with many of the arrangements. 

“We should go next June for the Solstice Festival at Stonehenge. The festival is on June 21, so that will give us plenty of time to plan everything.” 

They both nod in agreement.

By now it’s 8:45 in the evening, and they are eager to go back home to Lilliana. This is the first time they have been away from her, but they do have a trusted nanny.

I tell them I’m staying behind for the prize drawing at 9, as I follow them outside. The valet guy gets their Hummer.

I wave goodbye and sit down on a bench outside the front door. The air is humid and warm, not filled with smoke like inside. 

Suddenly the door opens and the guy who runs the tombola comes out, smoking and talking on his cell. He sounds and looks wired up – getting ready for the show, I guess. 

He is carrying a small painting of a young ballerina, knotting her ballerina shoes. 

Ballett Danserinne

Her dress – flying up in the air showing her panties – makes the painting look both cute and sexy. Whoever wins the tombola will also get the painting.

I look at my watch. Three minutes left. He looks at his watch and starts heading for the door. We nearly collide and he gallantly holds the door open for me. 

I look straight into his blue eyes and say, “You be sure to pull out the slip that says Ewa Lowe, now.”

He grins “Yeah, sure thing, in your dreams, baby!” He starts to jog towards the stage, with me on his heels, trailing behind him.

Everybody is gathered around the stage and they all start cheering when he arrives.

“OK, folks, this is it! The prize money is now $30,000.” He puts his hand inside the tombola and stirs digs around and stirs up all the papers, before he takes out one slip from the middle of the pile.

“The lucky winner is….” He stops, goes a little pale, turns around to face me, then yells, “Ewa Lowe!”

“I knew it! I knew it!” I’m jumping up and down. It’s funny how $30,000 that I don’t really need can make me so excited. 

He gives me the ballerina painting and holds it up in the air so everyone can look at it. It is signed Eva Newermann, the same artist Lillian and Dexter liked so much.

When I get my breath back, I grab the mike. “Cowabunga! OK, OK!” I laugh and say, “I’m Ewa Lowe. I’m very happy to win $30,000 and I want to donate it all to the shelters for abused children in Miami.” 

Everybody starts clapping. I continue, “And cowabunga! For you not familiar with that word, it means hello and I’m happy. Let me hear it from you all, cowabunga! Cowabunga!” 

Everybody screams at the top of their lungs, “Cowabunga! Cowabunga!” Now, I’m really worked up. I yell; “And now for my next trick!” I put the painting down, grab an empty beer glass and put it on top of the tombola. 

I take a deep breath and find my high-pitched note. The glass shatters into a thousand bits. All the people are clapping like mad and cheering, except the guy in charge of the tombola; he knows he has to clean up the mess.

Well, what a gaudy night this turned out to be. 

The only thing I was missing was Adam Skai. I sure wish he could have been on the stage with me. Then we could have gone home to my place and done some stargazing while doing some other things on the balcony…

 


 

The chapter “Casino Fun” is from the sci-fi, triller book “Fear is in the Air” by Eva Newermann. Available on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books

Ewa Lowe: Chapter 14

Image

The chapter below is from the sci-fi, triller book Fear is in the Air by Eva Newermann


 

Adam Skai

13-f

As the wedding celebration continues, I get an urge for some fresh air and something inside me tells me to take the elevator to the top floor. 

On the roof there is a large patio with a semicircle of lounge chairs. 

I see a tall man standing in a corner gazing up at the sky. From the antennas on his head I know he belongs to our wedding party. I walk over to him.

“Hi, are you planning a trip? If you are you can visit my Stargate property on the Moon.” I lean against the rail. 

“My name is Ewa Lowe, sister of the groom. What a wacky wedding this has been!”

He turns slowly and gives me his hand. When we touch I get a light electric shock. I guess my specially made rubber soles are not stopping the jolts this time.

“Hi, I’m Adam Skai, James’ astronomy teacher. So you also fell for the acre selling scam on the Moon?”

I look into two blue eyes. 

He has the most beautiful smile, but I’m drawn back to his eyes! I can see blood veins in the pupils, so he must be wearing some weird contact lenses. 

I can feel chills crawling up my spine. 

His skin is so white it looks transparent. He must have covered his body with some kind of white powder. 

His white hair, or is it a wig? Is a mass of tiny white curls. Still, he manages to look and sound very sexy. 

The hottest Andorian I’ve ever seen. He’s still holding my hand and now takes my other hand. Another shock goes through me….

I’m not the one giving the shocks –he’s the one giving them to me. 

Whoa! Love at first touch! Adam and Ewa, sounds as good as apple pie to me. Take it easy now, Ewa, you don’t know anything about this guy.

Come to think about it, I do know a few things about Adam Skai. James told me Adam was one of the youngest and brightest astrophysicists in the world. A real wonder boy, only 25 years old and he has already written many astronomy books. 

In all the pictures I’d seen of him he was always wearing large, dark sunglasses, a black hat and black turtleneck sweater. James was always telling me what a special person Adam was.

Well, here he is, and he sure is special.

“So you are Seven of Nine?” Adam is pulling me closer to him. “I think you should be called One of One, instead!”

I laugh: “You are the Number One, if anyone is. I’ve read all your books and it sure makes me humble to meet somebody who knows so much about the universe.”

Adam whispers in my ear: “It makes me humble to meet somebody as beautiful as you.” He pushes me a little away from him and then locks his hands behind my neck. 

How is it possible to feel warm and cold at the same time?

The moonlight hits his face and it seems like the veins inside his blue eyes are glowing red. His skin looks phosphorescent, like glittering snow. 

A chill goes through my body. He cradles my head to his chest and I can smell…spices? Yes, a spice – like cinnamon. 

He puts his hands around my waist and cat-quick lifts me up on the ledge. Thirty floors below, I can see the small headlights from all the cars. 

Oh, my God! Is he going to push me off the ledge?

Not that I care. I feel I’m on some kind of cinnamon aphrodisiac drug trip. I can probably fly into Blue Heaven if he throws me off the building.

“Listen, Ewa, what I’m telling you now might not make any sense to you, but believe me, when the time comes you will understand. 

“Don’t be afraid, the future looks good for you. Now, close your eyes.” I obey, in a trance I cling to him. He puts his lips close to my ear and the cinnamon smell gets even stronger. 

“We are going to meet again under very different circumstances. 

“We both carry alien DNA, Ewa –you and I,” he says, squeezing my shoulders. I stiffen. 

He buries his face in my hair and goes on. 

“Repeat after me: ‘Friday the 13th will be my lucky day.’ Say it!”

In a trance, I whisper, “Friday the 13th will be my lucky day.”

What does he mean? What will happen on Friday the 13th? Why alien DNA?

I always knew I was a little different. I couldn’t explain the weird electricity that surged through my body. 

Then there is my ability to shatter glass. I know some soprano singers can do that, but my high-pitched tone never seemed to come from my throat –it felt more like a beam from my brain. 

Adam is now offering me an improbable explanation. This sounds very strange….

He pulls back –just enough to create a slice of moonlight between our faces. His lips are now moving towards mine and I close my eyes again. We let our tongues do the flying. 

I feel like I’m zipping through space and all the stars are crashing into my body.

Qu Statt? (What’s happening?). Did I just dream this? Who is this guy? What powers does he have?

Suddenly, he lets go of me. I am so startled I nearly fall backwards, into the void.

I open my eyes and the last thing I see is Adam going into the elevator. Just before the doors close I can hear the faint words, “Friday the 13th and alien DNA, don’t forget.”

I jump down from the ledge and stand there for a long time just looking up at the sky. My whole body is shaking and reeking of cinnamon. Electric jolts go through my body. I feel enraptured. 

A week later I read in the newspaper that Adam Skai, our brilliant young astrophysicist, has left for Europe to join an international astronomy team. He doesn’t know when he will return to America.

If he had been interested in me, he could have told me where in Europe he would be living. Doesn’t he know I’m a flight attendant and travel all over the world? 

I really would like to get to know him. Why does he give me cutis anserine? Why does he have the same problem with electric shocks like me? What the heck does Friday the 13th mean?

“Oops!” I was so lost in my thoughts about Adam I nearly missed the Sheridan Street exit that’s going to take me to James and Irene’s home in Hollywood. 

I’ve had to brush up on my Klingon, I was reading in the Klingon dictionary before I left home. James is going to get a kick out of that.

Outside their house I see two new cars in the driveway. One is a white Volvo station wagon, the other, a shiny black Hummer.

So, they have been shopping, too!

I walk inside and the house is filled with flower arrangements, mostly lilies.

Do they know the name Lillian comes from the lily flower?

In the hall I see James and in my best Klingon I say. “Qaleghqa’ ‘oH QaQ” (It’s good to see you again).

He is trying not to smile. “Qaleghqa’ne’ S” (I’m honored to see you again).

After exchanging hugs, we go outside to the pool. The sun is shining and it’s warm, even if it is November. 

Irene is huge! 

“The baby is due any day now,” James smiles.

Any minute now, from where I’m standing.

We all sit down on their comfortable Rotting chairs. 

Irene flashes me a smile. 

“Lovise will get here in an hour. Then we’ll play bridge.”

“Ewa,” James says, taking both of Irene’s hands into his, “We’ve got something to tell you.”

I nod and look at them intensely, sensing that this is important. James continues, “Irene and I have decided to name the baby Lilliana, as a tribute to Lillian.”

I take a deep breath.

“Oh, that’s wonderful! Just great! I am so happy to hear that.”

