close up photography of wet pine needles

Speed Writing #12 – A Soggy Start

Morning dawned gloomy and threatening rain. The campground was filled with the nervous energy of people packing up as quickly as possible to beat the weather, or adjusting their tarps and rain flies to tough it out. By the time the first fat drops fell, those who remained planned to see it through.

Chai tossed a book and fuzzy blanket down on the couch of her motor home and went to put on the tea kettle. As she waited for the water to boil, she gazed out into the mostly deserted campground. There were only two tents left and herself. One of the tents was a high end enormous structure that looked well anchored down. The other, closer tent, was a tiny backpacker model designed more for weight and insect protection than severe weather. She frowned, wondering if its inhabitant was ready for a day long soaking which would surely seep through the light rip-stop. There was a green internal frame pack leaning against the closest tree.

Chai settled on the couch, snuggled into the blanket with her tea and book. She loved the low rolling thunder in the background and the gentle pounding of the rain. After a while, she set aside the book and closed her eyes to enjoy the weather.

She was startled out of her reverie by a loud crack of thunder. As she got up to refill her tea cup, her eyes were drawn out the window to the hiking tent. She felt her forehead furrow as she frowned. Water was ponding throughout the campground, and the tiny tent was surrounded. It wasn’t really warm enough to be comfortable thoroughly soaked. She understood the desire to be close to nature, but this just seemed too unpleasant.

Grabbing her umbrella and slipping on her hiking boots, Chai pushed open the lightweight side door and stepped down into the mud. “Excuse me,“ she called as she approached, hoping to be heard over the pattering of rain. “Is anyone in this tent?”

“Yes, I’m here,” a woman replied.

“Are you okay out here?” Chai asked. “It’s not that I doubt your abilities or anything, but I’ve camped in this weather before and was thinking you might be a bit wet.“

There was a shuffling noise of nylon against nylon. “Yeah. It’s more than a bit wet,” the woman agreed.

“Well if you’d like to get out of the weather, you’re welcome to join me,” Chai offered. “I’m your neighbor in the motor home, and I’ve got tea and cocoa.“

The zipper sounded as the woman opened her tent. “I’d love to.” She looked to be in her early thirties, and quite damp. “Is it all right if I bring my pack?“ She gestured to the tarp covered lump by the tree. “I may have something dry to change into.”

“No problem,” Chai said. “You can leave it in the shower enclosure to dry once you’ve changed.“

Prompt: “you’ve been camping in a crappy tent next to my really comfortable caravan/motor home and it’s been raining cats and dogs for ages, do you want to come in and have a hot cocoa to warm up?”

Notes: This was written in two chunks, the first started on a Saturday while waiting for my daughter’s dance class to wrap up. It was finished on a Sunday when I was sick and asthmatic. So my brain was less quick and agile, which may be apparent. I thought about not posting this, but figured it serves as an example that not every writing day is a good writing day, and that’s okay. It’s part of the process, and it’s true for any art.

Published by


Author of adult and young adult speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, dark fiction)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.