A guest post by Joshua Bennett.
The travels of Leonard Arrington.
Fourteen hours to Addis. Another three to Tanzania with a squawking chicken in 2b. Leonard wanted a bath.
His company had arranged a swanky tourist hut, including a jacuzzi filled with steaming water.
He lowered himself in, sighing. Pressed the “jets” button. Porcelain nest disturbed, a thousand winged ants shot into the water. Leonard shrieked.
“You can’t stay on a stranger’s couch in Norway,” mother had said. “What if they’re crazy? Axe-murderers?”
At least there won’t be ants, Leonard thought, knocking on their door.
A young couple answered. They smiled, took his bags. “Welcome! How was your trip? Did you know 9/11 was an inside job?”
“And then, we will ride horseback to the Colombian coast and sleep beneath the stars.”
Leonard frowned. “I don’t like bugs.”
“Use mosquito spray,” Maria said helpfully.
Leonard used three cans of Deet to arrive in Tayrona unbitten. There was no Deet left for sleeping beneath the stars.
“You have Dengue Fever,” Maria said helpfully.
The theater was packed with Londoners and foreigners alike. What luck, Leonard thought. Stageside at the Globe!
The costumes were wonderfully gaudy, the action hammed up, Romeo and Juliet convincingly in love.
Leonard swelled, overwhelmed by the richness, the goodness of humanity. He didn’t complain a bit when someone slipped his passport from his pocket.
An experience that will forever change you!
It was a magical wedding. Leonard and Summer were enraptured. Next, a honeymoon in St. Lucia!
The red bumps mysteriously appeared after a day lying on the beach. Thin white lines squiggled underneath the skin between. Summer had two. Leonard had one hundred twenty seven across his back.
WebMD had a diagnosis:
Author Joshua David Bennett may have drawn all of these stories from his own painful and invasive experiences. His first novel, Seacaster, is a Caribbean-Aztec fantasy that tells the story of a young man at war with the magic coursing through his veins. Joshua lives in Colorado with his subcutaneous worms, wife and son.
Leonard Arrington? Huh… https://www.amazon.com/dp/0252023811
Funny, I futzed with the name a fair amount before landing on the one that sounded most nebbishly. Wait, is nebbishly a word?
It is now. (:
Summer only had 2 worms? Poor Leonard was just too tempting a dish.