I jump out of my chair and hug them both again. I also have to do a little Indian war dance.

When things settle down, Irene says, “We only have one problem. Since none of us practices any religion, how are we going to have a christening? Of course, we would like you to be the godmother, but maybe we should find a different word for it, since we don’t believe in God?”

Well, this is something new. I never had thought of this situation before. Yes, we had been raised as atheists. 

Lillian and Dexter always said they were positive atheists, which meant they understood that religious people have reasons to believe. We also had been taught to respect all religions.

“Hey,” I say, “since money is no longer an object, I’ll figure out something very special for our little Lilliana. 

“Speaking of money, let’s go out in front and gawk at the cars.”

We all start laughing

“You two go ahead and talk cars,” Irene says, “I have to go and lie down for a while.”

“Are you OK, honey?” James asks, like a worrying father-to-be should. 

“Yes, yes, I’m just tired and hot.” She wobbles towards the house.

James and I go arm in arm to the driveway.

“Holy shit!” he exclaims when he sees the Corvette. I toss him the car keys. He turns around and goes inside the hallway. When he returns, he tosses me his Hummer keys.

We are like two screaming kids on Christmas Eve. The wheels are screaming too. Dust billows up behind us.

“Back in 15 minutes,” I yell out the window as I do the Vulcan split-finger greeting. 

“Qapla’!” (Success!), he holler back, “If I’m not back in two days send a helicopter!”

 “Qapla’!” I shout and floor the pedal.

Greased Lightning would’ve been green with envy.

I lean back. What a ride! Everything inside is leather and teak. It’s huge and comfortable, like sitting in your living room. The panel has so many gadgets and lights it looks like a James Bond scenario.

Everybody is staring and waving at the car and I wave back exuberantly.

It sure is great to be rich!

When I get back to the house, Lovise is pulling into the courtyard. James is already there, running inside, his cell phone to his ear.

What now?

I hurry after him, waving for Lovise to follow.

“What’s wrong, James?” I ask.

“The water broke and I don’t know if I have to drive her to the hospital.” James is pale as a sheet. We are now outside the bathroom door.

“Honey, are you OK?” James is knocking softly on the door. The door opens and Irene comes out.

“I have to call the hospital and ask what to do.” She sits down by the phone and dials the number. We are standing anxiously next to her. Finally she hangs up.

“The woman on the phone, told me there is no hurry to get to the hospital. Since this is my first baby and I have no contractions or pains yet, it will take a while. She also told me, I will most likely give birth within 48 hours.”

In fact, 22 hours later Lilliana saw the light. She was born on November 9, 2001, at 7:37 in the evening. She has her mom’s brown eyes.

I’d better get into therapy fast!

13-l

 


 

The chapter “Adam Skai” is from the sci-fi, triller book “Fear is in the Air” by Eva Newermann. Available on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books

Ewa Lowe: Chapter 13

Image

The chapter below is from the sci-fi, triller book Fear is in the Air by Eva Newermann


 

Klingon Wedding

James and Irene have invited me and Lovise to their home in Hollywood. We are going to play bridge. Since Lovise and I spend so much time flying together we have become good friends. We play bridge at Jordan’s Bridge Club located in Delray Beach. They have games morning, noon and evening and the club is open all year long. Even a world champion, the intelligent Linda Green, is giving lessons and is a frequent player there.

I glide into my Vette and vroooom onto I-95, southbound. The ride will take 20 minutes.

While I’m driving I am thinking back to James and Irene’s unique wedding. Both were Trekkies and traveled to all the “Star Trek” Conventions they could find. I guess James got hooked on the Klingons and he would always try to speak their bizarre language. I found it fun, too, so every night we would hug our parents and then bawl, Maj Ram! (Good night!)

James and Irene even had several “Star Trek” uniforms. They bought them online, or from film studio auctions.

The round number, year 2000, was coming up. In all stores, post offices and restaurants there were large digital clocks, counting down to 2000. James wanted to get married one minute into the year 2000. His vision was to have a Klingon Wedding in Las Vegas, at the Hilton’s “Star Trek” Experience attraction; a ceremony on the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Wouldn’t that be an intergalactic experience? Irene couldn’t agree more. They invited 42 people and we’re all very excited to be going to Las Vegas. 

Lillian and Dexter paid for the whole kit and caboodle.

In Las Vegas they have wedding planners for any theme you can imagine. Since everything is open 24 hours a day, getting married one minute past midnight is no problem. The Elvis Presley wedding is the most popular. You can have Elvis walk you down the aisle, he can be your priest, or he can serenade you.

Also, the helicopter, air balloon and Grand Canyon weddings are in demand.

