Tag Archives: vacation

Nooooo!

“Nooooo!” he screamed, at the top of his lungs, towards the heavens.

“Stop being so dramatic,” she said. “I’ll be back in a few days.”

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Optimism

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The Z Word Origin Stories – The Dane in Combat Boots (Annya)

Annya had to do something to escape the memories of him and their awful relationship. Everything in the apartment still reminded her of him even though he’d moved out months ago. She needed to get out of Denmark, leave Copenhagen behind, and what better way than to travel during holiday to the U.S.? She could definitely escape her demons there.

The long flight was boring but uneventful, exactly what she wanted for the whole trip. The plane hit very little turbulence and the landing was flawless. She arrived.

She tried to speak as little as possible to the cab driver, just a quick mention of the address of her hotel and he nodded; she was a bit self-conscious of her accent. As they waited at a red light she watched a pale woman walk very slowly, dragging her left foot, and noticed the general disrepair of her business suit. A brownish stain covered the front of her blouse, and Annya wondered what sort of chocolate concoction the woman spilled all over herself, and then forgot the woman completely as she yearned for chocolate. If she’d watched a moment longer, she would have witnessed the woman attacking an unsuspecting older gentleman walking his poodle, and might have been horrified to see his blood spurt out of his throat, freshly covering  her blouse.

The driver pulled up to a fancy hotel, and Annya was surprised at how nice it was. She looked at the address on the side of the hotel and then down at her agenda, making sure it was right. This luxurious palace couldn’t possibly have cost her so little, could it? She gasped and then realized the driver was waiting for his money.

As she paid him and got out, difficulty with her suitcase exasperated the driver. he seemed rushed.

“No, no don’t help me, I’m fine,” she said to him.

“Sorry, miss, but there have been a lot of attacks around here lately, I’m not getting out. I have a family!”

She finally freed the suitcase and started pulling it toward the front entrance as she heard a scream from somewhere a few blocks away. She looked around, saw nothing and headed inside the hotel to the desk.

“Hello,” she said to the perfectly groomed clerk . She handed him her passport to keep from chatting, and the man took it and found her room number. He grabbed a sheet of paper that shot out of the printer and asked her to sign.

After getting the key to her room she went to the elevator and hit the up button. The sound of the bell woke her up from a daydream, and she was surprised at how relaxed she was already. This trip would be the uneventful but fun adventure she needed to put all her horrible, scarring past behind her.

This story is the origin of one of the many characters from my new book, The Z Word, available on Amazon in paperback and for Kindle. Like us on Facebook.

In the Middle of Nowhere

The car was broken down, and while Jennie and I were sulking, Doris and Roy were sitting on a log chuckling to themselves, having a little picnic with the brown bag of goodies Doris had bought at the five and dime. She ate half the apple and then handed it over to Roy.

“I have another one if you want,” she said to me, and I just shook my head. I couldn’t understand how they were so calm. Roy’s car was busted and we hadn’t seen a car in the whole two hours since it broke down.

“Aren’t you guys worried we’re stuck here?” Jennie asked her.

“Nope,” Doris said with confidence. “Someone will come along soon, I’m sure.”

“That’s my girl!” Roy responded. “Always the optimist! Isn’t it beautiful here? I don’t miss the hustle and bustle of the city.”

I can’t believe I just heard Roy actually say that. In the fifteen years I’d known him he’d never been this relaxed. Or this happy.

“What will we do come nightfall?”

Doris smiled as she rooted through the bag to the bottom and pulled out a few pieces of penny candy and offered them around. Jennie took one and listening to her unwrap it was wearing on my nerves. “We could sleep in the car! Roy, you have blankets in the trunk, right? The ones we keep for emergency picnics?” He nodded as he pulled a toy pipe out of his pocket and started pouring bubbles into it. “Wait, you bought it?” she asked him.

“Yup.” At that he put it to his mouth and bubbles started to explode out of the plastic piece of junk.

“But it won’t come to that,” Doris added. “Someone will come.”

I couldn’t take this much longer. What would we do, huddle up in the car under a tiny blanket, shared by each couple? Doris and Roy were bananas if they thought I would get a good night of sleep in that jalopy that couldn’t even handle a simple drive to Cape May. Doris and Roy started whispering and giggling to each other in that loving way. The way they always do it.

