She woke up to the sound of the pickup truck pulling back into the lot the next morning. She had no idea what time it was, but she knew she didn’t want to be found in this condition by anyone. She had overslept. Maybe it was the food, maybe it was the comfort of knowing she had a chance out here, or maybe it was the exhausted limbs from being on her feet all night, but she had slept hard.
She waited til she heard the back door of the saloon open, and she peeked up over the window. She saw Bill cast a glance in her direction, but he proceeded inside the building. She quickly climbed up into the driver’s seat and took off. She needed to find somewhere to bathe and change and prepare for her next shift.
She worked hard to keep her bearings straight, trying to memorize where she turned left or right, north or south, but she got all mixed up. In the height of this mix-up, she stumbled upon an old gravel road that seemed to have no homes around for miles. As she drove, she noticed a little trail that lead in the direction of a little river she had crossed earlier. It was a vehicle path, but judging from the grass growing up through the middle it was seldom used. She parked out of sight, she hoped, and tip toed down the trail. To her bliss she discovered the river, a little embankment, and a place she could take care of herself in privacy.
She grabbed her toiletries, clean clothes, and a bottle of water. She poured the water over her toothpaste and brushed her teeth. She then double checked the scenery and stripped down to her birthday suit. She tested the water. Cool, as all mountain streams were, but not frozen. She could do it. She quickly dove in, hoping to stay resolved to clean herself. She grabbed some shampoo and conditioner and washed her hair. She grabbed a bar of soap and washed her body and slipped out to find a towel.
She dried off, and just at that moment the sun peeked between the trees. She basked in its warmth. The warmth did more to her soul than it did her skin, relaxing her, giving her hope. The worst was over, and the best was yet to come.
As she absorbed the vitamin D, she towel dried her hair, and started stepping into her clean clothes. She wasn’t sure what the dress code was, or if there even was one, so she settled for a pair of tight fitting jeans and an old T-shirt that could stand the bleach water but still hung tight in all the right places. Her VS bra pushed her ladies up, and she felt good again.
She snuck back out to her car, belongings in tow, and checked the time. After noon. That gave her some time to head into town, gas up the old Mercury, and make her way back to the Saloon.
Fearing the Flames, p. 1