Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Usual Defects

It was a long, hot day out in the desert. There was plenty of water, but Cheeto was a spoiled woman who refused to consume anything so bland. Why had she agreed to come out to this godforsaken piece of Earth? Ah, the promise of unforgettable vistas. Screw that; she wanted her SoBe. "Can we please go back to the hotel? It is hotter than I thought it would be. I'd rather just buy the post card." "Sorry, ma'am; the other guests said they'll be ready in about an hour."

Derek was the tour guide. What was he doing here? He'd admitted earlier that he's from Maine. She could understand wanting to escape the harsh winters, but was this heat and this awful landscape, devoid of any vegetation save scrub brush, worth it?

Cheeto turned her glance toward her tour mates, happily trudging toward the next outcropping of rock. How could they be so content in this heat? They were fatter than she was, but they didn't seem to care that their corpulent figures oozed sweat, visibly drenching their cotton garments. "That's gonna chafe," she thought, eyeing the khaki shorts being devoured by the man's crotch with each step.

Suddenly, the man fell to the ground almost noiselessly, though his flesh vibrated upon impact. He'd twisted his ankle quite badly, and his wife was struggling to help him up. He winced. "Oh, darn. We'll have to go back to the hotel early to ice that ankle," Cheeto noted. Derek glanced at Cheeto as he rushed to help the man. It was obvious that he found her tedious; it was probably all he could do to help not rolling his eyes at her.

As Derek and Pat, the injured man's wife, hobbled Jim toward the van, Cheeto's mood had improved markedly. She cheerfully carried their cameras and backpacks.

The party of four arrived in the Denny's parking lot across from Cheeto's hotel. She was so happy to be back early that she darted across the street without looking both ways and was promptly plowed over by a bus. A crowd gathered and sirens were heard in the distance. Her last word: "SoBe..."

© 2011 Deana Wallace (really, if you use any part of this, you are a hack)

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