Excerpt for All Inclusive by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

All Inclusive

By

Emily Thorndike

First Edition

Copyright © 2017 Emily Thorndike

All rights reserved



The First Flight

Monica Chapman woke early. She had barely slept. Thinking of her holiday checklist had blocked a much needed calming of her mind. As her eyes focused around the room, the butterflies in her stomach reminded her of her foremost dilemma, flying. She had never flown before, she never wanted to fly and she certainly didn’t want to fly right now. This was all Brian’s fault; he was the one that had plagued her to holiday abroad every year since they met; nineteen years ago. She looked across at her husband snoozing beside her; she screwed her eyes into slits at the rather pleasant mental image of thumping him into consciousness. Brian picked up her thoughts on a higher level, turned over and farted. For some reason, the sudden movement of gravity against the side of his stomach often caused this unpleasant bodily function which was necessary to alleviate his restriction of gas.

Monica got up and headed for the en-suite bathroom, flicking the radio on that was sitting on her chest of drawers; she walked past the window noticing it was sunny again with no clouds and a beautiful blue sky. This would normally raise her emotions but not today. She shut the door behind her and stared at the neat little groups of her ‘all-eventuality’ toiletries already sitting in her travel bag. Shopping for this holiday had been challenging and stressful, she had no idea if one could buy personal essentials abroad; it hadn’t crossed her mind that the Spanish use deodorant or indeed cleaned their teeth.

Brian stirred in his sleep. He normally woke up within five minutes of Monica leaving the bed, which was annoying if she was sick or tipsy. The other annoying factor was that he normally realised he needed a pee, which meant he had to walk to the bathroom off the hallway with a kind of urgency rather than dawdling which Monica enjoyed when going to relieve herself. As Brian left the bedroom he wondered what was in the en-suite, he had barely been in it since it had been built. They hadn’t been in Hayes long; less than a year and the house was still meeting Monica’s standards by way of additions.

There is a common fable that says once a man starts to pee he can’t stop. For the female race this is hard to digest as most females can manage such an exercise in an effort to tighten up their pelvic floor muscles. Men don’t appear to have pelvic floor muscles. The other parable is that if a man is abruptly interrupted from his morning pee he will spray the toilet lid and possibly his feet, it’s a gut reaction movement which mankind hasn’t figured out yet.

“For fuck sake, NO!” Monica screamed. It echoed in a decibel only practised by demons living in lower earth. It vibrated with a sonic boom from the en-suite. Brian heard it over his morning nuptial that made a pretty loud splashing noise into the toilet bowl in itself. He sprayed the toilet lid and his feet and he couldn’t stop peeing whilst panicking over the obvious explanation for his wife’s language…a large black spider. It was the only thought that came to him. His anxiousness over her rescue predicament only slowed down his peeing stream which made him panic more.

“Are you fucking kidding me? Oh My GOD.” This second expletive was louder and darker. It suggested his wife had indeed been possessed by the devil. Brian decided he really should spend more time in the en-suite; there must be a portal to the other side he didn’t know about. As he flicked and dried he assumed the spider must have cornered her and she can’t escape. He made a mental note to clean the toilet lid and floor later, he ignored the yellow splashes on his feet…man was needed elsewhere.

Monica sat on the loo and looked around for something to kill herself with. There was nothing. She was too angry to cry and too upset to stab herself to death with a toothbrush. She was alone in the world. The en-suite was her prison and there was no escape. Her period had started and of all the wondrous array of sprays, tubes and feminine wants for a tan that had been purchased, tampons were not one of them. There was no god.

“I don’t fucking believe it.” It came bellowing out from behind the door as Brian rushed into the bedroom.

“Monica? Are you OK?” Brian knew it was a dumb question as it left his lips.

“NO.” Monica didn’t grace him with a reason. She had commenced the ceremony of cleaning herself up. As if in remote control she filled up the bidet with hot soapy water, courtesy of shampoo and threw her underwear in to soak. She was pleased she wore her old selection of ‘Nora Batty’ knickers last night, saving her nice new frilly ones for the holiday. It was a ‘woman’ thing. She put the shower on whilst rummaging through every single drawer and cupboard location in the en-suite for some form of feminine hygiene protection.

Brian heard the banging and slamming from the other side of the door. Monica didn’t normally try and kill spiders, he wasn’t allowed to kill spiders; they were just removed from the house, usually over the wall to the neighbour’s garden. Monica didn’t like the neighbours.

“Do you want me to get it?” Brian shouted.

Monica’s luck was in. She found a tampon in an old make up bag, admittedly it was for a light flow or could be used to remove one eye of make-up but it would do.