The Hilton’s “Star Trek” Experience wedding attraction offered five different wedding packages to choose from. The least expensive was $350 per person, and was called the Vulcan Vow Renewal Package. The most expensive was the Admirals Wedding. At $3,000 per person, this package included a ceremony on the bridge, dinner and drinks at Quark’s Bar and Grill, a band playing Galaxy music, and a photographer to record every memorable moment. 

So we had a winner!

The wedding photos and memories start to play in my head, and it’s like it’s happening now. I can see it.

Most of the wedding guests are dressed as Klingons, Borg, Ferengies and Andorians. All the Andorians have blue faces, white wigs and cranial antennas.

I’m dressed as Seven of Nine. Lovise is one of the few not wearing a costume. She came straight from a flight, and was not able to change clothes.

12-F

Heads turn (even in Las Vegas) when we all walk into the Hilton Hotel. Inside, a huge Klingon greets us. 

“Qapla bath je!” (Success and honor!)

The guests who are versed in Klingon speech answer, “Lu’, Lu’!” (Yes, OK!)

The ceremony begins. All of us receive a com-badge, which is a small communication device. We pin it on our clothes, on the left side, just above our hearts.

As we’re ushered into a large white circle, we put our right hands over the com-badge insignia, and all yell simultaneously: “Scotty, beam us up!”

A bright light hits us and suddenly the floor is moving upwards. We’re lifted to the second floor, and then walk straight onto the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise. 

The crew, dressed in Starfleet uniforms, greets us. Too bad it isn’t the real crew, including William Shatner, alias Captain James T. Kirk. 

The Klingon Warriors start beating their drums. 

On the floor, standing on a lighted pedestal, are 42 absolutely magnificent Klingon Swords. 

We all go up to a sword and put our hands on top of it, we stand that way throughout the ceremony.

12-L

The drums stop and the theme song from “Star Trek” blasts from the speakers. Irene and James face each other, their foreheads touching. It is a very tender scene.

The music ends and the couple, holding each other around the waist, recite their vows. Then they kiss and walk past us. Everyone goes into the mastakas (a mock sword attack), and with all the lights blinking on the bridge, the drums reach a crescendo as we “beam” down to Quark’s restaurant.

We are greeted by Klingon, Borg and Ferengi waiters. They hand us each a drink that looks like a volcano. At the bottom of a large cognac glass is a red blinking light. The glass has two chambers, one containing dry ice and the other vodka. The dry ice makes it look as if smoke is pouring out of the glass. 

I, of course, am the first who dares to drink it.

At the table there are fancy computers to take our orders. The menu is a piece of art in itself, with original names for the dishes.

My appetizer is a plate with The Holy Rings of Betazed (large crispy onion rings) stacked on a beautiful miniature steel sword. 

Starfleet Ship Salad features chopped greens tossed with shrimps, red onions, Roma tomatoes, sunflower seeds and feta cheese.

For the main course I have the Warp Wrap: a spinach tortilla, filled with delicious grilled marinated steak, surrounded by sautéed yellow, red and green bell peppers, red onions, Mexican rice, shredded lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole. 

Can I still manage dessert? Yes, I can’t resist Frozen Gagh (worms). On the “Star Trek” TV shows and movies we’d seen Klingons gobbling down live worms. Here we have to settle for gummy worms and Odo’s Chengelia chocolate ice cream.

All the food is served on huge plates bearing the Starfleet insignia.

The drinks also have inventive names, like Cardassian Cooler, Warp Core Breach, Riker Rita and Seven of Nine.

I order a Number One martini, which is handed to me by a Ferengi.

Lillian and Dexter are dressed as Andorians with white wigs, blue faces and a pair of antennas that wiggle every time they move their heads. Suddenly Lillian and Dexter jump on a table and ring a bell.

“Could the happy couple please approach the table,” Dexter hollers, waving sheets of paper over his head. Irene and James put on an attentive look, and strut over to the table.

“First, I would like to say,” Dexter continues, “this has been the most unusual and fun wedding I have ever been to, and probably ever will attend.”

“Qa tlho” (I thank you), James hollers back.

Now everybody is laughing and clapping their hands.

Lillian takes the papers from Dexter’s hand and says, “This is the deed to a house in Hollywood. Dexter and I would like to give you young people this as a wedding gift.” She points to a large TV screen and a beautiful house on the beach appears. 

Irene and James get so excited they forget all about being calm, cool Klingons as they start jumping up and down, hugging Lillian and Dexter and everybody in sight.

The band starts playing and soon we are all whooping it up on the dance floor.

The traffic is slow on south bound I-95, which gives me ample time to reminisce some more about the wedding in the year 2000. The pictures play on behind my eyes.

 


 

The chapter “Klingon Wedding” is from the book “Fear is in the Air” by Eva Newermann. Available on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books

Royal Dragonfly Book Award Winner

Image

I’m so happy a big thank you! To Story Monsters LLC and the Dragonfly Book Awards.

