Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Exotic (08/08/13)
TITLE: Last Resort
By Tim Pickl
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The live audience erupted in a cacophony of applause and cheers, intensified by piped-in sounds of exploding fireworks.
“What did he say, Marcia? I can’t believe dis!?!”
“He said we won da trip, Bob. WE WON!”
“Really? We get ta go on our third honeymoon for our 40th anniversary, after all Marcia…”
“Oh, thank God!” Marcia exclaimed with thankful tears. “After we lost our house during the recession I thought it was all ovah.”
“Yeah, God knows.”
“This is SO wonderful!”
Bob and Marcia embraced.
“Wait-just-a-minute….should we be doin’ dis on international T.V.?”
“Oh, who cares, Bob!”
Two months later, when Gloria dropped Bob and Marcia off at the airport for the trip, she rolled down the window in her Toyota Prius. “Are you sure you two are going to be okay by yourselves here?”
“Oh, Gloria, we’ll be fine.” Marcia’s sweet voice always made Gloria smile.
“Yeah, we just done a cruise last year. Dis ain’t nothin’.”
“Ohhhh-kay, dad. You’re absolutely sure?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now get outta here before some anxious airport cop shows up.”
Standing in the airport security line was hard on Bob and Marcia—mostly Bob.
“If deez jokers don’t hurry, I’m gonna fall over. My legs are gettin’ numb!”
After almost two hours, Bob and Marcia were relieved to finally board the plane, bound for the Virgin Islands. The plane trip was uneventful and their luggage arrived with them on the island, along with a curious-looking cab driver who was waiting for them. The cab driver was oddly dressed with an exotic shirt, pants and shoes; he appeared out-of-place even for such a romantic island airport.
His annoyin’ colored shirt looks moh Hawaiian dan Virgin Islands, Bob thought, but was too tired to say anything. Finally, Bob and Marcia were relieved to get into the taxi; Bob insisted on riding in front to keep an eye on the mysterious driver.
As the cab pulled away from the airport, going just a short distance, the driver’s cell phone rang. “I am so sorry, my friends, I have to take this call, but I will have to pull over because it is more safely this way.”
As the driver spoke in a different language on the phone, Marcia was surprised by a gentle tap, tap, tap on the window by her. It was a small child, a boy, about ten years old. Unafraid, Marcia rolled down the window.
“Hi there honey, how can I help you? You sure look hungry.”
“Hungry, yes, yes—very hungry…”
A destitute-looking woman rushed up and was about to take the boy away, but Marcia stopped her.
“Wait—what’s going on? Do you need some food?”
“This is not your concern. I apologize.”
“Hold on. If you’re hungry, we can take you to the Blast! Resort and feed you.”
The woman paused, as the battle of fear vs. hunger raged inside her. Finally, hunger won, just like it did for her boy moments before. “We will go with you… as a last resort.”
“Okay, just get in the back seat here with me.”
As Marcia introduced herself, then Bob and the cab driver to the woman and the boy, the cab driver finished his conversation on the phone. “It appears we have visitors?”
“Yeah, Marcia’s got a big heart. I hope she has a big wallet for deez extra peoples.”
“There will be no charge for the woman an’ the boy.”
Marcia was suddenly curious, “Mr. cab driver sir, I know we’re going to one of the richest, most exotic resorts in the world, but I have a question, why are there poor people like this on the island? They look like they’re starvin’.”
“Ahhhh, that is a very good question, Mrs. Marcia. All the advertisements and promotions in America and throughout the world only show the outside beauty and riches of this exotic paradise. But once you are here and you honestly look past the grand illusion that entertains your soul like a magic show, there is a harsh reality. There are the exceedingly rich here, and the terribly poor.”
“Sounds like dey won’t let us bring dem into the Resort?”
“You are right, Mr. Bob. It is so sad. I have an idea: Get some Resort food and bring it out to the cab.”
“You’re an angel.”
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