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IT WAS EIGHT forty five on Wednesday, the nine AM editors meeting would be starting shortly. Most of the reporters were at their desk or milling around in the break room making small talk. It had been a quiet week for news for the most part with no big stories to report on.
Everyone started filing into the conference room, papers and steno books in hand and taking a seat at the conference table. There never were enough seats for everyone so if you did not get in the room early you would be standing at the back of the room.
The editor, Charles Harris walked in a few minutes after nine speaking as he entered, “Let’s get started…” Calling out each department for a status on the stories they were working on.
Mister Harris had been with the paper for 27 years. He had worked his way up to editor and chief having paid his dues as a senior reporter and news correspondent during the war.
“Local”, Mr. Harris called out.
The head of the local reporting desk spoke up, “Yes, we have a few things we are working on. First is the fire in mid-town, no injuries, Daniel is meeting with the fire chief to get the details of how the fire was started and if they suspect arson. Next is a rash of robberies and break-ins. Ben is working those stories and should have his copy ready for the evening addition. Thirdly we have the bomb. A construction crew found a bomb while digging at a construction site, apparently dropped from a German plane and unexploded from the War.”
“World News, Do we have anyone covering that boy who was missing for two weeks and was just found over in Ireland? I want to get someone on this. Who do we have available?”
The manager of the world news team spoke up, “Sir we are really shorthanded at the moment. And isn’t this more of a human interest story than world news?” The editor replied, “Find someone, I want 1,000 words for this story for the week-end edition, and maybe a few pictures. Do what you have to do, just get it done.”
Once the meeting was over everyone headed back to their desk wondering how they would meet their deadlines.
“Always the impossible” the world news reporter, Sid murmured to a colleague as they walked out of the conference room. “Got any ideas Max who I can assign to this? Max was department head for the papers human interest stories.
“Sure how about the new girl, Liz the intern down in research, she’s bright, eager and keeps asking me for a reporting assignment. You’d be helping me out. Get her out of my hair for a few days, every day she is asking me to give her a reporting assignment. Let me introduce you.”
Sid really felt like he had no other option and followed Max down to the research department to introduce him to his intern.
Liz was sitting at her desk when Max and Sid came up behind her. Liz was a recent college graduate and was continuing her education working toward her master’s degree in anthropology. Max spoke, “Liz, I want to introduce you to the “World News department head, Sid Roth.”
Liz turned her chair to face the two of them and stood up as Sid offered his hand to shake her’s. “How do you do.” Liz remarked.
Max went on to remark, “Liz, Sid needs someone to follow-up on a story that has been in the news over in Ireland, a human interest story. A boy was lost for a few weeks and now has been found.” Sid spoke, interrupting Max, “Yes, we need someone to get an interview with the boy and his family, maybe take a few pictures and apparently there was an archaeological fine when the boy was recovered from the well he had fallen into. The ruins of a medieval castle were uncovered and with your back ground we think you would be a good choice to cover this story. The editor wants 1,000 words for the Sunday edition.”
Liz was shocked, her jaw dropped with excitement, “Are you serious, a real reporting assignment, what do I do? Where do I have to go? Thank you, thank you, I won’t let you down. Where do I have to go?”
Max turned to Sid, “I told you she was eager.” Max turned back to Liz, I will have the travel secretary contact you in an hour or so with all the details, remember 1,000 words by Saturday for the Sunday edition.”
Max and Sid walked away leaving Liz at her desk bursting with enthusiasm. It was about two hours when the travel secretary called down to Liz and ask her to come up to her office.
Liz meant with the travel secretary and picked up her travel itinerary for her trip to Ireland and her first reporting assignment. She was to leave almost immediately and barely had enough time to get home, pack a bag and make it to the airport. She would take a flight from London’s Heathrow airport to Galway Ireland. Once she landed she would take a car to the docks in Galway and hop on a boat to take her to the island where the boy had been recovered.