My Daughter and I got a 2nd Place for “Picture Books 6 & Older” and a Honorable Mention for “Education”, for our educational picture book “The Universe a Work of Art“. A children’s book about astronomy. Check it out on Amazon or iBooks.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My other awards can be found here.

Ewa Lowe: Chapter 12

Image

The chapter below is from the sci-fi, triller book Fear is in the Air by Eva Newermann


 

Going a Little Crazy

Hair-raising! 

A tingling feeling is going through my spine. I have never felt like this before. The vibration goes from my toes and up to the top of my head.

Could this be what being in love feels like?

My heart is pumping so hard that I have a ringing sensation in my ears. My nipples get hard when my breasts press against the steering wheel. 

I want to giggle, and I do giggle. I stretch my arm out and my sweaty hand grabs onto something rigid and hard. About 16 centimeters long and standing straight up, like a Queen’s Guard outside Buckingham Palace. I caress it with my fingers, thrusting it back and forth.

Electrifying!

I’m licking my lips and sniffing the air. I’m breathing heavily. What a divine smell! It makes me feel lightheaded. My leg is pumping gas and everything is vibrating.

Did the earth move for you too?

I stick my head out the window, smile at the car salesman and say, “I’ll take three!”

11-L copy

An eyebrow hikes and he says; “So, you’ll take three Corvette 1982 Collector Editions?”

“Yes,” I say, while gracefully sliding out of the beautiful car, “and they should all be different colors. One car will be kept in Los Angeles, one in New York and the third I’ll keep here in Fort Lauderdale. That way I will always know from the color of the car what city I’m in.”

“Of course, Miss,” the car salesman answers, as if this really makes perfect sense, and he has heard it a hundred times before. 

This guy has no sense of humor! 

“I’d also like personalized license plates on the cars; let’s say; Ewa I, II and III.”

“Of course,” the salesman says and nods. 

I walk around the car. It really is a beauty! The color is silver metallic with a narrow red stripe along the sides. It has a frameless lift-up glass hatch.

Very cool. 

Inside it has silver and beige leather-wrapped upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The engine is a V-8, 350-cid and it has an automatic transmission. 

Cool, cooler, coolest!

The salesman, who had disappeared into his office, comes back. 

“I had to call our main office in Miami. We only have this car here, but they have one in Los Angeles and one in Miami. You know, only 6,759 of these Collector babies were made in 1982, so you will probably be one of the few who has more than one.”

“What color are they?” I ask.

“The one in Miami is gold metallic and the other one is red.”

“Terrific,” I smile, “wrap them up, I’ll pay cash!” 

Eureka! The salesman actually cracked a smile.


 

The chapter “Going a Little Crazy” is from the book “Fear is in the Air” by Eva Newermann. Available on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books

Planet of the Month: Uranus

Image

Uranus

Uranus – Acrylic Painting by Eva Newermann

English

The strangest planet must be Uranus. It lies at an angle, so that the north and south pole is where most other planets have their equator.

Uranus was not discovered until 1781. It has a blue-green color due to the presence of methane gas.

Uranus has the coldest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System, with a minimum temperature of approximately −224 °C.

Uranus takes 84 years to orbit our Sun.

 

Norwegian2

Den merkeligste planeten må være Uranus. Den ligger på skrå, med ringene i en uvant vinkel. Uranus ble ikke oppdaget før i 1781. Den har en blågrønn farge som skyldes metan. 

Metangassen sluker nemlig rødt og gult sollys, men sender tilbake blått sollys.

Uranus bruker hele 84 år på å gå i bane rundt Sola.

Hittil er det funnet 27 måner og 13 ringer rundt Uranus.

 

 

The Universe a Work of Art

Monthly facts brought to you from my eBook The Universe a Work of Art.

Ewa Lowe: Chapter 11

Image

The chapter below is from the sci-fi, triller book Fear is in the Air by Eva Newermann


 

Money From Heaven

When we learn more about the terrorists, I have my own little vendetta ceremony.

After collecting pictures of all the terrorists from newspapers and magazines, I bring them and a small barbecue grill down to a remote place on the beach. Then with a steak knife I cut out their ugly brown eyes and burn them on the grill, while saying out loud: 

“If you had not been killed in the crash, this is what I would have done to you.”

I repeat this every time I put down a new pair of ugly brown eyes on the grill.

I feel like screaming but instead I’m going to sing. I’ve got the voice that, when I find the right tone, can shatter glass. I’ve brought two tall crystal wine glasses – metaphorical – representing Lillian and Dexter. 

I place the glasses in a big plastic container. That way the glass particles will not be blown into the sand. I start singing the first verse of “The Star Spangled Banner.” 

A couple of people out walking on the beach gather around me and join in singing. When I get to the last word, ‘brave’ I find my high-pitched note and the glasses explode inside the box. 

Suddenly a seagull falls dead from the sky.

