He piggybacked both kids out of the pine forest, gnarled trees crouched like animals. He wiped his sweaty eyes on the baby’s head and panted in the thick air. He tiptoed past the wild goats so as not to alarm the children and tried not to panic when the horned beasts followed lazily behind. He lugged the kids past the last few straggly trees, relieved to see the parking lot a few yards ahead. He stumbled out onto the burning black lava field and into the excrutiating heartbreak one finds only when truly lost.
Some vacation, he thought.
This one’s a true story, slightly edited.