Jackson’s Rock

A writing challenge courtesy of Tales from the Ridge: 250 words with the title “Jackson’s Rock”

Their relationship still felt new, the first time he took her to the woods. She loved him, and could see he loved the cabin like an old friend, so she didn’t complain about the lack of water pressure, the mouse droppings in the back of the pantry, or the miss-matched sheets. She simply took half an antihistamine, and began cleaning while he went to light a fire, and turn on the boiler for hot water.

She asked if they could go for a walk before it got dark. (Before the mosquitoes came out in force, to eat her alive.)

He grinned and said that would be a lovely idea. (She liked that he could use the word ‘lovely’ and not lose an ounce of masculinity.) He made her change into clunky hiking boots, and then took her by the hand.

They wandered toward the creek, a merrily burbling stream of water, with a beach just big enough for two chairs and a cooler. At the end of the beach was a smooth expanse of sun-bathed rock that jutted out into the center of the creek.

He told her as a kid he’d spent hours there, with books and the neighbor’s old retriever for company and that he was always yelled at for not wearing sunscreen, and coming home sunburned, but happy.

They stood on the rock, and kissed in the sunshine, and then he asked her a whispered question, and slipped the ring onto her finger when she answered yes.