Oh, crap! Is this some kind of weird omen?

Later I learn that high-pitched acoustic energy can kill birds that fly by too closely.

People are gasping. I just collapse in the sand, crying. It takes me a long time before I can walk home. In the meantime some of the people have dug a hole in the sand and buried the unlucky seagull. 

Back at the apartment building the doorman looks at the grill and asks, “So, did you have a nice barbecue party on the beach?” I try to smile and say. “Sure did. It’s the first time I’ve used this grill and believe me, that was an eye-opening experience!”

Since I’m living in Lillian and Dexter’s apartment, I’m the one who has to go through all their personal belongings. I find an envelope containing four airline tickets in the names of Dexter, Lillian, James and myself. They are round-trip Miami-Southampton, England, dated for departure September 16, 2001, and returning September 23. 

A brochure from the prehistoric monument Stonehenge in England falls on the floor and I pick it up.

When James and I were children, Lillian would show us photos of these gigantic stones, telling us about something called the Stonehenge Summer Solstice Festival in England. 

Every year, on June 21, the Sun will rise and shine through the Heel Stone and people all over the world will come to see this event. 

From the beginning it was probably a burial area for kings. Maybe the stone circles were designed to record the motions of the Sun, stars and the Moon, like an astronomical calendar. It was built more than 5,000 years ago and the Stonehenge construction took more than 30 million hours of labor!

I also find a pamphlet from a beautiful spa in Miami. On the cover Lillian has written in red ink, “Irene,” and a smiley face. 

 Lillian had made reservation for James’ wife to go to a spa while we were in England. 

So this was the surprise Lillian was going to tell us about after we had been to the artist Eva Newermann’s vernissage in Miami, on September 15. We were all going to England and Stonehenge for a week!

 Well, of course, after September 11, everything had changed.

Very few of the victims from the September 11 attack had yet been identified. Lillian and Dexter’s bodies had been found intact so we could have a funeral. Their wish had been to be cremated.

 One day a lawyer calls and summons James and me to his office. He has the will. 

The lawyer’s office is in Pompano Beach. That’s just north of Fort Lauderdale and James is picking me up. The ride usually takes 20 minutes, but today, there is an accident on I-95 that slows down all the traffic. I have to call and say we’ll be late. 

When we walk into the office, three lawyers are looking as impressive as the table they are sitting behind. The power desk is made out of exotic wood, carved with beautiful inlays and burls. 

James and I are sitting upright in our chairs, feeling anxious, it almost feels as if we are back at school and have forgotten to study for an important test.

Will I be evicted from Lillian and Dexter’s apartment? 

One of the lawyers clears his throat and looks at us over the rim of his glasses.

“Are either of you familiar with the will?”

James and I look at each other and back at the lawyers. We both shake our heads. He opens the file and starts reading the will.

Lillian and Dexter has left everything to James and me. I get to keep the apartment, but the restaurants all over the world will be split between us. 

We’d had no idea they also owned stocks and bonds. 

Suddenly James and I are very, very rich!

10-F

I can feel my face flush and I start to cry.

“Excuse me,” I gasp, and run to the bathroom.

I look at my red face in the mirror, turn on the cold water and splash it on my face and neck.

James is knocking on the door.

“Are you OK, Ewa?”

“Yes, just give me a minute. I’ll be right out.”

After a while I’m back in the office.

The lawyer continues.

“As you both understand, all this paperwork will take some time. Also, you will have to decide what to do with all these restaurants and properties. We will of course be at your disposal and help you with all the legal work.”

James looks at me and says, “I think we will just go home, and we will contact you when we are ready.”

On the way home all we can say is, “I can’t believe it! I just can’t believe it!” We keep saying the same words over and over, but it feels like a conversation.

James drops me off at my apartment. Yes, it is really my apartment now! I walk through the beautiful lobby. It has Italian white marble tiles on the floor and walls. There are mirrors on the ceiling and a uniformed doorman who always opens the door for you. He is also a security guard, keeping track of who comes and goes. I take the elevator up to the 15th floor. Inside the elevator the music is blasting my song, “Love Is in the Air.”

All alone in the elevator, I sing along with my arms stretched up towards the ceiling. “Fear is in the air, everywhere you go….”

When I get inside the apartment I go straight to the fireplace. On the mantel are two beautiful urns. They contain the remains of Lillian and Dexter. 

I have had the urns specially made by a local artist. She has made them in 24-carat gold and in the shape of a star. The star looks a lot like the one we used to have on top of the Christmas tree. The urns have sprinkles of tiny silver stars on them. 

We had the funeral one week ago and the crematory was packed with people.

I was feeling terribly depressed; I didn’t want to stick around or talk to anybody. I left after the ceremony and headed for home. I sat for hours on the balcony and stared at the ocean.

 When it got dark, I looked into the universe through the telescope.

