Woohoo! I made the long list of the Furious Fiction contest for the second month in a row. I was already nominated in April and this was the challenge for May:
This is the story I submitted:
The resort was advertised as a hidden gem. The pictures on the website promised azure skies, a tranquil lake, and lush greenery on the waterfront. Accommodation and airfare were offered at a ridiculously affordable price.
If Cynthia had any doubts about the deal, they dissolved into thin air the moment the tourist bus dropped her off at the luxurious five-star hotel. The dinner served was delicious, and her room boasted a breathtaking view. The only downside was the lack of internet access and mobile coverage. Cynthia chose to see this as an advantage, anticipating a peaceful week in this secluded haven at the fringe of civilization, free from any disturbances.
“Salespeople, salespeople everywhere,” she overheard another guest sigh at the breakfast table the next day. “We are trapped in this hotel like mice in a basket waiting to be fed to the snakes.”
Cynthia ignored the man and his grievances, determined not to let anyone ruin her mood. Her plan was to take a morning walk around the lake, enjoy a delightful midday meal, and spend the afternoon immersed in a romantic novel by the water. Unfortunately, her day did not go as planned.
As Cynthia stepped outside, she was ambushed by an enthusiastic mob of vendors, attempting to sell a range of products from perfumes and SUVs to feminine hygiene products and men's deodorants. Desperate to escape these unexpected and relentless sales pitches, she hurried toward the lake. Her path was blocked by a man who insisted on reciting the side effects of an antidepressant. His words hit her like bullets from a machine gun. When she finally managed to break free, she bumped into a woman who looked like a combination of a Stepford Wife and Mrs. Doubtfire. The surreal image of a housewife praised the benefits of the Boil-Master Electric Kettle for the perfect cup of tea.
Forced to retreat when she witnessed a flock of hustlers approaching from the lake, Cynthia jumped over a naked man lying in her way. He smiled at her with teeth as white and shiny as polished porcelain. She deftly maneuvered around a colossal washing machine promoting a descaling detergent that saved its life from certain death. A pink elephant on roller skates chased after her, singing a catchy jingle: “No Mess Too Big or Small! Sparkle-Bright Cleans It All!”
Cynthia reached the hotel where the man from the breakfast table beckoned to her from a side door. He quickly ushered her inside and closed the door behind them.
“What just happened?” Cynthia asked in horror.
“Those were the commercials that pay for your vacation,” the man replied with a somber smile.
“But I paid for my own vacation,” Cynthia protested.
The man's smile grew sadder, “Are you certain you paid the full price? I made the mistake of assuming I did. If a deal seems too good to be true...”
Cynthia finished his sentence: “It probably is.”