Seattle Writing Prompts: SeaTac Airport

Seattle Writing Prompts are intended to spark ideas for your writing, based on locations and stories of Seattle. Write something inspired by a prompt? Send it to us! We're looking to publish writing sparked by prompts.

Using the word-mashing logic of SeaTac, we should have named the lake to our east SeaBelle. To the North, perhaps we could make a region called SeaEver, and perhaps our ferry runs could be SeaBain, SeaVash, and SeaBrem.

But despite its awkward name — and being one of the only cities in the world, to my knowledge, that employs CamelCase — we do all find ourselves drawn to SeaTac's engine-roaring shores now and again.

This time of year, the smart are taking short jaunts to points south for some mid-winter sun. Not that bright, I flew to Chicago last weekend (it was quite nice, in fact, so you can keep your Mexican sun weekends for now).

Airports are one of the great transition points of the world, and although they are also now ridiculous semi-public undressing places, once you're through the curtain of security there are delights to be had. Just wandering the terrazzo floors, gate-to-gate, looking at weird little shops and people who are either late and rushing, or early and dragging.

And every plane that takes off or lands, in those two-minute spreads, is full of people jetting through the air at tremendous speeds, carrying with them all the stories of their lives. Some of those stories, surely, happen because of people coming together in unexpected ways at the airport. I'll bet we can exploit that for some good writing fodder today, yes?

Today's prompts
  1. In security — Why had he worn the tie shoes? Of course the laces knotted when he was trying to get them off at security. And behind him was one of those pushy people reaching in front of him to grab trays before he had his stuff settled. And his pants were falling down without his belt, and he dropped his phone and it nearly cracked. Then, when he was just about to walk into the backscatter machine, right as his bag was going through the x-ray, he heard the scanning agent yell out "bomb!", and people came rushing in.
  2. In the secure zone — She hadn't gotten a license to practice massage just to rub the shoulders of travelers in the airport, but a job is a job and this one came with benefits. She almost never saw anybody she knew, except that one day where she was pushing her elbow into the back of some businessman and she saw her sister walk by the booth. Her sister that had disappeared ten years earlier...
  3. On the plane — It was just a fact of life: never speak Arabic to a friend or on the phone when you board a flight, lest some scared white American have a paranoid waking dream about you, and suddenly police are taking you off the flight. So when that woman across the aisle started looking, there was nothing to do but ignore her. But when she leans over, as the airplane starts taxiing, and says "I know who you are", there's nothing to do but listen to what she's gonna tell you.
  4. In the terminal — Nobody knows how the raccoon got through security to begin with, or why somebody had it as a pet. But there's one thing for sure: a scared raccoon in an airport is a serious disruption, and as the new security guard on duty, it was gonna be their job to catch that furry little bugger and put it back where it belonged.
  5. In baggage claim — In one of the greatest coincidences in the world, they had almost met five times before they had their first date. Each time, was in the airport, waiting on luggage. Each time, had they seen each other, they would have fallen in love. Each time, some twist of fate kept them apart. Five twists of fate conspiring against two people. Just think about what could have happened....