TRAVEL BLUES • by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

The reflection of the setting sun shimmered on the Mediterranean. Her face glowed in the rose-gold light as she dug a toe into the sand.

“I like it here.”

“It’s not practical.”

His back was to the water, his eyes on the buildings bunched up at the shore. The wind blew his overlong hair into his face.

“Come on, let’s go get packed.”

“I’d rather stay.”

“Yes, you and the rest of the world. Come on.”

Her simplistic view of the world used to seem endearing, heart-wrenching. Innocent. It was rapidly becoming annoying. She didn’t move, stood staring at the horizon.

“Fine, whatever, you stay. Camp out on the beach. See if you can find a temp job. Whatever. I’m going to the hotel to pack, I’ll leave your stuff at reception.”

He stormed off of the sand onto the over-hot black road. At the last moment, he stopped, looked back.

She was still stood there, motionless.

He sighed and walked back to the hotel and packed her bag as well as his. He double-checked the time, the tickets, the passports, before heading back down to the beach.

“Hon, we’ve got  twenty minutes to get to the airport. Come on. Come home.”

She turned slowly to look at him and smiled.

“Okay, but we’ll come back, right?”

He sighed; every holiday they had the same conversation.

“I promise.”

She followed him to the road and hailed a taxi. He said nothing until they arrived at the airport.

“You know we can’t just stay, right?”


She took her bag out of the boot of the car.

“But at least I didn’t have to pack.”

Sylvia Spruck Wrigley spends her days writing short stories and watching to see the stories that the sparrows bring back to their nests.

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Every Day Fiction

  • Oonah V Joslin

    Not to have to do the packing – Ahhhh…

  • M Cooper

    I bet you sent this to my wife about 6 months ago!

    Nice little story though and well written

  • Gerard Demayne

    Very cunning!

  • I like the imagery, love the ending, but dang! That dude has some serious issues; this marriage is a ticking clock. My spidey-senses are still tingling!

    • I don’t think she’s aware of how hard she’s pushing him. If he really didn’t come back, would it be too late for her to come running after?

  • Mark

    Sylvia, that is some great writing! It reminded me of Hills Like White Elephants. The tone was outstanding. So much was said between the lines. Fantastic!

  • Thank you for the kind comments! I’m pleased that the unmentioned details of their relationship come through – that this type of interaction is not new to them. It’s always hard to know how much to say. 🙂

  • Enviable.

  • Sharp. But seems like two souls on seperate paths.

    • I do think he’ll tire of her. But still he seems to like her worldview – once the work is behind him.

  • Heh, heh, nice one, Sylvia! I must try this way of escaping packing some time. You’ve brought out well the clash in the two characters, their different ways of thinking, their pain/exasperation with each other. Well done. One small correction needed:
    “She was still stood there, motionless” (remove either was or stood).

    • That’s interesting – are you happy with it the other way around?

      “She was stood there, still.”

      Both sound fine to me – suspect it’ll be a UK/US issue but I could be wrong. I’ll see if I can find out. 🙂

      • Hi,

        I meant, shouldn’t it be:

        “She was still there, motionless”


        “She still stood there, motionless”

      • Cliff Stanford

        > She was still stood there

        Northern English usage. In Liverpool it might even have been “She was still stood standing there.”

        I’d say “She was still standing there, motionless.” but I’m from the South (of England).

  • Avis Hickman-Gibb

    This was wonderful. it explored their relationship, and exposed future problems, and the compromises both seemed to have to make. The end line was a killer – it opened up new meanings and flipped the power in the relationship from him to her.

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  • Patty

    I think the mark of a wonderful short story is it leaves the reader wanting more and I definitely wanted more! I’d like to think she stayed on, became free to begin a new life on her own; but doesn’t that say more about me than about her? Ha.

  • jim gray

    I liked it.
    Jim Gray

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