Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997

North Bay

“Finally! I thought we’d never get here!” Joana’s voice broke the silence around the empty airport.


“Our first plane ride by ourselves!” Jona, Joana’s twin brother, gushed in the cool air. Jona and Joana pushed open the double doors to the only airport in rural Collingwood. They ran through the empty hallways. It was a small building and a runway for the plane.


“Last call for flight 2245 going to Toronto.” the voice wrapped the airport a metallic sound that was coming from the loudspeaker on the wall beside them.


“It’s not our’s, but we better hurry.” Jona grabbed his bag in one hand and Joana in the other and the two 13 year olds rushed down the long empty hallway. They had been here before, but only when they were very little. They were going to meet their parents in North Bay. When Jona and Joana got to the waiting area, they realised why the other part of the airport was empty. The seats were packed. There were two seats left. Joana saw them she started walking over slowly, Jona right behind her. There were other people trying to get seats too. One girl probably the same age as them was pushing her way through the crowd. Joana saw the girl and being small, she wiggled her way through the crowd quickly to get the seats. They sat down in their seats right as the other girl arrived.


“Hi I’m Eve, as you can see I get anything I want. Like everything!” Eve’s golden curls bounced as she said “Right now I want to sit down, if I were you I would get out of those seats. I walked all the way here and I will get very mad if you don’t let me sit in them!” She finished this in exasperation. Seeing Jona and Joana’s reaction, her pasty skin turned from a sweet, but fake smile to pouty.


“No,” Joana said. “We were here first and I think we would like to stay here. But, look Eve we only want what’s best for your majesty, and these seats are kind of cold, so why don’t you go sit on the floor over there.” Joana pointed to the cold tile floor of the small waiting room.


“I said I wanted to sit here!” She was holding back tears, but she was clearly mad. She stomped her foot and whipped around, “Fine! Weston! Over here! These people won’t get out of my seats.”


“Eve, you should know better! What do you do when someone says no?”He acted like he was going to smash them to bits. “You force them to do it! I’ll talk to them...” Weston had blonde hair and was and a face covered in zits, he very ugly. There was no doubt he was Eve’s older brother. Yet Eve treated him like he was her slave.


“Thank you, Wes!” Eve sang.
“You, both of you...” he paused. “ Uh... Please? Eve really wants to sit in them.”
“No! We were here first and here is where plan to stay till the plane comes.” Jona
“Okay Eve, looks like these people are not going to move. Let’s go somewhere else.” Weston
turned to Eve, scared to see her reaction.
“But Wessy... Please? Wes? Weston! How dare you let these people take my seats! I can’t believe how selfish you can be sometimes!” Eve stormed away.


For what seemed like forever Eve kept coming back saying things like, “Look what you made me do,” or “I can’t believe you,” or better yet, “You’re going to pay.” Knowing that they were only ever going to see Eve for a few hours, Jona and Joana would laugh and make fun of her wherever she came.


Finally, the plane arrived. “This is the last call for plane 2250 going to North Bay.” mimicked Joana as she and Jona climbed the steps to the airplane.


Behind them they could hear Eve’s squeaky voice, “No! The stairs are too wet! WESTON! Carry me up them or I’m not going back North Bay!”


“Well, now we know why she’s here and not on some private jet!” joked Jona. Luckily Eve and Weston were on the other end of the plane so Jona and Joana couldn’t really hear what was going on.


After 40 minutes of sitting quietly, an announcement came on the loudspeaker: “I have news from the airport in North Bay. We are in for a rough ride. Hold on everyone and buckle up your seat belts.”


“Crash?...” Jona whispered to Joana. They had, smooth, light brown skin and black hair. Jo- na’s was short on the sides and long on the top. Joana’s hair was down to her shoulders and was dark red at the bottom. All anyone could hear was the loud gurgling of the engine and people screaming. When Jona looked around, there were people grabbing their children, saying they would never let go. It was awful to look around at people hanging on to their families when you had no one to hang on to yourself. Moments later the plane landed in the snow and they hit a tree. It was a rough landing, but everyone was fine. Joana and Jona were the first ones out.


They could hear Eve inside crying, “But, I wanted to go to North Bay! This isn’t fair.” It was windy outside. Too windy for the little, clumsy, plane they were just in. By now everyone was out of the plane. “We were just informed that the wind will die down and we can leave. We don’t want to stay in the woods much longer. We’re not even sure we’ll be able to fly out between the trees. We can try.” The flight attendant opened the door to the plane and everyone walked slowly up the stairs.


“Weston! I just got out of the stupid plane! I’m not going back in! It stinks like gas in there!” Eve’s voice was high and squeaky.


When everyone was safely inside, the pilot tried to start the little plane. Instead of the engine rumbling to life, there was a loud clunk! The flight attendant rushed outside the plane. Nothing hap- pened.
Suddenly the shrill voice of Eve rang out through the silent, cold air in the plane. “Someone do something! I’m hungry and bored!”


“Eve! Everyone’s hungry. It’s well passed dinner and we don’t have any food!” Jona jumped out of his seat, “Joana, let’s go find some stuff to eat in this forest.” He extended his hand. Joana grabbed it and the two kids rushed out of the plane. They could hear the flight attendant talking to himself.

“Let’s go see what happened to the plane.” Joana dragged Jona over. Quietly, they snuck over to see, the engine had frozen, a thick layer of ice covered it.
“Why are we being so quiet?” whispered Jona.
“We’re getting food! Remember?” Joana replied. Once everyone had eaten, they sat around a campfire.
“I’m sick of staying here doing nothing.” Jona fiddle with a stick. “No search party or anything!” he snapped the stick. Everyone looked away, they knew what was coming next. “I think we should go find North Bay. We are only like a few kilometers away. I know Joana will come, will anyone else?”
“Yes. I will come.” Jona turned his head, surprised to see that Eve was the one that said that.
“You want to go?” asked Weston, “I guess I’ll come too... Anyone else want to come?” Weston was still surprised.


The next morning Jona and Joana stood at the door of the plane ready for there short hike. It was only a matter if they went the right way. They heard from the radio in the plane that North Bay was only 30 kilometers away. Since, North Bay was north of Colingwood, they decided to go that way. A few minutes later, Eve, Weston, Jona and Joana left. The snow on trees fell on them as they walked. They could tell that Eve was trying not to complain. She had agreed to come, so she couldn’t complain anyway. The trees made an arch above them, so they could barely see whether it was day or night. There were hills on either side of them. They could tell it was night time. Eve had pointed out lights from a town that Weston suspected to North Bay.


They walked all night and only slept for a few hours. The walk had been hard, but if they could find North Bay, it would be worth it, “There!” Eve’s voice broke the silence of the morning.


“What do you mean? There’s nothing here!” Jona looked around the area they had slept in.
“Oh! I can hear it! Listen! I think we’re close!” Weston was pointing to the thinner part of the forest.
“Close? We’re here!” Joana ran out of sight. Jona, Eve and Weston followed. Now they could see people rushing around the town, looking for the survivors of the plane crash. They hurried to a nearby telephone booth.
“We’ll call-” Jona was interrupted by a very familiar voice.
“Jona, Joana!” They turned around. “Weston? Eve? Everyone is looking for you.” They knew these people too well. “You’re alive.”