A – Z Challenge Day 25

Here is my second post for today. Two down, one to go!

This prompt comes again from the very helpful Viki, and the word is “YURT”. I have only heard this word a scant few times and always uttered by my slightly posh friends when they were indulging in the baffling practice of “glamping”. So, armed with thoughts of double-beds in fields, I began writing. Thanks for the prompt, Viki!

Here’s what I was able to come up with. I hope you enjoy it.

YURT

By Adam Dixon

“Isn’t this lovely, darling?” Jackie said, beaming as she spun round and round inside the yurt. “Look at the carpets, aren’t they beautiful? Oh, and the fire-pit is amazing! Look at this bed, it’s stunning and huge! This is better than I’d hoped!”

“But you saw all of this on the website,” Peter said, amused. He was carrying their suitcase in one hand and a list of suggested items for their stay. It was a long list for a weekend, he thought.

“Yes, but now that I’m here, it all seems even more wonderful!” Jackie insisted, bouncing on the balls of her feet in excitement. Their infant daughter, Lily, giggled as Jackie jostled her around. She had caught the infectious joy pouring out of her mother and was beaming up at her with her brown eyes wide with delight.

“Careful, my love,” Peter warned gently. “You’ll bring up Lily’s breakfast if you’re not careful! That’d be a terrible way to start this break!” Jackie laughed and stopped bouncing.

“Sorry, Lily, sweetheart!” Jackie nuzzled Lily’s nose. “Mummy just got a bit over-excited about our lovely home for the next three days! Isn’t it gorgeous?”

“Wassat?” Lily asked, gesturing around her with one of her pink hands. Her blond curls waved as she twisted in Jackie’s grip.

“This, Lollipop, is a yurt,” Jackie crooned, stroking Lily’s hair. “It’s a lovely big tent based on ancient Mongolian design, and it’s for lovely families like us to have a relaxing, comfortable holiday!”

“It was your mother’s idea, Lollipop,” Peter grinned and tickled Lily’s ear. “She wants to try out this “glamping” nonsense and so we’re now essentially staying in a hotel room in the middle of a field!”

“Peter! That’s not true!” Jackie said, a petulant look on her face. Peter had always found that expression beautiful on Jackie; the way her lips curled at the edges plumped them out almost seductively, and the way her small nose wrinkled made his heart soar. He chuckled and kissed Jackie’s forehead, breathing in the flowery scent of her skin.

“I’m only teasing, love,” he said winking at her. “The yurt is lovely, and the orchid outside is stunning. I can’t wait to watch the sun set with my two favourite ladies.” Jackie’s face softened and her smile was dazzling.

“Oh, yes, that will be wonderful!” Her eagerness had returned in an instant. Lily mumbled and gestured towards the floor. Jackie obeyed and settled her onto the Persian-style carpet, the pattern of which seemed to captivate her. She sat tracing the pattern with her hand, gurgling happily and swinging her curls.

“This will be a fantastic trip, Jackie,” Peter said, slipping his arm around Jackie’s waist as they watched Lily play. Jackie leaned against him, laying her head on his chest and taking his hand. She played with his wedding ring absent-mindedly as they stood there. The yurt was spacious despite the large double bed in the centre and the cot alongside it. It was tastefully decorated in purples, maroons and yellows, with a luxurious chez-lounge on one side facing a small wood stove on the other. It looked cosy, comfortable and inviting.

“I wish mum could have seen this,” Jackie said, half to herself. “She would have loved it…” Peter gave her hand a squeeze.

“I know, my love,” he said, sighing into Jackie’s hair. “But try not to think about that while we’re here. She’ll be well looked after, Susanna and Derek will be visiting her more often whilst we’re away, too. She’ll be fine.”

“I know, I know,” Jackie replied, closing her eyes. “I just can’t help thinking that I shouldn’t be enjoying myself whist she is in that dreadful place, that’s all.”

“It’s hardly dreadful, Jackie,” Peter chuckled. “The staff are very good and she never has any trouble with the other residents. But you need a break from it all, you know that. You already do too much for her, so do yourself a favour and focus on enjoying this break. Do we have a deal, Mrs DeWalt?” Jackie smiled and looked up at her husband.

“I suppose we do, Mr DeWalt,” she laughed and offered her lips for a kiss. Peter obliged, and soon the small family were settled in to their new dwellings, happy and ready to enjoy themselves. They shelved their worries and concerns for the moment and embraced the world of “glamping”.

A – Z Challenge Day 6

It’s Day Six of the April Challenge and that means another story! Hold the applause until the end, please!

Today’s word comes again from the lovely Kate, and it is “FRAGILE”. An interesting word which gave me a few ideas right away, although most of them concerned fragile mindsets or fragile bodies. In the end, I went for something a little different but which I’m sure everyone can relate to!

Here’s what I came up with, and I hope you enjoy it.

Brief note: just a quick reminder to any readers from Across the Pond that it is legal to consume alcohol in the UK from age 18, although I’m sure that the Europeans on the mainland find that laughable!

