It seemed like it took years, despite it being just a couple of weeks. But it finally arrived.
I had called into a radio show and they were offering a secret vacation. They gave the date – and that was it. I was caller No. 29 and that was the secret number.
Getting home from work today, the box sat on the porch. I knew the vacation was set to begin the following week. And there was the box… with the secrets.
As quick as I got inside, I ripped open the box and all I saw was a cardboard box full of packing peanuts.
These things are annoying as all hell. They feel weird in your hand and they are just not cool. They get all over the place and it’s like one or two always find a way to get away.
But I knew I had to dig – and dig I did.
All I found was a small shield and a crown. Nothing more. No letters. No instructions. No tickets. Not one single thing.
Just a shield and a crown.
I put them on the desk near me and as I worked on the computer that night, I kept looking at them. Sometimes I’d pick them up and look closer. Was there a number or something? Information in hidden ink? A black light didn’t work.
A day went by.
Two days went by.
Three days went by.
And I couldn’t figure it out. One day, after staring at the crown and the shield for what felt like the billionth time, I couldn’t do it anymore. So I chucked the shield against the wall and the item slightly cracked.
And something looked odd.
Looking closer, it opened some. And inside … was a letter. It read as follows:
Congratulations on winning our vacation! It seems like this vacation could be anything! Maybe you’ll need to use an axe to cut some firewood. Or how about boating or hiking through the mountains? Think of all that nature! No? Maybe you’d rather be part of a crew researching something, and experimenting? You could get samples of things for those researching?
You can scratch all of that off. This vacation isn’t that at all.
This one will feature as many beautiful sunrises and sunsets as you can handle. And hopefully you won’t get any of those awful rain clouds!
Instead, get to the harbor by Friday night… and there you will set sail on a 7-day cruise into the Caribbean islands! Everything is paid for but make sure you have your passport and any other documents showing your identification! Enjoy that trip and we’ll be in touch for an interview!
One final tip!
Don’t forget your camera!”
Less than a week later, I boarded a boat and as it drifted off into the sun setting over the ocean, I reached into my camera bag to pull out my camera and what else did I find?
Packing peanuts. Damn things are everywhere!
LINKUP FOR FEBRUARY 18
Story Challenge No. 4 linkup will be posted on March 4! Here is the photo for that one (using the Fantasia dice):
This is part of the Story Cube Challenge, a bi-monthly blogging challenge hosted here. Feel free to join up with us for the next one and tell others!