Holiday Rush

by Juwon Lee, age 8
Holiday Rush Juwon Lee lives near Chicago and he is 8 years old. He likes dogs and likes to read comic books.

“Jack looked at the animals and licked his ice cream. He had a frown on his face. He wasn’t happy for sure. After they got home, he and his family started packing. Maddy brought sunglasses, lotion, and flip-flops. Before going to bed, Jack fed Benji. Jack thought that if Benji could come on the trip to Florida, it would make his trip better.”

Chapter 1: Vacation Jitters

Jack was at the zoo. “Do we really have to go to Florida? I’m worried about my dog,” he said. 

“Don’t worry about your weird dog,” said Jack’s older sister, Maddy. Maddy was sometimes annoying. Maddy thought that Jack’s dog, Benji, was weird. Sometimes Jack thought that, too. 

Jack looked at the animals and licked his ice cream. He had a frown on his face. He wasn’t happy for sure. After they got home, he and his family started packing. Maddy brought sunglasses, lotion, and flip-flops. Before going to bed, Jack fed Benji. Jack thought that if Benji could come on the trip to Florida, it would make his trip better. The next day, his alarm clock woke him up at 5:55. ”It’s not even 7:00!” Jack said, as he pressed the snooze bar of his alarm clock. Two minutes later, his dad darted to his room. 

“Rise and shine, buddy!” he declared.

Jack moaned as he got out of bed. He went downstairs. He saw Benji, then it hit him. Something he had to remember. 

Chapter 2: Something to Remember

Jack knew what this day was going to be. The day to go to the airport. He had another frown on his face. It was bigger than the one at the Zoo. “Why don’t you eat your pancakes?” said his dad. 

But Jack wasn’t in the mood for pancakes. He wasn’t in the mood to eat, either.  His tummy was in knots. He didn’t feel good. “I’m not hungry,” Jack said, gloomily. 

He went upstairs. When he got upstairs, he brushed his teeth, just like every day after breakfast. The only difference was that he didn’t have breakfast this morning. 

“Make sure you wear jeans and other warm clothes,” said his dad. Jeans? Jack didn’t like jeans. When he wore them, it felt hard to run, one of his favorite things to do. But Jack knew it was cold, so he listened to his father. The day so far was not a good one.

Chapter 3: To the Airport

“Get in the car!” shouted Jack’s dad. 

“One minute, Dad,” Jack said, as he put some dog food in Benji’s supper dish. “Here you go, Benji,” Jack said, as he put the dish in front of Benji’s feet. 

While Benji ate, Jack petted him on the head, where Benji liked to be petted. 

“Remember to bring Maddy with you!”Jack’s dad said. 

“Bye, Benji,” Jack said in a sad voice. 

He went upstairs. “Maddy! Dad said to come!” Jack shouted to Maddy.

“Give me a sec!” Maddy shouted back. 

“Get to the car in one minute!” Jack said as he headed to the car. 

“I thought Maddy was with you,” said Jack’s dad.

“She’s coming in one minute,” Jack responded. 

After Jack got out of the house Benji shuffled into Jack’s dad’s duffle bag.  

“I’m here!” Maddy said as she opened the car door next to Jack.

“I’ll put the luggage in the trunk,” Jack’s dad said. He got up and carried a piece of luggage to the trunk. One by one, Jack’s dad did the same thing over and over until all the luggage was in the trunk (including the duffle bag with Benji). “Let’s get going to the airport,” said Jack’s dad.

The car ride was long. Jack did not like being in the car for a long time. It became stuffy after a while. Jack made a face that showed he wasn’t happy.

“Sorry, I forgot,” Jack’s dad said. 

Forgot? Forgot what? thought Jack. He looked over to the side, and the window next to him opened. That made him feel better!

Chapter 4: At the Airport

“We’re here!” said Jack’s dad.

Jack saw his father look out the window on the left. Jack was sitting on the right. Jack leaned over Maddy’s spot to see the airport. “Out of my space, young man!” Maddy said in a harsh and scary voice as she pushed Jack to his seat. Sometimes having a sister was great, but other times, not so much. 