Jennie came over and sat next to me. It wasn’t long before she started whispering to me, copying off of them.

“Aren’t they so cute?”

“Sure, sure. They’re cute, and they don’t seem to mind we might die out here.”

“Oh come on. Why don’t we whisper like that anymore?”

“Anymore?”

“Yes! We were just like them when we met.”

I thought back and had to agree, we probably were. But not as annoying. Just to shut her up and reached up and held the back of her hair a bit, pulling her in for a kiss. She smiled. I rose.

“Should I start foraging? Maybe there’s an apple tree or something nearby.”

Doris looked in my direction. “Everything will be fine, Raymond. You’ll see.”

At that I heard the backfire of a truck in the distance, and a tow truck came into view around the bend. Doris stood up and brushed some dirt and leaves off the back of her skirt and smiled at me.

A Warm Vacation

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A Great Road Trip

They put their vacation on hold for a few minutes when they saw the flea market sign. He slammed on the brakes, throwing a cloud of dust up from the dirt road their GPS lead them to, and made a quick turn.

“Is it okay?”

“Of course it is!” she said with an excited smile. “Although we really don’t need bait or ice.”

“Very funny,” he said as he pulled into the empty lot.

They got out of the car and couldn’t help but notice the building, a run-down diner on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere.

“Maybe the sign should say “Horror Movie” or something. Feel like we might be killed?”

“It’s entirely likely,” she said with a pretend-scared face. “Come on, the yard sale must be around back.”

They ignored the rusty screen door hanging from one hinge and passed the diner made of what looked like light blue, chipping paint. The windows were too dirty to see in clearly, but the lights appeared to be on inside and someone was standing at the counter, but not moving.

“This really is like a horror movie,” he said. She nodded as they turned the corner.

Behind the diner there were several little bungalows covering shelves that held countless objects. Thousands of old items were piled everywhere, yet appeared to be organized. One shelf in the far corner of the lot was piled with old glasses, jars and vases. Each bungalow seemed to be organized in some way, although neither of them could figure out the order.

Beyond the eternal yard sale were huge ditches, run-down vehicles, piles of chopped wood accompanied by a colorful beach umbrella and old farming equipment.

“I keep waiting for a creepy, dirty man in overalls and no shirt to come out with some kind of ax he’s just slaughtered today’s special with,” he said.

“I know, right? But I have to photograph this.”

“Obviously.”

As she walked around snapping shot after shot he searched through the piles of stuff. Old wanted posters. Roller skates. Broken typewriters. Vintage statues and figures of every animal that ever existed. He found an owl and held it up for her.

“Hey, check it out! An owl!”

Her head poked out from the next bungalow over, her camera strap around her neck. “Say cheese!” she said as she held it up and snapped a shot. She looked at the screen. “Too dark. Sorry,” she said as she deleted it.

He continued to root through the randomness of the collection, sure he would find something here that he wanted. He always did. A random old toy. A cartoon character drinking glass. Postcards. Photos. Something that would inspire a story. He kept looking as she took shot after shot.

“Make sure you get one of the roller skates,” he yelled.

“Done and done!” her voice called from a hidden part of a bungalow.

He smiled. Their thought patters were always so similar.

He went to the far corner of the lot and surveyed the land around it, the broken down vehicles, the rusty old unrecognizable objects. He wanted to shoot a horror film here. Or write one, at least. Do something. His skin tingled with ideas.

She finally emerged. “Damn, already took two hundred photos. Now I’ll have to upload them tonight when we get there to make some space on this thing!”

This was going to be an inspiring trip.

A Birthday Apart

He set his alarm for 11:59 P.M. and when it went off dialed her number.

“Hello?” a sleepy voice answered.

“Happy birthday,” he whispered. He could hear the smile in her voice as she answered.

“Thank you! Wow, what is it, exactly midnight?”

“Yup. Since I couldn’t be with you on your birthday, I figured I’d call right away.”

“I’m surprised you don’t have some big secret plan for me, being the big romantic that you are.”

He smiled into the phone as if she could hear or see it.

“Look on page 157 of the book I lent you. I love you. Good night.”

“Good night,” she said as she reached for the book.