“FICTION IN A FLASH CHALLENGE” WEEK #3

Author, Suzanne Burke has provided another challenge to write a short story or poem based on the photo below. For information to enter go to https://sooozburkeauthor.wordpress.com/.

A VACATION FROM HELL

I was excited to go to the Caribbean island of Barbados with my three closest friends from college. It was a five-day trip to celebrate our graduation and my upcoming marriage to my college sweetheart. What was to be a relaxing, fun, and wild trip turned out to be a nightmarish, insane, and stressful trip.

Day 1: my seat assignment was changed to the middle seat in the last row between a young mother with a baby and a 300-pound woman. The baby was asleep until the plane took off, then it cried until the plane touched down. On my other side, the obese lady snored and kept nestling her head on my shoulder.

Day 2: I awoke with a hangover after partying most of the previous night. I spent most of the early morning on the bathroom floor hanging over the toilet bowl. I felt as if I had two heads banging against each other. Some aspirin, tomato juice, and an icepack soon brought me back to normalcy.  

By late afternoon, I felt well enough to go snorkeling. The beautiful fish and coral were breathtaking. I thought I was in heaven until a jellyfish stung my left leg. I came up for air, screaming in pain. As I stepped onto the boat my left foot slipped, twisting my ankle. The rest of the day was spent at the local clinic, treating the jellyfish’s sting, and wrapping my swollen ankle. That evening I sat in my room alone, left leg elevated, an ice pack on my ankle, and enjoyed the euphoria the pain pills provided.

Day 3: The four of us stayed by the pool, playing cards, and drinking rum island drinks. This was not a good idea since I was still taking pain pills. Before I knew what happened, my face fell into my lunch plate of fish cakes with fresh fruit. I do not remember anything more about the third day of the vacation.

Day 4: The next morning, I awakened in a hammock attached to a palm tree swaying above the Caribbean water. I looked around and saw my buddies laughing and pointing at me. At first, I was angry, then I decided to enjoy the moment. The warm sun, gentle breeze, and gentle rocking of the hammock relaxed my weary body.

My leg and foot were much improved and my brain was clear of the pain pills’ effects. We rented a car and drove around the island, stopping at Harrison’s Cave where we saw stalagmites and stalactites on a tram, explored Bridgetown, and visited the Morgan Lewis sugar mill.

The day ended with dinner and drinks at a restaurant near our hotel. That was when I realized that my wallet was missing. Fortunately, I had left my passport in my room.

Day 5: My friends each pitched in and bought a first-class ticket for me.  “This has been a rough few days and we want you to be rested for your wedding tomorrow.”

I had a window seat in the last row of first-class. I had just settled down when the same obese lady sat in the aisle seat next to me. I slumped down, covered my eyes, and asked myself, “How can this be? What are the odds? What have I done to deserve this?”

No one answered my questions, but once again the lady immediately started snoring and used my shoulder as her pillow. Two rows behind me a baby cried during the entire flight.

The wedding gift from my college buddies was a 20 x 30-inch photo of the hammock hanging from the palm tree. I have it displayed in my office at work. Clients marvel at how beautiful and peaceful it looks.  I just smile and nod.

The End

Thank you for stopping by. I welcome your comments. Have you ever had a vacation that was from hell? Or what thoughts come to mind when you look at the photo?