A young man wins an online casino bonus. The prize is a walker’s trip to Dublin, Ireland.
Terry had a few hours to kill before he was meeting his girlfriend Anna at the cinema. She always insisted on walking everywhere but it was something that he hated. He simply couldn’t see the point of getting all hot and sweaty when he had a perfectly good car outside. Besides, the fact that he was driving there meant there was enough time for a little flutter online before he had to get going, and his favourite slot game was beckoning to him. The whole mythological concept of Divine Fortune fascinated him, but moreover, he was sure it wouldn’t be too long before he won a fortune.
After he’d been playing for about 20 minutes, the bonus window on his iPad caught his eye. Win a holiday.” The words were flashing intermittently. “It could be you.”
Terry watched it for a moment, wondering if he should give it a go. After all, he could really do with a break. Before he knew it, he had agreed to the terms and conditions, and pressed enter. The sound of the phone made him start, and his heart sank a little when he saw it was Anna. The time had completely run away with him.
Anna sounded terse. “Where are you?”
Terry abandoned his iPad instantly. “I’m sorry, Anna. I lost track of time, and now I’m stuck in traffic.” When she didn’t answer, he tried again. “Hello? Are you still there?”
There was another long pause before she finally spoke. “I’ll be in the bar, if you can be bothered to come.”
Without giving him the chance to respond, she hung up.
By the time Terry got to the bar, he was feeling really hot and irritable, and he could see that Anna was particularly vexed. She doused him in criticism as soon as he sat with her.
“Why do you always do this?”
Terry knew better than to answer. His phone was vibrating in his pocket but he daren’t take the call. They sat at the bar in silence, apart from his phone announcing the arrival of a message. It started to vibrate once more, but this time, the noise was enhanced by the steel bar stool that it was touching.
Anna glared at him. “Just answer the thing.”
Keeping one eye on her, he took the call. It took him a moment to realise what the guy on the other end of the line was saying. As it began to dawn on him, he could feel his mood lifting, and as he hung up, Anna’s disapproval no longer seemed important.
He smiled at her, “I’ve just won a holiday.”
Her face changed immediately. “Wow! That’s fantastic, Terry.”
Terry saw the opportunity to get an excuse in. “That’s why I was late.”
Anna wasn’t listening. Clearly, the thought of a holiday had invoked immediate forgiveness. “Where are we going?”
“I don’t know. I’ll check the email as soon as we get home.”
Anna rubbed her hands together. “I can’t wait. I really need a holiday, and Dublin sounds perfect.”
They arrived back at his apartment in record time. Anna flung her shoes off and leapt on the sofa. She watched expectantly while Terry opened his laptop to get the details of the holiday.
“Wait a minute.” He stopped and read it through again. “This can’t be right.”
Anna sat forward. “What?”
“It’s a holiday for one.”
Anna clenched her fists. She virtually screamed out the word. “No!”
Terry read on. It got worse. “It’s a walking holiday.” It was his turn to scream. “No!”
A couple of weeks later, after the dust had settled, Anna convinced Terry that he should go on the holiday on his own. Coincidently, she was a member of the walker’s association and they put him in touch with the Irish branch. Anna kitted him out with the right type of hiking boots and some essential wet clothing, along with her own rucksack. Luckily, it was a guided mountain walk otherwise she would have refused to let him go. She conjured up a whole host of horror stories with the intention of making him follow the rules. All it did was to terrify him.
Even so, he returned home full of vigour after the trip and relived his walking experiences at every opportunity. However, the car wasn’t being sold just yet.