Five Good Reasons (HTML excerpt)
Without even trying hard, Sarah could think of five good reasons why Oahu had been a terrible choice for her first vacation in over five years. To begin with, she was allergic to pineapple. It made her mouth go wild with ulcers and her eyes go red with histamines. Mango wasn’t much better. But Sarah wasn’t very good at saying no or at questioning waitstaff about menus beyond “what does this unfamiliar word mean.” As a result, eating and talking both hurt like blazes, and she looked like the aftermath of three days’ nonstop crying.

Secondly, Sarah was pale as a sheet, and now she was red as the proverbial lobster. By tomorrow she’d enter the worst stage of the sunburn cycle, the bit where she began to peel and itch yet still hadn’t stopped feeling tender. The touch and shift of her T-shirt’s fabric across her back was painful enough to make her whimper. The urge to scratch was going to be pure torture.

The crowds were reason number three. Between the locals and the tourists, Oahu was full of crowds, and Sarah had never gotten the knack of moving through crowds. She’d start at one end of a thronged grocery store hopeful at her chances of getting in, getting her shopping done, and getting out. But after fifteen minutes of being jostled and backed into and her feet stepped on and, if she was especially unlucky, having her nose smashed by some tall person’s elbow, she’d just want to crawl into some safe little mousehole and cry. This was precisely why she’d chosen such an unfashionable piece of beach to walk along. Sure, it was full of piles of cement chunks from some long forgotten construction site, but it wasn’t full of *people.*

It was, however, full of sand, and—reason four—Sarah wasn’t fond of sand. It was hard to walk in and it got *everywhere.* Really, she shouldn’t have left her hotel room at all. But her “friends” who had decided (without asking her) that she needed a vacation, and who had planned it out to the smallest detail (but who didn’t want to go to Hawaii?), would want to hear that she’d been down to the beach. And if there was one thing Sarah was worse at than saying no, it was lying. So here she was, surrounded by sand, getting sunburns on her sunburn, and passionately missing her work-a-day routine. She liked being a dental hygienist. She liked getting to know her patients. She wished fervently that she could be back in the office now, cleaning someone’s teeth and asking them about the last six months of their life.

Instead,  she was standing speechless in the sand, ulcer-ridden mouth dropping open in shock, as the improbably small flying saucer came in for a landing beside the pile of smashed cement slabs which camouflaged it remarkably well. And she was still staring as the fussy little man that stepped out of the flying saucer looked around, noticed Sarah, and, before she could say a word or run for the tabloids or her life, aimed what looked like a weapon at her, and fired.

That would be reason number five.

          * * *

The Evil Space Dictator liked Earth. It was his favorite vacation spot....


This has been an excerpt from the Friday Fictionette for November 25, 2016. Subscribers can download the full-length fictionette (1133 words) from Patreon as an ebook or audiobook depending on their pledge tier:



Cover art incorporates public domain photography from