The Last Family Vacation

St. Helena Island | © kyle williamson, Google Maps

They were fighting again.

Derek could read his mother’s moods like a seasoned meteorologist and something had happened while he’d sat on the precipice and sketched for the past hour.

Mom’d showed up, arms folded, mouth taut. “We’re going back to the ship. Now.”

Dad was all false cheer on the drive back to the boat, sneaking sips from the silver flask he kept in the front pocket of his Bermudas and going on about Napoleon and what a treat it was to finally see such a historical sight.

At the harbour store stop, she returned with a bottle of gin.

“Looks like someone means to have fun,” Dad said; the chuckle that followed rang hollow.

She shot him a dark look before turning to Derek. “Someone seems to think this trip isn’t fun at all.”

Derek looked down. It wasn’t, if you wanted to get all honest about it.

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. My apologies to the people in this photo. Not sure why it inspired this sad family drama, but it truly had nothing to do with them.

To read more stories inspired by the prompt, click here.

39 Comments

  1. An all-too-real situation. Sadly.

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    1. It happens all the time, everywhere.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. I hope you’ll consider joining us on Pegman this week and beyond. It would be great to have you! You’re a gifted writer and a most kind participant.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Till now I’ve done my best to stay away from participation. But maybe it’s time to take the plunge. However, these days I’ve learnt not to jump in, both feet, on impulse (took me 3 divorces to learn that 🙂 ) so … I shall give it thought. 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Okay, so how do I get the chosen street view from Google Maps to my blog?
        Or is the problem that I’ve chosen a photo?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. What a delight! I’m so excited you’re joining us 😀 So if I’m to understand, you’ve chosen a photo from the location as opposed to a sphere view? Send me a link and tell me what the picture is and I can help.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Can you hang on about 1/2 hour. Can’t allow the asparagus to spoil!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I try, I try. All it lets me do is copy a link
        Here’s the link
        https://goo.gl/maps/sXWvXfsefXz
        It’s from above Jamestown, looking down. I particularly need to perception of height, vertigo-style. Otherwise I’ll have to write about story.
        But regardless, how the chuff do get a photo from Google Map without resorting to a screenshot?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I took the liberty of snagging it for you and saved it https://karcherry.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/jamestown-st-helena.jpg where you can download it.

        I use the Snipping Tool that comes with Windows 10. A screengrab works fine. Depending on your operating system/platform there are a lot of tools out there. Some are free, some cost money. Are you on Windows or a Mac?

        Liked by 1 person

      7. A Snipping Tool? Right must find that. I usually use a good old fashion printscreen.
        Thanks Karen.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Okay. I thank you. Done. But I shan’t post till Monday cos I’ve other stuff going out and I like to give them plenty of space. So … watch this space, Monday.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Will do! Looking forward to it.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I hope I’ve done all the twiddly bits right. When new to something I tend to make many blunders. Like when I bought my first computer, back in the days of XTs with 5 1/4 inch floppies. So I took delivery. Opened the user manual. Hey, yes, I remember the day. And it says I must format the harddrive both physically, and logically. So I followed instructions and duly did. A few months later I returned to the dealership, with machine under arm, for some additional RAM and a maths co-processor, and I happened to say about the manual and the instruction to format etc. The fella looks horrified. ‘But you didn’t, did you?’ ‘Oh, no,’ I lied. ‘Oh good,’ he said. ‘Cos we set it all for you before we delivered.’ Yea. Well. Least said. But I never had any problems with the machine. Good solid workhorse, that. Back in the day.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. That’s old school! We had a Radio Shack TRS-80 back in the day when there was basically no software, so my dad and I learned to program!

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Wow! The most I managed was to instal a menu system using batch files. These days you can’t even find the c:> prompt.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you said; a sad family drama, one repeated the world over, the last time I wentcaway with my folks I was 15, they refused to take me after that, to be fair I had a lot more fun with mates. I have no idea if my experience is similar to other people’s.

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    1. I could relate to your comment! I remember my last family vacation with my parents quite vividly too. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I hope you’ll join in the fun this week and share a story with us!

      Like

  3. Sad but it so has the ring of truth to it. Have sat in the back of the car on countless journeys. listening to the silence between my parents. Well captured Karen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lynn, I’m both sorry and glad you can relate. It’s funny, I know people who were traumatized by their parents shouting matches. But the silences can be just as bad, for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We had shouting too, a lot of anger. Mine divorced when I was 11 – best thing for everyone involved as they both met other people who suited them better in their different ways. In my – possibly warped – experience it’s better for people to make a clean break than try to limp along when they don’t get on. You captured it all so very well, Karen

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh thanks, Lynn! I had no idea so many people were witness to crumbling marriages. I do agree with your philosophy on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My pleasure 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well that’s certainly depressing. No fun at all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Definitely not! Thanks for reading, James.

      Like

  5. lillmcgill

    Ours was St. Louis. very sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Vividly portrayed and sadly familiar. Thank God that I’m married to you now!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Right back atcha!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow. Now I don’t feel so bad, about not taking the kids on many family vacations!

    Love your first sentence. Meteorology is an inspired connection to make in such a volatile atmosphere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Glad you liked the meteorologist line! Yeah those family vacations are overrated,

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry. Second sentence. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sadly a common instance where parents go blind about their parenthood, nicely done.
    To be above board, I went and checked Hardy’s page and yours to verify what Hardy claimed. 💡 All the best to you both ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ouch, I have to agree with the boy — that does not sound like fun at all. That’s such a common experience, though, for a couple to be under all kinds of strains in their regular life, and they think that what they need is a vacation. They’ll get away from it all, relax, just enjoy each other’s company again. And yet without the structure of the everyday world constraining them, all those strains just explode! How sad for any other people on the same trip with them though, especially a child. Point being: very realistically done, Karen!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joy! Your comment made me realize being on a boat in such a remote location would make it even worse. Oy. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep: a crucible for distilling all that family tension down to its most concentrated form.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. You really just didn’t give them a chance … Excellent story though sad and unfortunately familiar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m afraid being a character in one of my stories rarely works out well for any of them 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting. Great to see you!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I think we’ve all had one of those. Very well told.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sad it’s so common! Sigh…. Thanks for reading. I’m both glad and sorry you can relate 🙂

      Like

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