General Fiction posted March 12, 2019

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Opposites do attract.

Never the Twain Shall Meet

by Gail Denham

"Dearest, would this be of interest to you?" Roger gently laid a flyer beside Grace's plate of turkey and broccoli omelet. Slow and precise, Grace placed her fork at an angle on the plate, wiped her mouth with a soft cloth napkin and stared at the booklet.

In big bold letters, the flyer began "Let us carry your burdens on an exotic trip into the Wallowa Wilderness." The photo on the piece showed a large brownish animal with huge eyes. The eyes reminded Grace of the St. Bernard they had when they first married. The one she finally talked Roger into placing with another family. "He sheds so much," she told Robert, "and he drools. Plus I cannot walk him anymore. He drug me through the neighbor's roses yesterday."

The big puppy-eyed creature had eyelashes longer than hers. It looked as if it was grinning "What may I ask," Grace said slowly, "is this?"

"It's our chance," Roger blurted. "Our big chance to do what we always talked about, get back to nature, see the inside, nearly inaccessible corners of our country. Something we've always wanted to do."

"Something you've always wanted." Grace put her finger tips together in front of her face. "I never said I wanted to visit places where there are no coffee houses or nice restaurants, let alone nice places to shop. Places where the biggest store is a crusty old wood floored store and cabins which don't have matching silverware or even a microwave. And I certainly don't want to associate with animals that spit." Grace leaned back, her lips pursed.

"They don't spit, Grace." Roger looked determined. "They're quiet animals, hard-working pack llamas." He paused. "And there are no cabins, Grace. We'd sleep in tents. However, these tours furnish everything. They hire first-rate cooks who prepare all the meals. Those cooks can do miracles over a campfire. Every night we dine under a wide sky with magnificent star displays.

"All we have to do is walk, follow the pack animals who carry all our gear. Think of the photos you could take. You've always liked to take pictures."

"Take pictures." Grace scraped her chair back and stood. "You're jesting Roger. I photograph huge flower shows, do portraits of grand champion horses, Of course I don't even have to do that. My folks left me enough..."

"Yes Grace." Roger sat down, hard. "I know all about your inheritance. You fling it in my face at least once a day. But this is our chance to get away from the fantasy world you now seem to think is more important than what we used to share, what we can do together. We used to love adventure, even if it was civilized adventure. It was something we both enjoyed."

"Roger, feel welcome to go on your primitive out-back adventure."Grace crossed her arms. "I won't be with you. Perhaps we can plan another cruise. You enjoyed that last one, didn't you?"

"I'd rather be on a deserted island than sit with all those snobs and eat the fancy meals that your high-class friends revel in, even ordering in French and once in German. Ridiculous waste of money, those cruises, to say nothing of the waste of food that gets thrown out. I hated those cruises. Would rather build a grass hut on a beach and catch fish, if you want to know."

Grace's mouth fell open, as if she wanted to shout or call for the cavalry. Her face was shocked and white. "You did not like that last cruise? The one to St. Thomas and the Caribbean? And to call my friends snobs. They talked to you. You got to swim every day and run the deck. It was so pleasant to be in nice company."

Grace flung her napkin on her plate. Turning, she stomped out of the dining room, the room she'd now re-done in tones of pink and lavender, replacing the overhead light with a multi-crystal chandelier that tinkled all through their meals.

"Go, Roger. Enjoy your spitting llamas," Grace said in loud tones. " I'm planning a trip to Florida for a spa vacation with Victoria -- next week in fact. I may be gone for three weeks. Two other friends will join me. We already have tennis lessons lined up, with the country's best tennis expert." Grace turned back and glared. "Enjoy your back to nature. And don't worry -- I will not sign you up for any more cruises. However, I might sign up myself very soon. Yes, very soon."

Roger sat, reading the adventure brochure for the tenth time. He smiled a bit, looking at the llama's sweet face with the long lashes. Such a pleasant face. So different from the face of one who sat across from him at meals. He'd already signed up for the hike. He'd leave next Monday. He could hardly wait.

Where is She Coming From? writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a story that starts with the sentence: "Dearest, would this be of interest to you?"

Just learned how to post my story from my computer! Yah! Mostly I'm computer illiterate - thank the Lord for my husband who comes to my aid often. However, the instructions from Fanstory were clear. And thanks to the photographer for the cute llama photo. The long lashes help my story.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by seshadri_sreenivasan at

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© Copyright 2019. Gail Denham All rights reserved.
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