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A Working Vacation

Chris has written more than 300 flash fiction/short stories. Working Vacation was 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.


Donald was wealthy, handsome and, if the ring on his left hand meant anything, not available. The sexy redhead seemed to consider the last point irrelevant as she took the barstool next to him and locked her big green eyes onto his baby blues when she said hello.

Donald reviewed a few descriptive words in his mind while he waited for her to make her move. Sexy? Yes, definitely. Sensual? voluptuous? erotic? seductive? Yes, yes, yes, yes. I sound like a thesaurus, but I am a writer, after all.

Donald was a successful author and was at this resort hotel for a writers’ conference. These events were good opportunities for top notch authors to pick up a nice paycheck between books and apparently sexy women as well.


“Great job in the workshop today,” said the woman, sipping a drink. “Nice topic too. Sex in Novels: How Much is Too Much?”

“Thanks, um…” he said, extending his hand. It certainly didn’t take her long to get to the point.

“Marcia Stevens,” she said, holding his hand much longer than necessary.

Did she actually just run her fingers clear up onto my wrist?

Marcia took a sip of her drink, then stuck out her bottom lip and held the empty glass up for him to see.

“Nice to meet you, Marcia. Could I….”

“I’d love one.” She set her empty glass on the bar.

“Another for her, and a rum and Coke for me,” Donald said to the bartender.

“You didn’t have to do that—but I’m glad you did.” The pouty lip disappeared.

“What do you Write, Marcia?” Trashy novels would be my guess.

“Erotica. Sexy, sultry, sensual erotica,” she scooted a little closer. “And I couldn’t have agreed with you more in the workshop when you said it’s hard to overdo sex in writing today, or, if I might add, in real life.”

Donald nodded toward a booth in the corner of the lounge. Marcia glanced over, and he slipped the wedding ring off stashing it away in his pocket.


They flirted and laughed for an hour in the dark corner. My god, this lady is all hands, he thought as her fingers crawled nearly as far up his thigh as his doctor’s during an annual physical.

“I’ll be right back. I need to visit the ladies room.” A long lash flitted down over one of her huge, green eyes “Don’t you try to run away while I’m gone. I’ve got plans for you.”

I wonder if she writes in cliches too?

She performed a memorable walk across the lounge, but his phone interrupted the show. In the text, his daughter, Julia, asked if he and her Mom would be able to make it to her high school volleyball game on Tuesday night. He sent a quick message back to let her know they wouldn’t miss it for the world, ending with a quick “love you.”

Donald was busying himself with thoughts of the sultress returning for a second round of thigh massaging, when another text came in. His wife, Sharon, had sent him one of her sexy selfies. “Nice,” he texted back. “I can’t wait.” She asked if he was enjoying the conference, and he responded that the only way it could possibly have been better was if she had been sitting beside him right then. Sharon ended, as always, with, I love you and Donald with his characteristic, I love you more.


A couple of minutes later, Marcia slid back into the booth next to him, closer than before if that was possible. She unholstered her hands and went back to work on his thigh.

“I’ve got one of the rooms with a two person jacuzzi.” She pulled away and fluttered both lashes this time. “I was thinking I’d go up and relax with a bottle of wine, but I hate to spend the evening all alone.” Her bottom lip stuck out again and she looked down at her hands clasped in her lap.

“I like how you think,” he said. I like how you scheme is what I meant.

She leaned in, lips barely touching his at first, then pressing hard, opening her mouth, forcing her way in. She moved slightly and hot breath wafted past his ear as she spoke.

“You buy the wine. I’ll go run the water.” She slipped a card key into his shirt pocket and ran her hand up and down his chest.

The sheer green dress molded to her petite body as she moved across the room. Donald dragged his eyes away from the last place he had seen the woman and turned his attention to obtaining a bottle of wine. He had to wait until the man behind the bar was through gaping at the doorway.

“Wow.” The bartender finally let go of whatever fantasy he had been conjuring.

“Well said.” Donald reached for his wallet.

“What’s your secret?”

“Money, luck and good looks. If you don’t have any of those, try sincerity, charm and personality. They’re a lot of work, but they can be effective. Now get me your best Sauvignon Blanc, the lady is waiting, probably naked.”


The spacious suite sported an entire wall of floor to ceiling windows overlooking Times Square. At the bar, Donald poured wine into crystal goblets as he watched the open door to the bathroom. A full length mirror reflected Marcia performing a striptease so erotic it would have made a pole dancer blush.

Donald set the goblets down on the edge of the hot tub. His own attempt at a sexy striptease brought giggles from the steamy water, so he dropped the tease and simply stripped. He slid into the water, and the woman was on him. Lips touched, tongues and fingers explored, time and inhibitions took leave, passion seized control.

Donald and Marcia leaned back against the headboard of the king size bed. The goblets chimed. They sipped, enjoying the warmth of the blankets, the wine and each other.

“You are a bad, bad man.” The single, long eyelash made another appearance and took a bow.

“I’m sure my wife would agree.”

“Your wife has her own devious side.”

“I’m beginning to see that. Oh, before I forget, Julia texted while you were in the lounge restroom.”

“What did she have to say?”

“She wanted to know if we would be able to make it to her volleyball game on Tuesday night. I told her we wouldn’t miss it for anything.”

“It’s a conference game isn’t it?”

“Yes, and her team is still in contention.”

“So what did you think of my Marcia Stevens character?”

“She’s a keeper for sure, and I think the bartender feels the same way.” Donald slid the wedding ring back onto his finger.

“These working vacations were a great idea.”

“Do you think you could get Marcia to teach you that thigh massaging thing?”

