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Go…The High Drama Blogfest

Here’s the muffins…as promised.  Everybody be nice little ladies and gentlemen as you make your selection, plenty to go around.  Welcome to the High Drama Blogfest/Giveaway!  I really want to thank the 40+ bloggers who decided to take part in my brainchild.  The list of links to all the other contributors is right here, so after you’ve sampled my offering (and I’m talking about the writing…not the muffins) please make your way over to the other sites.  There is some truly amazing drama on display!

Just a little background on this piece I have for you today.  It is an original, written especially for this blogfest, but I had so much fun with it that I’m seriously considering turning it into the first chapter of my 3rd book.  Enjoy!  Oh yeah…it’s still kind of rough. *wink* 

Gayle pressed the call button on the overhead panel to reset it, quickly grabbing the headrest of the seat below to steady herself as the plane lurched through another violent wave of turbulence.  She looked down at the short, stocky gentleman wearing a badly fitting business suit clutching a worn leather messenger bag tightly against his chest.  His face and partially bald head were covered in perspiration despite the coolness of the cabin.  Gayle couldn’t recall ever seeing anyone with such enormous pores and the image of her noodle strainer back home, complete with the dripping runoff, popped into her head.
“Sir, surely you realize that the captain has ordered us to discontinue cabin service and take our seats, so unless this is extremely important --”
“It is!  It is important,” he said excitedly, his hand shooting out and grabbing her wrist.  The clammy feeling of his moist fingers on her skin caused her to pull back involuntarily.
“What is it then?” she asked and just as the words left her mouth the plane pitched sharply to the left and she found herself struggling to avoid sitting in the ladies lap across the aisle.  The captain wasn’t exaggerating when he said this was going to be a rough approach.  The mid-day skies visible through the portals were now dark and ominous and the passengers were already starting to show signs of nervousness. 
“The man who was sitting next to me got up to use the restroom almost 15 minutes ago and he hasn’t returned,” the sweating passenger replied when Gayle had regained her composure.  “I was worried that maybe something has happened to him back there.”
Gayle looked towards the rear of the aircraft, but saw nobody in the aisle or waiting near the lavatory.
“Okay, thank you.  I’ll check it out,” she said.  Instinctively, her eyes glanced beyond the sweating man to the backpack stowed underneath the middle seat of the next row.  Then out of habit her gaze drifted to the passenger wearing a green down vest slumped against the exterior wall in the window seat.  Some people could truly sleep through anything.  What drew her attention was the unfastened seat belt lying at his side.
“Sir, I need you to fasten your seat belt,” Gayle directed to the slumbering passenger.
There was no response.
“I tried waking him up earlier, but he must be a heavy sleeper,” the sweating traveler offered.
Reaching across the seats, she gently pushed twice against the passenger’s upper arm.  There was still no movement.
Gayle’s initial irritation was now becoming a creeping concern.
Without saying a word she made herself as thin as she could, wedging past Mr. Sweaty and plunking down into the middle seat.  Turning to her right, she used both hands to shake the dormant passenger.  Still nothing.
Reaching up and pressing the call buttons on all three seat positions, she then grabbed the man’s shoulders and pulled him away from the bulkhead, sitting him up straight in the seat.  The man’s head sat upright for a moment and then its own momentum caused it to continue to roll slowly toward her.   Under normal circumstances, Gayle would have considered the man attractive with his strong cheekbones and cleft chin, but the lack of color in his face, the drool seeping from his partially open mouth and the exposed tongue quickly squelched that impression.
Gayle’s medical training kicked in and she placed two fingers against the artery in his neck, searching for a pulse.  She could feel nothing there.
The roar from the jet engines grew noticeably louder.  They were still twenty minutes out on initial approach, why were they climbing?
Movement in the aisle caused her to look up and see Brenda arriving from the aft compartment.  Her co-worker was using the seat backs to steady herself against the increasing bucking of the aircraft.
“You need to check the rear restroom.  I think we may have a passenger in trouble back there.”
Brenda’s eyes remained on the passenger Gayle was attending to as she answered.  “I just checked it five minutes ago.  There’s nobody back there.”
“Is he dead?” the sweaty passenger asked, using a voice that was louder than necessary.
“We need to --”
Then the bottom fell out.  The plane was suddenly plummeting, filling the cabin with screams of terror.  Gayle was thrown forcefully against the overhead storage bin, but Brenda wasn’t as lucky as she continued upward until she collided with the ceiling. A jolt, one more easily associated with a cement truck landing a jump over a dozen buses, rocked the plane as it ended its free-fall and pitched dramatically to the left.  Gayle was dumped back onto the armrest between hers and Mr. Sweaty’s seat, but before she could move the green-vested passenger landed on top of her, his cold face pressing against her own.  Feeling the dead man’s tongue rub against her lips in some bizarre attempt for one last French kiss, Gayle used a strength she didn’t know she had to toss the body back into its own seat like a bag of week old laundry.     
Brenda.  Just as she was twisting around to check on her co-worker, the oxygen masks dropped.


