Suzanne Burke chose this evocative photo for this week’s Fiction in a Flash Challenge. Read the entries and join in here.

You and Me, Baby

Jeremy frowned at the twisted tent pole. “I thought you said this was going to be easy?”

Trish shot him an icy glare before going back to the indecipherable instructions threatening to blow out of her hands. “If you’d quit complaining and help me to figure this out, we might get somewhere.”

Some honeymoon. When he’d come up with the last minute idea to go camping and save their money toward buying a home, Trish had jumped on it. But after three hours of fighting to get the tent to stand, the thrill of the adventure was gone. And he was starving.

“Maybe we should work on getting a fire started and come back to this,” Trish murmured, glancing at the campers next door with envious eyes. Which annoyed the hell out of him-he was trying, dammit.

“Maybe you could pitch in a little more and we might have a bed before midnight.” Okay, that wasn’t fair, but he was embarrassed he couldn’t figure out a stupid tent in front of his new wife.

“It’s getting late,” Trish said tearfully. “What are we going to do?”

“I’d say sleep under the stars but this park is known for bears.” He lifted the corner of the tent and threaded the pole through the eyelet and corresponding flap. Now, if he could just figure out how to attach the other si…

“Bears?” Trish squeaked, her head swiveling like Beetlejuice. “You better mean Winnie the Pooh, Jeremy Michaels, or else–“

He grinned. She was so damn cute. “Think more like Goldilocks and The Three Bears and you’re getting warmer.”

Trish left her spot on the picnic table and scurried to his side. “This is a bad idea.” She shivered and hugged herself despairingly.

Now he felt bad. The park did have bears, but as long as they were careful with their food and garbage they’d be fine.

He dropped the tent and took her in his arms. “I’m sorry, honey. This is all my fault.”

“Hey, you guys look like you could use some help.” Two men from the neighboring camp stood in their driveway, friendly smiles on their faces.

Jeremy dropped a kiss on Trish’s sweet-tasting lips, then stepped toward the strangers. “That would be awesome. We’ve been working on this thing all afternoon.” He grinned and shook their hands.

“No problem. They can be tricky if you’re not used to them.” The men took over and had the tent together in fifteen minutes flat. With a polite nod to Trish, they started the newlyweds fire, then, with a wave, took their leave.

“Wow, that was nice. There, babe, we’re all set up. Want me to grab the blankets now or after we eat?”

Trish stared at him with an embarrassed expression.

“What?” he asked, confused. Their camp looked perfect.

“I want to sleep in the car,” she confessed.

Stunned, he looked at her in amazement. Then the hilarity of the situation took over and he began to laugh. “I never should have mentioned the bears,” he admitted. “Okay, we’ll both sleep in the car. You and me, baby.”

This is based on the true story of our honeymoon. Needless to say, the next day we booked a hotel. 🙂

33 thoughts

      1. Thank you very much, Jacquie! Always a great pleasure. Please excuse the late revisit. Sometimes i get the mail notice from WP, another days they dont send it. Will try to revisit more often. Have a beautiful week! Michael

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  1. An awesome story, Jacquie. Even more so when I reached the end and realized you’d lived it. Wow! What memories to look back on.
    And BTW, I’m terrified of bears, so I’d be heading to the car, too!

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    1. Another true story: On a different camping trip to the same park (Jasper National Park), and yes, I know I’m an idiot, we pitched tent at what we thought was a beautiful site with a brook running along the perimeter. That should have been our first clue!
      The first night we had elk wander through our camp, following the water.
      And on the second night, a big rattle and clang came from the tent across the brook. A lady yelled get out, get out! Then a BEAR poked his head out of the tent and took off down the road! The lady in the tent came out chasing him with a frying pan and a steel spoon! (I’m not making this up, lol) Craziest thing we ever saw 🙂

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  2. I was just thinking how this would be my hubby and me – we have no idea how to put up a tent. Then you said it was a true story, lol. What a wonderful memory to have, Jacquie!

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  3. Thanks so much, Jacquie! This made me laugh out loud. Makes me so grateful that the only bears we have to worry about down under are koalas. the may just cuddle you to death. Thanks for sharing the memory. I have scheduled it to go up on my blog later today. Thanks for joining in the fun again. ❤

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      1. Thanks so much, Jacquie. My state (New South Wales) was on fire last summer, those poor folks in Perth are over 2000 miles away and the rest of the country are praying for them. It’s such a tragedy watching it unfold. Hugs xox.

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  4. I love this. Jacquie:) I never thought tents offered much protection and were never easy to put up. We used to have a van we slept in, back in the day. Your experience makes for a sweet memory and a nice hotel room.

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