Vashon After the Change — Flash Fiction Series — By March Twisdale

On July 23rd, 2017, minor decisions took on life-altering significance.

Sean — When will you be home?

Bonny — I don’t know. The kids are grouchy.

Sean — Where are you?

Bonny — Just east of Coeur d’Alene.

Sean — Ouch. You gonna drive all that way tonight?

Bonny — Guess not. We’ll grab a room.

Sean — Good idea. Give the kids a hug for me.

Bonny — Will do. See you tomorrow…xoxo

Families were separated.

On Sunday, July 23rd, 2017 3:27 PM, Leah Martin <JojoBearsHoney@musica.net> wrote:
 Hey JoJo-Babe! Hope you’re having fun with ‘your bros’ on Vashon! I’m having so much fun in Victoria that I’ve decided to play hooky. Yup, this Bachelorette Party is not ready to come home! Of course, this means that I’ll be scrubbed, peeled, soft…and ready for our Wedding Night, baby!

Love was lost.

“Screw this!” My new boss said, revving the engine of his sleek, yellow Porsche and swinging out of the post-festival ferry line. We zoomed up the hill, headed back toward town. “I know you said the ferry line might be long, but this is ridiculous!”

“My sister warned us to leave earlier.” I laughed, my head swimming pleasantly. Whether from spending the afternoon touring island wineries or from the check in my pocket, I couldn’t quite determine.

“So we’re stuck here?” He demanded.

I shrugged. “Or we wait.”

“I hate waiting.” He grumbled.

To be honest, I didn’t care how long the ferry line was. I had just been wined, dined and signed by one of the biggest legal firms in Colorado, complete with a fat signing bonus, my own company car and a company apartment for the first three months!

As Vashon Town loomed rapidly into view, I ignored the red zoned speedometer, the wind making my eyes tear. “It’s an island!” I reminded him, the wind grabbing at my words. “What did you expect?”

“You’ll never catch me living on an island.” He shouted back.

“Don’t get me wrong!” I said, my voice returning to normal as he found the brake. “I can’t wait to leave.” I frowned. Did I sound bitter to everyone or just my own ears?

“I bet.” He grimaced, answering the question. With a quick jerk of the wheel, he wove past a cluster of Strawberry Festival stragglers, almost squishing two Boston Terriers as he maneuvered toward The Lodges where, with so many already headed home, there was sure to be an opening.

“One more night on The Rock,” I murmured to myself. 
“…and then,” my new boss continued for me, his eyes gleaming, “Denver, here we come!”

Futures were obliterated.

The phone rang for a third time, signaling an emergency. Cara sighed, put down her book, and reached for the beeping device.

Nurse: “Sorry to call, but we’ve got a problem with the O2 tanks.”
 Cara: “They missed their delivery?!”
 Nurse: “The ferry line was too long. They would have missed their other two stops of the day.”
 Cara: “Ugh! Well, keep it quiet, ok? If my Mom hears, she’ll get everyone freaked out.”
 Nurse: “Don’t I know it!”
 Cara: “So, they’ve rescheduled the delivery for tomorrow?”
 Nurse: “Yes, and we’ve got enough oxygen to last till Tuesday, so I told the driver not to worry.”
 Cara: “Just how bad is it on the other side?”
 Nurse: “I guess there were two fender benders on Fauntleroy and an ambulance threw the ferries off schedule this morning around 5am. When the driver called me, the line was backed up to California Ave. Again.”
 Cara: “No wonder they cancelled. Next year, we’ll place our order on a different weekend. What about Stuart? Is he back with the insulin order?”
 Nurse: “No…”
 Cara: “What? Another “bad traffic” excuse?”
 Nurse: “Basically. He decided to stay the night with his sister in West Seattle. The lab will have the order ready for him at 7am.”
 Cara: “He better be on the 8:15am ferry…”
 Nurse: “I’m sure he will be.”

Death came sooner.

The Change brought many things, but none so terrible as the concept of consequence.

Want to read more? Go to marchtwisdale.com and click on “Vashon After.”

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