(excerpt from the Polliwog Challenge)
pg. 6 (Two runaway teens,one trusty dog, nothing to stop them. an icy october in Nevada.)
"Here's some coffee.” I handed him the cup when he had a chance to put down his gun and the Chukar partridges he shot. There were two small hens.
“Thanks, Elisabeth.” He smiled. We took care of the birds and cooked them. We had the Chukar partridges and coffee for lunch with leftovers for dinner. We of course gave Hunter his fare share. (No coffee for him though. He had water.) “I saw a deer, I really wanted to shoot it, but I knew we wouldn't use the meat quick enough and it would attract Mountain loins.”
“Yeah.” Was all I said. James went to do see if he could find a rabbit for dinner, though we had some leftovers, there was very little. While James was hunting, I went fishing. I had told him where along the river I would be before he left. I had a long stick with fishing line tied to the end and a hook. I used a bit of Grouse heart, that James saved for this purpose, for bait. I had a trout in no time. My goal was to get at least four trout. The proper name for these particular trout is the Lahontan cutthroat trout of Nevada. I was sitting on the bank fishing, when I heard a noise behind me. I looked behind myself and scanned the woods. It's probably squirrels being crazy. I thought. I kept fishing, about five minutes later, I heard it again. Again, nothing. A few minutes later. I heard a deep, low, thundery growl. Hunter was growling at something. I knew, just then, EXACTLY what it was. I dropped the fishing pole. My throat seemed to close up, and my heart to stop. I did not have a gun, hatchet, or even a knife with me. All I had was my trusty dog, Hunter. I waited for my doom. The HUGE, Enormous, Mountain lion headed towered me. I panicked. I told Hunter to stay back. I remembered the walkie talkie that James had given me. I grabbed it and pressed the button on the side and raised it to my trembling lips.
“James” I breathed into the device. I couldn't talk. I was SO horror-froze. The walkie talkie crackled and fizzed.
“Elisabeth? Are you OK?” Asked James.
“Elisabeth? Talk to me.” Just then, the lion jumped at me. I screamed.
“Jammy!” I fell back into the fast, cold river. The river was not deep but it was colder then ANYTHING I've EVER felt. James came bursting out of the trees. The lion went at him, but James killed it with one slug. I was so cold and shocked. My legs were so cold I couldn't feel them. Much less walk on them. James came fumbling into the river towered me. “J, Ja, James.” I shuddered. He lifted me out of the icy cold freezing water. He laid me on a blanket by the fire. He added more wood to the fire. He still had not spoken. I watched him set a pot of coffee. By this time I was sitting up. He handed me some dry clothes and told me to go into my tent and change while he made dinner. I did so. I came out my tent and he had everything on the grate. He got the rabbit we needed.
“What happened?” James asked, finally.
“I was fishing, and kept hearing noises behind me. And when, Hunter started growling, I knew I was in a lot of trouble. The lion came toward me and I remembered the walkie talkie. I spoke into it and you answered. I was so scared I couldn't find my voice. I said no when you asked if I was ok. Then the lion Jumped at me and I screamed for you and fell back, into the river. And I guess you know the rest.”
“Yeah. I'm so sorry. It's my fault. I should not have left you alone. It will never happen again. I promise.”
“No, no no. It was NOT your fault. Don't blame yourself for something that could have happened to either of us. Except the panic attack part.”
“Oh, alright. OK.” We ate and drank our coffee. We went to bed at around .......
(original and unedited)
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