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Photo credit: KL Caley

I am writing this for the weekly #WritePhoto challenge by KL Caley at New2Writing.com. Read all about it and join in if you'd like!  

This week's offering is a quick read at 415 words.  

Woodland Crossing

 

“Oh, look! A stream neither of us has fallen into yet!”

My sister gives me a dirty look. “Hush! That’s just tempting fate.” She puts her hands over her mouth, then her ears, like the speak-no-evil monkey.

We both laugh as we approached the stream.

“I’m sure we’ve nothing to worry about with a little trickle like this. It’s barely two inches deep.”

“It’s too wide to step over, though.” Sis studies the damp-looking rocks sticking up out of the middle, trying to decide if she can cross it without getting her feet wet.

Me, I’m thinking about some of the streams I’ve fallen into. They were mostly big, fast, full of snowmelt or glacial run-off. Go big or stay home, as they say. I don’t intend to fall into this dinky thing. No drama there.

The trail continues on the other side of the stream, not very well-trodden. Much less so, in fact, than this side. Maybe there’s another way? Did we miss a turn? It looks like it would be hard to get across with dry feet. I mentally map out a route. Doable, for sure. No reason to go tramping through the underbrush looking for a bridge or something. No side-trails led off to other crossings before we got here.

“Just step from that rock, over to the big one, then one of the little ones and you’re on the gravel bar, if you can call it that. The beach. Whatever.”

Sis rolls her eyes at me. Then she takes the three steps across, and steps up onto the bank to watch me.

I take the first step. Reach my right foot for the second rock and feel the left slipping. Stick my right foot into the water with a curse for wet socks.

Somehow that foot slips as well. The rocks are all covered with the slime that grows in slow-moving late-season water, slippery as though it were ice.

Flat on my back in the stream I look up at the sky.

“From your lips to the gods’ ears, idiot,” I remind myself, sitting up in the water.

It’s not so bad being all wet, since the day is warm. What hurts are my sister’s giggles. All the way back to the car. Then she pulls out the dog’s towel and makes me sit on it, to protect the seat from my dirty, wet backside.

We never got to explore the trail beyond the creek, but I won’t be coming back.

 

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(This story is almost not quite true)

 

 

©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2022
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