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    comicfan
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

A prompt a week - 37. John's Trip - Prompt 453

John has been tied down at work since his brother got married in February. He desperately needs a break, because he is burned out. However, something always seems to happen when he is about to take it. Suddenly, the calendar is reading October and he still hasn't had any time off. Fed up he demands the time and runs away to enjoy a little site seeing. When he is literally knocked off his feet by someone in Salem, John might just be looking at something new.

John Riley sat at his desk and checked his phone. There on the screen was a countdown that read two hours and six minutes. John smiled and did his best not to dance in his seat. It was almost quitting time and time to begin his vacation.

Tomorrowland Technologies was a growing company and John was happy to be a part of it. However, he was beyond burnt out at this point. His last piece of time off had been in February when his younger brother had gotten married. He had intended to take his vacation time during the summer but things didn’t work out as he had planned. John had enjoyed being the face for the company, but there were more issues than he realized in the beginning that he would be responsible for.

There seemed to be a never ending list of issues that popped up this summer, both at work and in his personal life. First there was the company emergency where their latest piece of technology had accidentally been sent to one of the designers children in college. If the piece hadn’t been found and returned it could have literally destroyed the company. He had to fly out to California to pick it up, however, he couldn’t get it on the airplane because a scan could easily destroy some of the software design, so he was forced to take a train across country. Anyone who said this was a vacation was out of their minds. There were so many phone calls, day and night to check on him, when he wasn't left alone for five seconds to just stare out the windows. It might have been nice to share that with someone, but he was alone. In fact, the trip was so rushed he didn't have a book or even his iPod to listen to.

“John, where are you now?” Natalia's voice was high pitched and demanding as she nearly screamed into the phone.

“Natalia, I’m on the damn train. Where do you think I am?” John rapped his knuckles on the table to keep from throwing his cell phone across the way.

“I know that! I meant what state are you in now?”

“I have no idea. I don’t get enough time to listen, or talk to the conductor, or much of anyone else. I seem to hang up the phone with one of you and another calls. Do you realize that you are the fifth person I’ve talked to this morning and I haven’t even had a chance to go eat breakfast or get coffee yet? This is ridiculous. I didn’t answer my phone for ten minutes yesterday because I went to the bathroom and someone called the phone on the train so they came to get me! You guys are going to drive me nuts.”

“Don’t be so dramatic, John. We are just worried about the,” Natalia’s voice dropped to a whisper, “technology.”

John let out a big sigh. “I know. But, it isn’t like I have any choice about how I get it back. You couldn’t spare a second person, while you keep the loss under wraps. I can’t take a plane, and driving is too dangerous on my own. So that just leaves the train and that you can track.”

“Look I promise I’ll talk to the other members of the board. Just keep it safe and we will see you back here in a few days.”

The trip home from California had been long and seemed never ending. He had never been so happy to get back and hand over the prototype to the designers again. The damn thing ended up needing a redesign but at least it hadn’t been exposed or copied by another company.

It was a month later that he again tried to go on vacation again, but that too fell through. The trip he had planned for his vacation with friends had fallen through due to disasters happening to nearly every friend that was going on vacation with him. Nancy had fallen and broken her leg, while Dennis and Mark had a major blow up and split up. That just left Thomas and he completely refused to go without the rest. John looked at it as a silver lining because it was that later that week his cat decided get sick. Instead of a week out by the beach on vacation, he went to work. While it was work all day, he spent his nights running to the vet to check on, Nightly, his black cat. Evidently she had gotten into something and it had made her sick. He cleaned the entire apartment from top to bottom, cat proofing anything he thought might have made her sick.

Meanwhile he watched as all his coworkers went and came back from vacation. He noticed who was now tan, who had new pictures from Disney, who had gotten engaged, and who was back from their honeymoon vacation. Everyone seemed so much more relaxed while his own tension grew.

Finally, he was the only person who hadn’t gone on vacation. Summer ended and September came and went. Now that October had come, he was determined to get away. He called Natalia and let her know he was taking the last week of October off.

“What? John, you can’t take off. I mean we are about to head into the holidays. We have some new games that are revving up for release and we have that new toy as well. I won’t even get into some of the other software we have designed to come out now that the new Windows program is out and debugged.”

“Yes, I can take off. I am supposed to have a total of one hundred and twenty hours of vacation time. To be used between January and December. Guess what? It is now October and I’ve managed to use a whole thirty two hours.”

“Well,” Natalia paused. “I mean there was the trip to California.”

