| Ashley woke up with a start, alone inside of her tent. The casting light from the fire burning outside in the middle of their encampment was not visible. It was still smoldering however. Strange? She thought to herself, Jim, her dad usually kept it burning until after they had cooked breakfast. She floundered around inside her tent, until she could feel the cold metal of her flashlight. She usually didn't need it, it was smaller than a pen and only 5 watts. She shown it around the inside of her tent, until she could find the zipper on the perforated flap. She got out of her tent. Complete darkness. Complete silence.
She didn't hear Jim or Mark snoring, which was unusual because when they stayed in a motel, she usually had to kick Mark at least three times during the night. Mark, was her fiancee, and they had been engaged for years. They had finally set a date last march, when she had reminded him that he better scoop her up before someone else did. It was the most polite way she could think of saying, shit or get off the pot. The pot business had done them just fine.
They weren't rich, but they were 'hood rich', which essentially meant, she would say when she was joking with her friends, that they had the nicest low-rider on the block. It also meant that they were slow and deliberate about everything they did. New Mexico had very strict laws about cannabis.
Of course, they were camping in Colorado, where the drug was legal, but Jim kept reminding her that this was not to be a drugging holiday. Jim knew she smoked pot, and he constantly would remind himself that at least it wasn't something worse, she had been smoking since she was in high school, and still she found herself a nice boy who made a good wage. Ashley, assumed her father didn't know, didn't care if he did, although she would not smoke around him, even cigarettes, just as a courtesy.
She took out her lighter, and tried to reignite the smoldering ashes, she succeeded in nothing but burning her hands in a few spots, and she bumbled around in the dark for a few minutes after, unsure of what she should do. She could wait till dawn, the midnight black sky of the night was turning in a few spots a little bit lighter; there was no moon tonight. Finally she kicked over the small can of lighter fluid her boyfriend had used to start the fire from the night before.
Mark wasn't as good of a woodsmen as Jim was, and the conversations about it usually ended up being futile. Mark could talk a good game; sure, if you hung out with enough hippies, you could learn how to talk about the woods and fishing, but it was a fact, that he indeed hadn't the slightest clue about most of it. So, Jim could work for hours, finding and building wood, and the kindling for a fire, and then start it from a few sticks rubbed together, but Mark, only took a second to pour lighter fluid on it, and spark it with his lighter, speed and efficiency baby, he had said the night before.
Although they had been engaged for years, they still talked to each other endearingly. Some people couldn't tell that they'd been together for so long; and quite frankly, some people found their "baby talk" and constant personal displays of affection sickening. Mark had admitted to her recently, that sometimes he was still amazed when he would wake up next to her. She was surprised he had stayed with her too; through all of her craziness that she would apologize for when she cooled down.
She picked up the can, startled by the cold metal of the can, and not wanting to waste any of it. She held it in her hands and poured it approximately where she determined the dry wood was, she did not want to pour it on the smoldering part, she might burn herself she remembered. Just a small bit, and there it was, the fire flashed up, and started burning again. She put another log on just to make sure it would burn a while more. She looked up, and saw bodies hanging from trees. She looked at their faces and she recognized them; It was Jim and Mark. She broke down in tears. Sitting on the logs for a few seconds that seemed like minutes, she decided to call the police, before their murderer had discovered her. But her phone wouldn't work out in the woods.