"I wanna go back to the hotel and watch TV."
Craig turned to his friend with an exasperated look on his face. "This was your idea in the first place."
The other friend, Henry, looked up to the sky. "Yeah, but it's hot," he complained.
The two had headed into Hyde Park for a day exploring London. It had been planned the night before, after the two had returned to the hotel from Summer of Sonic. That had been a great day, though they still had one more day left in London and so had planned to make the most of it.
Craig pointed to some shade underneath a large tree. Henry quickly headed there and plumped onto the grass with a sigh. Craig followed at a slower pace, kneeling down lightly before twisting to a sitting position and swinging his backpack off his back.
"We'll have five minutes rest," Craig said, bringing out two bottles of water. "But we can't keep taking rests if we want to make the most of this day, alright?" He then handed Henry one of the bottles after he had affirmed to the statement.
A bit after five minutes, the bottles were back in the bag, which was back on Craig's shoulders. Henry had stood back up with some grumbling, but both were walking again on the southern path of Hyde Park.
After a bit of a walk, a large lake became visible as the trees along the path thinned out. As the two carried on, they saw numerous people walking along another path that ran along the lake. The trees made way for a patch of grass separating the two paths, with some people sat in deck chairs.
"Those must be good to sit on," Henry said.
"I've got a better idea," Craig informed. "What about those?"
Henry followed where Craig was pointing. Out on the lake were a huge number of peddle boats. Looking further into the distance, and Henry saw the dock.
"But it's on the other side of the lake!" he exclaimed.
"And?" Craig questioned, head tilting slightly.
"More walking." Henry's voice was quiet.
"But there's a rest at the end of the walking." Craig was looking amused now, waiting to see if Henry would accept without argument.
"As long as it is a rest."
Craig smiled and the two continued walking. Half way around the lake, smoke was rising out of a barbecue and the smell of burgers wafted over the two.
"That can be for after the boat ride," Craig said as the two walked on by.
The wait to get on a boat wasn't that long, though the price was a bit higher than expected. They were told they could have half an hour on the water before they had to return. Craig peddled out so Henry could have a rest, then brought the boat to a stop in the middle of the lake. Pulling his bag around to his front, Craig brought out a camera bag and slung it over his right shoulder before closing his backpack and putting it between his legs. He then took the camera out of its bag and started taking pictures of the area, including a few selfies.
Camera back in its bag, Craig started peddling again and took the boat on a wide circuit of the lake before bringing it into the middle again. Peddling slower, the two started talking of the day before. Upon reaching the dock, the two climbed out of the boat and headed straight for the burger bar. After each had a burger, and a few more bottles of water at Craig's request, the two continued walking. Craig's footsteps had now become slightly heavier from the weight of the backpack, though was still fine walking.
Pulling out a phone, Craig scrolled through the map to look at the immediate area. "Big Ben's not far," he commented. "And just beyond that is the London Eye. Imaging taking photos from the top of that."
"I just wanna go back to the hotel and watch TV," Henry complained. "It's hot."
Craig looked up from his phone to see Henry. He did indeed look red from heat. Red as a bad burn. Craig knew he probably looked the same, but only half of the day had gone, and he didn't want to call it a day just yet. Looking around, he spotted another patch of close growing trees producing quite a bit of shade.
"I'm not ready to go just yet. We'll rest up a bit, but we agreed that we'd make the most of this day."
Henry looked slightly happy at that, and so the two were once again sat under a tree with a bottle of water in hand.
"Besides, there's bound to be a souvenir shop somewhere, and we can't go back home without some gifts."
"True," Henry replied.
Once again up and walking, the two reached the end of Hyde Park. Crossing over, realisation hit Craig as he looked over the road.
"We're near Buckingham Palace," he informed. "I must have missed that on the map. But we just cross over this road, walk down that path, and we'll be at Buckingham Palace."
"Great..." Henry said, taking another swig from the bottle he had kept in hand.
Over the road and down the path, the two reached Buckingham Palace to find a crowd at the gates and a lot of other tourists milling about the area with cameras. Craig once again took his camera out and started snapping the area, again with a few selfies of the two of them. Camera back inside its bag, the two walked on to a main road and turned left, following another park. That park gave way to the area of London where Big Ben and the London Eye were within reach.
The crowd was getting larger on the streets, so Craig took his camera from its bag and kept it within his right hand. A number of photos were taken of Big Ben before the two stopped at a vendor selling souvenirs. All that had been bought were placed in Craig's bag and the two continued on. Crossing over another road, the two came to the River Thames. And on the other side of that was the London Eye. Craig took a number of photos of both – this time not bothering with selfies – and even another shot of Big Ben.
"Hah," he breathed. Hah..."
"So, what now?" Henry asked.
"I think we should just head back to the hotel and watch TV," Craig conceded. "It's too hot."
YOU ARE READING
Shorts of the RulaShort Story
Another short story compilation, this time for original stories. The first short follows Craig and Henry, two friends who are exploring London of a Sunday, having been to Summer of Sonic the previous day. The cover offers hints at other shorts to co...