Friday, August 10, 2012

I Need a Change!

This is a first-person challenge!

You are sick of your life!
You feel the need to break out of the box!
You are doing what you want for a change!
Yes! You're taking that break you've been promising yourself - you're heading for a tropical island paradise to:

- finish that project you've been working on
- just do nothing but sunbake, eat, party
- think about your relationship (does that need to change too?)

Perhaps your love may surprise you with a welcome or unwelcome visit to enhance/spoil your island idyll...

Perhaps your love decides to move on while you're gone...

Perhaps you miss your love so much that you hurry home before your time...this could be exhilarating...or tragic...

Your story, your way! Surprise us!

Mystery Donor

TGIF!  I’m exhausted, both physically and mentally.  It has been a long week.

The phone rings as I walk in the office.  I haven’t even made it to my desk!

“Good morning,” the person says cheerfully on the other end of the line.  I hesitate, waiting for the person to tell me what crisis she needs me to fix.  It seems to be the story of my life.  “You have been given a four day cruise, all expenses paid to the Bahamas”, she goes on to say.  “All you have to do is…”

I couldn’t register what she was telling me.  Is this for real?  What’s the catch?  After all, this is a business line she is calling. 

“Huh?” I grunted, trying to figure out what was going on.

With a sigh, the caller on the other line slows down and explains that a “Mystery donor” has paid for a trip for me…ME…to go on this cruise.  The only catch is that I have to go alone.   There is only one ticket provided.

It takes a while for this all to sink in.  Who would do this?  I do need a change, but why would they have only bought one ticket?  I don’t know if I can do this.

“Did this ‘Mystery donor’ leave any clue as to who they were?  Were there any messages?” I asked, trying  to clear my head.

“The cruise leaves port tomorrow at 8am”, she answered, seemingly irritated at me for not being more excited.  “That is all the information that I have”.

“Who are you?”  If I knew who was calling, maybe I could figure out who did this.

“I work for the cruise line and was the one who made the reservations”, she answered flatly.  Not the information I was hoping for.

“What do I need to do?” I asked, suddenly feeling pressured.

The representative instructed me to just show up to port in the morning and the rest would be taken care of. 

I need to get off the phone with her so that I can try to figure this out.  Did someone really want to give me a vacation alone?  Or was I going to have an unexpected guest on the cruise?  A little excited and a little nervous, I immediately left the office for the day to get to the bottom of this.


And now for a question...
If this happened to you, what would you do?  Would you leave your significant other to vacation alone?  What if you had a visitor on the cruise?


  1. Not a chance I'd go without my wife.

  2. I'm with Alex: I wouldn't go without my wife either.

    But a fun piece, Heather!

  3. Hi Heather, I'd be rather suspicious what with all the cold calls we get these days offering us all sorts of things. To answer your question, I wouldn't go without my husband.

    You don't give us any clue in your story as to whether the person is male or female or actually in a relationship - it only adds to the mystique! My first impression was of a female but I could be totally wrong.

  4. It could be a secret admirer.. whether or not she goes depends on what all she has to lose and what all she has to gain. She needs to decide if it's worth it or not.. as for me? I'd air to the side of caution.. and I don't know if I could ever go anywhere like on a boat or a plane without my husband there to keep me calm! I am scared of boats and planes! Hence the reason why I don't stray too far from home.. unless it's within a safe driving distance!

  5. Hi Heather, nice to meet you.
    Boy, though question. I don't think I would believe it and therefore would have probably hung up the phone. I'd need proof. That said I'd expect a serial killer. Fear set aside, I might just go. It's not often I have any alone time. Hehe.

  6. I think because we haven't had a vacation in so long, I would not want to leave and go away w/o the hubby. :/ But some people do take separate vacations, so I'm not really any help am I? :/

  7. I would reflect on the purity of all human motivation for a long moment, then refuse. Mystery tickets to cruises without the one you love can never lead to anything good. Great entry!

  8. Interesting interpretation of the theme. I was wondering about your MC's partner and whether she/he might have set up this vacation as a test like the Kate Bush song Babooshka?

  9. Well written, suspense filled piece.
    Are for the questions, some one wants her out of the way - husband or his lover/stalker colleague. Maybe it's a surprise trip by the husband to test her or romance her.
    She could be having a rough time with her husband, and a family member or friend wants her to take time out and rework her priorities.
    Her lover from the past hoping to win her back?

  10. Interesting idea, Heather. Intriguing too. So many possibilities as Rek has said. I'm so with Nancy on this one. My overactive imagination would probably make me think there is a serial killer on the loose and fear would make me ignore the whole thing. On the other hand - if the cruise company could sign an undertaking that I'd be safe, I'm game!

  11. I'd be too suspicious of the "gift" to take advantage of it. I'm a cynic by nature, always looking for the catch.

    This does sound like an excellent beginning to a story concept though. Once you develop her character and life circumstances it sounds like a good romantic adventure. I see choices in this young woman's future, and they delimmas seem intriguing. I love character driven stories with a bit of drama.


  12. My dear Heather,
    The answer for me would me No. My wife would be with me all the way. Wisdom is by far greater than not knowing about the very depth of this mystery.

  13. This is definitely the opening to a thriller. I can see the trip unfolding into intrigue as the MC is stalked on the cruise ship. The free trip caught the MC at a weak moment and they took the risk. Will they regret it? Maybe. Maybe not.

    Back to real life. If it was a genuine offer I'd try to see if I could cough up the fare for my husband so we could enjoy the cruise together.

    Great entry Heather. You have us all buzzing.


  14. This sounds intriguing, it has the makings of a thriller. Personally, I would never take up such an offer.

  15. What an intriguing premise. Having just stepped off a cruise ship a week ago, I can tell you it's the ultimate vacation. How I respond to this offer would depend on where I was in my life:

    Now that I'm married and have kids, I wouldn't do something risky like this. I also will not jump out of an airplane.

    I have an innate suspicion of the "something for nothing" no matter how intriguing.

    However, I do have a friend from college who would do something like this to a woman he was wooing. Although he'd leave one tell-tale clue, but being a brilliant programming engineer with scores of patents on his wall, it would take the lady a while to figure it out. But she'd have it while she was packing. And then she'd be smiling. And have a great trip.

    Tina @ Life is Good

  16. This story raises all kinds of suspicious emotions. Is it a mean or dangerous trick or do I have a guardian angel out there looking out for me? Plenty of intrigue.

  17. Lord, I'm such a cynical New Yorker - I'd have hung up on the caller as soon as I heard the word "free," if not sooner. :-)
    Some Dark Romantic

  18. What a fun story line! You could do almost anything with this! Great idea. Personally, I am always skeptical about anyone who calls me on the telephone. I routinely refuse all offers made to me over the phone.
    It sounds like a trap. I wouldn't go.
    Great job!
    Best wishes,
    RFW No.42 - 'I need a change'