(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

“Light Action in the Caribbean,” a story about the inexplicable nature of evil, begins routinely with Libby Dalaria preparing to go on vacation with her companion, David. The only background the reader is given about the couple is that they have not known each other long and that Libby has recently broken up with a man named Brad after a two-year relationship.

David, a young professional, has made all the arrangements for their trip to the Caribbean; he prides himself on being competent and cool. Libby is impressed with his abilities and is determined to follow his lead. On their flight from Denver to Miami, David spends most of his time working on his laptop computer, and when they land, he makes a number of calls on his cell phone. However, he resents it when Libby reads a magazine and momentarily neglects him. He tells her he purposely screwed up things in his office before he left to make his coworkers think they cannot get along without him.

At dinner David continues to control everything, ordering the meal for both of them and acting like an expert with the wine list. Libby, on the other hand, feels stupid, with nothing to say. David advises Libby on everything from the nature of her job to what dessert to order. He often ignores her when women with large breasts pass by them. The first night, she worries about sex with him because he has wanted to tie her to the bed and spank her with a grade-school ruler.

The next day...

(The entire section is 588 words.)