Yes, I’m sure you are both up there among the stars. “Dancing with the Stars,” maybe?

I make a grimace.

The next month I had many meetings with James and the lawyers. There were many decisions that had to be made. We decided to sell most of the restaurants and some of the properties.

The restaurants in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas and Los Angeles were doing very well. They had excellent managers and staff, so we decided to keep them.

The Big Bang restaurant outside Las Vegas is one of my favorites. It’s built to resemble an underground missile site. To enter, everybody has to go through a security check, including a full body scan. Then, after giving your first name and Zodiac sign, you’ll get a visitor’s badge (in my case it would say, ‘Ewa-Taurus’).

The elevator will zip you down 50 meters at high speed. From the floor, warm air is blowing up, so you’d better hang on to your skirt, Marilyn Monroe style.

When you tumble out of the elevator a maître d’ dressed as an astronaut will seat you. 

The chairs are duplicates of the ones they have in the space shuttle cockpit, and you will not be served before you’re securely strapped in. 

Hanging from the ceilings are forks, knives and spoons and even dinner plates. Occasionally they will move up and down, to simulate that they’re floating in space. The walls are covered with electronic gadgets, flashing on and off.

The water mug is shaped like a rocket. It has a lid and when you remove it, you can see two miniature astronauts sitting in the lid. 

All glasses and dinnerware have your special Zodiac sign on them. The menu has Zodiac names, too.

I always start with their Scorpio Martini Twist, followed by Virgo Salad Mix, Taurus Chicken Roast and to top it all off, a Gemini Big Bang Ice Cream Bomb!

Lucky for me, I’m never on a diet.

This restaurant is famous for its birthday parties. In fact, it’s so in demand, they had to set a limit of three parties a night. The people who celebrate their birthday will get a special booth, made like a rocket cockpit. 

The party starts when white smoke comes up from the floor and all chairs start to tip backwards and vibrate, simulating engine start. The lights are dimmed and from the ceiling a large digital clock is lowered. Over the speakers you can hear a loud rumbling sound. 

The clock is now showing -00.00.00.10. It’s time for the rocket launch countdown.

“T minus ten-seconds and counting,” a voice booms over the speakers.

Everybody starts shouting.

“Ten, nine, eight, seven, six. We have main engine start. Five, four, three, two, one! We have liftoff!”

The chairs vibrate more violently to simulate the launch. There are screams from the people in the rocket booth, getting airborne. 

Now the clock is showing +00.00.00.05.

T plus mission elapsed time. Five-seconds after liftoff. The sound is overwhelming, the walls have flashing lights, the chairs vibrate, there’s smog all over, everybody is laughing and screaming. 

Then after a few seconds they reach the outer atmosphere and the chairs stop vibrating and tip forward. This will leave them hanging in the straps, giving them the feeling of being weightless for a few seconds. 

Finally it’s all over, the lights are dimmed and the astronaut waiters appear. They’re carrying a large birthday cake, with fire sparklers, everybody starts to sing “Happy Birthday.”

I’ll tell you, three times an evening with this madness can make anyone go crazy, but it sure is fun!

Even though I was keeping these restaurants, I liked my job at Star Gaze Airline. My days needed structure, and besides, I wanted a reason to keep traveling. They finally agreed to let me fly part time.

Hell, if they had refused, I could probably have bought the whole damn airline!


 

The chapter “Money From Heaven” is from the book “Fear is in the Air” by Eva Newermann. Available on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books

Ewa Lowe: Chapter 10

Image

The chapter below is from the sci-fi, triller book Fear is in the Air by Eva Newermann


 

September 11, 2001

Bermuda is struggling to get back on its feet in the days after hurricane Erin.

The L.F. Wade International Airport is still closed, but rumors are that it will open soon.

I have been in contact with my brother and Lillian, reassuring them both that I am fine.

Lillian and Dexter are in New York and planning to return to Fort Lauderdale tomorrow on September 12.

We are planning to spend some quality time together then. Lillian told me she wants to go to an art gallery in Miami, using an invitation to a vernissage on Saturday 15. 

A Norwegian artist, Eva Newermann, is having an exhibition of paintings from the Universe. Her paintings of Stars, Galaxies and Planets are right up their alley. Maybe Lillian will buy some of her paintings and hang them on the walls at some of their Big Bang restaurants. 

cropped-eva1.png

James is coming, too. He is still painting whenever he has some spare time. Lillian bought two paintings from him, and one from me. They are now hanging in their restaurant in Palm Beach. 

Lillian also said she has a big surprise for James and me and we have to keep the days of September 16 to 23 open. She wouldn’t tell me more. 

What is she up to? 

Finally, the airport opens, at eight in the morning on September 11, and we take off for Miami.

The plane is packed with Americans looking forward to getting home and away from the nightmare of Erin.

