The Fat Man Running (a short story)
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This short story set on a cruise ship was my entry to a recent competition to win a cruise. Alas, it didn’t win, but I thought I’d post it here for you to enjoy.
If you’d like the chance to win a cruise, you’ll find all the latest cruise competitions here.
The Fat Man Running
Jim rubbed his belly with glee before thanking his new friends for their company and bidding them farewell. He had thoroughly enjoyed his four-course dinner and was relieved that the conversation had flowed as well as the wine. As he headed to the bar for another drink, any worries that he might have once had about cruising alone melted away.
At the bar, Jim got chatting to a friendly Irish bartender by the name of Conor. “Same again?” he asked.
“I’m not sure,” pondered Jim. “Perhaps I’ll try something different. What would you recommend?” A few minutes later, Conor placed a tall glass of bright green liquid on the bar.
“It’s called a Fat Man Running,” he quipped. Jim frowned and took a sip. In his 65 years he couldn’t recall ever having a green drink before. The warm flavours of rum and ginger ale contrasted with the zingy lime juice and refreshing blue curacao.
“It’s delicious!” he beamed. “Make me another.”
A few hours later, Jim felt the ship rocking as he sat down on his bed and struggled to remove his shoes. “We must be heading into rough seas,” he thought.
As he slid into bed, Jim spread out his arms and legs like a starfish, enjoying the feeling of the cool, white sheets against his skin. “Holidaying alone is certainly something I could get used to” he decided, as he fell into a deep slumber.
Suddenly, Jim’s eyes pinged open. At least he thought they did. He wasn’t entirely sure as his inside cabin was completely void of any light. His mouth felt dry. His head was heavy. And the cabin seemed to be swaying even more. “Why didn’t I leave a glass of water by the bed?” he cursed.
Jim staggered towards the bathroom, opened the door and closed it behind him. As he heard the door click and his eyes became accustomed to the bright light, he recoiled in horror upon realising that he wasn’t in the bathroom at all. He was in the corridor.
Jim frantically scrambled to open the door, feeling his heart racing as he realised his error. The only way to get back into the room was with a key card. Jim’s hand automatically reached up to his shirt pocket where his fingers brushed his hairy chest. He reached down to his pants pocket and found that his hand reached his bare thigh.
Poor Jim had no option but to make a dash for it. The lift down to reception felt like the longest journey of his life. As each deck number lit up on the screen, Jim said a silent prayer that the doors wouldn’t open until he’d reached his destination.
As he walked up to the desk with nothing but a wet floor sign to preserve his modesty, the gentleman behind the counter smiled. “I guess you’ll be needing a new key?”