A Sci Fi Romance Story for Valentine’s Day

Hrrenvolk and Other Stories

Hrrenvolk and Other Stories

Yes it is that time of year again, the time that lovers buy each other chocolates and flowers, go out for a meal and sip wine into the small hours and generally revel in how loved up they feel. Well, not for everyone. Want a bit of romance in your reading? Believe it or not, I have written something with a slight smidgen of cupid’s arrow. I don’t expect to make a habit of it and the story still has its roots firmly planted in sci fi.

It is the story of a dinner date, of a couple who have been matched on a mutual love of travel. But there’s one snag… they have very different ideas about what travel means.

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He huffed. ‘I’ve been all over the world – well, most of it – and I have to say that my most favourite place on the planet is Grand Canyon. Words cannot do it justice. Neither can any photograph for that matter.’ He took a sip of wine. ‘When you first arrive you get a glimpse of the sheer depth of the place but only when you are standing on a viewing platform observing the vastness before you does it really hit you – and I mean hit you. I’m not ashamed to say it brought a lump to my throat. It was here before we were and it’ll still be here long after we are gone. It is a giant tear in the rock, hundreds of miles long.’

‘How much of it did you cover?’ Her eyes widened in delight and she leaned forward.

‘I only followed the recommended hiking routes admittedly – I wasn’t brave enough to go off the beaten track. It took three months to walk the length of it.’

She giggled girlishly. ‘Oh that is so exciting! I think it might go under “places to me realise how insignificant humanity is”.’

‘I can’t argue with that. So, now you’ve had time to think, you should be telling me what your favourite place in the world is.’

‘You know,’ she started with a sip of wine, ‘of all the immense and astounding places I’ve visited and no matter how overwhelmed I might feel it is often the smaller places I like most. Well, not smaller. But those places that are pleasantly surprising. You don’t know what to expect and you end up falling in love with it. You just hit a random place and there you are… and it’s beautiful.’

‘Ahhh. That is a wonderful feeling. Don’t you almost feel as though you are one of a few to discover a hidden gem?’

‘Yes! That’s really part of the appeal of travelling for me – not knowing where it will take you.’
The main courses arrived then. They complimented the aesthetic of each other’s choices and politely began to eat.
After a few mouthfuls she put down her fork, dabbed her mouth with the napkin and reignited conversation. ‘I’ve decided what my favourite place is. Have you ever heard of Prassonissi beach?’ she asked.

‘Sorry, no.’ He shook his head. ‘Where is it?’

‘It is the southern tip of the Greek island of Rhodes. The island is on the border of two seas which is cool in itself. What I love so much is that the seas couldn’t be more different. To the south is the warm blue Med which is calm – very serene. You could sit in the sea for hours reading a book and a wave would never surprise you. To the north is the Aegean which is green and choppy. You couldn’t swim in that, at least not very far. When you stand on the beach at high tide-‘

‘Sorry, they approach from different directions?’

She beamed. ‘Yes! And the effect is amazing. The water swirls, creating vortexes. It is so hypnotic to watch them clash, swirl around and mix together.’ She became more excitable at seeing his impressed smile. ‘The coolest part is that you can stand with one leg in each sea and feel it swirling beneath you. It is a funny feeling. And of course the temperatures vary because the med is warm and the Aegean because of its motion is cooler. You must experience it.’

‘Sounds amazing!’ he said with genuine awe. ‘I can’t imagine the effect but it sounds like nothing else I’ve experienced.’

‘I’m going to Macchu Picchu next,’ she beamed. ‘Next week some time, that’ll mean I’ve visited every South American country.’

He frowned. ‘They don’t let people up there – they haven’t done for about twenty years or more.’


‘But… how?’

‘We don’t need to let people up there.’ There was a pause before the penny dropped. ‘Oh you meant actual travelling, didn’t you?’

‘Yes, what did you think I meant?’ His brow crimpled.

‘The usual way.’ She cocked her head to one side. ‘The normal way these days.’

‘This is the usual way… isn’t it?’

‘From the comfort of your living room in a VTravel device. That’s what I meant.’

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About mgm75

Matt Mason is a freelance writer and self-published author who has been writing fiction since he was able to pick up a pen and begin scribbling. He has a bachelor's degree (archaeology) and a master's degree (landscape archaeology) from the University of Exeter. He runs two personal blogs. The first is "Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink" and is dedicated to the written word. The second "2012 and all that" explores his love of science.

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