Chapter 3

Written by: Ken Burns

The mum pushes up her enormous sunglasses on top of a sweating forehead while glancing up from a celebrity magazine. She stares at him without moving any part of her slowly sun baking body. Her smooth right hand reaches out an elegant finger enticing the boy to come closer.

Boy looks but doesn’t move an inch.

I am becoming more intrigued and slightly more boozed from the rum cocktail. Being childless always keeps me fascinated as to how mothers behave around  unruly children. Public and private are two different things.

“I need a drink or I’ll die,” he whispers. His face is getting redder and redder outside a clearly belligerent, selfish attitude.

The finger continues to convince him to move forward.

He sheepishly shuffles, not looking up or sideways: head down.

Upon reaching his holiday loving mum, everyone around the pool has turned their heads. She leans into his left ear and speaks with her hand covering her mouth.  He doesn’t reply and turns slowly away. The eight year old face becomes even redder. He bursts into tears running back to the lobby of the Intercontinental.  She falls back onto the sun lounger, sunnies pulled down.  The magazine is reopened. Her left arm flicks her hand through her hair as if she is god’s gift to this planet and family. A smile creeps onto her smooth face.

There is an eruption of applause from around the pool.

I am loving the family drama. This time I am not involved. She looks over to me, waves and continues to smile with satisfaction gained.

Aolani is walking back from the bar with two more cocktails. She slides back onto her blue lounger.  The very married Matt climbs out of the pool in budgie smugglers too tight to mention. He sits in the next lounger.  He rubs himself vigorously with the hotel towel.

“What goes on the road stays on the road” is the only phrase I learnt from well seasoned Aolani.  She is childless like me but maintains a very positive attitude to living. No one gives her any grief for her choice, otherwise she’d put them in their place. 

Budgie-smuggler Matt leans into Aolani’s left ear while looking at me. She looks at me, too, and waves for me to come over. I shake my cocktail filled head from side to side while waving as if to say, ‘no thanks’.

The headshaking is making me dizzy in the afternoon heat. I lean forward, breathe deeply to get oxygen into my system. Aolani and Matt continue looking at me and whispering to each other while laughing. Aolani chats into Matt’s right ear with her hand smothering her loud voice.

Matt’s head jerks back and stares at Aolani. He gets redder and redder while shaking. Tears start flowing from his big family friendly face. He returns to the hotel.

Aolani looks over to me, licks her right index finger and makes her mark in the air signalling victory.





And now I'm wondering what Aolani whispered to Matt! Nice chapter Ken :)
Always keep something up your sleeve! The next chapter should always be a challenge.
An interesting detour, Ken and as you say a challenge for the next writer. Nice! :)