Flying In to Casablanca

The chartered airplane – a vintage dual-prop Lockheed from the 1940s, painted to resemble a similar plane from “history” – was much too old to carry modern-style amenities, such as food or bar service; if you wanted things like that, you needed to fly on a 767 or similar modern jet, with lots of space to waste.  But it was not that long a flight, in any case; and this plane was somewhat roomer between rows of seats than newer designs.  Lisavet Darchiev used the extra room to stretch her legs in front of her.

She grinned to herself as she shimmied back into the cushioned seat.  What with frequent travels between her home in Zürich, her publisher in New York and film studios in Hollywood, E. P. Darchiev, mystery and thriller author, knew well the rigors of modern air travel, even though she now flew only in first class.  This plane was much more satisfactory than modern jets in some ways, coming from a time when travelers traveled, and the journey was as much fun as the destination.  It made one long for a time portal, as her science-fiction-writer friends would call it … although preferably without trifling annoyances like totalitarian dictators, world financial meltdowns, and world wars to fall afoul of.

Ironic, then, that Lisavet and her friend, playwright and screenwriter Piper Walker, were traveling, along with ten others, on this charter to a celebration of a movie set during the Second World War ….  Not the “Great Patriotic War” of Stalinist schooling; thankfully, Lisavet had been born in 1986, and learned her history well after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The plane made one more turn as it descended, allowing Lisavet to look down on the scene a huge crew of movie people had constructed.  She thought, Impressive is the least of it, as she admired the recreated sets of one of the most famous films ever made – done with a bit of license, but sufficient to the needs.

The plane made one more turn before touching down, allowing Lisavet to get a good overall view of the place a huge crew of Hollywood movie folk had constructed near a small rented airstrip.  Impressive is surely the least of it, she thought as she admired the recreated “world” of one of the most famous films ever made.  It was not, of course, a complete, perfect recreation – it would have been a hot day in Saint Petersburg in December before the studio had spent that much money for a two-day party, no matter the pedigree of the film.  And Lisavet knew one location would not be present, due to its Nazi symbology.  But the key places were there, recreated in spirit, if not stick-for-stone perfect in detail ….

Across the aisle, over the thrum of the two engines as they growled to a stop, Piper said, “Beautiful, isn’t it, Liz?”

“Da,” Lisavet replied.  “I just was thinking, they certainly got the feeling right.”

“I hear tell tall the staff will be in costume for tomorrow, too.  Makes me wish more Americans than Rick and Sam had been in the movie, as well as the French and Germans.”

“Who knows?  They may slip in an American major or captain, or an OSS operative, just for you!”

Piper laughed.  “And would you like a Russian officer or two for you?”

Nyet, my friend.  Beyond the fact that the Russians weren’t in the movie, they would have been Soviet … and likely a bunch of party hacks.  And I, dear Piper, am firmly a White Russian at heart!”

“That’s for sure; you’re about as capitalist as they come.  Just look at the advance Andrei wheedled out of the publisher for your next book.”  They both laughed as they stepped off the gleaming silver Lockheed and posed on the tarmac for the photographers.  As the pair was released from the photo session to walk the “streets” of the recreated souk of Casablanca, Piper went on, “Another proof of your ‘bourgeois decadence’ is that costume and jewelry you wheedled out of … how many different designers? … for tomorrow night’s party.  I saw the looks you were giving all that stuff, especially the jewelry.  You hang out too much with Belle Roussel when you’re in L. A.  And I know you made a deal to purchase a few pieces, especially that vintage cigarette holder.”

“Well, I actually remember a holder like that from years back, just before my first book hit big.”

“You do???  How so?”

“It was a publicity photo I did for the European edition of The Neva Emeralds.  They wanted a photo of me … ‘glammed up,’ you’d say? … for the jacket.  The thing was that the photographer hadn’t even read the book, so the dress wasn’t green, and there wasn’t a single emerald in the costume jewelry he had.  But he did have a lovely black-and-silver gown, and some nice fake black pearls and other goodies to go with it.  It was the first time I’d ever worn anything even close to that, and I still love the photo.  And, before the night was done, I’d talked him out of that headdress, along with a … few other things as well.”  Lisavet flushed a trifle as she spoke, but she smiled as well.  “And that headdress is what I’ll be wearing tomorrow.”

“Oh, Liz, really???” Piper breathed, and smiled back at her.  “So this will be quite a trip down memory lane for you.”

“It will have its moments,” she said happily as their guide escorted them into the comfortable hostel they would stay in for the night – appropriately, in the “hotel” portion of “Rick’s Café Américain.”  They settled in quickly, relaxing on their beds for a time before the call to dinner.  Tomorrow, following the street party and carnival planned for the morning, the remaining half-day would be spent closeted with hairdressers and makeup artists, primping and preparing for the massive party of the night in the “café” beneath them.

Continued in Part 2, “Everyone Comes to Rick’s”


Flight in:

Harper (as “Lisavet”) wears:

  • Head: Akeruka Elen 2.5 (Bento)
  • Body and hands: Maitreya Lara 4.1
  • Feet: SLink Avatar Enhancement feet 1.2.5
  • Eyes: IKON Hope eyes (Sapphire)
  • Hair: Argrace Wakana
  • Outfit: GizzA asymmetric leather tank (Red, size S); GizzA snakeskin leggings (Black, size S)
  • Shoes: KC Couture Devon ankle boots
  • Jewelry: Dahlinks Gloria Swanson Dress Ring; EarthStones Chavea Bento rings (Treasure Pack)
  • Makeup:
    • Eyeshadow: SlackGirl Slacky (Akeruka, slot 6)
    • Lashes: SlackGirl AKLa-A03
    • Lipstick: Zibska Sable (Omega, slot 4)
    • Blush: Zibska Isolde

Jem (as “Piper”) wears:

  • Head: Akeruka Monika 2.5 (Bento)
  • Body and feet: Maitreya Lara 4.1
  • Hands: Vista ProHands 2
  • Eyes: IKON Sovereign eyes (Passion)
  • Hair: EMO-tions Tragedy
  • Dress: Loordes of London The Samothrace (#14, available at current round of Swank)
  • Shoes: KC Couture Christa
  • Accessories:
    • Jewerly: Maxi Gossamer Roho earrings, ring and necklace (purchased as separates, HUD controlled); RealEvil ReVoX aviator watch
    • Hat: LeLutka Ru wrap (Thar) (Hair Fair 2017 closing hat)
  • Makeup:
    • Eyeshadow: SlackGirl Kimera (Akeruka, slot 2)
    • Lashes: FATE Lashes 2
    • Lipstick: SlackGirl NeNe Lips 2 (Akeruka, slot 1)
    • Blush: Zibska Isolde (Omega, slot 2)

Photographed in Nantucket Island region skybox

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