Write… Edit… Publish: Vacation

This is the inaugural post, for the monthly bloghop hosted by Denise Covey over at Write… Edit… Publish.                

You are welcome to submit any of the following – flash fiction, poetry, non-fiction, playscripts to a word count of 1,000 words OR artwork and photographs accompanied by your written inspiration in creating your works. There's something to suit every taste! Go and check it out!  


                                                    Red Herring   

Wouldn't it be nice to go on a Caribbean cruise? The polite tone is delivered with a sprinkle of enthusiasm. It comes out like a question, though I suspect it's meant to be an invitation. But then I could be wrong. Invitation? Hmmph, I should be so lucky. I mean, inviting one's better half on a jetsetter-styled getaway isn't the most natural thing in the world.

I wonder where this is coming from, or leading to. Am I expected to be surprised, excited? More like wary, and suspicious too! In this day and age, who can really afford a luxury vacation? And it's not as if he needs to make an impression. I mean, really, there are more important things to take care of.

It makes me think of something my mother once said: a vacation is like love – anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort and remembered with nostalgia. May her dearly departed soul rest in peace, along with the unknown person who penned those words. Ha! I think the author only got it half right.

Anticipation? Don't get me started. The last time anticipation stuck with me for weeks, like a bosom buddy, only to be ousted by acute disappointment. Nostalgia? Ha! Bittersweet longing, after a disastrous two-week stay in a crummy lodge? Luggage stolen from our sleeping quarters? No vacation blues for me.

I refuse to get my hopes up, because flights of fancy have transported my fertile imagination to far-off and exotic locations… this has proven to be a dangerous indulgence.

Trust me. I'm talking from experience.

I look up from the book I'm supposed to be reading. He flips through a travel brochure with the mechanical motion equivalent to the weary resignation of a hamster on a wheel. Something is amiss. I can sense it.

My eyes drift downward, settle on the glossy brochure page. A white cruiseliner mocks me from its vantage point on the sparkling cerulean water.

You see, it's not really about the vacation.

Trust me.

I'm talking from experience.

(337 WORDS)

So what do you think? I look forward to a full critique if you're so inclined. A simple comment will also do just fine. 


  1. Denise Covey on August 20, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Michelle i love the ironic tone in this. There was a lot more going on than the anticipated or not so anticipated holiday that’s for sure. I feel for the couple who have deep issues to sort out. But will a Caribbean cruise help? You have a big story here in so few words. No, it’s not really about the vacation is it?
    I love the imagery throughout such as – ‘the mechanical motion equivalent to the weary resignation of a hamster on a wheel. ..’ Says so much so well. And mother only got it half right did she?
    A well-paced easy read Michelle.
    Thank you for posting for the inaugural WEP challenge!

  2. Medeia Sharif on August 20, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    There's so much going on here, more than a vacation. Great piece. 

  3. Alex J. Cavanaugh on August 20, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    There was a lot going on beneath the surface. Sounds more like he was making a peace offering, only it wasn't going so well. Maybe he remembers vacations differently?

  4. Michael Di Gesu on August 20, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    She is definitley not buying what he's trying to sell. Nice intriguing piece, Michelle. As Denise said so wonderful imagery … Well done!

  5. Jessica Celaya on August 21, 2013 at 3:08 am

    I love the tension that you set up with so few words. There is a whole conflict and story right there. Great job.

  6. S. Katherine Anthony on August 21, 2013 at 3:42 am

    Really intriguing and with so many layers, really great! 🙂

  7. The Armchair Squid on August 21, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Wow!  Your protagonist is well-steeped in personality.  She (I assume) is no one's fool.  I like her!

  8. Vanessa Morgan on August 21, 2013 at 9:57 am

    What a nice idea for a blogfest. By the way, just started following your blog via Bloglovin. Have a lovely week.

  9. Misha on August 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    I think you have the voice just right. I love the unease, disappointment and resentment coming through in even measure. 

    Also, your eding has me wondering what comes next. 🙂

  10. Trisha on August 21, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    "… anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort and remembered with nostalgia" – I can very much relate to this. It's been true of nearly all my vacations ever taken. 😉

    Loved your post, Michelle! Good job.

  11. Shelly on August 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Since I'm chasing my grandson around the house while I read this, I'll spare you a crazy critique.

    hugs and chocolate,



  12. Emily R. King on August 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    So much more than just a vacation. Great work!

  13. Crystal Collier on August 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Nicely done! You definitely have layers, and I'm inclined to think of onions or parfait. 😉 Awesome, Michelle.

    (P.S. You been nominated for a blog award.)

  14. Cherie Reich on August 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Love this! The piece may be short, but it has so many levels to it. The surface level of a vacation and then deeper with all that implies. Great job!

  15. Mary on August 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    I could really relate to the caution and undertones of excitement. Great job, Michelle.

  16. Yolanda Renee on August 21, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Loved this, truly. He's done something very wrong or he's up to no good, or she's a cup half empty kinda gal. Great job!

  17. Sally on August 21, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I agree with the other commentators, there is irony in here, past disappointments and other, more important things to be taken care of before a holiday, whether material things or emotional things that is something that you have left us wondering about.

  18. Pat Hatt on August 21, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Sounds like a vacation is needed from al past vacations

  19. Lara Lacombe on August 22, 2013 at 12:50 am

    This looks like a very cool hop.

    I like your entry–nice juxtaposition of what should be fun with the reality.

  20. Jocelyn Rish on August 22, 2013 at 1:41 am

    It was great how a proposed vacation, which would normally seem like a good thing, brought about so many suscpcious thoughts. Definitely a lot going on beneath the surface!

    And this quote: "a vacation is like love – anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort and remembered with nostalgia" made me LOL. Because it is soooooo true!

  21. Julie Flanders on September 1, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Nothing to add that hasn't already been said, but I really enjoyed this. Loved the voice. And I have to laugh about the description of vacations, truer words were never spoken when it comes to most of them. 😀

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