Aphelion Issue 295, Volume 28
June 2024 --
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
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Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page
Dateline Cosham, England...

One of the most wonderful things about this particular vacation has been how much nicer the trip itself seems to have gone. The security screening at the Atlanta airport was surprisingly painless. Baggage check-in and printing out our boarding passes was quick and easy. Navigating through the airport was stress-free. Our seats on the plane were easy to locate and were more roomy than I had envisioned. The flight crew was unfailingly polite and friendly. The one hitch turned out to be that the meals we had ordered when we booked our flight back in January were unavailable. I suppose that next year we'll try upgrading from Coach to Business Class.

We have had a marvelous adventure riding the trains from place to place. We also booked a taxi for one short trip to visit nearby friends. I thought that I would miss my having a car of my own quite a lot more than I actually do. Public Transport is working out well for us, this trip. Of course, Lyn grew up with it, but it is still new to me. Being here does make me wish that the Atlanta MARTA train service would extend a rail line to Athens. A slow train to make the majority of stops at the small towns between Athens and Atlanta, and a faster, express train that would only make a few quick stops along the way. From what I've seen here, England has made that sort of thing work very well.

We went over, by rail, to Guildford to take a Ghost Tour conducted by our friend Philip, as well as to tour the castle there. He also conducted the Jack the Ripper walking tour we went on in London last year. Philip is an amazing fellow. His acting skills help to make his tours even more entertaining. The beauty of the town is quite eye-catching. Philip does make the local history come alive. Even the history of the area's ghosts!

We taxied over to nearby Wickham to visit with Anton and Suzi. That was a lot of fun! Dinner and drinks and good company. What more could anyone ask? We watched the latest episode of Doctor Who, sipped our first-ever Martinis, ate some delicious Chinese food, and Suzi amused us with her ability to play the spoons. That was a real treat. I took the opportunity to film it with our new camcorder, but alas I am turning out to be a very poor film maker. The results were a bit underexposed, jiggled from moment to moment, and I believe that I took entirely too much footage of the carpets. Also, I would be better served by refraining from editorial commentary while the camera is rolling. I'm not quite as witty as the drink made me feel.

I have been learning both new cameras, as well as the other devices we brought along on this vacation. The UK power mains transformer that allows us to use our American electronics in the UK has already paid for itself. Charging the cameras, charging the laptop, running the external hard drive, running my wife's hair care products, etc. Despite the weight of the transformer, I feel that it was money well spent to buy it rather than any of the alternatives. I do still need to learn more about the camcorder and the other camera, but as time passes I am getting better with both.

As for the remainder of the vacation, Our plans are still quite fluid. We have talked about running up to London for a day of playing tourist again, but we might just give it a miss this trip. We shall see how events develop. We will be going over to Bristol later in the week. Both to visit friends and to renew our wedding vows in a small town called Wick. Friends Ali and Lee have been planning this leg of our journey for us. We are looking forward to both the visit and the romantic adventure of re-confirming our love eternal. I did manage to pack the camera tripod, so perhaps those recordings will not be plagued by excessive “shaky-cam” as were my earlier efforts.

And now, my friends, it is high time I stopped babbling ever onwards about our little trip and allow you dear readers to accomplish that for which you came to do. Namely, read this month's issue. Aphelion has a multitude of good things for you in this issue. Not only our regular slate of stories and poetry, but as a special treat pro writer Emilie P. Bush has sent us an excerpt from her second novel. It is a short segment, but quite well worth the read.

For now, farewell dear readers. I'm back off to the pub to down a quick pint and sent this editorial off to the Aphelion staff. Hopefully I will not have delayed the new issue by too much.