Liz quickly returned to her desk. Collected up her steno pad, pens and a few personal things and headed home to pack a bag for her trip. A car would be picking her up in two hours to take her to the airport so she could catch her 7:05 flight to Galway.
Liz was frantically getting her things together and constantly looking out the window of her third story apartment window for the taxi. The taxi arrived on time. The driver walked up to the front door of the building looking for the call box. Ringing the bell for apartment 3c.
Liz was startled as the bell rang in her apartment. She was still rushing around stuffing clothes into her suit case, she turned quickly and walked over to the window to see the taxi below. No time to finish packing now, she ran over to her bed where her suit case was lying open, tossed another pile of clothes into it. She grabbed her coat in one hand, the suit case handle in the other, than out the door she ran.
The driver was getting impatient as he waited at the door stoop. He reached up to the call box and push the button for Apt 3C again. Waiting a few more moments he turned and starting walking back towards his cab ready to leave without her. As he opened drive side cab door, Liz came out of the apartment, yelling, “Wait, Wait… I’m here, I’m here, Sorry, Sorry…” The driver looked up walked around to the passenger side of the cab to open the door for Liz.
The cab driver greeted her, “Airport?” Liz apologized again for not being ready for him and then acknowledged, “Yes the airport please.” Closing the passenger side door as she spoke.
Liz’s thoughts in her head were going a mile a minute all during her ride to the airport. Had she locked the door to her apartment? Did she leave the hot plate on? Had she close the window to her apartment after she looked down to see the taxi? She pictured coming home a week from now to find hundreds of pigeons living and nesting in her apartment. No matter, she was on her first assignment. This was what she had hoped to be doing since she was a little girl. Traveling and covering a news event, writing about it and then seeing her story in print in the paper.
Before she knew it she was at the airport, handing the taxi driver her fair for the ride, walking to the airport terminal to board a plane to Ireland.
Finding her seat Liz was taking in every detail of her first assignment, Her boarding pass read, Window Seat 18, she noticed the stewardess Linda, reading her name tag as she passed her standing at the door of the plane. In minutes she would be in the air. Liz found her seat, seat 18, out of the small window you could see the planes propellers. Liz feeling the vibration of the engines stirring up some fear in her since she had never been on an airplane.
Almost every seat was taken. The plane began to move to get into position on the runway for takeoff. A voice over the speaker system, “Prepare for takeoff.” Liz looking out the window to see the propellers spinning faster now while the plane started speeding down the runway. The front of the plane tilting up and then the whole plane was in the air. The plane climbing higher every second as Liz looked out the window, take in the view from that small window. She was amazed. She could see the city below her, the river Thames off in the distance, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben fading fast in the distance since they were flying away from them in the opposite direction. In a very short while she would be flying over the St George’s Channel toward Ireland.
The flight from Heathrow airport to Galway airport would take about 2 hours a distance of close to 500 miles. This would be the farthest from home Liz had ever been. Had she packed enough? Many random thoughts kept running through her mind. More importantly could she prove herself to the editor? Her big chance, she was confident that she could do it so she quickly erased any doubt from her mind. Liz took out her steno book from her back pack and started to formalize an outline for the story she was going to write for the paper.
Before long an another announcement came over the plane’s speakers, “Stewardess, prepare for landing.” The plane began its descent. Liz put her steno pad away, turned to look out the window once again. Ireland, green as green can be. Not many tall buildings to see just miles and miles of green pastures and the North Atlantic Ocean off in the distance.
The plane headed down, the plane shook and vibrated as it got closer to the ground. When the wheels touched down on the runway a sudden bump, the plane feeling like it was traveling extremely fast, a jolt forward and the sensation of slowing down. The plane had landed safely.
The airport was not as large as Heathrow airport back in London, there were no large crowds of people. There were only twenty passengers on the plane and Liz was in seat 18. As she disembarked from the plane she noticed a man standing off to the right at the terminal gate holding a sign with her name on it. She walked over to him and introduced herself to him. The man was to driver her to the hotel where she would spend the night before interview the recovered boy and his father.