  1. Ooh, second chapter please. Um...yup, that would be a disgusting French kiss. Yuck.

  2. I hate turbulence when flying! Excellent description of the pitching plane, and the pores-noodle strainer association made me laugh!

    Overall, I loved this chapter, although I detected a few pesky adverb gremlins in there...but you did say it was rough, right? ;)

  3. And the rest of this is where? Dang cliffhangers! The tension was there to match the drool, and if I were an agent reading this on the first page (after the minor edits), I'd request a full.

  4. Nice drama! I don't know if she's the only one, but Donna Hole's link isn't working for me from the link list.

  5. Ooh, that made me squirm! But cliffhangers are cruel, you know.

    Well done, DL. :]

  6. One more thing. I changed my blog name so your link for me won't work. You're gonna have to redo it. :3

    Sorry for the inconvenience.

  7. Scratch that. I guess it's me who does it...

  8. Yes, next chapter please! Very gripping and exciting! Bravo.

  9. Hi drama!
    I got so involved. Well done.
    But, I'm flying today - now I need therapy or to go and pack ;)

  10. I hate turbulence, which is another way of saying I am terrified on such occasions.
    Great start and can't wait to read the end!

  11. I'll be ready for this when it's finished.

    I totally love the strainer. And I absolutely totally love the last french kiss.

    Great job. Great muffins. Great blogsfest. Go you.

    Sorry I didn't get a chance to participate. I've been busy and didn't have anything drama worthy, well, this kind of drama worthy.

  12. Great set-up! Loved the 'cement-truck' line, I've been in turbulance like that :0

  13. A wonderful little excerpt worthy of the high drama name. I would suggest trimming the first sentence a bit, as it feels long, but the act of describing the lurch and plummet might cause that. I love Gayle's annoyance and it shines through even in this most sensitive time for her sweating passengers. See you around!

  14. DL you are awesome!!! Thank you so much for putting this blogfest together! It was a ton of fun and I'm so glad I didn't back out or forget!!!!

    Pertaining to this wonderful writing - Where is the rest?? How dare you limit yourself on word count, the rest of us would like to see more!!! Great piece :)

  15. You had me hook, line and sinker. I'd have read on and on! So many questions I want answered, so much plot I envision unraveling. Nice job!

    The imagery was fantastic, and I loved Gayle's internal impressions (pasta strainer!) Awesome!

    I've got my coffee, now all I need is to choose one of those muffins...

  16. Love it! Gayle would make a great MC - definitely worth continuing :)

    Thanks for the muffin - I love blueberry :)

  17. ewe! dead man kiss! Great scene wrought with tension and high drama!

  18. Well done. I too like the pasta strainer line.

    Thanks for the muffin. :) I likes muffins.

  19. Good stuff and thanks for the muffins.

  20. ugh, the noodle strainer pores description was enough to make me gag.
    So good job!!

  21. Wow! I definitely want to read on!!! Descriptions were awesome...gave me such a detailed picture! And the dead's guys tongue..adds quite the ick factor!

