January 13, 2014

January 13th, 2014 StoryStarter prompt: Tact is a quality he was sorely missing...

Everyone was hot and tired from hiking in the too hot and humid wilderness. All of us were at least three times crabbier than we normally would have been, but given the situation, no apologies were offered. We had my brother Simon to thank for that. Simon was completely confident -- translate cocky -- about knowing the way. "Relax," he'd assured us. "I know where we are," he'd insisted.

Now, four hours later, as we stumbled into camp, everyone was out of patience. Any shred of sympathy we'd felt toward Simon for being an idiot had long since evaporated along with most of our bodily fluids.

I headed straight for the cooler and pulled out a bottle of water and downed it in two giant gulps before collapsing into one of the folding chairs. I unlaced my hiking boots and yanked them off. The boots weren't that old, barely broken in, and from the tinges of red showing through my socks, they'd obviously worn blisters in the heels of both my feet.

I glared at Simon while massaging my protesting arches. "Remind me, never to go hiking with you again, Simon," I hissed.

"Don't be so hard on Simon. He feels bad enough for getting us lost without you giving him a hard time," Desi snapped. She sat beside Simon and rubbed his shoulders, obviously she was on his side.

Desi was Simon's latest girlfriend, a seasoned athlete who ran marathons for fun. She was the instigator of this "fun" little camping/hiking escapade in the Great Smoky Mountains.

My mouth popped open and I gaped at her like she'd sprouted a horn in the middle of her forehead. "Forgive me for pointing out the obvious," I muttered shaking my head.

"Maybe if you lost a few pounds, and exercised more, this wouldn't have seemed so hard on you," Simon snickered. Desi's hand covered her mouth, poorly disguising the fact that she shared his sentiments.

"Fine," I huffed, pushing to my feet. "Tact is a quality you are both sorely missing. Right along with common sense."

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Lori L. Clark

Lori L. Clark currently resides in Hazelwood, MO with three rescue dogs. When Lori isn't listening to the voices in her head, waiting for the next creative inspiration to strike, she also loves to read, run, paint pet portraits and save dogs. Email Lori at

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