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by Shaara
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #1360153
Jimmy was simply having the worst camping experience anyone's ever had
Writer's Cramp PROMPT:24 hours/1,000 words or less

We are having quite severe weather with ice storms, one on top of the other, where I live in the midwest. So for today's prompt write a STORY or POEM about getting stuck in an unusual place (other than your home or your car) because of a sudden ice storm.

Remember to include a word count in your story (1000 words or less), and a line count in your poem (40 lines or less). Good luck!


Camping was supposed to be fun. But first thing, the ants took over their grub. Fire ants. He and Malcolm tried to fight them off, but the darn things stung without any regard to property rights.

While the men were putting Calamine lotion on their welts, a skunk took a nature walk into their camping site. Malcolm ran into the tent and zipped it up faster than a dog can tree a cat. Jimmy turned tail and headed for the car. How was he supposed to know that skunks didn’t like heat and often slept in the shade under cars?

Later on, after the car had turned into a furnace and Malcolm tried to scare the critter away, they discovered there’s absolutely no way to get skunk odor out of clothes, tent, or sleeping bag.

To get rid of the stench, the men tried lake water. But a mean ranger gave them a ticket for being nude. Without compassion, the ranger snickered over their story about the skunk and wrote out a citation while his belly was still vibrating with chuckles.

Malcolm and Jimmy returned to their campsite, dried off and donned something that smelled even worse than Carlo’s backyard with its twelve German Shepherds.

“The bad has all come and gone now,” Malcolm told Jimmy, as they both spit into the dust, trying to get the skunk smell out of their taste buds.

Jimmy didn’t comment. He was trying to build a fire. But no matter what he did, the kindling just wasn’t catching for him. A sharp-edged splinter slid into the quick of his thumbnail as he restacked the wood again. "Slime boots!" Jimmy yelled out.

“Let me do that,” Malcolm said. “You go catch us something to eat. The ants have wrecked everything else. All we got left is an unopened bag of marshmallows.”

Jimmy sighed, picked up a fishing pole, nursed his thumb with saliva sucking, and walked back down to the lake. He didn’t have any bait to use, so he had to first dig up some worms. He found several nice big, fat ones underneath a log, right next to a patch of something with the prettiest colored leaves.

Just as he was sitting down, perching himself on a big old boulder, his arms started itching worse than when the fire ants were biting. Jimmy scratched and scratched, but the problem just kept traveling up and around and all over him. Pretty soon, his face was itching, then his ankles and even his toes.

“Dog-gone it,” he yelped, stripping off his clothes and throwing himself down into the water. He turned bluer in that icy water than a teenaged girl with no date for Saturday night, but at least his skin stopped itching.

Jimmy thought about putting his clothes back on. He thought about it a lot, but he was pretty sure those pretty little leaves had been poison oak. “No way I’m gonna wear that shirt and pants again,” he said to himself. So, despite the fact he was shivering worse than a kid about to get his first vaccine, Jimmy pitched his worm-laden line out into the water and prayed for a quick bite. Luckily he got one and pulled in the fish. “First good thing that’s come out of this camping trip,” Jimmy said out loud.

“It may be the last good thing, too,” said the same ranger who’d given them a ticket before.

“Listen, Sir,” Jimmy said, “I got a good reason why I’m wearing a Mother Nature suit right now. You see I got me a bad case of poison oak juice all over them clothes. It was the only thing I could do.”

“I see,” said the Ranger as he pulled out his pad of paper and started writing. “Can I see your fishing license now?”

“What?” said Jimmy. “But I ain’t driving this fish, just gonna eat it.”

When Jimmy went back to the campsite, he was carrying two citations and no fish. He dumped his clothes and slipped into some stinky, but dry clothing. Then he dropped down next to Malcolm beside a full-throttle fire.

“Where’s the fish?” Malcolm wanted to know, and Jimmy had to explain about the Ranger taking it.

“That’s okay,” Malcolm said as he ripped open their bag of marshmallows. “Here, take this stick. We’ll have us a feast anyway.”

Just as Jimmy stuck a marshmallow onto the stick and pushed it into the fire, the clouds that had been rumbling and carrying on for the last hour decided to drop their load. The fire sfizzled out abruptly. Jimmy and Malcolm ran to their tent.

That night, the rain poured down bucket after bucket. Snug in their sleeping bags, neither man paid much attention.

However, about one in the morning, Jimmy woke up. “Boy is it cold!” he said as he shivered his way into his heavy jacket. “I gotta go use the john,” he told Malcolm, but his buddy didn’t hear. He was snoring louder than a cold diesel truck.

As Jimmy unzipped the tent, ice cycles broke off, dropping onto his bare feet. He reached back inside the tent and found his shoes.

The outhouse wasn’t more than a couple of brrrs and shakes away, but the hard toilet seat was colder than an ice block. Jimmy did his thing, wiped, and then tried to stand. Something had a good grip on his bottom. It took him several minutes to pry his skin away from the cold plastic.

“Whew!” he said when he was finally loose and could pull up his pants. He pushed at the door. It was frozen shut.

“Malcolm,” Jimmy yelled. “Malcolm!”

The rain started up again, then turned to hail, pounding and banging at the old wood outhouse. Inside, poor Jimmy was shivering and shaking. “Malcolm, get me out of here. I’m never going camping again. You hear me, Malcolm?” he screamed.

But Malcolm didn’t hear. He was still sound asleep in the tent, warm as toast in a toaster.

(1,000 words)
© Copyright 2007 Shaara (shaara at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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