Little did we know that we would enter another, even bigger, nightmare soon….

 We should be landing in Miami around 10:30 in the morning.

One hour into the flight, I’m serving a passenger who has a laptop next to him.

“Look at this!” he says, turning the laptop towards me.

I can’t believe my eyes. A plane has hit one of the Twin Towers in New York! I can see black smoke, flames and people running screaming through the streets. While I’m watching another plane hits the other Tower! I gasp and drop everything I’m holding. It takes all my willpower to walk, not run, to the cockpit.

When I open the door, the captain raises his arm. He is talking into the mike. The copilot, who looks very pale, is flying the plane.

From the cabin I can hear some people screaming.

The purser appears in the doorway.

“Listen, Ewa, something terrible has happened in New York. You have to go back in the cabin and calm down the passengers. I’ll talk to the captain and we will make an announcement of what is happening.”

Suddenly, it hits me.

Oh, my God, Lillian and Dexter! They are in New York. They have their office in one of the Towers. I have to call and see if they are OK, but first I have to take care of the passengers.

Everybody is upset and some are crying. They probably have friends or relatives in New York, too.

I can hear the purser over the speaker.

“This is your purser. Please sit down. I have a very important message for you. Please try to stay calm, and I will tell you what we know so far.”

By now the cabin has gone very quiet and everybody is listening intensely.

“The captain has informed me that two planes have hit the Twin Towers in New York. At this early time we do not want to speculate. 

“The captain’s order is to land as soon as possible. We will land in Miami in about one hour. So the crew will now clear the cabin for landing. 

“Please stay calm and let the crew do their job. After landing I’m sure we will know more about what has happened in New York. Also, please don’t use your cell phones or laptops.”

I was already in the lavatory trying to use my cell phone.

No signal.

09-L

It is the most stressful hour I’ve ever spent in the air. Everybody is asking questions I cant answer. Their eyes are large with fear and grief, pleadingly asking me to help them.

We all agree it has to do with terrorism. What else could it be?

Flying would never be the same.

When we get off the plane, the airport looks like a war zone. Everybody is running around looking scared. Some are watching the big TV screens, showing the Twin Tower scenario. Many people are crying, even men. I am still trying to call Lillian, but I cant get through.

 I call my brother and leave a message for him to call me back.

Driving north on I-95, I notice there are unusually few cars on the freeway.

I have the radio on, listening to the reporter from New York. Nearly one and a half hours after the impact, the Twin Towers are burning furiously. He can see people jumping out of the windows to their deaths. In the streets there are people running covered with blood and soot.

The reporter says that a third plane has hit the Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia.

Suddenly my cell phone rings. It’s James. I turn down the radio.

“James! I’m on my way home. Have you heard anything from Lillian or Dexter?”

“No, all the lines are down. This is just terrible, it’s a madhouse here at work, so I’m going home. Irene is very upset too. Why don’t you stop at our place, so we can talk?”

“OK, see you soon.”

James now lives in Hollywood. Hollywood, Florida, not California. He married very young, only 20 years old, his high school sweetheart, Irene. They have a beautiful house on the beach. He works part time and studies astronomy at the University. Irene is in medical research. They are expecting their first baby in two months. I’m going to be an aunt!

James and I arrive at the same time. We hug and I start to cry. 

“I’m so worried about Lillian and Dexter.” Now I’m crying uncontrollably. 

Should I tell him that I have killed Sunny? 

I feel so upset and exhausted I can’t think straight.

Should I tell him? What if he thinks I am crazy? 

My head feels as if it’s going to explode. 

Your sins will find you out. Your sins will always find you out.

The words are spinning in my head. Is this some kind of punishment for being bad? 

No! No! I’m not bad! It’s those ugly, brown-eyed people who are bad. Sunny was evil, and he got what he deserved. 

I’d better not tell James anything. He has a pregnant wife and a nice home. Why should I burden him with my problems?

I try drying my eyes with a handkerchief.

“How can we find out anything about Lillian and Dexter?” I look up at James and there are tears in his eyes, too. 

He looks down at me. “I will try calling somebody and see if we can get it confirmed that they were at their office in the Tower.”

We start walking towards the house.

Inside we find Irene, looking pale and watching TV. Next to her, on the sofa, is some pink yarn. She is knitting a small jacket.

Oh, it’s going to be a girl!

“I’m so sorry to hear about Lillian and Dexter,” she says, “but we really don’t know anything yet. The only information we get is from the TV. They just said that a fourth plane has crashed into a field.”

We all sit down and just watch in horror, not really believing what we are seeing on the screen.

Later, much later, we learn that Lillian and Dexter are among the nearly 3,000 casualties. There are 6,000 injured. Not to mention all the people who will forever be affected by this terrible event.


 

The chapter “September 11, 2001” is from the book “Fear is in the Air” by Eva Newermann. Available on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books