They went inside the airport. “Is it always so crowded day and night?” Jack asked.

“Of course, Jack. Have you ever been to an airport?” Maddy said. 

“Nope, not even once,” Jack responded.

Maddy made a face like she was thinking deeply. “You’re right,” Maddy said at last. “You have not visited an airport yet.”

“Terminal 24? Never heard of that terminal,” Jack’s dad said.

”Same here,” Maddy said. “ Perhaps it is new.” 

“We should ask other people where it is,” Jack said. 

“Good idea, Jack,” Jack’s dad said. “But where do we start?” 

“We ask people where it is. Simple,” Maddy said. 

“Right,” Jack’s dad said. “Let’s do it.”

Chapter 5: Looking for Terminal 24

“Do we have enough time?” Jack’s dad said.

“We have one hour,” Maddy responded.

“Then let’s scram!” said Jack’s dad. 

“Wait!” said Jack.

“What?” said Maddy 

“We can’t split up!” Jack responded.

“Why not?” Said Jack’s dad.

“We would have to waste our time looking for each other,” said Jack. 

“Jack’s right,” said Maddy. 

Jack and the rest of his family rushed to a man. “Do you know where Terminal 24 is?” asked Jack’s dad. The man shook his head no. They went to another man. “Do you happen to know where Terminal 24 is?” The man thought for a minute.

“Nope, I don’t know,” said the man.

Jack and his family were desperate. They had already spent 15 minutes. They went to another man. “Do you know where Terminal 24 is?” asked Maddy.

“Nope. But the people who work here will know,” said the man. 

“Thank you,” said Jack in a rushed voice. 

They went to a lady at the front desk. “Can you tell us where Terminal 24 is?” said Jack’s dad. 

“Sorry. I only work in this Terminal. I do not know where Terminal 24 is,” said the lady.

“Do you know anyone who knows where Terminal 24 is?” said Maddy.

The lady thought. “There is this man named Ben. Ben’s job is to clean Terminals 20 through 25. He knows where Terminal 24 is,” said the lady at last.

“Can you tell us where Ben is?” said Jack’s dad. 

“He usually works at Terminal 22,” said the lady.

“Thank you,” said Maddy. They went to Terminal 22. 

“Is Ben here?” Jack asked a man at the front desk.

“There was a Ben here an hour ago. He is now in Terminal 21. He’s a nice guy,” said the man. They had spent 30 minutes already. They were getting more and more desperate. They went to Terminal 21. They saw someone who was mopping the floors. When they got closer they saw his name tag. The name BEN was printed on the tag.They approached Ben and he turned around. 

“Hello,” Ben said as he smiled. Jack thought that it was a good greeting start.

“Hello. Could you tell us where Terminal 24 is?” said Jack’s dad. It had already been 45 minutes of searching.

Ben told them where to go. “It will take 25 minutes to get there,” said Ben.

“25 minutes!” They cried. “We only have 15 minutes!”

“Let’s scram,” said Maddy. They got to Terminal 24. “What? New passengers?” Maddy said.

Chapter 6: Delay Delay

“We missed the plane?” said Jack’s dad. 

“Wait!” Jack said. “It’s a delay.” He pointed at a sign. 

“Really? So all our rush meant nothing?” said Maddy. 

“I guess Jack’s right. Let’s sit together,” said Jack’s dad.

“That’s a great idea, Dad, except almost all seats are full,” said Maddy. 

“At least we can stand at the airport,” said Jack. 

“Or we can sit against the wall and wait,” Maddy said.

Suddenly there was a grumbling sound. “I think I’m hungry. Could you get those snacks out?” said Jack’s dad.

“Did you even eat breakfast, Dad?” asked Maddy. 

Jack’s dad blushed. “I, err…was busy,” Jack’s dad said. “I did not have breakfast.”

