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A Star Break

by Chestersmummy 

Posted: 23 May 2017
Word Count: 998
Summary: Entry for 643 flash fiction competition

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A Star Break
What makes a perfect weekend break?   Everyone has an opinion.  Words zip around the office rebounding off the walls like ping pong balls on speed.
Tracey loves Blackpool.  Doing the birdie dance in front of the Wurlitzer in the Tower ballroom; walking along the sea front at night eyeballing the lights, scoffing fish and chips out of newspaper with her latest honeybear.  Tracey heaven!
 ‘If you want sand, sun and sex you can’t beat St Tropez.’   Michelle likes to think she’s sophisticated, shame her leer lets her down.
Plump Maureen sighs and raises her huge owl eyes to the air-con inlet.
‘Florence,’ she declares. ‘That’s the place, if you want a bit of culture.   It’s a city in Italy.’  she adds like we were all thinking she was talking about the Magic Roundabout. 
I yawn.  I can feel my eyes glaze over. In fact, they double glaze over.
‘Keeping you up are we.’ says Tracey.  ‘Ok.  So what did you do last weekend, Karen?  Come on, surprise us!’
The gauntlet has been thrown down and suddenly they are all dead quiet.  Looking at me.  But I’m ready.
‘Well actually,’ I say, laid back and nonchalant-like.  ‘I went to Mars.’
Stunned silence, then,.,,,
‘Yeah. Right,’ says Tracey. 
But it’s true.  I really did.  Thanks to all this clever modern technology you can now do the red planet in a weekend.  I tell them all about it.
‘Of course, you have to sign lots of papers first. In fact. it would have taken the entire weekend just to read them, but Krerkel our tour guide was ever so helpful.’
‘Just sign it, pet.  Basically, it’s there to protect us if anything goes wrong, and in the remote possibility that it does, the Institute of Space Medicine has the rights to your body!” He adds ‘and what a gorgeous body it is.”’ The gleam in his emerald eyes make me insides moist.
            ‘Not that anything will happen.  Well, probably not.   Passengers do survive – well some.  And those that do amaze their friends with tales of a weekend break that’s out of this world. And of course, at the prices we charge you can’t complain.’
‘The space ship was just like a plane, except we all had to wear space suits.  When everyone was aboard, Krerkel stood up.   “Now, I’m just going to run through the emergency procedures – well, actually there are no emergency procedures because if there was one, we’re doomed. “
Cracks me up, does Krerkel.
He gives each a couple of ‘anti-space sickness’ tablets. 
“They’re smarties,” I said. 
            ‘Of course.  There are no tablets for space sickness. But just think! Twenty-four hours of realised nausea!  The ultimate detox.”  He looks at Fat Bertha   overflowing from her seat into mine. ‘Think of it as a never-to- be repeated slimming opportunity.  And all for no extra charge.’
I don’t remember much of the take-off.
‘G-forces,’ explains Krerkel.  ‘affect a lot of people that way.  But you weren’t unconscious for long.’
‘Took us all day Friday to get there.  Fat Bertha talked about her bloody pet budgie for the entire 53 million mile journey.  It was a relief every time she turned away to throw up.
I was hoping to see stars and planets but there weren’t any windows.  ‘Who do you think you are – Warren Buffet?’ said Krerkel but he gave me such a lovely smile I knew he was being nice really. 
And when we got there, boy was it was worth it.  The beach went on for ever. In fact, the whole planet was an endless golden beach – no sea mind you, but that didn’t bother me cos I can’t swim anyway.  If you wanted to bathe you ‘ad to use the pool.  But you ‘ave to be sharp cos the Gorgs go down early and leave their life support systems on the loungers.
Krerkel was the perfect tour guide.  He made sure I got my Full English pills each morning and at dinner time that my steak pills were medium rare.  Little things like that make such a difference. 
It would have been nice to wriggle my toes in the sand but Krerkel said it were best not take the space suit off on account of how there’s no oxygen in the Martian atmosphere. 
The journey back was quieter than the journey out ‘cause most of the other passengers had died.
‘Some people just can’t take the radiation.’ Explained Krerkel, and I swear there was a tear in his eye.  He’s so sensitive, bless him.  But at least it meant Fat Bertha, didn’t spend millions of miles boring me rigid  about her budgerigar.
Well, we did get back and I’ve gotta say it was the holiday of a lifetime even though Krerkel said I owed the travel company one hundred million dollars on account of me not dying.  Apparently, it was all in those papers I signed.  The Space Medicine Institute need bodies for their research.  I felt awful about holding up such important work but Krerkel said not to worry - he was sure we could work something out.
            ‘But did you meet anyone tasty?’ asked Tracey.  Slapper! But actually it was good timing ‘cos just then, Krerkel popped in to take me home from work - part of our “arrangement”.
Tracey fainted.
Don’t know if it was his scales.  You can see right through them, like fine green lace, so sexy.  On reflection, it was probably the second head.  Threw me, at first.  But it’s amazing what you get used to when you really like someone.    
‘Sorry guys’ I said.  ‘I shoulda’ warned  you – Krerkel is a Martian.’
 Michelle laughed.
‘So that’s it!’ she sneered. ‘Might have guessed.  Suppose you realise he’s just after a British passport?’
            Well jel bitch!
But I don’t care.  My weekend break was tote amazeballs.  And when Krerkel says he wants to get his head down I don’t think twice.
(988 words)

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Comments by other Members

Bazz at 15:36 on 26 May 2017  Report this post
I like the surreal twist this gives us after the initial set up, this really is one hell of a weekend break! Love Krerkel's tour, what a racket. The full english pills and mars/holiday banter made me smile.

The journey back was quieter than the journey out ‘cause most of the other passengers had died.

The frank tone of this made me laugh the most. Karen's not easily fazed is she :)

TassieDevil at 16:06 on 26 May 2017  Report this post
Great outer space romp, here. Reminded me a lot of thirties Space Fiction a la Buck Rogers, making space travel so mundane. Lots of superb lines. This one appealed.

He looks at Fat Bertha   overflowing from her seat into mine

Last line was a bit risque given the nature of his two heads. Or am I reading too much into it?.

michwo at 21:28 on 26 May 2017  Report this post
I laughed out loud at this.  What tremendous fun it is!  Karen's a survivor like you.

Cliff Hanger at 17:47 on 28 May 2017  Report this post
What I love about this is that it's a bit of a slow burner but it draws you in and it made me laugh so much. The competitive holidaying. 53 million mile journey and the pet budgie. The full English pills etc, etc 

What really got me guffawing was when the journey back was quieter because all of the other passengers had died and when she owed them 100 million dollars on account of not dying. Hah, hah, hah, hah.

So many details build such a great picture and like all great farces it's crazy but believable too. 

Loved the ending.


scriever at 18:04 on 28 May 2017  Report this post
Love it! The matter of fact tone and the office banter of the first para balances well with the rest of the story. Also loved the fact that Krerkel has 2 heads and that this is used for naughty purposes (no Alan I don't think you're reading too much into it!); it fits completely into the mc's character. 

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