    Can I give one bit of critique?? I was a bit confused in the beginning...didn't realize Gayle was a flight attendant.

  22. Eeeeewwwww...Great drama! Mine posts at 11am on my blog.


  23. Uh, yeah--I'm with Falen. DISGUSTING image of the strainer!! But well done. *shudder*

    Awesome, DL! I think you should roll with it.

  24. Great job!

    I know many have commented on the noodle strainer image, but I wanted to say I really liked it.

    My muffin if bran. Goes great with my coffee.

  25. Oh my gosh, DL. I totally forgot I was reading a blogfest entry - you had me! I want to know more! :-)

  26. nice details and description. Final french kiss from a deadman - oooh - I'm not going to be to get that image out of my head for awhile. Nice. Thanks for hosting. I've just joined your blogfest.

  27. yikes! Um..yeah..good job oh leader of the blogfest today!

    I laughed when I realized that I had not clicked on yours yet.. ;o)

    Thank you for such a fun experience!

    Wonderful entry!

    Visit My Kingdom Anytime

  28. That was great! I literally hand my hand over my mouth as I read it. I really hope you do make it the start of your third novel, I'd love to read more!

  29. DL~ This peice started out with a great lead in line. You have wonderful descriptions, my favorite being the tongue part on the dead passenger.
    " A jolt, one more easily associated with a cement truck landing a jump over a dozen buses, rocked the plane as it ended its free-fall and pitched dramatically to the left."
    this line was a bit difficult upon first read through, I had to reread it several times for it to come through clearly what you meant. Thanks for posting this was a wonderful read!

  30. Ewh...dead man kiss. Nice job! I agree that you should keep plugging at this and make it a whole novel! ;-)


  31. I want to know more, I'm already going over in my head what might have happened (I love a mystery with many active components), I feel the action and I'm a little bit grossed out by Mr. McSweaty and the dead guy kiss.

    GREAT JOB! And the Fest is a blast!

  32. Oh, excellently done! Has the feel of a Clive Cussler adventure novel (that's a compliment, by the way, regardless of what anyone else says. LOL). The dead man's French kiss--awesomely gross.

    Thanks for hosting this blogfest. :-)

  33. Very gripping--I was pulled in immediately. Who can't identify with fear while flying? yikes.

  34. Yeah, that kept me on the edge of my seat. Good set up: dead body, missing passenger, another one panicking. Wow.

    I'll be back to read the other entry later this afternoon and tomorrow. I gotta get to work.

    Have a great weekend DL.


  35. ACK!!!!!!


    This sounds like a really bad alternate ending to the flight I had last month- I have never had such turbulance last an entire flight.

    This was incredible! So vivid- made me cringe with the imagery (the noodle strainer...*shudder*) wow, showed off some dramatic chops indeed.

    I'd say this would be a great way to start a new book!

    Thank you for hosting the blogfest!


  36. (and of course by 'really bad alternate ending' of course I meant alternate outcome to the end of my flight- NOT the writing here of course, the writing was FABULOUS!)

    just thought I should clarify. Geez, I need caffeine.


  37. Whoa! Quote the cliffhanger!

    His face and partially bald head were covered in perspiration despite the coolness of the cabin. Gayle couldn’t recall ever seeing anyone with such enormous pores and the image of her noodle strainer back home, complete with the dripping runoff, popped into her head.

    Talk about imagery! Nice!

  38. Oh wow, great stuff! And this description was so completely vivid: "enormous pores and the image of her noodle strainer back home, complete with the dripping runoff"—love it!


  39. I love a good mystery and the tension to boot. Well done! I'm hooked.

  40. Dude! That was great! Totally shuttered over the dead man's last french kiss.... YUCK!!! very much the drama!

  41. Talk about drama! I love how the flight attendant identifies her passengers.
    Between you and CQG's death scene a bit back, I never want to fly again.

    Thanks for hosting this. There has been some great submissions and has been a great way to find bloggers I had not read before.