Jack got out some snacks for his father, but he wondered why he was so busy. But his thoughts were cut off by Maddy’s voice. “We should sit over here,” she said. 

They went over by a wall near a window. Maddy read a book while Jack’s dad munched on some snacks. But Jack was still thinking about why his dad was so busy. But he got no answers, which wasn’t surprising. He wasn’t expecting some random voice to answer him.

“Do you have your boarding pass?” asked Jack’s father. 

“Yes, Dad, and so does Jack,” Maddy said.

“It’s almost boarding time,” Jack’s dad said.

Chapter 7: Boarding the Plane

“Boarding the plane will start with the families with children, and those who served in the military,” a lady said.

“Come, let’s go. They said children board first, remember?” said Jack.

“Jack, you are a child, but they mean the children under 7 years old,” said Jack’s dad.

“Rats,” said Jack. “That’s not fair.”

They stared at the gateway as young children and their families entered the plane. Finally it was the regular boarding time. The woman started calling the last boarding groups. “A…..B,” the woman said as the boarding groups came to the gate.

“Which boarding group are we in?” asked Jack.

“Hmm. Good question. Let’s see,” Jack’s dad said in a very boring voice for Jack. “Uh…ah there it is! We are in boarding group C,” Jack’s dad said.

“Boarding group C!” said the lady.

Just in time, thought Jack as he pushed his father to the gate.

“Easy kid! We have to scan our boarding pass.”

Boarding pass? If Jack had known that he had to scan his boarding pass he would not have pushed his own father. “Maddy will teach you how,” Jack’s dad said. Jack really didn’t appreciate Maddy showing him how.

“First you give her your boarding pass. She’ll just scan it. Then you go straight with me,” Maddy explained.

Jack was just relieved that scanning his boarding pass was fast. Jack looked in front of him to see a big, box-like thing sitting there. “Go in and there will be two men half way,” said Maddy. Jack went inside. 

 “Boarding pass please!” said two men. Jack handed him his boarding pass. One of the men ripped a part of his boarding pass. 

“Wow. How did he do that?” asked Jack.

“No idea,” said Maddy. 

Chapter 8: On the Plane

Jack’s dad stopped at a seat in first class. “Come on, Dad,” Maddy said. 

“Maddy, I’m counting on you to look after Jack. I’m bringing my duffle bag. I want to relax,” Jack’s dad said. 

Jack couldn’t believe his ears. His dad was in first class while he was stuck in economy with Maddy. Jack went to the back with Maddy and sat in their seats. Meanwhile, Dad put his chair back. Benji got out of Jack’s father’s duffle bag and started to slobber on Jack’s dad’s shoes. Jack’s dad noticed and he looked down. Benji hid. 

“Hmmmmmmm,” Jack’s dad said. “I smell dog slobber on my shoes.” He went and took a nap. Again, Benji slobbered on Jack’s dad’s shoes. This time Jack’s dad caught Benji. He really wasn’t happy about Benji on the plane. But more nervous that Benji was right in first class. “I promise to keep you on the trip. But you can’t stay here. Go under the seats and find Jack,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Maddy snored so loud that Jack could barely hear his show he was watching on the airplane. Even with headphones on.

Chapter 9: Feeling Happiness

Benji quietly scooted softly under the seats. For some reason, luckily, nobody noticed Benji. Everyone was watching a movie or sleeping. On the way, he grabbed some steaks because he was hungry. In first class there was a scream. “Somebody stole my steak!” a person said. Benji ran to economy. He found Maddy’s foot. He put his head down on Maddy’s foot. 

“Agh! Something’s on my foot!” Maddy shouted. All the heads in economy turned to Maddy. But before anyone saw Benji, he hid. Then everyone just acted like nothing happened. Benji got out of his hiding space. 

“So do you know what was on your foot?” Jack asked Maddy. 

“Ugh. My foot smells like a dog,” Maddy said disgustedly. Suddenly Jack gasped. 

“Benji!” he said in a quiet voice. 

“How could such a weird dog make his way in this stuffy plane?” asked Maddy. 

