Sam is on vacation but just as she is about to board her flight home she discovers a very big problem. Just when things seemed to be hopeless a Professor from her college turns up. It looks like Sam will be able to go home after all... even if it means swallowing her pride. But was the meeting really just a coincidence? And what's up with Sam's strange dreams? As ever I am extremely thankful to my patrons who allow me to write as much as I do :) If you have a little spare money and would like to support me and help me pay the bills then please do consider having a look at my Patreon page. I post an update every 4-5 days and patrons get access to everything I write one week before the rest of the world. Also, for $10 a month you can get access to Patreon exclusive stories! I have 40 STORIES AVAILABLE FOR $10 patrons that you can read right away with more posted regularly! https://www.patreon.com/Elfy88
Chapter Description: Sam is away on vacation and just about to head home. She is at the airport and feeling somewhat proud of herself for getting through a vacation with little issue. Sam has long been sensitive about her diminutive height and that is made worse when an unexpected rule change means she is stranded. Just when she starts panicking and thinking she was stuck she sees a professor from her college walking towards her. It might be that this proffessor is Sam's only way home...
Sam’s Flight to Babyhood
“The 1340 flight to Buenos Aires has been delayed by half an hour for maintenance. We apologise for the inconvenience.” The loudspeaker system blasted overhead.
Sam stood nervously in a queue to speak to the customer assistant. She looked out the window nearby and saw the plane she was supposed to be getting on soon that would take her from London Heathrow back to home on the east coast of America. She had just flown in from Kiev and this was her connecting flight.
As Sam looked around she saw faces turning her way and staring. She blushed when she saw people furrowing their brows or nudging their friends to point at her. There were children giggling or loudly asking rude questions like “Mommy, why is that little girl on her own?”
This was all stuff Sam had heard before of course but it didn’t help protect her from the embarrassment. She knew she was small, tiny in fact, at thirty-three inches in height she was towered over by virtually everyone. It was a source of constant frustration and anger for Sam that she couldn’t do anything to fix. So often she was the curiosity that children and even adults would point at and whisper to each other, not helped by the fact she usually had to wear children’s clothes because they were the only ones that fit.
School had been a miserable experience and Sam had been anxiously counting down the days until it finished. When the end of day bell did finally ring for the last time she celebrated more than most. Though she had friends she also had bullies and, to add to the embarrassment, the bullies were often in the grades below her. It might have been this overwhelming anxiety to leave school that resulted in what had been the most embarrassing event in her life. Despite a year passing since the event it still plagued her nightmares.
After the official graduation from high school there was a huge party scheduled at the house of one of the rich kids. Sam wasn’t usually much of a partier but she decided to make an exception after her friends prodded her and reminded her this was her last chance for high school debauchery.
Debauchery turned out to be an understatement. The alcohol flowed and illegal substances were taken as music blared and people danced. Sam became very drunk very quickly partly because of her lack of drinking experience and partly because she was so small. She was a lightweight in the most literal sense of the word.
Sam would never be sure what happened because at some point the night became a blur. She vaguely remembered being carried somewhere whilst practically unconscious and then the next thing she knew she had been in baby clothes and a diaper. She later learned that she had been taken to the nearby nursery by a couple of people who didn’t know she was really an adult and left there. It took an embarrassingly long time for someone at the nursery to believe who she was.
That embarrassing incident had been over a year ago now but it still loomed fresh in Sam’s mind as evidenced by the nightmares she still had about it. She had since gone to college and after her first year had ended she had decided to travel and experience some different cultures. It was an anxious time for the short woman as it also marked the first time she had really gone anywhere on her own.
Despite her fears the travelling had gone well. There had been some people pointing and laughing or making loud comments but they were easily shrugged off by Sam who had experienced much worse. All in all she had a great time sightseeing and trying out local cuisines. All good things come to an end though and she was now waiting for her flight back to America.
“Next!” The customer assistant for the airline called out. The person in front of Sam walked away and Sam came forwards. She had to look up at the desk and the customer assistant seemed not to have seen her at all, “Sir, please step forwards.”