“Don’t you even try. That was work. I didn’t get to see anything, do anything, except grab the prototype, get on the train, and be aggravated by phone calls all day and night. “

Natalia sighed. “Alright. I guess I can make sure you are off. You will take your phone so we can contact you if we need to, right?”

“No. Va-ca-tion! I will be totally unavailable. I am just the face you put out there. You four on the board make all the decisions. I get stuck carrying them all out. For a week I am off and that means no phone.”

“John, we need to contact you.”

“I seem to remember you going to the Bahamas for two weeks. Was I able to contact you?”

“Well that is different …”

“No, Natalia, it isn’t. When Louis went no one bothered him. When you went on vacation, no one called you. It was the same for the rest of the board. Well it is my turn. I’m off and that means no one from here will be contacting me. Understood?”

“What are you planning on doing? We can always set up something at your hotel.”

“No, Natalia. Not telling you. I’m going off grid.”

Now all he was doing was waiting for the clock to strike five. Nightly had been dropped at the vet to be boarded while he was away. His bags were packed and in the trunk. This time he planned to go away and enjoy himself. For two days, he was going to Salem and he had already booked a room. He figured the rest of his week he would just wing it and enjoy wherever he ended up.

At five pm he followed everyone else as they headed toward the doors. Some of his coworkers stared, unaccustomed to seeing John Riley leave the building before eight on any given night. John just smiled and rushed like everyone else to his car. He was out and on his way up to Massachusetts in no time. He paused around nine pm to grab dinner at one of the restaurants just outside Boston. He checked into his hotel about an hour and half later.

He’d booked a room at the Harbor Light Inn just outside of Salem. It was private and quiet, but most of all it was some place he could hang his hat while he visited here for the next two nights. He curled up on his bed, alone but happy.

The next day he made his way through Salem. It was fun seeing everything as he made his way from place to place. It was as he went to the Salem Witch Museum that his vacation took an unexpected turn. He was just about to head in when he was knocked off his feet by young man with a knapsack.

“Sorry. Didn’t mean to knock you over.” The man reached out to take John’s hand and when they touched there was a shock.

“Oh.” John muttered in surprised as he quickly let go.

“Damn. Sorry again. I must have built up a charge.”

John slowly stood up and looked at the guy in front of him. He was tall, dirty blond hair, curly, clean shaven, glasses, green eyes, wearing a blue tee shirt, deep blue shorts, and knapsack.

“I’m Camden.” He held out his hand to John.

Warily, John shook hands. “I’m John.”

“Sorry. The damn sack makes it hard to know when I’m too close to something.”

“No problem. You could just leave it in your room or your car though.”

Camden smiled and laughed. “I could if I had either. I am taking some time off from school and trying to see things I’ve never been to.”

As John listened he realized Camden’s accent didn’t fit the area, so he was a visitor here as well.

“I stumped you haven’t I?”

“What do you mean?” John looked at Camden curiously.

“You’re trying to figure out where I’m from, aren’t you? I’m from a small town just outside Indianapolis.” Camden smiled, little dimples showing in his cheeks. “I’ve done some traveling since I finished my sophomore year in college this past May. Made way down to Florida, went to the Keys and then back up through Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. I got a lift from there right through NY to Massachusetts and have been making my way across the state. I spent the last three days in Boston. I wanted to see Salem and then I plan to take a trip up to Maine. One or two spots I want to see. My father has money I saved and I’ll call him when I get to Bangor. He will wire me the money then for a ticket home.”

“Sounds like you have been on the road for a while. Your girlfriend must miss you.”

Camden blushed. “No. I’m too much of a book worm. Don’t really date. So, been enjoying my trip.”

John was surprised at how open Camden was. “Going into the Witch Museum?”

“Was in there earlier. You should go if you haven’t. It is really interesting. Enjoy your trip.”

“You too.”

John did the museum and decide he just want to wander around Salem. John didn’t have any place he wanted to go so he walked and enjoyed seeing the people going from place to place. He had just found the statue of Samantha from Bewitched when he ran into Camden again.

“Hey. Nice to see you again, Camden.” John smiled as he spotted Camden taking a picture of the statue.

“Hi John. You came to see this too?”

“Yeah. I never seem to have found this on my last trip here. But, glad to see it is sort of less crowded here.”

“I know what you mean. Some of the places are a zoo.” Camden smiled.

"Why don't you stand next to the statue and I'll take your picture. That way you are in it."

"You don't mind?" Camden bit his bottom lip a moment as he offered his camera to John.

"Not at all."

Camden stood by the statue and smiled. John took the picture and then handed Camden back the camera.

"Thank you so much. It is nice to be in some of the pictures." Camden shook John's hand in appreciation.

John was about to speak when Camden’s stomach grumbled. Camden blushed again.

“Sounds like someone is hungry.”

“Nah. I’m good.” Camden stood there blushing and his stomach grumbled out again.

“I don’t think so. Come on, join me for dinner. My treat.”

Camden stood there for a moment. “Are you sure? You don’t really know me and I did sort of knock you over earlier.”

John laughed. “I can remember how tight money was when I was going through school. Come on. It won’t kill me to buy you dinner.”

They went to Tavern on the Green for dinner. It was close to where they had walked to and both were happy to just order a burger.

Camden nearly devoured his meal in before John had gotten more than a bite of his burger.

“Oh god. Thank you. I hadn’t realized I was this hungry.”

John laughed.

“I promise I don’t usually swallow my food nearly whole. Just know I am really close to the end of my funds. I’ve taken the odd job here and there this summer. Only, I have to be home next week and I have just enough for the train to Bangor. I might have to cut out a few places I wanted to see.”

“And a few meals I take it.”

Camden looked at his plate but didn’t say anything.

John just shook his head.

The two ate and talked, John tried to stay off anything personal but he found himself interested in the man across from him.

“So where are you staying tonight?”

“I’m actually going to have to hike a bit. Need to get to Maynard. I understand there is a hostel there.”

John bit his lip. He was older than Camden and didn’t want to force his way into the young man’s life, but he didn’t like the idea of anyone hiking all that way in the dark.

“Are you going to be okay there?”

“I should be.”

“Look, I don’t know if you can make it there by tonight. I have a room nearby with two singles in it. I really have no plans. This is my vacation so I can do what I damn well please. If you don’t mind company I can go with you up to Maine.”

Camden looked at John and cocked his head. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah.” John thought about it for a moment more. “I am.”

“I thought I was the crazy one, back packing like a I am.” Camden laughed and reached out to shake John’s hand. Once again there was a shock as the two touched.

“Damn. You must create a lot of static.”

“I don’t think it was me that time,” Camden stated as he looked at John closely.

For John one day into his vacation was leading to major changes in his life, even if he wasn’t immediately aware of them.

Based off Prompt 453 which asked you to write about - You never got to take your vacation during the summer when everyone else did. With it slowly moving into fall you decide it is past time for a break. Where do you go on your vacation?

 

So that led to the story of John and Camden. What do you think? Did you enjoy it? Do you want more? I'd love to know. Thank you for reading and feel free to leave me a comment.

Copyright © 2017 comicfan; All Rights Reserved.
  • Like 7
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Do I want more???? Um...hell yes! LOL You know I always want more of your prompt stories. lol Good for John for taking a stand and going on his vacation with no interruptions. I used to go on vacation with a friend of mine whose boss called her several times a day every day. It drove me nuts because I firmly believe in keeping work and vacation separate! I especially enjoyed this since I didn't take any vacation myself this summer, but am on vacation now :D

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On 10/10/2015 12:32 PM, Valkyrie said:

Do I want more???? Um...hell yes! LOL You know I always want more of your prompt stories. lol Good for John for taking a stand and going on his vacation with no interruptions. I used to go on vacation with a friend of mine whose boss called her several times a day every day. It drove me nuts because I firmly believe in keeping work and vacation separate! I especially enjoyed this since I didn't take any vacation myself this summer, but am on vacation now :D

Well I figured there were two prompts this week I might just use the other to finish this up. Glad you enjoyed it Val.

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Yes, I liked it and, YES, I want more. John was right to be off grid; they never would have left him alone.

  • Like 1
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Out of likes will go back.. But I really liked it and yes, like everyone before me, yes I'd like more please.

  • Like 1
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On 10/10/2015 01:50 PM, avidreadr said:

Yes, I liked it and, YES, I want more. John was right to be off grid; they never would have left him alone.

Sometimes the only way to get time off is to say you are taking it and make sure no one can reach you. Hope you enjoy the ending I created.

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On 10/10/2015 05:46 PM, Caz Pedroso said:

I'm with the others, more please.

 

Great chapter :2thumbs:

Glad you enjoyed it. I did complete the story and give you a bit of a look at both of their lives. Thanks for the encouragement.

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On 10/11/2015 11:00 AM, Defiance19 said:

Out of likes will go back.. But I really liked it and yes, like everyone before me, yes I'd like more please.

Your wish is my command. I completed it in the next chapter. Thanks for the review.

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