Flash Fiction Challenge: Worst Vacation Ever

Photo by K.S. Brooks

Worst vacation ever.

The national parks were closed because of some congressional budget wrangling.

We got lost in Mexico. The car broke down on a stretch of highway 54 in Texas where there is no cellular service.

Thankfully, all that is behind us now. Just gonna grab a little nap here at poolside. What else could possibly go wrong?

In 250 words or less, tell us a story incorporating the elements in the picture. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.

Use the comment section below to submit your entry. Entries will be accepted until 5:00 PM Pacific Time on Tuesday, April 16th, 2013.

On Wednesday morning, we will open voting to the public with an online poll for the best writing entry accompanying the photo. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday.

On Friday morning, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted. See HERE for additional information and terms.

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4 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Worst Vacation Ever”

  1. After that whole miserable trip down here – the busted radiator in Texas, the cranky border guard, the road signs that got us so lost outside of Tijuana – we finally got to our fleabag motel on the beautiful Baja California coast. We couldn’t afford anything nicer after losing our national park lodging deposit (thanks a lot, Congress – morons!), but at least the place had a pool. That pool was all that kept me going, those last 200 miles.

    I put on my swim trunks and, leaving the wife to check for bedbugs and unpack, I staked out a chaise and my personal piece of the Mexican sun. Ahhhhh….

    I was almost asleep when the barking started. I thought maybe it was seals. I mean, heck, we’re right next to the beach – there could be seals, right? But no, it wasn’t seals. It was a whole pack of dogs. Mutts of every description leaped the fence and tore through the open gate. They jumped in the pool and jumped out, and I swear, every last one of them stopped right next to me to shake themselves dry.

    I sat up and yelled at the guy who was with them: “Hey, you moron! What’s the big idea? Can’t you see I’m trying to sleep here?”

    He opened his mouth to reply, but all that came out was, “Uh-oh.” And then I heard the meow. And the hissing. All from right under my chaise.

    At least our health insurance is good in Mexico.

  2. Aaaah, I could finally relax. This wasn’t the holiday I planned but here I was. The pool looked inviting, the sun shone and the chaise lounge sat at just the right slant. Now to catch some rays poolside.

    “Drink, Ma’am? First one’s on the house.” The server’s smile was even more inviting than the drink, a tall, fruit concoction, the glass beading sweat and ice tinkling inside. Oh, yeah, now that’s what I call service.

    I accepted with a nod. The server waited until I took a long swallow and winked. “Now, that’s good.”

    His smile grew broader, as if that were possible, all teeth and dimples. I had only seconds to realise why before the world went black.

    I came to in the middle of a patch of stinging nettle, blisters forming from sunburn, wearing only my bikini. I squinted and blinked several times until the world came back into focus. No buildings, no road, no water. My mouth felt like cotton; my head swam.

    The hot wind told me which direction would take me back. The heat blistered my feet.

    They didn’t see me creep into my room. No sign of my stuff. But they missed one thing. I reached under the bed and retrieved the black mamba in its cloth bag.
    I heard them laughing in the next room, slipped over, opened the bag, threw it in, and shut the door. The screams were music to my ears. Then, silence.

    The last laugh was mine.

  3. The entire purpose of this vacation was to free a particularly stubborn case of writer’s block. It had been a disaster from day one when several hours into the drive Norman realized he’d left his iPad at home.

    Arriving at their first destination only to find the campground closed, the family headed on across the border to a string of breakdowns, seedy hotels, and food poisoning. Cutting their losses, Norman headed his family back across the border and stopped at the first roadside motor inn that had a vacancy.

    Sitting by the pool was relaxing though. Norman felt that for the first time in several months, he could at least write a chapter except for one thing: he had no word processor. One final insult to add to the long list of misadventures that told the story of this family vacation.

    It had been ages since Norman had stayed in a cheap roadside motel. He tried to remember the last time he had spent time in one. Suddenly, a dim memory from long ago crossed his mind. It was how he had started his writing career…

    Norman walked back to the room and opened a drawer on the nightstand. There were three sheets of motel stationary and a pen. Front and back, that’s six pages! Norman took out the supplies and using the bible supplied by the Gideons as a desk wrote at the top of the first page, “My Week in Hell.” Then the words began to flow.

  4. I can’t believe it’s finally the last day of vacation. On one hand, I’m sad, but on the other, mostly relieved, since it has in fact been the vacation from hell. I had no idea that many things could possibly go wrong in one week. This has to be some kind of a record.

    Mexico must be getting its revenge on me. Yes, Montezuma’s revenge too, but I’d rather not talk about that. I’m talking about all the times I changed the words to the James Taylor song. “Mexico, I never really been and I don’t wanna go.” I guess that pissed off the Mexican gods. Hey, what can I say? I’m not a fan of places where you can’t drink the water or go for a walk without getting kidnapped. Why am I here, then? Because my friends thought it would be fun. “You worry too much,” they told me. “Tequila will kill anything.” I’m pretty sure it killed my liver, my taste buds, and my esophagus, so I guess they were right. Where are they now? you ask. They’re down at the beach, doing jello shots off people’s bodies and probably getting tattoos and hepatitis. Me, I figured I should play it safe and just stay here in the compound by the pool.

    Finally: quiet and relaxation. My body melts into the chaise as the sun penetrates my flesh. Ah, decompression! But wait…what’s that smell?

    I open my eyes and look at the sorta chubby dude next to me, lying on his stomach. His back is turning really, really red. I sniff some more. Can’t place it. Then I think about it – dude hasn’t moved for hours. I sniff again. Wait, I know that smell. It’s kind of like that rotting deer smell along the highway.

    Aw crap…

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