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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Family Reunion (06/05/08)

TITLE: Caribbean Sky
By
06/09/08


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You are invited to attend the Morgan family reunion
On the cruise liner Caribbean Sky
Sailing from Miami
To Barbados
On July 4th 2006
For a 14 day cruise
RSVP: April 16th 2006


Cherie read the card again. “Michael, I can’t believe it. Your grandfather has out done himself this year.”

“Yes, dear.”

“Michael!”

“Yes, dear?”

“Every year you say no. Please, let’s go this time.”

“Cheri, you know how I feel about the Morgan money. It will belong to my father. I’m the grandson who wants to work hard and support his wife.”

“I respect that but this is just a family reunion.”

“I don’t know, Cheri. I don’t want to make it a habit.”

“Honey, we have been married five years. I’ve only met your parents and you’ve never asked them for anything.” Cheri wrapped her arms around her husband. “Please Michael, just this once. You could do with a break. Look at it as a second honeymoon.”

“Okay, Cheri. Just this once.”

***


The fourth of July arrived too fast for Michael. He chewed on his lip and released Cheri’s hand so he could wipe his own. They crossed the dock to where his mother, Marianne waited. What if they don’t like Cheri? What if she doesn’t like my family?

“Hi, Mother. You remember Cheri? ”

“Of course, I do. Cheri, you look fabulous. Married to Michael suits you.” She winked and kissed Cheri’s cheek.

Michael scanned the dock. “Where’s Dad?”

“John’s already on board with Grandpa. They’re checking everything is in order…you know how they are, Michael.”

Michael removed a white handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his forehead. “Yes, I do. Look um…is everyone here?”

“You’re the last to arrive. There are fifteen of us including you two. We should board before we melt. The weather forecast indicates a hot few days of sailing.”


John and Grandpa were waiting at the top of the gangplank alongside the Captain.

“Grandpa, this is my wife Cheri.”

Grandpa playfully elbowed his son. “John, you didn’t tell me you had such a beautiful daughter-in-law.”

"I'm pleased to finally meet you...Grandpa." Cheri smiled and accepted his hug. She moved on. "Hello, John."

At Michael’s gentle prodding, Cheri followed his mother.

“Cheri, I’m so glad you talked Michael into coming this year. I thought at first you were preventing him from coming...until he sent me that note last Christmas.”

“Pardon, what note?”

“Didn’t he tell you? I’m sorry, I thought you knew. He wanted to be removed from his grandfather’s will. I knew then it was Michael’s stubborn nature.”

Her mother-in-law pushed opened a door which found them in a pink sitting-room. Cheri suddenly faced a group of unfamiliar women. Their elegance overwhelmed her and made her feel suddenly uncomfortable in her new $59 hibiscus patterned sleeveless frock.

They looked her up and down but their faces were void of any expression. “Well, you must be Cheri,” the younger of them finally spoke. “I’m Joanne, Michael’s cousin. Welcome aboard.” She smiled and offered Cheri a pink lemonade.

They were all chatting at once until Marianne clapped her hands. “Come now ladies, we need to get settled and change for lunch. Cheri, I’ll show you to your suite.”

***


Michael guided Cheri to the railing where they watched Miami slip from view. He turned and smiled at Cheri. “I’m glad everyone loves you.” He took her hand and kissed it. “We better get to lunch, but I just wanted to say I’m glad we came.”

They entered the dining room together. Cheri sat beside Marianne and opposite Michael. After they had all been seated, Grandpa stood. “Thank you all for coming, especially my grandson and his beautiful wife, Cheri. I want to share something before our trip begins.” He cleared his throat. “At Michael request, I have altered my will. However, and with his father’s blessing, Michael is to take over Morgan Enterprises.”

Everyone applauded. Michael and Cheri stared at each other. John leaned closer to his son. “It makes sense. You have a gift that I don’t possess.”

“Dad, Morgan Enterprises should be yours—I won’t accept it.”

Grandpa moved round the table and crouched between John and Michael. “Michael, you have the ability and skill to run Morgan Enterprises. Your father has the experience to look after the family finances. We’re family and we need to do this together.” He left Michael and Cheri to think over. They had fourteen days to get used to it.


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This article has been read 637 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Chely Roach06/12/08
I love this story...I felt flush myself when Cheri entered the room with her well-to-do in-laws. Nice twist at the end...Well done!
Joanne Sher 06/13/08
Nice job on characterization especially. Definitely wasn't expecting that twist. Nicely done!
Beth LaBuff 06/13/08
Great opening sequence! I was transported to another place. Is this the beginning of a longer story? This is rich with detail. You've told this story very well, and I wanted to read more.
Karen Wilber 06/14/08
Engaging characters and dialogue. Lots to praise here. The detail that made me think "good observation" was the women looking Cheri up and down, faces devoid of expression. That tells me that, as a writer, you've been people watching. ;-)
Edmond Ng 06/15/08
I love the story. The plot, the dialogue, and the characters are so well expressed! I wish you will continue with the story somewhere and let us know what happens next with Michael and Cheri in their new roles, especially with the added load of 'blessing' which sometimes may turn out to be a burden to 'carefree' lives.
Lyn Churchyard06/16/08
LOL I wish my family decided to have a cruise for a reunion :-)
Nice story telling here, with 'real' characters and dialogue.

"Their elegance overwhelmed her and made her feel suddenly uncomfortable in her new $59 hibiscus patterned sleeveless frock." I really felt for Cheri, $59 dress is about my speed too. Well done Chrissy, well done. You made me feel the story.
Jan Ackerson 06/16/08
Love the title, and the story made we want to go on a cruise! I really like the loving partnership of Michael and Cheri--just lovely.

I'd have liked to know more about the reason behind Michael's disdain for the family business...and there were a few POV switches that were slightly disorienting.

Great job with characterization and some nice, subtle touches.

Debbie Wistrom06/17/08
A reunion on a cruise and a longer one in thier future. Well done, I could fell Cheri's apprehension.
LaNaye Perkins06/17/08
I enjoyed reading this. Makes me want to go on a cruise to the Caribbean. Well done my friend.
Norma-Anne Hough 06/17/08
Interesting twist at the end.Wonderful idea for a reunion, your characters were very true to life.
Blessings,
Norms
Mariane Holbrook06/18/08
Now why couldn't my family have thought of something like that?? A very original entry which I hope places for you! Kudos!
Gerald Shuler 06/18/08
I have only had the pleasure of being on one cruise in my lifetime. Now I feel like I just finished my second one. Very enjoyable read.
Sara Harricharan 06/18/08
Oooh, a good twist! I was hoping it would turn out that they wished they hadn't gone after all. I liked that surprise. I think there were a few missing words, i.e. "he left them to think it over"? etc. but it was a fun story! I'd love to know what happens when he takes over the business! ^_^ Nice job.
Catrina Bradley 06/18/08
I'd love to be at that family reunion! Loved the story that goes along with this reunion, and the outcome for Michael and Cherie. A word seems to be missing here & there, but it doesn't distract. I really enjoyed this!
Betty Castleberry06/18/08
What a cool family reunion. Nicely done, and original.
Everest Alexander06/21/08
This is top-class writing Chrissy! In my mind your work has become more polished, more refined. I felt like I was reading from an already published novel by one of the popular contemporary writers. Keep it up. You inspire me.