Author: Patrick Witz
Genre: Literary Fiction
Synopsis: What makes a vacation memorable? Typically, it boils down to one of two things: an immensely thrilling time or a catastrophic letdown. This young family’s vacation destination does not live up to their travel agent’s propaganda. Happily, it ends well for them, but not for others.
“Hey, look what I found!” Zee yelled as she picked up a shiny object glittering in the sand.
“Wow, that’s cool,” Ned noted after he sprinted over to see... then he grabbed it and ran off.
Zee in an instant ran after him. “THAT’S MINE! YOU GIVE THAT BACK! I FOUND IT!”
The twins ran from one sandy hill to the next - Ned with his stolen prize and Zee screaming after him.
“Honey, the kids seem to like it here.” Qwerty said pointing at their children running up and down the dunes. “Look sweetheart, they’re acting just like they would at home… running amok and not getting along!”
“Qwerty, this place is NOT what I was expecting.” Her husband Manitar snapped back.
He then turned and yelled out at his screaming kids hidden from view behind a dune. “ZEE AND NED, STOP WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING… AND GET YOUR HIND ENDS BACK HERE THIS INSTANT! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT LIVES AROUND HERE OR WHAT COULD BE LURKING ABOUT JUST WAITING TO EAT YOU!”
“Oh Manitar,” said Querty. “Don’t be so dramatic. You’ll scare the kids. You know how sensitive Zee is. She’ll not want to go anywhere if she thinks something’s gonna hurt her, let alone EAT her!”
She stood tall and looked about for her children. “Don’t you remember our last vacation? Let me remind you that we literally had to pull Zee out of the vehicle because YOU told her that wild insects hiding in the bushes would swarm and sting loud children. You sweetly added for good measure, that the children’s tongues would swell up like balloons to keep them quiet so the bugs could get some rest. Honey, let’s not go to that extreme this time, okay?”
He ignored her, picked up the heavy food chest and instantly dropped it in the sand as a painful muscle spasm ripped through his lower back. “AWH-H-H… CRAP! That’s gonna hurt in the morning.” He groaned loud enough to ensure his wife would hear him while rubbing his back. She continued to look for the kids and never looked in his direction.
He rolled his eyes and shook his head in dismay at his wife’s instructions on how to be a better parent. Besides, he hated family vacations… they only highlighted his lack of parental skills. At work he was ‘The Boss’, his employees listened and fulfilled their responsibilities or he replaced them with somebody who would. That was his successful approach to business, but he was lost when it came to his kids.
Since the his back didn’t catch her attention, he took another approach. “Hey Qwerty, this place is nothing like the brochure.” He pulled a slightly mutilated paper from his pocket. He cleared his throat and began to read it in an over-exaggerated tone. “It says…”
“Be greeted by beautiful blue skies peppered with white fluffy clouds reflected in deep turquoise oceans lined with inviting sandy beaches. A perfect vacation spot to relax in warm calm serenity. Children and adults alike will revel in the expansive picturesque terrain laced with lush vegetation and gorgeous floral pageantry. Enjoy tranquil hikes along lovely beaches, or take a comfortable walk to explore stunning ancient architectural ruins.”
He held up the brochure and started wild-eyed shaking it over his head. “Who the hell wrote this crap!”
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