|Jane may as well have been riding passenger next to a lion. The sunlight flickered quietly through the trees overhead. The yellow lines flickered quietly beneath. The two of them trucked on.
Jane’s hand shook as she reached out to turn on the radio. The lion next to her huffed irritably. Jane settled for the first thing she landed on. Some jazz. The oboe seemed to chortle at the scene in the car. And the trumpets- they burst out laughing.
The car climbed slowly down into a riverbank. The lion was always cautious behind the wheel. Jane looked on. For whatever reason, somebody had installed a gate across the bridge, blocking their exit. A small orange sign hung on the gate.
The lion said nothing as she unbuckled her seatbelt and got out of the car.
Jane turned off the radio and pressed her fingers into her knees. She watched the lion approach the sign. The bridge was rusted, and it looked like it was about to cave in.
After a few moments, the lion turned and began walking back towards the car. Jane reached down to tighten one of her shoes, when her mother tripped and stumbled onto the ground. Jane flew out of the car.
“You alright?” Jane asked.
Her mom looked down at the ground. “Yeah.”
“You hurt your ankle?” Jane asked.
“Nah.” Her mother rubbed her ankle.
“What’d the sign say?”
“We gotta turn around.”
The air smelled like earth and the trees arched their backs overhead.
Her mother pulled her shoes off, and then her socks. Jane watched, a little puzzled at first.
The water in streams is always alarmingly cold, at first. But it’s a joy to walk around in, once you get used to it.