FRAGILE

By Adam Dixon

Darren cautiously opened one eye and immediately regretted it as the blurred room spun before him. The safe retreat of sleep was unreachable and as he became more fully awake he was welcomed by all the accompanying pain of a hangover; his head pounded along with his heartbeat, his mouth felt as dry as a baked sandal and his neck ached. To top it all off, he was still fully-clothed. Fantastic. A hell of a start to the day. Darren rolled over carefully and the movement tore a groan from his throat.

The door to his bedroom burst open, hitting the wall with an almighty crash and Darren’s father, Mike, stood glowering in the doorway.

“GOOD, YOU’RE AWAKE!” He strode into the room, deliberately stomping his slippered feet on the wooden floor. He slammed the door behind him and made the room shake. Darren clutched his head with both hands and wriggled down under the bedclothes for protection. Mike seized them and yanked them from Darren’s weak grip easily. Darren lay in the foetal position, wincing at every roar and step from Mike.

“OH NO YOU DON’T, YOUNG MAN!” Mike moved purposefully towards the closed curtains. Darren yelped as he realised what he was doing.

“Dad, don’t!” he rasped desperately. “My head…”

“I DON’T GIVE A TOSS ABOUT YOUR BLOODY HEAD!” Mike threw open the curtains, letting a blinding beam of afternoon sunlight crash into Darren’s face like a tsunami against a cliff. Darren squealed and tried to shield his eyes. Mike stood watching his son’s torment, towering over him with both hands on his hips.

“Dad…why?” Darren managed to hiss, turning away from the man who had betrayed him.

“Why? You’re askin’ me why?” Mike said, his eyebrows knitting together in an angry “V” below his forehead. “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA OF THE CRAP YOU GOT UP TO WHEN YOU GOT HOME THIS MORNIN’?”

“Dad, please, stop!” Darren spluttered. “I can’t think straight, my h-“

“GOOD! THEN THIS IS THE BEST TIME TO REMIND YOU!” Mike swivelled and began loudly pacing the bedroom. Every step sounded as if a hammer was being swung against Darren’s skull from the inside.

“First of all, you got home FOUR HOURS later than you initially said!” Mike began, waving his arms for effect. “Your mum was worried sick! Just ‘cos you’re eighteen now doesn’t mean you don’t have to send her an update every now an’ then!”

“Secondly, you woke the bloody dog up when you tripped in through the door at FOUR O’CLOCK IN THE BASTARD MORNIN’! He started barkin’ like there was a bloody murderer comin’ in! Woke everybody up, includin’ half the bloody street! I’ve only just finished apologisin’ to them all!”

“Oh, crap…” Darren moaned. “Dad, I’m so sor-“

“SHUT IT, I’M NOT FINISHED!” Mike interrupted, thrusting an angry finger at his son.

“Not only did you embarrass me at stupid-o’clock in the mornin’, but you then decided to go upstairs an’ use the loo. Your mum followed you to make sure you were alright, only she found you our bedroom…YOU HAD YOUR TROUSERS ROUND YOUR ANKLES AN’ YOU WERE PISSING IN OUR LAUNDRY BASKET!”

“Oh, fuck!” Darren covered his face with his hands again. Mike nodded furiously.

“’Oh fuck’ indeed, Darren, you bloody piss-’ead!” He growled. “You gave your mum a good eyeful when she tried to stop you, too! A couple of things to note there! One, that it’s nice to see that at least you’ve taken after Yours-Truly in that department, and two, WHERE THE HELL DID THAT TATTOO COME FROM?!”

“Tattoo?” Darren was nonplussed. “I didn’t get a tattoo!”

“WELL SOMEBODY DREW THAT BLOODY LIGHTNIN’ BOLT ON YOUR ARSE!” Mike screeched. His voice was becoming hoarse and his face had turned an interesting shade of crimson. He raised his calloused hands to his temples and massaged them, taking deep breaths. Darren felt himself changing colour too; he was probably covered pink with shame, perhaps in contrast with his green gills.

“…An’ then,” Mike finally continued, speaking slowly and carefully. “You walked into the bathroom an’ flushed the bloody toilet!”

There was a tense silence in the room as Mike and Darren stared at one another. The corners of Mike’s mouth twitched once. Twice. A brief ripple of hysterical laughter racked Mike’s body, and Darren couldn’t help but laugh too. Soon they were both laughing uproariously despite the noise and the action bringing fresh waves of pain searing into Darren’s skull.

“Son, you are a flamin’ idiot sometimes,” Mike said fondly, wiping his eyes. “But I needed to shout at you while you’re feelin’ like death, it’s the only way to teach you a lesson. My old man did it to me when I was your age, an’ I never came home that drunk ever again!”

“Ok, Dad,” Darren mumbled. “Cheers, I ‘spose. I’m really sorry about this morning.”

“I know you are, mate,” Mike said, turning to walk out of the door. “But not as sorry as you’ll be once your mum gets hold of you! She’s outside waitin’ for her turn!” With that he wrenched open the bedroom door and Darren recoiled in horror as a livid woman stormed in. His petite, usually cheerful mother seemed to have been replaced by a raging demon! Mike darted out of the room and closed the door behind him, his smug laughter filling the hallway.

Oh God, thought Darren, Please kill me now! He closed his eyes and braced himself for his next onslaught.