Friday 23 March 2012

Short story: Abandoned (part 1 of 3)

Well, I heard back from Woman's Weekly and my short story wasn't what they were looking for so I shall share it here for your reading pleasure (hopefully!) instead. I have broken it down into three installments so be sure to come back next week for the second installment and the week after for the final installment.

So, without further ado, may I present 'Abandoned'... 

Part 1 of 3

“Final call for flight GY2184 to London Heathrow.”
Carla’s stomach lurched at the tannoy announcement, anxiety making her pulse quicken. If only it was down to pre-flight nerves.
The stifling humidity was making her blouse stick to her back, her agitation growing by the second as yet another bead of sweat ran down her nose. Had they never heard of air conditioning?
“Where is he?” she muttered, unable to see any trace of the man she sought amongst the many bodies filling the tiny tropical airport, all scurrying to their departure gates.
Carla still couldn’t believe she’d done it, actually travelled to the other side of the globe on her own. Her parents had called her crazy, pleading with her to travel with a friend, but she’d needed the two-week break from everyone and everything. There was only so much sympathy and hand-patting a girl could handle.
The holiday had been Megan’s idea; a fortnight in the sun to escape the gloomy English winter. They had trawled the travel agents together every lunchtime for a week and then pored over the brochures at home.
Carla swallowed hard, fighting back the tears. Home was the three-bedroom house they had bought six years ago, finally fleeing the coop together. It was all hers now, but it felt desperately empty without Meg there. No more dirty cups lurking in every room or glossy magazines littering every available surface. Meg was the messy one, like a tornado, so full of life and vitality that you couldn’t help but love her despite her passion for clutter.
The best of friends as well as twin sisters, neither she nor Meg had felt the urge to settle down. Sure they had both dated but as soon as anyone got too deep or hinted at commitment, it had been game over. Men had been the source of many laughs over their morning coffee, as well as the source of many tears over a bottle of wine at the end of the day.
When it came down to it, they had each other; that’s how it had always been.
But Meg was gone now.
Killed in a road traffic accident at the age of twenty-eight, the idiot that had ploughed into her had been many times over the legal limit when they breathalysed him. Carla’s fists clenched and her jaw tightened. Why couldn’t he have died instead? At least he was locked up, though it was poor consolation.
Faced with picking up the pieces and trying to move on, Meg’s sudden death had terrified Carla, having been part of their double act for so long. Losing a kidney, or even an entire limb, would have been preferable. The fact that a person’s future could change in the blink of an eye had forced her to re-evaluate her life and this holiday was just the kickstart she’d needed.
The travel agents had offered her a full refund on both tickets, of course, but Carla felt like she owed it to Meg to see it through. It was to be her final goodbye to Meg and her old life, a great big hello to the new.
As the sun set on her first week, Carla knew she’d made the right decision and was glad she had followed her instincts. Sipping cocktails in the glorious sunshine, the beautiful scenery had already granted peace to her soul. Her lone walks along the scorching sand, the sun doing its utmost to burn her pale skin, had also brought much-needed clarity.
By the eighth day, she had felt recharged and ready to take on the world.
Right up until it was tipped upside down again.
Quite literally…

Tune in next week for the second installment...

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