Sam looked behind her and saw that the customer assistant was referring to the man behind Sam in the queue. The counter the assistant was stood behind was too tall and Sam was hidden from sight. She blushed at the reminder of her short stature, she hated being reminded that she wasn’t like everyone else. Some people behind Sam chuckled.
“I’m down here!” Sam exclaimed. She felt so embarrassed, like a child pretending to be an adult.
There was a pause and then Sam saw the assistant lean over the desk to look down and see Sam. Her nametag showed and Sam saw the assistant was called Debra, she seemed shocked that she was talking to someone so small.
“Hello, are your parents here?” Debra had her professional voice on and she smiled showing perfect teeth behind rosy lips.
Sam shuddered. It wasn’t unusual for her to be mistaken for a child though she had somehow managed to avoid it for most of her trip. This was humiliating though and she pouted as her face went a dark red. Without a word Sam reached into her bag and pulled out her passport and ticket.
Sam was horrified when Debra walked around the desk and crouched down so she was the same height as her. Sam looked down at the ground as she handed over the documents. Not for the first time she cursed that she had been born like this.
“Nineteen-years-old?” Debra looked confused, “Do you have any more ID, Sweetie?”
Debra seemed incapable of treating Sam like the adult she was and Sam balled up her fists in humiliated frustration. She could hear people behind her whispering and knew she was the topic of conversation. She reached into her pocket and pulled out her purse. She had a driving license for her heavily modified car at home it would confirm her age.
“Oh… I’m sorry.” Debra said as she looked at the license and confirmed Sam’s details, “Excuse me a moment.”
Sam huffed in annoyance as Debra handed back the documents and went behind the desk. Sam couldn’t see what was happening even when she stood on tip-toes. She could hear Debra talking to someone though what exactly she was saying was at least partially lost because of the background noise.
“Yes, Sir… Very short, Sir… Three feet maybe? I thought she was a child.” Debra’s voice carried a lot better than her manager.
Sam was cringing and just wished they would hurry up and let her past. She tapped her foot impatiently and looked around, there were a lot of people watching and it made her feel like she was shrinking even further. Just as Sam thought she might collapse into a ball from embarrassment she heard Debra return.
“Sam, I’m afraid I have some bad news.” Debra walked around the desk and came down to Sam’s level again.
“Bad news?” Sam repeated with a frown.
“Yeah, there’s a new policy that just came into force recently.” Debra continued, “I’m afraid we have a height restriction now. For safety we can’t allow anyone of your stature on the flight alone. You would need to be accompanied.”
“W-What!?” Sam exclaimed as she felt dread flooding her.
“I’m afraid there is nothing we can do.” Debra patted Sam on the head as she stood up and went behind the desk again.
“What am I meant to do!?” Sam shouted hysterically, “I don’t know anyone here! I don’t have the money for another ticket!”
“I’m sorry.” Debra leaned over to speak to Sam, “Perhaps you could speak to the embassy or call an adult to accompany you. If you speak to customer service you may be able to get a refund but it will take a couple of weeks to process.”
“I am an adult!” Sam stomped her foot in frustration.
“Next please!” Debra called out.
Sam stuttered and spluttered as she was forced aside and the next people went forwards to the desk. They were almost immediately waved through. Sam felt dizzy, she was stuck in a strange place and her nice trip had quickly turned into a nightmare. She didn’t know where the American embassy was and it was already getting late, it would almost certainly be closed. Her eyes were watering and she was starting to sniffle as she dejectedly walked away from the desk.
The idea of calling someone and begging for help made Sam feel sick. She had always tried to be more of an adult than everyone else, she was always responsible and amongst her group of friends she was seen as the “mom” despite her size. She just knew she would burst into tears as well, her emotions were going haywire as she walked towards the phone. More than once she had to jump out of the way of a businessman hurrying along and not looking down at where she was.
“Out of the way, little girl!” One particularly rude man yelled after his suitcase nearly knocked Sam on to her rear end.
Sam was about to retort when she saw someone she recognised. It seemed so unlikely to know someone over here but the woman walking towards her and reading a leaflet was definitely recognisable. Sam couldn’t place where she had seen her or how she knew her but when she was otherwise lost this was a lifeline she couldn’t let go. Maybe this coincidence was a guardian angel looking out for her.