“Where should I put him?” asked Jack. “We can’t leave him under the seats.” Benji took something long out of Maddy’s bag. 

“Are you crazy! This dog stole my sausage!” Maddy said, whispering. Suddenly there was a buzz on Maddy’s phone. 

“Keep the dog for the trip,” Maddy read outloud.

Chapter 10: Dog Days (for Maddy and Others)

Hour after hour Maddy kept getting messages from her dad. Every time she had to bail out for Benji. 

“Where are we going to feed him food? Benji’s supper dish is back home,” asked Jack just before a message went over the intercom:

“Please buckle up! We are about to land. Please push your seats to an upright position.” Maddy and Jack buckled up their seats. 

“Uh oh,” the same voice said. “ Sorry, but we have another delay. We can’t find a place to land.” Everyone groaned. One hour later, a voice said from the intercom that they were landing. Jack checked on Benji and Maddy. Benji seemed airsick. Maddy seemed very tired. 

Boom !

Now Jack seemed to be the one to have a sickness. It felt like he had motion sickness. Jack looked outside. He saw a bunch of planes, big and little. They had arrived in Florida. They walked through a glass-made hall and into the airport. 

“Dad, do we have a map of this airport?” asked Jack. 

“Nope. But I’m sure we’ll find one ourselves. They’re maps all over the airport.” They looked and looked for a map but they could not find any. In fact, it seemed like the more they went looking, the more they got lost. 

“Look!” Maddy said. “A door.” They went outside and Jack’s father slowed down a taxi. It didn’t look like a taxi, but looked like a truck. Maddy was the first one to climb in. 

“OLP! Yuck!” said Maddy. “Dad…this is a truck that carries animals to the zoo.” They walked until a real taxi came. They climbed in and took a ride to the hotel. They went past the front desk. They came to their room and then relaxed. 

“Don’t eat the snacks. We have to pay for those,” said Jack’s dad. Jack was surprised because he had already eaten two bags of candy from the snack bar, and taken some beef jerky for Benji! “Yikes, Jack! That must be 2 thousand dollars!” Really? thought Jack. For 3 bags? With nothing to do Jack grabbed the remote. By that time, Maddy was watching a soap opera. 

“Hey! I had the remote first!” said Maddy. Jack, without a word, switched the channel. They had a fight with words, drifting into physical things. It was Dad who stepped in because he got a call from the room right above them.

Chapter 11: The First Night and Day in Florida 

That night was a loud night. Jack, Maddy and their father could not sleep. The waves kept them up and the animals didn’t help. The next day at 8:00, they all woke up. 

“Uh Oh!” Jack said as he looked at the alarm clock. The breakfast buffet closed at 7:55. They rushed to the buffet. But they noticed they were still in their PJs. They ran back to their room and changed their clothes. They ran outside of the hotel. They walked until they found a good restaurant. 

Bonjour,” said the waiter. 

“Dad?” Jack asked. “What does bonjour mean?” 

“It means hello in French,” Jack’s dad said. “Servent-ils le petit déjeuner ici?” 

Jack had no idea what his dad was saying. The waiter took them to a table. Just then, a chef came with soup. 

“This is not a proper breakfast,” Maddy protested. Jack’s father just sighed.  They got out of the restaurant and found another one. This time it was an Italian restaurant. 

Accettiamo solo prenotazioni,” said a man. 

“Now what does that mean?” asked Jack.

“Let’s get out of here,” said Dad. This process went over 4 times. Then, they decided that they were wasting time and went to the beach. On the way, Jack took his father’s wallet. When they got to the beach, Jack used the money to buy slushies.

Chapter 12: To Make a Long Story Short

I guess you should know that this story is ending. Jack’s family couldn’t afford a meal. But they could afford a very cheap plane. The airline was called D.C. Airlines, which stands for Dirt Cheap Airlines. They went home on an airplane that was all patched up. Jack was happy that they went home because there was too much chaos he had to deal with. The end.

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