Beginning of a story I started working on during my trip
The children’s playful shrieks echoed across the pond. Large trees lined the edges, hemlocks and white birch among them, all healthy shades of green that stood out bold against the mist that blanketed the water. The kids kept close to the beach, for the pond was large and it was only a matter of feet until the bottom dropped out and they could not stand. They were playing Marco Polo, and I watched them for a minute before I sat down at the picnic table in our campsite to make lunch for Jane and I. Chipmunks ran underfoot as I boiled the eggs. They had grown bolder over the course of our stay. Originally they had kept to the outskirts of our camp, now they were jumping onto the bench next to me. I called them all Chip, imagining there was only one, and was on the verge of giving in and tossing him a cracker when Jane emerged from our tent. I smiled at her and she blushed.
She was thinner than when I met her, and paler, but she had deep green eyes that matched the trees, and her smile was brighter. She was wearing her hiking gear and a colorful headscarf that she always wore in public, and often at home.
“Hey Jane, I’m making lunch. Hardboiled eggs. How was your nap?”
“It was good. I had a dream that the chipmunks stole all our food.”
My laughter mixed with the children’s, and she looked over at them splashing around. I saw a little sadness tinge the corners of her smile.