I've decided to start a new feature for Fridays - Every other Friday, I'll showcase a snippet from either a work in progress or an old manuscript, a new short story, or random poem or scene from a never-finished book. If you like what you read, be sure to leave a comment below!
Today's #FridayReads is from a work-in-progress tentatively called The Tour Guide. It's a romantic comedy about Gwen, a young woman who has never been to Ireland who is forced by circumstance to lead a tour group there. Naturally, all sorts of calamities and comedic problems ensue. In re-doing the manuscript, this scene, in which two 60+ travelers meet their tour guide for the first time, was cut for brevity, but I still rather like it. Enjoy!
Deleted Scene from The Tour Guide, by Killarney Traynor
The tour guide from Chambers Adventure Tours was not, as Emily had supposed, a charming old Irish gentleman, but instead a polished, somewhat nervous young woman with blond hair and a Boston accent.
“Welcome to Ireland!” the young woman said. “I hope you had a good flight!”
“Cead mile failte!” Emily replied, holding out her hand to shake.
The young tour guide’s mouth dropped open and for a moment, there was a very awkward pause, broken only when Emily spoke. “That means, ‘a hundred thousand greetings’,” she said kindly. “It’s an old Irish phrase I picked up somewhere.”
The guide’s face cleared and she nodded in understanding.
“Oh, yes, of course,” she said. “Well, the same back at you, I’m sure.”
Emily gave Rose a look as though to say, What sort of a tour guide did they send us?
As though in answer to the question, the young woman introduced herself as Gwen Chambers, took their names, and then gestured them over to a lounge area.
“I’m afraid there is a bit of a wait before we get to our hotel,” she explained. “We’ve a few more planes to greet, but I think you’ll find this area comfortable.”
Rose didn’t mind a break between bus and plane and at Emily’s suggestion they got coffee and bagels at one of the little cafes.
“What kind of a tour guide did they give us that doesn’t even know that phrase?” Rose muttered as Emily was carefully counting out some Euros. “Even I know it from greeting cards.”
Emily gave her a side long look as she handed the coins to the girl behind the counter. “You didn’t recognize her name?”
“I don’t even remember her name – it’s too early in the morning.”
“Gwen Chambers,” Emily said. “They didn’t just send us a tour guide on this tour – they sent us the boss’s daughter. Now, why do you suppose that is?”
It was an interesting question and one that kept them occupied during the hour wait for their departure by bus. Three more planes arrived in that time and the little lounge was soon crowded with half-asleep Americans in t-shirts, dragging over-sized suitcases with Chambers’ luggage tags dangling from the handles. Eventually, Gwen came over, smiling brightly over her clip-board.
“Well, if you are all ready,” she said. “Shall we go to our hotel?”
No one objected and all filed after her, dragging bags and sipping from paper mugs. When they got outside, there was a bit of a hold up as Gwen searched for their bus among the dozens parked outside, but soon enough came trotting back to them, her smile firmly in place, her high-heel shoes clacking on the pavement.
“Just a few more steps this ways,” she said brightly.
“Just follow Tour Guide Barbie,” one of the men behind Rose muttered and immediately a woman protested, “Oh, Hal!” in an annoyed tone.
The driver was a stocky, handsome man in a leather jacket. He stood by the door, helping people with the first step while Gwen ran back and forth among the line, checking and double checking to see if they’d forgotten anyone. Rose and Emily settled into one of the middle rows and Emily leaned over to whisper, “He’s a cute one, isn’t he?”
“Who, the driver?”
“Well, I wasn’t talking about Hal.” Emily looked over as Gwen, the tour guide, popped up in front to see if everyone was settled. “And she’s very pretty.”
“Don’t you go match-making,” Rose warned. “It never works out.”
“Can’t blame a girl for trying,” Emily said. “I just like seeing people happy. Anyway, there’s not much I can do for the pair of them, except sit back and watch the fireworks.”
As she said this, the driver came in, brushing by Gwen as he slipped into his seat. When she turned to give him a cool stare, the man just smirked at her.
“Oh yes,” Emily said with satisfaction. “This is going to be a fun trip.”