A Visitor's Guide To Hell
A short story published by Heather Douglass
Copyright 2012 Heather Douglass
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“Such a lovely coach station,” Auntie Beryl said. But then, she would.
Auntie Beryl had abnormal tolerance levels. Most people would struggle to admire the place we stood: a lightless, concrete wind tunnel whose seats had been rained on, where the only olfactory relief from diesel fumes was the smell of pee.
It was my turn to go with her on holiday. Family obligation--Auntie would otherwise inflict herself on us at home. Though I often wondered if this weren't the better option, because she chose such god-awful destinations. She once spent a fortnight in Somalia with my mother, but only Beryl took any pictures. And she had one arm in a sling.
This year she put herself in the hands of St. Mungo's Friendly Society, a cheery group of retirees according to her, who had organized a day trip. Destination? I asked, but Beryl said she forgot to write it down.
When our coach arrived, screamed to a halt in front of us, Auntie admired it. I noticed rust, bald tires, and a sound like copulating cutlery coming from the hood.