Brian knocked on the door. “Monica what the fuck are you doing?”

Monica turned the shower off. She was too annoyed to soothe her now bloating body in warm water. Irrational thoughts took over as the all expected pain started in her tummy like a kick. This sucked. She opened the door with an almighty shove, the door wobbled open reflecting its injury and smacked against the wardrobe door.

Brian recoiled in a split second reaction as his crazed wife stood in the doorway wrapped in a towel, sweating profusely. “Monica what the fuck is wrong?” He stupidly ventured forward a bit to peer into the en-suite; this had to be a right motherfucker of a spider, however surely she would have run out by now. He started to sweat himself as it dawned on him it must be the ‘other’ thing…the first grey pube; he looked at his wife for an explanation.

“My period, that’s what the fuck is wrong, my goddamn period. Do you see any bloody resources on my checklist for my bloody period? No. Do you know why? Because it’s not due yet that’s why? Well I’m not going. You’ve got to be kidding me if you think I’m going to fly to Spain on a goddamn plane I don’t want to go on in 30 degrees like some big bloater mama bleeding like a murder scene. It’s just not happening.” Monica shoved past Brian and went downstairs two at a time.

“Oh bollox.” Brian shouted to the ceiling. He felt angina coming on, not that he knew what that was like but he could easily imagine it from the tense feeling rising up from his solar plexus towards his chest right now. He walked to the top of the stairs. “Monica? Would you like a cup of tea?” Tea was always on a sick day, never coffee. He shouted downwards with no idea where his wife was. She appeared looking even more deranged than five minutes earlier and she was on the phone.

“A cup of tea? Do I look like I need a bloody cup of tea?” Monica spat towards him then disappeared continuing to moan into the phone.

“Who the hell are you talking to?” Brian started walking downstairs, he was beginning to worry, there was no telling what his wife would do pre-menstrual, menstrual and après menstrual. She’d left campsites and expensive hotels in the middle of the night because of a menstruating emergency. He realised how her cycle dictated each month. He deduced there was only 1 week of a month of calm behaviour from his wife; then he stopped dead on the stairs in further thought. He’d forgotten about ovulation and in doing so realised he was doomed by the female cycle. His marriage was doomed. This holiday was doomed. Mankind is doomed. Being an ex-military man, he could multi task and he could think quickly on his feet, but nothing could prepare him for getting his wife on a plane for the first time, with her period. He’d only been out of the army eighteen months, there was still time for him to re-apply and get back in, he didn’t need a holiday, life would go on.

Monica was shouting in the kitchen and Brian had deduced she was talking to their daughter Kerry. There was hope. Kerry could always get Monica to calm down; they had that kind of relationship, close. He crept forward bit by bit, combat style, he needed a coffee; he needed a large gin if truth be known.

Brian had learnt a lot from the Army but he had learnt a lot more from his marriage. He had learnt that it was a complete waste of his breath and thought process to talk, let alone argue, when Monica was going off on one. It was much better to ignore whatever it was that was causing her to behave like she needed a multi-purpose straight jacket. At forty one he felt blessed from having a brilliant military career and that experience now dribbled slowly into his new business venture of personal and commercial security, all après combat. To this day this has held him in good stead in dealing with Monica.

Brian was six foot one and built like a fridge. Monica had long auburn hair and was five foot four inches of an emotionally challenging person. She knew it. Her husband knew it. Her children knew it. She was highly intelligent and had made a wonderful family environment around her loved ones. At thirty eight she had helped with many charity organisations through her giving nature, preferring this to a full time career, all because of her intent to be around her family. At thirty eight years young everything was now changing with her daughter moving out, her son wandering around worldwide without the direction she had taught him and her husband was around more than she was used to. At thirty eight years old she was clearly experiencing the menopause and it wasn’t being received well.

“Kerry, where do I get Belladonna tablets from?” Monica asked. “OK. See you later.” She was calmer when she put the phone down on the kitchen table.

Brian entered the kitchen cautiously. “Is everything alright?” He walked over to the kettle and filled it at the sink. Turning around he looked over at his wife who looked like the next stage of her fit was tears. “It’s not that bad surely Monica.”

“What the fuck would you know Brian? Do you bleed from your orifice monthly? No. Do you inflate two clothes sizes in less than twelve hours? No. Do you feel like killing someone, anyone? No.” Monica got two mugs out from the cupboard and slammed them down on the table.