It was a short drive to the bed and breakfast where Liz would be staying for the week. The roads were winding and narrow. The driver drove very fast and Liz felt like at any minute they were going to drive off the road and into a ditch. She thought of her parents who had died in a car accident her first year at university. She thought how proud they would be of her going on her first reporting assignment.
Liz grew up always knowing that she wanted to be a reporter. She also had a passion for ancient history and culture. She hoped that one day she would be doing a story on an ancient culture. She never imagined that her very first assignment would be just that.
Here she was, her first news story to report on a missing boy. A boy who was missing for weeks and found under the ruins of an ancient castle. Liz looked out the window of the car and up to the sky, and in her head said, “I miss you mom and dad, Love you, wish you were here.”
The road straightened out as the taxi entered a small town. The bed and breakfast was on the corner lot. A large thatched cottage. The driver pulled up to the front of the house to let Liz out. Liz paid the man for his services and he handed her a business card. He requested for her to call him when she need a ride in the morning. Liz said that she would.
The inn keeper met Liz at the door to welcome her, expecting her arrival. He greeted her with his distinct Irish accent which was clearly different from her British accent.
“Good day lassie, welcome. Your room is already. Staying just the one night, Yes? We’ll have tea and biscuits in the morning starting at 7. If you need to make a call the telephone is in the parlor. Let me take your bag.”
Liz followed the inn-keeper up the stairs to her room. He opened the door and placed her bag on the stand at the foot of her bed.
“If there is anything you need just give a holler.”
Liz replied, “Thank you” than she ask; “ Is there a library nearby and a place to eat?”
“Yes, the James Hardiman library is over on University road. There are a few pubs along the way. You’ll need a car, it’s a bit of a ways. Should I call a cab for ya?”
Liz replied, “Yes that would be great, I just need a few minutes to settle in.”
The inn-keeper left the room and Liz began to unpack her bag. About an hour later a taxi arrived to take Liz over to a pub near the library.
After getting a bite to eat Liz walked over to the library to research the castle ruins that were discovered when the lost boy was rescued. The librarian directed her to the ancient artifact section and Liz jumped right into research mode. Feeling right at home in the library it brought back memories of her days at her own university.
It did not take long before Liz had a stack of books on the table. In Search of Ancient Ireland, The Aran Islands, Castles of Ireland, Medieval Ireland, The History of Celtic Tribes, Irish History From the Beginning and many others.
Another book that caught her attention was, “Witchcraft and Magic in Ireland” Liz was always fascinated with magic, witch craft and spells. A second book caught her eye and she added it to the pile, Book of Spells. After spending a little time on these she realized that they were a distraction from her true purpose for being at the library.
She was at there to research the history of the island so she could use this information in her story. Before long she found the back ground information she was looking for to open her story for the newspaper. But she knew she needed more to make the story great.
Liz was in the library for hours and around a quarter to ten an announcement that the library would be closing in 15 minutes.
Without thinking Liz gathered up the books and went to the desk to check them out.
The librarian ask for her library card. But Liz did not have one for this library, than the librarian ask if she had her school ID, but again Liz did not have one of these.
Liz than tried to explain that she was a reporter and needed the books for her story. The librarian remarked, “Without a student ID or library card I cannot let you take out the books.” In the end Liz signed up for a library card and carried out a stack of books to continue her research back at the bed and breakfast.
Using a phone she called for a cab to take her back where she was staying to prepare for her interview with the recovered boy in the morning.
Book 3 Castle of Dreams Love's Journey
The idea for the third book in the Castle of Dreams series is focused on Lady Elizabeth, where she came from and who she actually is.
Chapter one starts in more modern times in the 1960's. Since time travel is a part of both the first and second books. I have set up Lady Elizabeth as a newspaper reporter sent to interview Thomas.
I am making an effort to write each book so that it can stand on it's own.