Author : Make Penmarche

“Isn’t it just lovely, Jenm?” Mary pulled her sunhat off and tossed her hair in the sea breeze. “It’s nothing like home!”

“Jim. It’s Jim.” He glanced at her, then turned back to watching the crowd. “Keep slipping up like that, and someone will hear you. You’ll draw attention.”

Mary laid her hand on his arm and smiled. “You’re right, darling. I’m sorry, it’s just, I’m so happy!”

He smiled back. “It is lovely.” Raising his glass to her, he said, “A toast! To life!”

“To a life worth living!” She downed the glass in one gulp, and held it out for more, giggling. A shadow fell across the table as he refilled her glass. As he paused, the stranger spoke.

“Hey there! There’s a happy couple!” He pulled over a chair. “Mind if I join you?”

Jim stood and held out his hand. “N…no, of course not!” He grinned nervously. “Jim. This is my wife, Mary.”

Mary fidgeted with a lock of hair as the men shook hands. “Pleasure to meet you both. Name’s David.” He sat, and gestured for Jim to do the same. “Where ya from?”

Jim sat, his chair just out from the table. “Oh, uh, we just flew in yesterday, from America.”

“Oh? On the honeymoon, eh?” David flagged a waiter. “Bring me a Mai Tai, would’ja?”

“No, ah, no, been married a while. Kind of a second honeymoon, I guess.” He chuckled, trying to conceal his nerves. “Just a little vacation, you know? Get away from the winter cold, for a bit.” He lifted his empty glass to his lips before he realized what he was doing.

David smiled as the waiter set down his drink. “So, how’re you enjoying your stay in Cancun so far?”

Mary chimed in. “Oh, it’s so great, don’t you know? The people are so nice, and the weather…”

David interrupted her, leaning in. “And you’re obviously enjoying your stay in the Twentieth Century, folks, quite a lot.” He flashed a badge at them. “Given you didn’t make your pick-up.”

Jim crumpled in his chair. “How’d you know? We were so careful.”

David sipped his drink. “The Regency’s been doing this a while, Jenm. But you know that already, don’t you?”

“So, you overheard us?”

“No, nothing like that. Everyone thinks they’re so careful. To be honest, I wasn’t even remotely sure until I came over.” He set the empty glass down. “Man, you just don’t get stuff this good anymore, no?” He stood, dropping bills on the table. “It’s the little things, you know? You tourists always miss the little things.”

“Yes, but…” Jim’s eyes pleaded.

“The trousers, man!” David reached down and eased the fabric at his knees. “The fabric doesn’t stretch. You didn’t account for that when you sat down.”

Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows