I don’t usually have time to participate in random “writing prompts” but over Memorial Day weekend I was at the lake with no internet, no TV, windy/rainy weather – and my kids had their cousins to keep them occupied!
So in addition to working on my current novel-in-progress, I wrote a submission for a Writers Digest prompt. Who knows, maybe I’ll get a mention! At any rate, I thought I’d post it here for your reading enjoyment. The prompt: in 750 words or less, write a story that MUST begin with “I’ve got to get out of these clothes—fast.”
So here goes…
“I’ve got to get out of these clothes—fast.”
At least, that’s what Charlie thought she’d said aloud.
In reality, her lips were too numb to form words.
In fact, her whole body seemed frozen stiff; all she could do was watch as Trig tugged off her boots and socks, then moved upward to remove her jacket.
Then he lifted her shirt clear over her head.
“What—” Her teeth were chattering so violently she could only get out one word at a time. “Are…you—”
“We need to warm you up.” Trig unzipped her jeans. “Got to get rid of as much wet stuff as we can.” He peeled her jeans down her legs like a banana, until she was standing in just her bra and underpants. He pointed to the sleeping bag. “Get into the bedroll. Now.”
She did as she was told, fumbling with the edges around the zipper. She shuddered to think how long she’d been in the raging water. What if Trig hadn’t shown up?
She listened to the rustling sounds of Trig shedding his own soggy clothing: Vest. Flannel button-up shirt. Undershirt. Then boots, socks, riding chaps and jeans.
Dim light coming through the broken boards of the old shack backlit one of the most magnificent things Charlie had seen in her fourteen years: a nearly-naked Trig.
He stood ramrod straight, clad in nothing but his briefs. His attention was focused out the shack’s single tiny window, which allowed Charlie to take in every inch of him: the shadow of a beard and his hair curled at the nape of his neck. The broad shoulders that folded into work-honed biceps. A spray of dark chest hairs across strong pectorals and down a taut stomach until it disappeared under the band of his briefs…
Despite her frozen state, an unfamiliar heat formed between her legs as her eyes wandered over Trig’s well-proportioned rear.
And then he turned toward her.
She feigned sleep, mumbling and shifting in the sleeping bag. Her face burned so hot she thought for sure Trig could see it and know what she was thinking.
He crawled into the sleeping bag behind her and zipped it up as best he could.
“You’re shaking like crazy,” he said, and pulled her fast against his body.
It was true Charlie was shivering uncontrollably, but it wasn’t just because of the cold. The feel of Trig’s body pressed against hers…the way his breath tickled her ear…it was almost as difficult to inhale as it had been with the icy river squeezing the breath from her.
Trig had been a hero to her from day one.
And though everyone said she was too young to know what love was, now she knew for certain that wasn’t true.