Here’s my “contribution” to this week’s writing prompt: A snippet from my work in progress.
What she loved most about camping was waking up in the early morning hours, when there was still dew on everything. She would wander about the campsite while Derrick would make the coffee. He did all the work when they camped, all the cooking, cleaning, packing. She just had to be there. That’s all he ever wanted and that was easy enough for her to give.
The first time they took off together, they weren’t even married yet, but she had finally turned 18 and he had finally given in to her. They were planning to marry, probably just a justice of the peace ceremony since her parents were not thrilled by her decision to marry Derrick and eschew college. “For what?,” they kept asking her. “To stay home and make babies? You’re so much smarter than that.” But her parents were smart too and knew if they pressed the issue too much, she would turn away from them. At least Derrick wasn’t one of those hard-drinking oafs that would force their Laura to choose between them and him. He was a nice enough young man, and while they never entirely approved of the marriage, they eventually relented.
She had walked down to a small rivulet that had formed a week before after some heavy rains. The sun was just below the horizon, and the sky was a dove gray. She had her back to the east as she found a rock to sit on. Looking around she was startled to see that she was surrounded by spider webs. As the sun slowly rose, it’s faint rays caressed the dewy webs into strands of pearls. Laura liked pearls. She had a long strand of tiny freshwater pearls that had been handed down to her by her grandmother. She had worn the pearls when she made her vow to Derrick.
The sun was rising and starting to warm her back. The light aroma of fresh Columbian coffee reached her nose. She knew Derrick would walk down with his two aluminum cups and sit with her.
This was her favorite time of day, and she thought this might be her favorite moment. The sun warming her back while her fingers and nose were still chilled from the damp morning air. The acrid smell of coffee mingling with the sweet scent of pine and cedar. The spider webs stretching like a thousand strands of pearls from one low-hanging branch to another. Even across the forest floor, they wove a carpet of pearls, iridescent as the sun continued to rise.
Couldn’t this moment last forever, she thought. Couldn’t I just drape myself in these pearls and dance for Derrick and make it all last forever? She heard the soft thud of his feet as he approached the rock. An aluminum cup appeared before her face, the hot black liquid almost burning her nose. She took it from him and shifted to make room for him. Derrick put his arm around her and sipped his coffee, gazing around him. They didn’t need to speak. Silence was something they both enjoyed. She leaned into him and closed her eyes. If only this moment could last forever. If only.