It was the best time of my life. It wasn’t even a proper vacation – just an extra long weekend. I had practically no money, but I had managed to fall in with a fun crowd of people who bought me dinner and drinks. We went out clubbing and I met the most amazingly beautiful girl.
She and I strolled on the moonlit beach. We talked about everything. The sun came up and she was still there, as beautiful as ever. When I looked in her eyes I knew I never wanted to be anywhere but here or with anyone but her. It was a perfect moment.
“Johnson! Wake up, boy.” I heard the coarse voice of the guard. He clanged his club against the cell door. “You ain’t forgot what day it is, have you? It’s FRY-day. Get it? They’re gonna fry you today.”
I got it. Not that it mattered anymore. This wasn’t my first go-around, and it probably wouldn’t be my last. I smiled at the guard and made a mental note: You’re next, Sarge.
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8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Dream Vacation”
Title: The Day After FRY-day
I guess Sarge making light of today is how he copes with Fry-days.
My dream was something that couldn’t be anymore. I have had many similar dreams over the last few years. They are all the result of our memories together.
I’ve had a lot of time to think about how I got here. They say two wrongs don’t make a right. What they did was wrong, and in my mind, what I did was only slightly better. Those crazy guys thought they were just going to scare her. However, they killed Katie. They will never do that again to anyone else’s love, and that is why I’m going to see my maker on Fry-day…my judgment day.
I wrote a note for Sarge. Maybe he will understand it, and maybe he won’t. We talked last week and he told me he had never fallen in love. I tried to explain what it is like to fall head over heels for the love of your life…your soul mate. Then I tried to have him understand what it is like to lose her.
I pray by some miracle I’ll be with her on SatHERday. God help my soul.
I put the note to Sarge in the envelope. It is so simple he might not understand it – ‘Beware Sarge…you could be right here if someone cruelly takes your special someone away!’
“Are you ready Johnson?”
“I am. Are you? This note is for you. Please open it tomorrow.”
I stood helplessly on the shore, watching as vessel after vessel left the water surface and ascended to the sky. From the land bound multitudes behind me I heard cries of fear as the skies darkened, the earth split open and demons from the depths commenced their wanton harvest. Indescribable monsters roamed hither and yon, sucking the souls out of their hapless victims, smashing the empty shells of their bodies with their misshapen hooves. Great black malevolent whirlwinds cast up thousands from their homes, shelters and other hiding places and smashed them helplessly back to the ground. None were spared, no man, woman nor child. Infants were torn from their mothers arms to disappear down a monstrosity’s gaping maw. Loving couples were cast apart and carried away. Old or young, weak or strong, innocent or corrupt, all were destroyed. Creatures out of a nightmare laughed off the bullets and projectiles our militia hurled at them, sweeping aside entire platoons with their uncaring tails. It was Armageddon.
As I witnessed the horrors a stark realization came upon me. All those years preparing for the Rapture, no one bothered to tell me that only people in speedboats on the water would be lifted up to eternal bliss. I was being left behind.
The Final Dawn
On the last morning of his life, he stared at the sunrise over the ocean. Behind him, the streetlights had just dimmed. To the left, a group of tourists were enjoying their seven-dollar iced mochaccinos, taking photos of the yachts they would never be able to afford.
She approached quietly, remaining just behind him to his left.
“Hello, Chevalier,” she said.
For a long moment, he didn’t respond. They watched the disk of the sun clear the horizon. Finally, he asked, “Which one are you?”
“Tereshkova Lee,” she replied.
“Of course,” he said. “You were his protégé.”
“Why aren’t you running?” Lee asked.
“I’m loyal. The Master of my Order commanded me to wait here for your retribution. He doesn’t want to risk what happened the last time. I told him we no longer needed the Free Travellers as we once did, but he grew up in France during the Nazi occupation. It left a mark on his soul. He still fears the Vengeance of the Travellers.”
“No!” the man shouted vehemently. “He isn’t. The memory of the Vengeance is fading. In another twenty years, there won’t be anyone left alive who remembers. We no longer require your little group’s services as messengers and couriers. My only mistake was moving against you too soon. Next time, you’ll fall.”
The sun disappeared behind a bank of low-lying clouds and the tourists had moved on. In the momentary gloom, she killed him.
“Never,” she whispered, wondering if it was true.
Startled awake by the clanking club on the cell door, Johnson’s body trembled. He blinked, disorientated. Then the guard’s ugly face came into focus staring through the bars. Today was execution day, FRY-day as the guards called it. Seething hate churned in Johnson at the audacity. Death wasn’t the end, not for him.
Only moments ago he had been walking down a beach with his dream girl. He could still smell her perfume, feel her silky hair, hear the waves crash, and taste the sweetness of her lips. That damn guard yanked him away too soon. Well, he knew how to find Sarge. He knew how to slip into his dreams and twist them into a nightmare. No one would ever know what killed him.
The man they called Johnson would die today, as had the other shells he’d inhabited, but he wouldn’t. Life and death had no meaning for Elak-Dŏd. He’d jump to his new vessel, the young man at the beach. Already Elak-Dŏd had manipulated others to pay for his needs.
And the woman was a young spirit, just learning to dream-walk. Already she strode his dark path. The look in her eyes had shown him a future he had never thought possible. She was the one. For her, he would do anything.
This time there would be no mistakes, not with centuries of experience. The Dream Guardians would never find them. If all went as planned, Elak-Dŏd would finally have children to battle that pompous clan.
When Sarge returned he wasn’t alone. He was in the company of a priest and the warden. So many possibilities and yet once I make a mental note, I always follow up. A mental note is like a list. Before you can accomplish the next item on the list, first you must cross of the item immediately previous. A mental list is like a contract. Heaven only knows that I have fulfilled many contracts over the years. In fact, I have never failed to complete the terms of any contract be it written, verbal, or in this case mental.
Our spiritual companion was interested in my soul. I appreciated the interest even though I knew the man had no way of knowing that he was talking to an empty shell. He might as well have had this theological discussion with a hermit crab. I know, far better than the good father, what a soul is. I am the very definition of soul.
The look on Sarge’s face was one of sheer terror when he looked across the room from the electric chair he was strapped to and saw himself standing beside the priest. Can’t wait to meet the Sarge’s wife.
He cracked me in the thigh with his nightstick as I walked by. “Not much longer, boy.”
The cuffs and prison chains didn’t give me enough reach to break his nose, all I could do was glare at him as he stayed just out of reach. Sure it hurt. But I was coming back. I would get him soon.
They frogged marched me to the chair. The routine didn’t change. They would strap me in, then we would wait. After an hour or so they would get a call and then they would chain me back up and frog march me back to my cell.
This is the price I pay for that one perfect moment. We were happy once. Till the bastard took her from me. Sure he stopped after he hit her, but it was too late then. Tire iron was the first thing I could find.
Last I heard, he was still on life support. Senator’s son, using him for political bargaining or some such. She was DOA. I was locked up. Haven’t seen the world since. This has been my life since the trial.
Near as I can tell, they are going to keep playing this game, keeping me alive, for as long as he is. Doesn’t change much. I’d do it again. It was that one perfect moment.
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