lion 218526Joe was a regular kind of guy. Regular name, job (and therefore income), stature, looks.

Like anyone he loved holidays and preferred sun, sand and Sangria to exploring the deepest outbacks, a wildlife trek or climbing mountains. Every summer he and his three mates Tom, Richard and Bill would go to the travel agents, look in their window and pick something from the top row. As long as it was hot and had a beach they were happy. They could muck around anywhere. During that week their wives would do their own things; a sun holiday elsewhere, a spa pamper package or shopping trip to an out-of-town retail outlet village.

With the girls already booked at a Scottish castle, the guys stood outside their local travel agents.

“I can’t see anything beachy,” Richard said.

“Me neither,” Tom agreed.

“Do we have to stick with the top row?” Bill asked.

“That’s the rule,” Joe reminded them.

“I’m going inside,” Richard said, Tom following him.

“But there’s nothing there,” Bill moaned to Joe as they continued to stare at the cards in the window.

“There’s plenty.”

“Yeah, on the second, third…”

“We always stick to the top.”

“Well, maybe this year…”

“And it’s worked out, hasn’t it? Maybe it’s time to do something different.” Joe pointed to the middle card on the top row. “There’s a shooting trip to Kenya.”

“Really? Wow!”

“I don’t think it’s that kind of shoot. Photography I’d say. They wouldn’t let you kill…”

“No, you’re right, Joe, they wouldn’t.”

“And the animals are in their natural habitat.”

“I suppose so.”

“Shame… it would have worked out some of Richard’s frustration.”

“About what?”

“He’s not told you?”

Bill shook his head.

“Mandy’s had an affair.”

“No!”

“Yeah, last summer. The only year you… when we were in…”

“Malaga. And he’s still coming away with us this year?”

“She said it was a one-off.”

“She’s always been a bit… when did he find out?”

“Last week.”

“Last week! How?”

“Found some incriminating evidence apparently.”

“What?”

“I don’t know. A note or something. I’m not sure he knows who the guy is but…”

“And let’s hope he never finds out.”

“Why?”

“Well…” Bill hesitated. “It might be someone he knows.”

“His friends wouldn’t do that to him.”

“It depends.”

“On what?”

“If he did something first.”

“What?”

“OK, let’s take that one then,” Bill said, changing the subject, then lead the way, pulling at the shop door.

“It says ‘push’, Bill.”

The two men walked into the travel agent and headed for Tom and Richard.

Tom pointed to a brown-coloured brochure. “We’ve found the perfect holiday.”

“Oh yes?” Joe smiled.

“Yeah!” Richard grinned. “Trip to Kenya. Big hulking animals…” Then he turned to Bill. “And even bigger guns.”

***

This story was taken from my Story A Day May 2011 collection. Photograph above courtesy of morguefile.com.

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