Mountain Interlude

 (one of those write a short story in 400 words or less online contests. Late 1990’s.)

 I passed the gorp.  Seeds seemed unappetizing just now.  I wanted meat and potatoes.  She looked up.  “You better eat.”  I grunted yeah.  She handed me the jerky and I tore out bear sized mouthful that made speech impossible.  “Wa’er” I requested.   She handed me the water.  “You’re gonna choke if you keep eating like that” she warned.  The water only made the jerky in my mouth swell in size.  I turned away and removed the chunk with my fingers, and then tore at it with my teeth.  Maybe it was my imagination but I swear I could feel them loosening in their sockets.

 She laid down and sighed.

 The wind rustled the evergreens.  Birds chirped, whistled, shrieked.  The sun made us warm, sleepy.  Wildflowers bloomed crazily all around.

 She sighed again, louder.

 “Hmmm?” I asked, swallowing the last of that jerky.

 “Nothing”. 

 Something.

 I scooted closer to her.  Reached out with a boot and prodded hers.  Once.  Twice. Three times.  She smiled.  She sighed again.  This time it was nothing.  So I laid down beside her, rolling my jacket up into a pillow.  The soft grass would do the rest.

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