Brian was going to enlighten her that he had actually killed someone and can blatantly kill anyone, but thought that suicidal even with his training. He was beginning to feel a little jaded and it was only 7.04am. He also felt a bit wounded by Monica’s attack, after all the holiday was a treat for her and he’d thought of everything. A scheduled flight not a package holiday; too many people irritate Monica. He’d upgraded them to business class so no unnecessary queues; too many people irritate Monica. He’d rented a private villa with a pool in Mihas Costa, close to a few restaurants; too many people irritate Monica. In fact he’d thought of everything except the ‘dreaded monthly curse’ and he thought he was clear on that one; lots of probing questions led him to believe he’d ticked all the boxes. There was no god.

Monica got the coffee, sugar and milk and also slammed them on the kitchen table. Her luck ran out as did Brian’s when the milk burst with the force. It was a definite ‘Steven Spielberg’ moment as both of them looked at the kitchen table which appeared to swell in size within the room making it appear is if it was the only thing in it.

“For. Fuck. SAKE.” Monica went up a gear in volume and pitch.

Brian got the roll of kitchen towel and mopped up the mess at the same time as placing the milk carton into the sink. “See, it’s all sorted, all cleared up. Now I’ll make the coffee and you sit outside.”

“I don’t want to sit outside.” Monica knew she was sulking and behaving like a right bitch but she couldn’t help it.

“OK. Sit here then.” Brian had a successful security company, he would have given anything to dial up one of his guards to come and help him the fuck out right now.

“I don’t want to sit.” Monica threw cutlery around in general.

“Fine.” Brian looked in the medicine cabinet for painkillers for himself, not his wife, but he offered them anyway. “Paracetamol or Ibuprofen or something stronger?”

“I’ll tell you what Brian.” Monica disturbingly collected up some armoury in the kitchen. “How about I smack you in the stomach with this rolling pin, grate the skin off your balls slowly with this cheese grater and then shove everything inside and upwards via the nearest sphincter with this spatula, so you can feel what I’m feeling then you can administer the drugs?”

Brian stopped feeling sorry for himself and hit the stairs three at a time with the announcement he was going to rush out and buy an array of tampons, sanitary towels, intimate deodorisers and creams, belladonna tablets - even though he hadn’t a clue what they were and a good sized bottle of vodka with tomato juice and celery for their breakfast.

As the door slammed, Monica sat down and cried then made herself a coffee and went outside.

****

Never before had Brian made such a wise decision in arranging a chauffeur driven limousine to the airport. An hour of air conditioned entertainment with champagne and nibbles courtesy of one of his clients. The two large Bloody Marys and lashings of Marmite toast had placated Monica to just the occasional grump and sarcastic one liner. Brian had left her to pack whilst he ran around the house and garden, tidying, securing their home, cleaning piss off the bathroom pan and floor. He was organised.

Monica was organised until her ‘condition’ led to a complete wardrobe change with Kerry drafted in to make her mother see sense in the expected travelling temperature of 32 degrees C, and at the other end. The belladonna tablets had started their magic of deflating her swollen tummy and alleviating the stomach cramps. Kerry approached the subject of the menopause having refilled her mother’s glass; her Dad had made a big jug of the popular breakfast cocktail for medicinal purposes.

“Mum you need to start taking alternative products and get them absorbed into your system.” Kerry tasted her mother’s drink and poured one for herself. “Whatever you do Mum, do not go on HRT.

“I’ve no intention of taking HRT Kerry. I don’t want to become one of those delirious women picked up for stealing budgie food without knowing they’ve done it.” Monica held up a silky A-frame dress for Kerry’s approval.

“Black cohosh with sage works well. One of my clients uses it.” Kerry nodded at the dress and held up a few colourful sashes to wear around her waist to cover any ‘problems’ whilst wearing a bikini. “Mum you have a fantastic figure. I know what being bloated feels like but to be honest you have never looked fat or anything when you’ve got your period. The good news is that after the menopause you won’t have to put up with this shit anymore.”

“I suppose so. At least I haven’t started hot flushes yet. Dad says he’s leaving me when they rock up.” Monica took a sip of the spicy red liquid; it was working well. “I think I’m done.” She looked at the clothes left on her bed and the ones in her suitcase.

“I’ll put them away for you when you’ve gone Mum.” Kerry looked towards the bedroom window and saw a limousine arrive. “WOW! Lucky you!” She ran downstairs and out the door before her Dad got there.

“The car’s here Monica.” Brian shouted up the stairs, he had no intention of going into the war zone; he was leaving that to Kerry who was staying at the house whilst they were gone. He knew that was code for a ‘party’ but as long as she seriously tidied up he didn’t mind; he remembered he used to be happy once too.

Monica came downstairs struggling with her suitcase. She had no intention of asking Brian for help because she knew she had hormonally disgraced herself big time and wasn’t drunk enough yet to apologise. It’s a woman thing.

