Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Hide and Seek (08/07/08)
TITLE: The Next Destination
By Betty Castleberry
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She fumbled for the phone on the nightstand. “Room service? Bring me a pot of coffee. Now.”
As was her habit on awakening, she scooped a handful of pills into her mouth and washed them down with a glass of tepid water. She talked aloud, to no one in particular. “Thank goodness for diet pills. I’d be as big as a house otherwise.
“I wish I could remember the name of this island. All I know is that I’m in the Caribbean on Saint-something. I think I liked Mallorca better with all those cute Spanish guys.” She looked out at the waves that deposited ribbons of foam along the sandy shore. “I can’t swim anyway.”
Her thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door. A lovely island accent with undertones of French called, “Room service.”
“Leave it in the hall. Put your tip on my tab.”
She listened as the footsteps faded away. There was no way she would have allowed anyone to see her so early.
Hanna opened the door slightly and retrieved the tray. She was pouring a cup of coffee when her cell phone rang.
A smooth male voice greeted her. “Hanna, you were to call over an hour ago. You know if you want to play, you have to follow the rules.”
“So sue me, Richard. I’m just waking up.”
“I know you sleep late, but it’s four o’clock in the afternoon.”
“Oh no. You’re not going to trick me. I won’t tell you what time it is here.” Hanna grinned triumphantly. “It’s your job to guess where I am from the clues I choose to give you, if you remember right.”
“Of course, but there’s nothing wrong with a little honest trickery. What’s your clue?”
“How about ‘saint‘?”
“You’re not at the Vatican again are you, angel? You were there just a couple of weeks ago.”
“No. Pass my clue along and I’ll call in another hour.” She punched a button and set her phone to voice mail, then decided to go for her morning walk.
Hanna looked at her reflection in the mirror. Her perfectly waxed eyebrows and collagen-puffed lips needed nothing. She smoothed some bronzer across her cheeks to enhance her already flawless, tan booth-browned skin. Sunglasses and a straw hat negated any need for further primping.
Only a few people strolled along the shoreline, ignoring Hanna. The leisurely walk allowed her to think about where she would go next. She could go anywhere in the world she wanted, but she had already been everywhere that really interested her. At first she thought playing the international searching game would be fun, but it soon became boring. Her friends wouldn’t admit it, but she believed they were tiring of the game, too. All of Hanna’s money didn’t seem to alleviate the boredom that followed her wherever she went. She felt as if she had no purpose in her life.
It had been nearly an hour since Richard’s call. She reached for her cell phone to call him when she saw a young man approaching her. At first she thought she had been recognized, but he gave no indication that he knew who she was. Ordinarily Hanna would have told him to get lost, but there was something intriguing about this man, and besides, he was very cute.
He smiled. “Hello. Nice morning, isn’t it?”
She smiled back, flashing her expertly capped, brilliant-white teeth. “Divine.”
“I’d like to give you this, and hope you take the time to read it.”
Hanna looked at the pamphlet he handed her. A cross and the words “The Empty Tomb” graced the cover. She frowned and shook her head.
“Is something wrong?”
“I don’t do religion.”
“This could change your life. In fact, it could be just what you’re looking for.”
Hannah looked at the young man, not knowing quite what to say. She turned the pamphlet over and over in her hand. Finally she spoke. “I am hiding, you know.”
“You may be trying, but no one can hide from God. He will always find you. Keep the pamphlet.” He smiled and walked away, leaving footprints in the sand and a burden on her heart.
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