I entered another short story contest this past spring. I wasn't sure -- even though I'd paid the $5 to enter -- that I wanted to do the contest again. The starter for this one was very similar to the first one I'd entered...and I felt so uninspired.
Still, inspiration did hit and below is the finished product. I didn't win the actual contest...but I did win a "door prize." *grin*
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Lost. That word seemed to have so many meanings to her at the moment, Georgina thought.
For the past three years, she and Xander had been lost in love, so much so that after they’d married they’d decided to take a once-in-a-lifetime journey across the ocean to Italy. It was considered the land of love, so they knew the wine and history and music and cappuccinos would work together to strengthen their “amore” for one another.
Then, once they’d arrived, they’d been lost in frustration and anger at one another, each feeling misunderstood by the other.
All she wanted was a small souvenir to take home to remind them of their time together in Italy, and he said the “damn trip was too expensive as it was…just take mental photos.” It was supposed to be their honeymoon, a time to celebrate each other, she’d complained, adding that all the magazines she’d read described elaborate trips taken by lovebirds who’d “tied the knot” without a care in the world for the bills they’d face afterwards. That was the problem, he’d told her bitterly. It had to be paid afterwards, and it all added up to a huge loan that would take at least a decade to pay off. He wondered if she wanted to have that kind of monetary stress continue even after they had children who would no doubt add to their debts.
She’d flounced off, wondering all the while if she’d made the right decision in saying “I do.”
Now, they were lost at sea and had been for the past week. They were down to their last sips of fresh water, bobbing along in the lifeboat, hoping against hope that someone would find them.
Georgina slumped on the bow, searching for any hint of a breeze to soothe her burning face. Something…someone…had to come soon, she told herself. They wouldn’t make it much longer.
Xander lay at the bottom of the boat, much worse off than she was. Always the “nobleman,” he’d given most of his water to her. He was obviously still crazy lost in love with her, she thought wryly.
But looking at him, she realized, with a pull in her chest, that she still loved him, too. Despite the bickering of the week before, when the talk of finances had put a damper on the sweetness of the trip, Georgina knew their relationship went deeper than that. They had history together – memories of times spent chatting and giggling over simple stuff, sharing a Coke and bag of chips. The fact that he would giggle with her made her heart swell with affection.
Lost in thought, Georgina wondered how many of those magazine celebrities could boast of such stuff. Everything they did was for the PR it brought them. Share a kiss? Okay. The stars kissed passionately for the eager clicks of cameras around them. Hold hands? Sure. They’d walk along, clutching hands and chatting on their cellphones. Snap! Snap! went the photogs, like dogs salivating for the scraps of meat at the end of a meal, never once wondering if the feelings were real.
Then a noise startled her and her eyes widened when she noticed something fast approaching in the distance—
“Mo-om! Cassie won’t get out of the bathroom!!”
Cassie sighed, quickly closing the book she’d lost herself to. Her brother’s impatience at wanting the bathroom had ruined the moment. She’d have to finish it later, with a flashlight under the covers of her bed.