We lie around the pool, melting, burning, toasting, marinating.
Nobody speaks, except for one woman berating her husband for not using sunscreen.
Later the waiter tells us they’ve been coming to this same hotel for twenty years. Well, twenty-three if you count the years since he died of skin cancer.
Tom O’Brien is an Irishman living in London. He’s been published in numerous places across the web and has short stories printed in Blood & Bourbon, Blink-Ink, and DEFY! Anthologies. His novella Straw Gods was shortlisted by Ellipsis Magazine in their publication competition.
Staring at the computer screen, wishing she were somewhere else.
The banks of the Euphrates, the moors of Scotland, the Australian Outback, the beach.
Anywhere but this cold, lifeless cubicle.
Flipping the screen, she looks at her bank account balance.
Back to the drudgery to one day earn her escape.
Susan is a Curriculum Developer at a mortgage company. She is widowed with two grown daughters, two stepsons, and four awesome grandchildren: two boys and two girls.
We dock at two. Take a tour of an ancient church overlooking the sea. Climb narrow cobblestone streets polished smooth by centuries of passing feet. Sip cappuccino while people-watching at a café facing the town square. Contemplate calling this home –– a Croatian escape appealing, looking easier than a Canadian one.
A writer by nature, once a scientist by trade, Laura searches for fiction that is truer than life, conjuring up stories that both draw and promise relief from years spent in a fact-filled world. She lives in the Pacific Northwest in the company of plants and friends.
The ship halted; the black grains of sand slowed it.
Was this how it should look?
Taking another look at the brochure, I looked up and squinted. The picture looked like paradise.
Were those skulls on spears? Maybe I was just sea sick.
But it looked nothing like the advertisements.
Victoria is a 13-year-old girl who enjoys writing, reading, and drawing, all with her cat, of course.
Walter emptied the urn into the Grand Canyon.
They’d planned to retire and travel. Now Ruth flew solo: her particles frolicked between sun and shade, lingering to say goodbye before their exodus.
He shuffled back to the truck and pondered the drive home to Minnesota—then steered south towards Phoenix.
Joe Lunne wrote this story.
“Crud!” The woman slammed her hand down on the flimsy plastic tray, sloshing her complimentary beverage onto the seatback in front of her.
Her husband glanced up from his SkyMall catalogue. “Something wrong, dear?”
“I forgot to buy a souvenir magnet. Now it’s like we never even went to Hawaii!”
Devon R. Widmer, a graduate student in chemistry, spends far too much time worrying about remembering events and not nearly enough time enjoying them (as evidenced by a refrigerator littered with souvenir magnets).
The beaches of Cancun and the Mayan Riviera are unusual destinations for soul searching. Yet that’s the tale Allison told her husband before she took off.
No one knew how long she searched, or how hard, but she found it floating at the bottom of a bottle of premium tequila.
Recently retired, Marian Brooks has begun to write some short fiction. Her work has appeared in The Story Shack, Word Riot, Zest Magazine, The Linnet’s Wings and others.
They walk among us. Amos couldn’t hold his liquor and spilled the beans. I didn’t believe him until he levitated the bottle of hot sauce on our barroom table.
Here to invade, these aliens? Nope. Earth is a galactic Tijuana. Alcohol. Drugs. Violence. Littering.
It’s boring out there, in civilization.
Joe Malone is fluent in the South Sudanese languages of Nuer and Zande.
We’d packed that hatchback so full of clothing, food, and camping gear that we could hardly buckle our seatbelts. We had no plan but “Go”, no destination but “Good times”.
We put the car in gear, and
BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM!!
all four tires burst simultaneously.
“I need a vacation.”
“Oh? Where to?”
“Into my own brain, I think. An imagination vacation.”
“What are you going to do while you’re there?”
“Lucky you. My imagination doesn’t let me relax. Always an adventure going on.”
“That must be difficult.”
“Actually the hardest part is escaping!”
This story is based on a title suggested by @Zzenkrad.