“I’ll get that.” Brian walked upstairs and grabbed her baggage.

“Thanks.” That was the first pleasant thing she had said to him that morning. Monica looked at her husband through slight alcoholic eyes. He was still pretty damn fit and he smelt nice. She always bought his aftershave so he would smell exactly as she liked. It’s another woman thing. She continued downstairs to the door. Her heart lifted at the sight of the limousine with completely blacked out windows.

“Is that ours Brian?”

“Sure thing.” He turned around and winked at her. The chauffeur got out and shook hands with him. They chatted for a while. Kerry was already in the limousine snooping around with the door slid wide open.

Monica got in and the chilled air temperature hit her in a soothing way. Brian poked his head around the door.

“Time to go Princess.” He nodded at Kerry. “All the bags are in the back. Have you got everything Monica?” He wasn’t going to force her to go through a mental checklist, if she didn’t have it he’d buy it. It was a man thing.”

“Yep.” Monica checked in her bag for her passport. It was the second pleasant thing she had said to him, it was now 09.15am so things were looking up. She smiled in the knowledge that Brian organised all the travel details and always had, the only thing she ever needed was her lippy, but today she needed her ID. Tick.

The goodbyes were quick through teamwork between father and daughter and they were on their way without any fuss or tears. Five minutes onto the motorway Brian allowed himself to relax. For some reason he always saw motorways as routes away or routes home and whilst you were on them you weren’t in either stage of travel. Motorways were unfriendly and boring.

They both gaily drank the champagne without much conversation due to the entertainment of Monica’s favourite music videos…the 70’s. Brian watched his wife tapping her toes and thought if he didn’t get lucky after such perfect thoughtfulness then there was no god. He then remembered his wife’s predicament and topped up his drink dejectedly. Monica happily munched her way through the nibbles; he needed her to keep eating to soak up the booze which he needed her to drink to get her on the plane, let alone to Spain. It was a classic ‘Catch 22.’

It was a cooling 20 degrees C in the cabin of the limo, much appreciated by Monica who was beginning to feel a tad tiddly and by Brian who had already caught the sun on his shoulders from the emergency dash to the superstore.

With the airport in sight, Monica began to feel curious and anxious all at once. A plane took off nearby; she put down her window and heard the enormous rush of the engines as it left the tarmac. She felt sick. She looked at Brian who was braced for any question…or so he thought.

“Can the stewardesses fly the plane if the pilot drops dead?” She stared at him.

It is true that they hadn’t really approached the subject of flying much within their relationship because Monica was adamant she had no interest in getting on a plane. She was happy for him to fly everywhere in the Army whilst her little feet were safely on the ground with the kids. They had exhausted most holiday coastal regions in the UK partially due to his work and partially her phobia. He now wished they had done the whole PowerPoint presentation on flying well before today and not with the airport arrivals lounge imminent in distance.

“Umm, they don’t have to, the co-pilot can fly it.” Brian breathed to steady himself. The limo stopped.

“What if he dies as well?” Monica was routed to her seat.

“He won’t Monica. They even eat different foods in case of the shits; I mean the toilets on these aircraft aren’t much more than a port-a-loo.” He laughed. “Anyway the flight deck crew aren’t always men; there are women pilots, just not ones with periods or the menopause. I believe they clone them having grown the first one from IVF so they grow up womb free.”

Monica glared at him. The chauffeur slid open the door and 29 degrees came in. She got out and sobered up at the enormity of the place. Brian went with zest to get a luggage trolley, there were far too many people around but that was out of his control. The quicker he got his wife to the Business Class Lounge the better. A strong breeze enveloped them as they said goodbye to the chauffeur, who was very happy with Brian’s tip, and they made their way into the terminal.

Brian’s second good decision to travel Business Class was also right up there with ‘smart arse ideas to get laid.’ The queue at the check in was non-existent as opposed to Economy, further along where there were several package holiday check-ins opened; even Brian couldn’t cope with that array of travellers. They were checked in, through the security and into the courtesy Business lounge with just hand luggage in no time. Monica realised she was being whisked through all the formalities but really didn’t mind, there were hardly any people around resulting in no inner urges for violence. There was a god.

Once inside the sacred area of quiet, calm, free delights and idle moments, Brian realised he needed the toilet fast. He fidgeted as he scanned for the toilets holding his stomach protectively, clenching his butt. Monica looked at him with one eyebrow raised. He offered the explanation to his wife.

“The ETA of my regular and popular morning movement was interrupted by the screams of a possessed bitch from hell that put my body into shock delaying the necessary function and now I need to go… urgently.”

“How disgusting Brian, just go.” Monica ignored his sarcasm.


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