Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bears, Beans and Beer

This is day 14 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is Bears, Beans and Beer.

Having no critical case for the first time in months, Charlie decided his team deserved some time off, so a long weekend was in order.  He and Alex and some of the other guys decided to go camping, get in a little fishing and enjoy some real down time. These were all single guys whose lives were, for the most part, dominated by their demanding jobs, leaving little time for a social life. Alex was the exception, but he was between relationships at the moment, although Jenna did cross his mind now and then.

"Let's set up camp here," Charlie suggested.  "It is close to the lake with plenty of trees for wood and a clearing for building our campfire. It looks like there is enough light left to put up the tents, build the fire pit and catch ourselves some dinner."

"Hey Alex," called Bobby, "You want to tell us what it was like  for you and that pretty little gal to be rescued by SWAT?"

Alex glared at his friend, "I've already explained what happened. You try being kidnapped, drugged, blindfolded and locked up.  Not funny."

"Let it go," said Charlie, "we're here to relax - no shop talk, no cases.  Kyle, you ready to go see what we can pull out of the lake, while these young 'uns finish setting up camp." Kyle grinned.  He and Charlie were only a few years older than Alex and Bobby, but sometimes they exaggerated the span, just to get under their skin...good naturedly, of course.

As the last of the light faded, they still hadn't caught any fish so they headed back to camp. Alex had the campfire going, anticipating some tasty grilled fish.  Seeing the glum faces approaching him, He shouted "I guess it'll be beans tonight," reaching for the frying pan.  He popped open a couple cans of beans and tossed in some vienna sausage.

"Where's the beer?" called Kyle. "After two hours of sitting there feeding the fish...I swear one even broke the surface and thanked me for his dinner...I sure could use a cold one - or three."

"Over by the log," replied Bobby, "wanna toss me one, too?"

With plates filled with beans, sausage and the bread Charlie had grabbed at the bakery on the way out of town, they sat around the campfire eating and swapping stories, the tales growing taller with each beer. Camaraderie at its finest, taking in all that mother nature had to offer, and tomorrow was a brand new day.

The fire put safely out - it wouldn't do for FBI agents to start a forest fire - the men turned in. Charlie and Alex were sharing a tent as were Kyle and Bobby.  The tents were set up with the entrances facing one another.

It was peaceful with the crickets and tree frogs rhythmically chirping their nightly chorus.

As dawn broke, the men stirred and started digging through the fire pit for coals to get the fire going for breakfast.  Soon bacon was sizzling, the aroma wafting on the morning breeze. 
"Charlie that's some mighty fine coffee.  It'd curl my hair if I had any left," laughed Kyle.

Bobby went to fetch the rest of the bread for toast, and came racing back pale and empty handed. "I saw bear tracks behind your tent," looking at Charlie.

"Did you leave any food out last night?" asked Charlie calmly.

"I don't think so...I don't know, maybe.  Uh oh." Bobby groaned.

As they stood there debating whether to pack up and leave or hoist their food from a branch and just go fishing, they heard a rustle  and all four heads turned. 

More rustling, twigs snapping, imaginations soaring.  Four FBI agents straining to see into the woods. Bobby spots something moving, "BEARS!" Three FBI agents draw their guns, staring, waiting. "Bobby" shouted Kyle, "WHERE ARE YOU?"  

"Up here, b-be-bears." Bobby was perched 20 feet up a tree.

About that time out of the underbrush walked the biggest.....wild...Turkey.

For more adventures of Charlie and Alex:

Aliens, Really?
The Colombians
The Key
The Last Laugh
The Morning After

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  1. I loved this one!!!! This was a YUMMY story -- you kept the tension, threw in some wonderful humor and surprised me at the end. Those are the best ingredients for making a short story!

    BTW I'm so pleased you are allowing your characters to tell their stories again. I've missed them.

    1. Sara, I'm glad you enjoyed my crazy story. It was hard to decide which of my characters to send on this camping trip. I just couldn't let a bear get shot in my story, so I had to figure out a twisted ending. That was the hardest part.

  2. Well jeez! An FBI guy and he got that scared of a Tom.

    Good story! I enjoyed this one!

    1. Thanks! Glad you like it, and in his defense he did think it was a bear.

  3. Excellent, had me right until the end. That's how I feel sometimes when I hear the brush move around, except with me, it's rattlesnakes. Having had two fairly close encounters with snakes, I don't think I can be too careful when I'm out and about.

    1. I would be worried about rattlesnakes, too. There is a rest area on I-75 in Florida that has a beware of rattlesnakes sign. We've stopped there many times and never seen a snake. Did see an alligator, though.

  4. OK this is EXCELLENT WRITING! I laughed out loud at the end... I pictured it all. This truly was FANTASTIC Linda!!!!!

    1. Kathrine, thanks so much! I pictured it too. I could see all the scene, right down to the night sounds. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I like doing these series.

  5. Replies
    1. Bears are bears and they can put the fear into you whether you're FBI or tourists. I couldn't have a bear come out of the woods or they might have had to shoot it.


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