  42. excellent action!!! totally had me into it. I want to know what's going to happen!

  43. What a great read this was! I loved how the intensity of the drama multiplied until it reached a fever pitch.

    You definitely need to make this the first chapter of your next book, because I truly want to know what happens next!

    This blogfest was a wonderful idea. I've had such a good time tonight perusing the entries and finding new blogs to follow.

  44. No need to consider, turn this joker(sorry for the slang) into a first chapter. There's so much going on, so many unanswered questions: How did that passenger die? Why is the plan crashing? And...why is Mr. Sweaty so sweaty?

    I must have answers, Mr. Hammons.


  45. As the host of this particular blog fest, I guess I should have expected such a fantastic entry from you. Very nice. I want more!

  46. ...yeah, the strainer was a nice touch:)

    Sorry I missed out on Blogfest. Strapped to the cursed dayjob till Friday night and never heard wind of it until the gong sounded:(

    Good luck to everyone...there's some wonderful penmanship being shared!

  47. you truly are a superstar with this blogfest. I am enjoying reading everybody's posts so much!

    And GAG! I nearly barfed twice reading yours--the noodle strainer? the droolie mouth coming at her! Nice work... LOL! :D

    Oh, and I liked "Mr. Sweaty." excellent descriptive writing, DL! I hope to have time to participate next go-round~ :o)

  48. This is a terrifying entry for anyone afraid of flying. Very well done! Thanks so much for hosting this fest, DL. It's been great fun.

    Scribbler to Scribe

  49. High tension indeed! It makes a great first chapter - I'd love to see where the story goes!

  50. Too tense! Pits, and I have to get on a plane again very, very soon.

    Thanks for hosting this, DL. Sorry I was gone for most of it. I'll try to visit as many of the posts as possible.

  51. Wow.

    I kept reading faster and faster because it was so exiting and then it ended! NO FAIR! What happened to that man? The plane???

    Thank you so much for hosting this 'fest (and for forgiving my double entry), and for this FANTASTIC (naturally highly dramatic) scene!!!


  52. Sorry I'm late. Called around and you hadn't yet posted. Time difference! Well, soon as I saw we were in a plane I knew we were going for a ride and you didn't disappoint. Great drama. Can't help it this far up. Loved it.

    Thank you for hosting the blogfest. All good wishes for your novel..:)

  53. Loved this! Fun (well, in a perilous, frought with anxiety sort of way)! What a great idea for a blogfest!

  54. OMGoodness...I'M LIKE TOTALLY FREAKED OUT! YUCK!!! A couple crown and cokes and turbulance never bothered me, but now....flying will never be the same. Thanks, DL!

  55. Where is the missing passenger? And what is in the backpack he left behind? He killed the other guy didn't he?'re such a tease leaving me with all these questions.

  56. This is AMAZING -- both your writing and the fact that you organized such a massively awesome blogfest! Major kudos to you!!

    When are you going to post more of the story?! I'm dying to know what happened! It makes for a great 1st chapter, btw!

  57. J.C. ~ I'm glad you enjoyed it! Even my beta's hadn't seen it yet, and they help me so much with my adverbs! :)

    Damyanti ~ I'm not a comfortable flyer either, so I drew on my own experiences for this. :)

    Will ~ Definitely not a fun experience!!

    Summer ~ I know what you mean about that line. I worked on it several times and was never totally happy with it...but I ran out of time.

    Terry ~ I'll let you know when the book comes out and you can be first in line. :)

    Erin ~ Oops...didn't mean to scare you off flying! :)

    Kelly ~ I had so much fin with this piece and received so much postive response, I'm definitely going to hold onto it for my next book!

  58. Elliot ~ I'm sorry you missed the blogfest also. But thanks for the comment!

    Belle ~ And as it turns do I, which is why I'm going to hang onto this for my next book!

    Tessa ~ Mission accomplished! :) Thank you for the feedback!

    L'Aussie ~ A perfect description of what I was aiming for...a ride! Thank you!!




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