“E-Excuse me…” Sam hurried over to the woman and got her attention.
This woman was in a smart suit but she didn’t seem serious enough to be a businesswoman. She looked friendly with her brunette hair tied back in a ponytail and only a light smattering of make-up on her face. She smiled when she saw Sam but unlike the customer assistant at the desk it didn’t seem to be patronising.
“Sam? How strange to see you here!” The woman said as she put the leaflet in her pocket.
“You… You know me?” Sam asked. She recognised this woman but she didn’t think she would know Sam’s name.
“Of course I do.” The woman laughed, “No offence but you aren’t someone that’s easy to forget. You have a rather unique… stature.”
“I’m sorry.” Sam frowned, “I recognise you but I’m not sure where from. I don’t remember your name either…”
“No need to apologise.” The woman said, “I’m Professor Hughes but you can call me Jess. I took one of your Psychology 101 lectures. If I remember correctly you were a very attentive student.”
“Thanks.” Sam had to turn the conversation to her current predicament, “I hate to do this but… I need some help.”
“What’s the matter?” Jess asked with concern.
Sam explained what had happened and was pleased that Jess looked suitably shocked. It felt like she was a real ally appearing at the exact moment Sam needed. Sam was just so pleased she was there she didn’t really wonder why she happened to be there at that time.
“That’s awful!” Jess said when Sam finished telling her the story, “I’m just not sure what I can do…”
“If you accompanied me they might let me on the flight.” Sam suggested. She hated the idea of being escorted on to the plane like a small child but if it was her only choice it was one she could live with.
“I don’t think that would work.” Jess replied slowly, “We have seats that aren’t near each other. They would know that I don’t know you. I wish I could help I just don’t know how I can…”
Sam felt her hopes drop through her stomach. Was the professor going to leave her here alone after all?
Jess looked up and towards the window where she could see the plane they were supposed to be getting on. She adjusted her jacket a little and the leaflet she had been reading fell out of her pocket and on to the floor. Sam was naturally closer to the ground and bent down to get it. She looked at it and frowned.
The leaflet was entitled “Babe in Arms” and showed a smiling young mother with a small child on her lap. Sam opened it up and found the new rules that Debra had been talking about. The airline’s policy now seemed to be that people under a certain height were not allowed to travel regardless of age. They said it was for “safety reasons” but Sam didn’t really understand it. When Sam looked at the back of the leaflet she saw a possibility to remedy the situation. It would be humiliating to suggest but this was a desperate situation.
“I hate to say this…” Sam said as she held up the leaflet, “But we could try this.”
“Babe in arms?” Jess frowned, “I’m not sure I understand.”
“If we pretend that I’m a child you could take me on board and I could… sit on your lap.” Sam could feel a little bit of her soul dying just for suggesting such a thing.
“I don’t know…” Jess pursed her lips.
“I’m really desperate here.” Sam was practically on her knees, “It’s my only option.”
“What about your passport?” Jess asked, “Won’t they look at it and see you are an adult?”
Sam bit her lip. It was undoubtedly a big barrier to getting on to the plane. She really didn’t have an answer to that but she didn’t have anything to lose by trying.
“I’ll just have to hope they don’t look too closely.” Sam shrugged, “I know I’m asking a lot from you and if I had another option I would never ask.”
Sam held her breath as Jess took a deep breath and looked out towards the plane again. The wait to hear what the professor was going to say was horrible and seemed to stretch into eternity. Sam felt sick from the tension and silent prayed that Jess would take a risk and try to help her.
“Alright, I’ll help you.” Jess said finally, “But you need to do whatever I say and if I get my ticket cancelled for trying this you need to pay for a replacement.”
“Deal.” Sam said quickly. She didn’t have the money to buy herself a new ticket yet alone Jess but she hoped she wouldn’t need it. If it came to it she could call her parents and though she knew they wouldn’t be at all happy they also wouldn’t want their daughter stranded thousands of miles from home.
“Right, well, come with me.” Jess started striding away from the check-in area and towards the plethora of stores that seemed to cater to everything a traveller could ever need.