The Mandatory Vacation
For some, a monster vacation was a chance to get away, to enjoy the finer things in life, and to take a break from the all-consuming work of scaring humans. But for Eunice, Gary and Solomon, a vacation was an excruciating den of boredom, angst and irritation.
They were workaholics. They loved their 18 hour days, 7 days a week and could easily maintain that lifestyle all the time. However, the MU (Monster Union) dictated that all monsters take two weeks off a year for “restorative rest and relaxation.”
United by their mutual dread of vacations, Eunice, Gary and Solomon always arranged to suffer the time off together.
Eunice stared anxiously at the ocean’s calm lapping waters and the brightly-colored beach volleyball nets, groaning, “I think I’m gonna be sick…”
Gary grimaced as cabana boys placed virgin pina coladas in his claws and wished him a relaxing stay.
Solomon, paralyzed in the middle of the club discos at night, wondered how on earth other monsters were able to let loose and let it all go.
Each night, they convened at dinner–the silence of their misery interrupted only by the scraping of knives and forks.
At the end of the first week, Eunice cleared her throat and said:
“Gary, Solomon…maybe we should fly back early…”
“Yes, PLEASE!” said Gary. “I’m dying here.”
“I would LOVE that!” said Solomon. “There are these new elaborate scare tactics that I’ve been working on and if I could just jump in and out of a couple closets, I think I could be onto something really great.”
“Oh, goody!” said Eunice. “I need to get away from this place…the sun, the ‘fun’…it’s enough to make me forget who I am!”
“I’ll call the airlines first thing tomorrow and change our tickets,” said Gary.
“Terrific,” said Solomon.
The next morning, calmed at the thought of leaving early, the three decided to hit the beach one more time. Knowing that they had work to look forward to the next day, they stretched out under the sun and let the breeze brush over them. Remarkably, it was relaxing. Rather enjoyable. Eunice wrote in her journal about all of the new ways she would try to scare little Dana in the upcoming year. Gary played solitaire and practiced card tricks until he peacefully fell asleep. Solomon finished book 4 in the Larry Snotter series. He couldn’t put it down.
At dinner that night, they discussed what a surprisingly fantastic day it had been.
“After a day like today, I could stay for one more day.” said Eunice.
“Honestly, so could I.” replied Gary.
“I didn’t want to say anything, but I’m really excited about jumping into book 5…” said Solomon.
So that’s just what they did. They stayed another day. And then one more. And then….four more.
By the end of week two, Eunice had become an accomplished beach volleyball player. Everyone wanted her on their team. Gary had slept more than he had in weeks and had actually become friends with one of the cabana boys. Solomon had finished the entire Larry Snotter series and was creatively recharged. They felt great.
It had been expensive to change their airline tickets so many times, but totally worth it.