Jack was looking out of the window at the northern curve of the Gulf of Mexico. The sun rose majestically in the east turning the sea into a golden blaze. It was sometime on Saturday morning, even if they were in the never, never land of timezones.
Elsee and Jack had a cheap ticket, which was next to the crèche. No sane adult took a seat near the crèche area. In fact they were going to be discontinued by Virgin. It was noisy and they had had no sleep, but it was the cheapest way to get to Margarita.
"Vordor, Vordor come back! We’re being attacked by the Velutions.
You've got to come back."
The five children were cowering in the shelter of the maze, which was in the crèche.
Elsee grabbed Jack's arm and squeezed it.
“Don't you think you ought to tell them you aren't the real Vordor Jack?"
“I haven't said I am the real Vordor," Jack said smiling, "and besides I don't think they'd believe me anyway."
“Alright then," Elsee said conspiratorially, "Let's keep it a secret."
“Five days in paradise," Elsee said, "I still can't believe it, I’m so excited."
Jack too was excited. It really was a flight of fancy.
The rest of the flight passed noisily, Jack played endlessly with the kids and hardly had a moment's peace to finish his breakfast. It was a relief to arrive at Porlamar airport and become more anonymous, amidst the heat that hit them like a wall. They faced a sea of impatient faces imploring them to take a taxi. The taxis were old Pontiacs, Cadillacs and others each with their own idiosyncrasies.
“Let's hire a car," Jack said spontaneously.
“It might be expensive," Elsee said hesitantly.
"You only get one life."
“Okay!" Elsee said like an excited child.
And so it was they found themselves in a small stick shift Fiat, trundling out of Porlamar airport towards a small resort called El Yaque about eight kilometres away.
“It's much drier than I thought," Elsee said, "I expected it to be all palm trees swaying in the wind."
“No don't worry, I'm not disappointed Jack. How could I be, I've never been outside the States before. It's just different. It looks a bit like, I don't know, Mexico or something, with all these cacti and little rocky hills. I keep expecting some gun slingers to ride up beside us or something."
“There won't be any gunslingers where we're going. Some windsurfers, nice beaches, pelicans, exotic fish but no gunslingers."
The road snaked through the red and dusty landscape. The occasional car passed by. It seemed the custom to drive with one arm flopped out of the window with a cigarette hung lazily between the fingers.
El Yaque was a small fishing village that had begun to dabble in tourism. It was still relatively low season so the village wasn't that busy yet. Kids played on the road with toy cars, dogs ambled aimlessly about and a string of taxi drivers stared at them out of habitual boredom.
Scattered down the high street were a few bronzed hunks, talking in excited huddles next to their combi vans about the wind, windsurfing, loops, carve jibes, duck jibes, three sixties and other moves. One or two of them looked at Jack and Elsee and raised their little finger and index finger in a relaxed, friendly gesture.
Jack replied to the gesture with equal nonchalance.
The wind howled like it had a mission from God to stop them getting to the end of the high street. There were a series of low-key restaurants and at the end of the high street they pulled up in front of a five storey 80's hotel on the sea front, "The Hotel California."
Jack stopped the car and smiled.
“I've always wanted to come here, I never thought I'd make it."
They sat for a moment in silence, listening to the wind tugging and tickling it's way around the car.Always wanted to come windsurfing in Margarita. Don't know why, I always did, just one of those ideas that comes into your head and won't go away. We're in Margarita, let's go and have a frozen margarita.