She was working around the camp, picking and cleaning up. Hanging things up to dry. Always the fastidious one, neat, clean and tidy. As he lay back on their camp bed he watched her work. Enjoying her movements, so graceful and feminine in spite of her size. Tooling around the camp in her funky shorts and a long sleeved flannel shirt. Hell, she had been up early, bathing in the creek and washing some odds and ends of clothing. Goddammit, it was cool now, had to be down right cold then. He had said fuck it and continued to stink, worse than a small child….
….It had been a bad one….
He had gotten the bike out early the day before. They had decided to stay put for a few days, and needed more supplies. Especially drinking water….He had a high quality water filter, bleach and tablets. Didn’t trust any of them and didn’t like the iodine taste left by the tabs….He would have to get over it….He hit the switch, the starter whined, and lit off the bike. He kissed his lady, and negotiated the rough trail down to the road….
It felt good being on the open road, still cool as early as it was. Maybe the wind would blow some of the stink and filth off of him. The bike ran very well in spite of the abuse and heat it had been through. He felt bad about leaving his lady behind, but she wanted to stay, “get some things done”….Armed as they were, God help anything, or anyone, who tried to fuck with her….
He had found a shabby little truck stop / general store miles down the road. He gassed up the bike and aired the tires as soon as he pulled in. Noticing how slim the back tire was…. Except for the rigs parked off to the side for some much needed down time, the place was fairly deserted. He parked the bike, paid for the gas, and proceeded to shop off of the long list his lady had prepared. The little brown man that owned the place was very friendly and helpful, filling his collapsible water jugs as they chatted. As cluttered and dusty as the place was it was surprising well stocked; he even scored a couple small cans of camp fuel, long under ware, and wool socks. The latter two items for his lady….He selected a small camp axe and placed it with the other supplies and paid the man. The two of them managed to get all of the stuff loaded and tied on the bike. He started the engine, shook hands with the owner, and started back….More time had passed than he had thought.
He had noticed the clouds building in the sky as he pulled out on to the road. Thought they might be in for a storm, the rain might be a welcome relief from this fucking heat. As he rolled back towards his camp though the marages and shimmering heat waves, he thought about the changes in the weather the last few years. The violent storms, the extremes in temperature in both summer and winter. That fucking Christmas he had spent in Denver….Jesus….He had heard all of the theories of the scientists and wondered if they were as full of shit as the politicians….
How the fuck he had got that bike back up the trail, he’ll never know. Shit, he was starting to wonder if he could even find the place….He guessed the the Good Lord looked after fools and small children as he unloaded the bike. His lady stored the gear and supplies, taking care to be ready for the storm he thought was headed their way. He topped off the bike with a small gas can; parked it in its spot under the tree and covered it securely.
He walked outside the stand of trees, lay in the shade of one of them with a smoke and a canteen. His lady was taking a nap in the afternoon heat and he had wanted to watch the weather build. It was one of the largest thunderheads he had seen, its anvil shaped top towering far into the bright blue sky; white, billowing…. It was a monster and he wasn’t looking forward to the storm it would produce. He had seen firsthand what torrential downpours would do in this arid land. Better have a canoe, or an Ark….