“Marcia and I are way ahead of you,” said Sharon as she ran her fingers up Donald’s leg.


© 2016 Chris Mills


Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 16, 2016:

Ann, A lot of my stories went off HP, but now that I am preparing to publish an e-book, I brought them back here. So, yes, you did read this before. Thanks for your comment about the improvement in my writing. It actually only had one way it could go.

Ann Carr from SW England on December 16, 2016:

Thought I'd already read a version of this way back and then I see that you have published it before. I enjoyed it then but your writing has improved immensely since. Great story!


Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on August 12, 2016:

Thanks, Manatita. This particular plot has been used a lot, but I had fun with it and feel that I have been able to display the writing skills I've learned over the last couple of years. Also, I think my friends have had fun reading it.

manatita44 on August 12, 2016:

I see what you mean, Bro. And you added class and panache to it, too. Well, those things happen in real life and goes a long way to spicing up a marriage. Great Hub!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 28, 2016:

Shauna, haha, this was definitely a well used plot by other writers. The first draft was depressing because the guy really was cheating. I just kept rewriting until I came up with this version. Happy endings are good. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 28, 2016:

Chris, this is very well-written. You succeeded at painting vivid visuals in my mind. However, I knew what was going on all along. There was an episode of Modern Family where Phil and Claire did this very thing. Nevertheless, I love a good steamy story!

Lawrence Hebb on June 13, 2016:


Loved this, got to admit I wasn't expecting the nice twist at the end, but that's what made it so good!

Keep 'em up!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 11, 2016:

Faith, I think what made this a better story, at least for me, was the sharper contrast between the sleaziness of the fantasy and the reality. Her low point was her total disregard for his wedding ring. HIs was when she went to the restroom and he got the texts from his wife and daughter. But then the ending puts all that into perspective and makes it fun.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on June 11, 2016:

Yes, I did visit twice here. After I left my first comment, I realized I may have read a different version of this one from before, so I came back to let you know I remember reading it before, but I don't remember the ending from before.

You certainly did very well in the contest! I like this updated version much better.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 11, 2016:

Faith and Deb, I'll answer both your comments here since you raise the same question. I first wrote this story a couple of years ago as a flash fiction. The first draft was just terrible because the man really was cheating on his wife. I couldn't bring myself to post it. I played with it for a while and finally came to the current storyline. Last fall I read about the Writer's Digest Short story competition and decided to submit this one . I rewrote it so that it was about one third longer than the original. I applied all the things I've learned the last couple of years about writing and sent it in. After the first of the year, I heard from WD that my story had been awarded 21st place out of 6700 entries. I was elated and delighted. I appreciate you both stopping in to read. Faith, this is your second time to read this version. Thank you both for your comments.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on June 11, 2016:

I do remember reading the story from before and wanted to see how you changed it up. Both times were and are really good reads.

Deb Hirt on June 11, 2016:

Very well done. I think you did something quite similar to this once, or is this a tweaked version of the one that I am thinking about?

Michael Milec on June 09, 2016:

Well Chris, it came back to me my final sentence "Lernkng follows those of teachable." Thanks my original mentor; your gentle rebuke lead me to realize my usage of words would totally be in positive territory by turning around of 180 degree.

Michael Milec on June 09, 2016:

Well Chris, it came back to me my final sentence "Lernkng follows those of teachable." Thanks my original mentor; your gentle rebuke lead me to realize my usage of words would totally be in positive territory by turning around of 180 degree.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on June 08, 2016:

Great writing. Enjoyed.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 04, 2016:

Faith, that is the first time that the possibility of her being a man has come up. Thanks, that will have to be another story. This one started out dark and ugly, but I just couldn't leave it that way. The way it ends now makes the whole story happy, not just the ending. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on June 04, 2016:

Chris, I can understand why this one did so well in the Writer's Digest Competition. This one met all the requirements of a great flash fiction read. I didn't see that ending coming and was thinking that this beauty may have been a man ...whew, so I'm thrilled to find out they are a happily married couple doing a little exciting role playing!

I'm sure it would be hard to resist such a green-eyed beauty, but even better to have her as a wife ...to the envy of all others.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 02, 2016:

Thank you, Larry. I appreciate the visit.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on June 02, 2016:

Compelling work.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 02, 2016:

Ruby, I love your comment. "And I didn't like either one." haha. I tried to make them both as despicable as I possibly could until the end. If this had been true cheating, he might have needed a trip out behind the woodshed. Thanks for reading.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 02, 2016:

Hello Michael. Thanks for stopping by. I'm looking at your comment and hope you were able to read the entire story. I'm hoping that the way it ends makes a difference in how you feel about the story. Take another look when you have time. The language issue may make it a little more difficult.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 02, 2016:

John, yes, it has been around a while in different forms. I finally brushed it up and made it a short story rather than flash fiction. It did well in the Writer's Digest Competition this year. Now HP has put it in the LetterPile niche site. I think I have three stories in the new creative writing site now. I also have two articles in other new sites. It's a surprise every time. Thanks for reading, John.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 01, 2016:

This is great! I love surprise endings. I can see why you won with this one. You made the characters so vivid. I could see them both, and I didn't like either one. lol...

Michael Milec on June 01, 2016:

A one for sighing, thinking and regretting ; depends ...Learning follows those of teachable

Hello, Chris.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on June 01, 2016:

I was sure I had read this before, Chris......but it's equally as satisfying a second time. Great writing.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 01, 2016:

Becky, glad you liked it. This one has been around for a while. It actually took 21st place in the Writer's Digest Competition this year. There were 6700 entries, so I was pretty happy about it.

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on June 01, 2016:

Loved it, hahahaha.

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