On 17 January 2018, these three words were chosen:
And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!
The bonfire of driftwood lit up the beach as the stars came out. It really was quite beautiful. It would have been better if I didn’t seemed to be the only person that the mosquitoes wanted to bite, which was just genetically unfair. The beach bodies that surrounded me honestly needed some flaw, and a few ugly mosquito bites only seemed fair. But maybe they just had better bug spray. I’d gotten mine at the health food store, which in retrospect looked like it might have been a mistake.
The brunette, whose name turned out to be Theo, plopped himself down on the sand next to my blanket, and somehow the sand that stuck to his leg in one spot looked like more of a Sports Illustrated carefully planned sandy patch than the one that was currently making my thigh itch.
“Hey,” Theo said. His voice was like honey. “Got anything to eat?”
“Um sure,” I rummaged again, glad to be this guys’ go-to for random items that the other folks on this beach hadn’t considered necessary. Maybe it would work out in my favor that I’d packed like a normal person. From what was going on around me, I guessed most of these folks had packed condoms and some party drugs. None of that was my style, and I didn’t see Sandra anywhere anymore. Oh wait. She was sitting over on the boat with one of the guys I’d tagged as probably not straight. Huh. I guess you never knew.
I found a juice box and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and handed them over to Theo. He smiled.
“Can I get two, actually?”
“Um, sure,” I repeated myself. I pulled out another one, and off Theo trotted, meeting up with the one who’d introduced herself as Tiffany, I think. OR maybe it was Luscious? Or was that the other one?
Just my luck I was the only unwanted person on this beach.
Margo pushed the unwanted glass of juice away and scowled.
“How can you lose a full-grown pixie?” she asked.
Dillon shrugged but barely moved his shoulder. If he had a tail it would be hanging to the ground.
Margo’s eyes blazed, a bit of gold sparked in them. She tried to hold down the fire. She picked up a slice of toast and spread two containers of jelly on it. Dillon had been smart to meet her at the diner. She would have been tempted to tear out his heart otherwise.
“Did you cuff her with the pokeweed like I said?”
“Did you play Mozart like I said?”
“Ok, so you should have had a sleeping, tied up pixie.”
“How,” she growled, “did you lose her?”
Dillon coughed quietly before turning slightly and pointing at a booth near the front door.
Margo paled. She saw not one but three full-grown pixies, including the one she had hoped to slaughter that evening, watching her with interest.
So how did the vacation go you might be wondering. She at least figured many of her friends and co-workers would be asking her this when she returned.
Well, she would tell them. She spent an entire week avoiding unwanted advances. Trying to see any part of the beach without hearing or seeing her neighbor Tim. That was his name she found out.
She also only ate juice and jelly on toast instead of any real fruit for fear of the mysterious rash that Tim had shown her on his arm and thigh. Not his leg, but pulled up his shorts and showed an upper thigh.
By the time she boarded the plane she sent her boss a brief, but concise email letting him know she would be using another three days of her vacation time starting Monday. She did not explain why, but more so that it was happening and she wasn’t asking approval.
She decided that she would pick up supplies and have a vacation on her couch, in her pjs watching Netflix and pretending calories and Tim do not exist.
Sasha winced, again, she knew that was the deal—she’d been offered the chance through some random dating app she’d been trolling for perhaps one decent guy in her city, but to be so blunt about it, well, she was not a blunt sort of girl.
“I guess so,” she said and stared off into the distance. For a long, profoundly awkward moment, they both sat there.
“Juice,” he finally asked, and she jerked her head back.
“Look, okay—they set these up, okay, and it’s always a little awkward.”
“How could you know –if you already…?”
The man darkly glanced at the ground, still holding a little glass jar of pear juice that looked heavenly to Sasha, she’d only eaten jelly on toast since she’d gotten here.
“Turns out, you always get five—everyone, by sheer math, always have five true loves in the world. If one becomes…unwanted, for whatever reason, or someone dies, they bring you back: for free.”
Sasha did not know how to take this data but did accept his offer of juice. Her head was swirling a bit, and full of something fuzzy. But, and she had to keep reminding herself of this, the matchmakers did claim they were true loves.
So, she took another sip, wished it were wine and looked him in the eyes.
He held her gaze calmly and said, “So, want to try it out?”
“Hell to it,” she muttered and kissed him so hard they fell out of the swing.