The Holiday

Something I did for my GSCE Expressive arts. It's in between being a short story and a novella. The story focuses on a journalist named Steve Robbins. The pages might end slightly abruptly, especially as I plan on releasing this in sections, this is because I originally wrote this as one continuous, unchaptered work.

As was the result of much arguing with his wife, Steve Robbins went to a shop on the first of January. The shop he went to was on a street known as Melbourne Avenue. He went out to buy a journal, as it was normally tradition to receive one from his wife, but during the Christmas of 2011 she had somehow forgotten, and instead bought him a golden wristwatch.

Steve Robbins cared not for golden wristwatches as his mobile phone did much the same job without the useless weight hanging off his wrist. His mobile was even more useful; it could do calls and texts, take photos, and could even be used to update his facebook and Twitter accounts. It could do all of that, however the likely hood of this happening was infinitesimally small.

The shop he was in was called Farrington’s, well technically it wasn’t. It was called such by anyone who had lived in the area for five or more years, it seemed. It had been recently bought by a large chain, and the name of the shop changed. This didn’t stop people who had lived there as referring it as Farrington’s, in the same way as older people refer to a radio as ‘the wireless’ or calling TV channels as ‘sides.’ This happened so often that when Farrington died, people were calling in to the shop, offering condolences, despite the fact that Farrington hadn’t owned it in four years. 

Steve Robbins wasn’t one of those people. He was the type of person who stubbornly refused to refer to things by a name of general conscientious rather than the actual name it had. Because of this, Steve Robbins would get angry at a lot of people. It annoyed him when people called a Dyson vacuum cleaner a ‘Hoover’; and even when people called grotesques ‘gargoyles,’ Steve in many ways was a pedantic man, who derived a simple pleasure from pointing out the mistakes of other people.

When he entered the shop he was greeted by a casual, “Hey Steve” from certain people who noticed him and this was followed up by one or two people asking “When are you going on holiday?” to which Steve would most usually reply with words like “great,” and “tomorrow” respectively. He would later come to regret going on holiday at all, as we can see in this entry:

Why haven’t I written in here yet?  We were away on holiday (and I forgot to bring this diary with me) with my wife’s best friend Sandra and her boyfriend, Billy, who is so pretentious that he must’ve found some sort of pleasure in the words “continental breakfast”, because I’m not sure what else he ate; he was the sort of person who would, while everyone else was ordering beer or cider, order “the finest wine which has matured over six decades,  since being taken from the pastures in northern Italy”, and would; after the waiter returned, instead of just taking the wine like a normal , taste it and say “it’s corked” with such a upper class demeanour that it sounded as if he had Prince Phillip on walkie-talkie  and, judging by his intelligence, he probably did. Needless to say that our holiday in New Zealand was utterly ruined by him, and the fact that those two would refuse to let us be alone, but to top it off I think my wife fancies him.”

Needless to say, he was lying. Something which Steve thought he didn’t do very often but he actually did more than the average human being. He told his wife, for example that he enjoyed the gift she got him for Christmas, when in his diary he said: “despite me buying the myriad of objects that she asked from me. She bought me a measly box of chocolates.”

Now this proves that Steve was not necessarily a nice man, he would often use his diary as a thread for revealing his true emotions, which he would often hide from people he knows and instead use some diluted form of sarcastic wit to laugh at the people he disliked the actions of.

On the flip side, to be fair, Steve was a journalist. And due to this, he had developed the habits of both writing down many details of his day to day life and pretty much being as objective and unfair as he possibly could. He would rather have done that instead of leaving the events of his life down to his own memory, the mind can play tricks on you. But then again if you write it in the way Steve did, your diary can too.

In reality, Billy Forsyth was either the exact type of person Steve Robbins thought he was, or the exactly not that type of person. Billy gave vast amounts of his own personal wealth to charity, and despite inheriting a somewhat substantial fortune; he was very much a self made man. Billy ran a large chain of furniture stores, which sold well year on year. They were in fact renowned for being the only furniture store which didn’t announce a sale every other day.

Of course Steve knew this in detail, he had listened to (or, as he would say, endured) sporadic conversing with Billy, which involved the latter gloating over the fact he had bought out the third biggest sofa store in the UK and Ireland, which in turn meant that he now owned the third largest chain; or how he had been crowned the National Business Association’s Young Businessman of the Year, for the third time in four years; or how he had done all this already at the age of twenty four.

But this wasn’t the most annoying aspect of Billy. In Steve’s opinion that was that he always seemed to have a way of making Steve’s own accomplishments seem foolish. Billy did this very eloquently, through describing his own accomplishments, then turning to Steve to ask, “What about you?”

Steve, Elise, Billy and Sandra walked about the Greek island for about four hours every day; A day which typically consisted of Steve moaning as Billy talked about the beauty of the Greek landscape, and the architectural brilliance of the Ancient Greeks all the while walking around some worn old runes of what seemed to be the Ancient Greek equivalent to a landfill site.

Steve, to say the least, was not happy with this; he despised long walks, even more so with a motor-mouth idiot with the delusion of being the cousin of some archduke. It didn’t exactly help that the entire time that they were the sun blazed down a twenty-seven degree heat. In fact the walks were apparently so terrible that there exists no extract from Steve’s diary which refers to this which is actually readable while censored.

Of course, Billy was oblivious to Steve’s discomfort, as far as he knew; it was with a sickness that, on the third day, Steve excused himself from a trip to the town square. When, in reality, Steve had avoided the trip for the precise reason of avoiding Billy as well.

 Actually he had felt quite well. Well enough to spend the day lounging next to a pool for the entire day, both playing Tetris on his laptop, and taking advantage of the fact that the holiday that they’d booked was an all inclusive... that was the nature of the holiday which appealed to Steve, it was at leastmore appealing than trudging along the endless Greek roads. That was a given.

Both Sandra and Billy fell for the ruse, probably because Sandra had the IQ of donkey while Billy was just plain ignorant of the fact that people could not like his tour guides. Elise, on the other hand, knew Steve better than that. This lead to a scene in their hotel room which involved much shouting (as in enough to wake the half deaf woman seven doors down, and because of that, both Steve and Elise didn’t make an appearance at the bar that night.

For the rest of the holiday, Steve was forced to play along with Billy’s countless stories of self brilliance, and he wasn’t even allowed to mutter angry words under his breath!

Steve however, knew that, using whatever method he could possibly think of, he had to escape this never ending nightmare by some means. Unfortunately he was unable to and by the time he arrived home. By that time he was sketching images of Billy being killed by guillotine, which were acclaimed by the man himself as being “jolly good displays of art,” something even Steve could find drain some humour out of.

Upon getting home, Steve ran upstairs, flung his luggage aside and fell face first onto his bed, “finally free of that Billy, thank God” were the first thoughts which entered his mind. Nothing really else had a chance to, as, immediately afterwards, his phone rang, and upon answering it, who else could it be? It was, of course, Billy again, asking if they wanted to go out next Saturday.

The End

0 comments about this story Feed