Today’s Flash Fiction Friday scene uses the 3 words/phrases left in the comments of last week’s post:
Devon sat back and rubbed his belly. Even though they’d eaten just a couple hours ago on the island, it wasn’t as if he’d needed to force himself to choke down a second dinner of real food. Hell no, this meal had been so welcomed.
He’d been dreaming of a big juicy steak for years, but this chicken dish prepared by a fancy chef on this swanky-assed yacht totally hit the spot. No doubt it was a trite sentiment, but he probably could’ve cheerfully eaten a tough old horse.
Henry said, “I didn’t realize how much I missed something as simple as roasted potatoes. These are so good.”
Devon nodded. “Sticks to your ribs better than seaweed, that’s for sure!”
The kids smiled, and the older one, Jonathan, said, “Please have as much as you want.”
It was weird thinking of them as “kids,” considering Devon had been only about half a year older than Jonathan when that plane had gone down. He’d done a damned lot of growing up in those years, though.
The first mate, Dominick, stepped into the room. “Good evening, gentlemen. We’ve just received word from the coast guard.”
Movement in the room ground to a halt. Buddy had a fork perched halfway to his mouth as he stared with wide eyes at Dominick.
“Yes?” Charles, the younger of the two brothers who were their hosts on the yacht prompted.
“Families have all been notified. They were told you have Wi-Fi access until your transfer to the coast guard cutter, and they’re standing by waiting to hear from you. In case numbers have been forgotten, they gave us their contact information.”
He proceeded to hand a slip of paper to each of the three adult survivors. Henry looked terrified. Garrett stoic. Devon executed a fist pump. Unlike the other two, he didn’t have a marriage partner back home with the relationship status up in the air.
“Yes!” Devon said. “I can’t wait to talk to them.”
He glanced at his paper. It contained both the house phone number he recognized and Skype account info for one of his younger brothers. Yeah, he was totally going with Skype if that was an option.
“The Wi-Fi’s strong enough to video chat?” Devon asked.
“It is,” Jonathan assured him. “Though it might be best to stagger them rather than all attempt calls simultaneously to assure good quality.”
“Oh yeah, sure,” Devon said.
Garrett and Henry shared a glance then Garrett said, “How about you go first, Devon.”
“Awesome. Thanks.” Devon stood. “I won’t stay on too long so your families won’t be kept waiting.”
They nodded their agreement, and Jonathan led him to a private room and picked up an iPad. “Skype?” he asked.
Jonathan swiped a couple times and opened an app. “It’s logged into my account, you can use that to make the call.” He handed the tablet to Devon. “I’ll be just down the hall with the others if you run into any trouble.”
“Great. Thanks a bunch.”
Devon stared at the tablet in his shaky hands. This was it. He was about to talk to…see his family for the first time in almost five years. He closed his eyes and bounced in place for a moment, then opened them and paced as he punched in his brother Dante’s info. It was what…probably almost three in the morning in Wichita? No doubt they were pretty wired at the moment, though.
The call was answered almost immediately. He laughed, and happy tears streamed down his face at the chaos of all the bodies jamming in to get a look at him, then the confusion of everyone talking at once.
“Settle down!” Devon’s dad finally said. “One at a time. Let your mother talk to him first.”
The noise level receded, and they still crowded around, but Mom was shifted to the front. Her eyes were red and drippy.
“I hope those are happy tears,” Devon said. Of course, they were, but ribbing each other was how his family rolled. Not even, but rather especially during emotional times.
“I should ground you for the rest of your life for putting me through that,” Mom said. If she was trying to smother that smile to feign reproach, she was failing miserably.
Devon snorted. “Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ve been punished enough.”
Mom put a hand to her chest. “Where’s my tea? Someone bring me that mug before I faint again.”
Devon cleared his throat as Mom shook her head and just stared at him as if drinking in the sight. She pulled the ends of her cardigan together. He was in the tropics, but it was the middle of winter back home. He could picture the fuzzy socks that would be covering her feet and couldn’t suppress a grin at the homey thought.
“So tell me about my funeral,” Devon said.
That got a round of laughter, and Dad replied, “Dante bawled. You’d’ve loved it.”
“Did not!” Dante retorted, but judging by all the cuffs he got, and the chorus of “Oh my God,” and “Don’t even try to deny it,” and “cried like a little guuuurrrl,” Devon was inclined to believe his dad.
“Please tell me there’s a recording.”
“Shut up!” Dante said. Everyone else fell into another fit of laughter, so there probably was.
Yeah, there was no place like home.
“Awesome,” Devon said. “Well, listen, we’ve got to stagger our calls, and I got to go first. Everyone else’s family is waiting to hear from them. Will I see you guys when the coast guard gets us to Hawaii, or not until I get back home?”
“Hawaii,” Mom replied. “They’ll call us in the morning with details.”
“Fantastic. Love you guys. I’ll see you in a few days, then.”
“Love you, too, Sweetie.” Mom choked up again, and Dad, and Devon’s brothers all nodded and mumbled words to the same effect.
After disconnecting, Devon took a couple deep breaths and placed the tablet on the table. He wiped the back of his hands across his eyes and returned to the room where the others were waiting.
He stepped in and said, “Who’s next?”
Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.
The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?
Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?