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"Someplace Else," Rachel Ingalls

I finally read the first short story of the year. Hooray! It was called "Someplace Else" by Rachel Ingalls, from a collection of hers that I bought last year, but have only read the first two.

"Someplace Else" is about a married couple, Alan and Beth, who win two thousand dollars, with the stipulation that they spend it on travel. Ironically enough, they run a travel agency, and at first keep saying that they don't have time, can't leave the busiess, what have you, but the thought of taking a trip keeps nagging at them, so they decide to spend a week in England.

It turns out that the one catch with the prize money is that, if they want an extra thousand dollars, they have to spend the last part of the trip at this Scandinavian resort. At the last minute, they decide to take the extra thousand.

They have a delightful time on their England trip, then board a plane which will take them to the Scandinavian resort. On the plane, Beth falls alseep and has a dream that the plane crashes. Alan has the same dream, although they don't tell each other.

They wake up and get into a horse-drawn carriage, along with some other prize winners, all of whom are also travel agents, to be taken to the resort. The carriages stop after what feels like ages of traveling through a dark forest, but not at the resort, just at a way station. This happens again multiple times. Clearly something is amiss, and the story ends on one of those very uncertain notes...either they actually were in a plane crash and they're all dead, or they're just on a really weird journey. I opt for the plane crash, but I'm just kind of morbid that way.

An excellent story. Ingalls does a really good job of combining the kinds of tedious, everyday details of life with strange goings-on, and I always love a good open-ended conclusion (a bad open-ended conclusion is another story altogether, and not a very good one).

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
talekyn
Jan. 11th, 2008 01:11 am (UTC)
Sounds like a really excellent story. I'll have to see if I can track it down. I've got like 3 stories to post about, and I'm still several days behind my goal, but perhaps I'll catch up over the weekend.
caffyolay
Jan. 11th, 2008 07:45 am (UTC)
Well, I've never heard of this author but that story sounds like such a good read that I'll try to look her up. Enjoyed your review.
lonely_doll
Jan. 11th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you! The collection's title is "Times Like These," which I seem to have forgotten to mention in my post. I've really enjoyed her stories so far.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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