Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 30: Shooting Stars

This is the 30th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Shooting Stars, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 31st December 2012

Word count: 602

Theme: holidays, disasters, time of your life, winning

The story:

Travel the world they said.

See amazing sights. Experience new things.

Yeah, right!

George was currently digging through a pile of mud looking for a key. It had been one disaster after another, repeatedly.

So far he’d been arrested in France, apparently he looked just like a French thief, it was two days, and heavy leaning by the consulate, before they were finally convinced his Britishness wasn’t feigned.

In Italy he’d tripped over a rug in Vatican city, knocking over a lamp in the process, which set fire to a wall hanging, which turned out to be three hundred and eight seven years old. Again, he was arrested, but finally they had to acknowledge that the cleaners hadn’t put the rug back properly the morning of the incident.

He’d been tempted to quit his round the world trip that he’d won, but in Vienna, while visiting an old library he’d met a girl. It was good enough for him to think his luck had changed. For a while it seemed it had, he had a fantastic time in Poland, the Ukraine, and Russia.

Now his luck had turned again. The round the world trip had brought him to Astana, in Kazakhstan. At a market he thought he was buying a rug, only it turned out he’d bought a flea bitten, skinny sheep that had already been sheered. Then he’d been hit by fines by some local thugs for not having a permit, there were threats with guns.

Resolving to deal with his troubles through alcohol, he got blinding drunk. As he staggered back to the half rotten building he’d been assigned as his hotel, he was robbed. Fortunately he didn’t have much cash on him, after having to give much of it up to the thugs in the market. Deciding he was a bum, they left him alone.

As he got to his hotel on the far side of the city, dawn was already starting to break, he fumbled for his key and it fell in a pile of mud. Tired, starting to feel the hang over, sore from the beatings however minor, and generally pissed off, he beat at the mud in frustration, getting himself well covered.

“Oh my, look at the locals,” a woman said turning up her nose at him, and the sight of him caked in mud.

“You really have to learn to be more tolerant, Cluadia,” the man said. George looked up, recognising the voice, it was an Hollywood action star, Tony Rory, and his on again off again wife Claudia Rory.

He hopped to his feet, and started furiously brush the mud off himself.

“Oh wow, I’m a huge fan,” he said beaming.

Claudia just shivered, and turned away.

“He kid, here’s a few hundred, don’t tell the press we’re here, can you do that for me?” he said handing over the cash.

“Not a problem,” George beamed.

“Oh, we’re here to relax, so we’re not doing autographs or anything. But as you’re a big fan, and you’re doing me this favour, write to our publicist requesting a signed picture of us both, in the top corner write “Shooting star”, and we’ll sort you something out.”

“Oh wow, that’s very generous of you,” George said, realising things were looking up, he’d met a movie star, and stuck to his shin, held in place by mud, was his key.

“No problem, enjoy your mud bath,” Tony winked and walked to the hotel lobby. George practically skipped back to his room. He immediately got a shower, and wondered what would happen at his next port of call in Mongolia.

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