This should be one of the happiest days of my life; Bud and I are due to fly from Canada to Wales where we’ll get married in a couple of days’ time, so I’m bursting with anticipation, as you can imagine. At least I was when I got up this morning. . .which was fifteen hours ago. . .and we still haven’t left the ground! We’ve been sitting in the airplane for a couple of hours, buckled up and ready for the off, and we’re all getting a bit restive. They finally announced that we should be “wheels up” in about an hour. I think every single passenger groaned, except the ones lucky enough to have fallen asleep already. I tried to catch a nap, but my mind kept whirring through everything that could go wrong. A delayed flight had been one of my worries, which is why we’d planned to have a couple of days to “settle in” before the wedding.
It should all be wonderful – my sister Siân is flying in from her home in Perth, Australia, and the ceremony will take place at a fanciful location named Castell Llwyd on the Gower Peninsular, which is near my home city of Swansea on the south coast of Wales. Bud and I spent a week in Swansea back in October – the rules for people who want to marry in the UK but don’t live there are pretty strict, so we had to prove we had seven days’ of residency to be able to register for our wedding. We had a wonderful time, and I got to show Bud a lot of my old haunts. Even better? There wasn’t a corpse in sight. It’s not often that happens!
Following a frenzy of last-minute packing (and re-packing!), three hours at the lovely-but-still-an-airport YVR, and a couple more on the tarmac, I’d tried to focus on the book I’d stuffed into my carry-on at the last minute. However, I became fascinated by the chap sitting just ahead of me in the aisle seat. Sometimes I can’t help but try to work out all I can about a person just by observing them, and this guy was ripe for observation. Just about my height – believe me, it’s an advantage to be only five-three with the tiny spaces between these seats – he appeared to suffer from some sort of Napoleon complex. Within the first hour of our delay he called for attention three times, and was quite rude to the poor attendant who answered his buzzing. Everyone was annoyed by our delay, but he seemed to be taking it personally. I noticed that his hands were exceptionally pink, gleamingly clean, and he’d recently had a manicure. Quite rotund, his surprisingly slim fingers moved expressively, especially when conducting the music he was listening to on his headphones. His clothes spoke of money, but little taste. No wedding ring suggested no wife, and I heard him speaking—loudly—in a North American accent that I’d pegged as being from somewhere around Boston. I’d plumped for him being some sort of medic and was proved right when a stewardess moved to his side in an urgent, but professional manner. She whispered something to him and he dashed from his seat, following her to the curtained area at the front of the aircraft where the folks with pots of money sit.
They don’t put out a call asking if there’s a doctor on an airplane these days – there’s quite enough for the passengers to worry about as it is. So, when he returned to his seat a little while later, then it was announced that we’d be returning to the gate so that a passenger with a medical condition could receive care, I knew I was right about his occupation. Which was satisfying. But the fact that some poor devil was taken ill means we’re likely to be delayed for even longer than we all thought, and I’m beginning to wonder if planning to get married in a Welsh castle, right between Christmas and the New Year was such a bright idea after all.
However, knowing Bud is by my side means I’m sure everything will turn out fine in the end. So I’ll try to read my book, and doze, and convince myself that things won’t get any worse before we say “I do.” Maybe the fact that someone was taken ill on the airplane means there won’t be a corpse at the castle. Fingers crossed!
You can read more about Cait in The Corpse With The Sapphire Eyes, the fifth book in the “Cait Morgan” mystery series, published by Touchwood Editions and released on May 5, 2015. The first book in the series is The Corpse with the Silver Tongue.
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Meet the author
Welsh Canadian mystery author Cathy Ace is the creator of the Cait Morgan Mysteries, which include The Corpse with the Silver Tongue, The Corpse with the Golden Nose, The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb, The Corpse with the Platinum Hair, and The Corpse With The Sapphire Eyes. Born, raised, and educated in Wales, Cathy enjoyed a successful career in marketing and training across Europe, before immigrating to Vancouver, Canada, where she taught on MBA and undergraduate marketing programs at various universities. Her eclectic tastes in art, music, food, and drink have been developed during her decades of extensive travel, which she continues whenever possible. Now a full-time author, Cathy’s short stories have appeared in multiple anthologies, as well as on BBC Radio 4. She and her husband are keen gardeners, who enjoy being helped out around their acreage by their green-pawed Labradors.