Flash Fiction Friday–“Snake Bath”

I’m changing it up and making my Friday posts flash fiction. Flash fiction is abbreviated, short, short stories. Thanks to Ed, Cheryl, Caleb, and Emily for their input.

“Snake Bath”

 

There was no way Anne Winchester Douglas was climbing into the bath at the Cung Dien Resort in Da Nang, Vietnam. Just moments before she had watched a giant, green snake slither its way to the edge where it disappeared among the rocks inside the pool. She had to remind herself why she was even here at all.

 

It had been a peculiar month fraught with adventure, disappointment and the stale taste of change lingering somewhere in the region of her vanquished heart. Truth be told, at age 27 Anne was desperate for a husband or anything that could take her away from her nagging drone of a sister and her superfluous father.  So naturally, when Brad Douglas of Dublin stepped off the ferry and accidentally knocked her over with his monstrous backpack, what could she do but meekly smile and fake pain? He had instantly helped her over to a bench where he swore he wouldn’t leave until he was certain she was okay.

 

Two hours later they had left the bench and made their way to a nearby pub. Four hours later they were engaged.

 

They eloped the next day, Anne more than happy to dispense with wedding formalities in exchange for a ticket to accompany her new husband to Vietnam where they were to hike the Or Egong Trail. Hadn’t leaving England and having an adventure in a foreign country been her heart’s desire for years? Alas, it had been a disaster.

 

By the time they reached Vietnam, jet lag had taken its toll on the newlyweds and they were snapping at each other in clipped words wrought with anger. Anne, unaccustomed to rickshaws, had thrown up as they lurched head-on into oncoming traffic. This was followed by a night spent in a stinking, humid hostel at the trailhead in which the high-pitched noises of mosquitoes and native laughter fought for the title of most annoying noise ever.

 

The three weeks they spent on the Or Egong Trail was a blur of rain, creepy insects, side-stepping poisonous snakes and plants and eating too many energy bars, which brought on bouts of the whistle belly thumps. When they reached the end of the trail, Brad had suggested they continue on to another trail he had heard about. Anne flat out refused and they had a sort of stand-off under a broad leafed tree while a couple of monkeys chattered above and flung pooh on them.

 

After that, Brad agreed to accompany Anne to Da Nang where she insisted they book a room at a resort. Once checked in, Brad left to make arrangements for transportation back to England.

 

Anne searched the pale green water for signs of the snake. She didn’t see it. The stench of her body got the better of her. She stepped into the warm water and quickly dunked herself. She had been officially baptized into the world of backpacking. With a quick suds-down she climbed out and turned in time to see the snake swimming through the remaining suds. Snakes apparently liked to be clean too.

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