This is the eighth year in a row I've run this series in April.
Maribel Martinez of New York had arranged for her 5-year-old son, Andy, to fly home unaccompanied on JetBlue from the Dominican Republic on Aug. 17. But when she went to pick him up at Kennedy International Airport, she got the shock of her life.
Airline employees presented her with a boy who was clutching Andy's passport and luggage. But he was not her child.
"Is this your son?" Ms. Martinez said she was asked, according to news reports on Thursday.
She replied, "No, this is not my child."
My take: Two ten year-old girls, both flying out of New York to Miami. Unaccompanied minors. Rachel is from a well-to-do family from Manhattan, her parents sending her to visit her rich uncle and aunt at their resort home in Costa Rica. Sabina is from Queens and is headed off to see her father in the Dominican Republic.
The surprising thing: They resemble each other. Like really close.
As is the custom of the airlines to put all unaccompanied minors in the same area so the flight attendants can keep an eye on them, Rachel and Sabina happen to be seated beside each other.
On the flight to Miami, Rachel complains about her boring relatives, but Sabina takes one look at photos Rachel has on her cellphone of her uncle's expansive beach home and she is smitten. Oh, to even get a tiny taste of such a life of luxury.
Meanwhile Sabina's stories of life in the Dominican Republic — the late night dancing, exotic foods, taking wild rides with boys on their motor scooters — Rachel's eyes light up, especially when she sees a photograph of Sabina's cousin, a gorgeous young boy with an infectious smile.
So the girls hatch a plan. They visit the bathroom, redo each other's hair, switch some clothes around, their passports, and boarding pass lanyards and voila! Sabina is Rachel and Rachel is Sabina.
It's the Home Alone meets The Prince and the Pauper.
There you go: My eighteenth story idea for the month. And it's yours. Free!
Each day this month, I invite you to click on RESPONSES and join me to do some further brainstorming. Take each day's story idea and see what it can become when you play around with it. These are all valuable skills for a writer to develop.
See you in comments. And come back tomorrow for another Story Idea Each Day For A Month.
For other posts in my A Story Idea Each Day for a Month (2017) series, go here.