by Just Jae
My Writer's Cramp entry for 11/15/14
|Gods she hated the cold. Ashlee lay with the blanket tucked up tight around her neck, the top of her head the only part of her that was visible, not wanting to get out of the warm bed. She could hear Tori moving around in the kitchen and hoped the other woman had laid a fire to start warming the house.
Ashlee threw the cover back, jumped up, grabbed her plush bathrobe, and threw it around her in one graceful motion. It was cold enough that she decided to add a pair of wooley knee socks to her ensemble before wriggling her feet into her sheepskin lined slippers.
Padding out to the other room, Ashlee stopped short and stared out the big picture window that looked out over the meadow.
"Oh. My. God," she whispered.
"You think?" asked a voice from her right. "I know this is Colorado, but three feet of snow, really? . . . in JULY?" Tori glared at Ashlee like it was her fault it had snowed.
"What can I say? You wanted to get away from it all in the mountains. This is the mountains." Ashlee looked at the other woman hopefully. This wasn't how she had envisioned this week going. She hated when a vacation started with a fight with Tori.
"Look, I'll scrounge us up something to eat and we'll both feel better."
"Good luck," said the other woman bitterly, "I found nothing."
Ashlee stared at Tori for a moment, not quite able to digest the sentence, before turning to the little kitchen and rummaging around for something to eat.
Finding nothing more than some spices and packaged condiments -- not even a scoop of coffee -- Ashlee piled everything onto the small table, then went to work.
First she gathered as much snow as she could and melted it slowly so that it wouldn't evaporate as it melted. Then she added some of the herbs and spices to the concoction. Finally, she took several of the ketchup packages and added those to the broth. She let the mixture boil for a few minutes, then poured it into two large mugs, one for her and one for Tori.
"It's not much, but it'll warm you up," said Ashlee expectantly as she handed Tori one of the mugs.
The other woman took a tentative sip, then another -- larger -- swallow.
"I don't know how you did it," said Tori, "but this almost tastes like tomato soup."
"Thanks," Ashlee replied, blushing.
The week wasn't going to be a total loss after all.
Word count: 424