Beware the Secret Powers of the Hot Springs – by Dalmatia Flemming

Beware the Secret Powers of the Hot Springs – by Dalmatia Flemming

 

Dottie and Pete were up to their shoulders in the hot springs when the search and rescue team appeared.   They were laughing so hard at that time that they didn’t even hear the team arrive and were shocked to look up and see four people and a dog staring at them. Dottie and Pete sheepishly ask to be handed their clothing and apologized profusely for any inconvenience they had caused.

Could they really have been gone for so long that their friends thought they were missing and called for help?

The frigid air on Dottie’s warm, wet skin was intense, almost painful. It was unclear how long they had been in the hot springs. And it was a shock to get out. Yet Dottie felt strangely giddy. She thought of her plans, so crystal clear just a few hours ago, but perhaps she would now have to reconsider …

It all started when Amy and Rob went into town to buy provisions leaving Dottie and Pete behind at the cabin. This was the third winter trip that the four had taken together. Amy and Rob were forever scheming to set the two up, but it just wouldn’t take. Pete was interested but Dottie was indifferent. But the four of them still consistently had a great time together.

Dottie and Pete decided to go cross country skiing. The weather looked perfect. They scribbled a note of their plan to Amy and Rob and left it on the kitchen table.

Wouldn’t you know it, about 3 hours into their escapade, the weather went to pot and they found themselves in a freak blizzard. They pressed onward but could swear they had traveled in circles for the last hour. Feeling frustrated, mentally exhausted and a little bit panicky, they decided to rest and eat their last two Power Bars.

Pete suddenly remembered that there were hot springs at one end of a lake that should be nearby. He figured they couldn’t be that far away. If they could just get there, all they would have to do would be to loosen up the sand in the shallow part of the lake allowing the hot spring water to enter and mix with the lake water more quickly. Pete had never done this before, but one of his friends had told him about it. Hmmm… this had the potential to change his relationship with Dottie. He could be seen as the savior; they may be out of food, but they would be warm and not die of hypothermia. Plus they would both be naked!

Pete broached the sanitized version of his plan to Dottie and she eagerly agreed. They had a map which granted, was not that effective considering the weather, but it did help to orient them in the correct direction. Feeling a little more refreshed and optimistic, they pressed on. About 45 minutes later they saw the lake. In one more hour they would be at the hot springs.

Pete went in the water first to dig around and ensure that the hot spring water was indeed there and readily flowing. It was. He hid behind a tree so that Dottie could undress and get in. Then he got in.

The scene was breathtakingly beautiful! The surrounding evergreens acted as a roof and protected them from the wind and snow. Steam was rising from their corner of the lake. They could see the snow falling in the distance. It was dark. It had been for the last 2 hours. They were comfortably warm in the water.

Pete thought this was as about as perfect as it could possibly get, except for maybe the addition of a bottle of wine. He was feeling quite proud of himself for saving the day.

After relaxing and finally feeling safe from the storm, Dottie pipes up and excitedly tells Pete of her retirement plans. She was just DYING to retire! She had been spending part of her vacation for the last 5 years checking out various places that she might move to when she retired.

Dottie felt that she had just identified this perfect place during her last stake-out vacation. It was a small town in Arizona near the Mexican border. It had a population of about one thousand people. The flora and fauna were completely different from the Pacific Northwest. No more hiking and seeing the same old boring moss, mushrooms and slugs. Nope, not for Dottie. And the men there were not a bunch of computer nerds. This place had REAL men.

Hmmm… Pete didn’t know what to think of that last comment. Did Dottie consider him to not be a “REAL man”? Of course, he must have passed this test, what with saving the day and all that.

Dottie continued that she had met her new best friend, Christelle, on this last trip. They were both staying at the same B&B. And wouldn’t you know it, Christelle had just sold her house, moved all her stuff and relocated there … from where else … the Pacific Northwest!

Dottie and Christelle hiked the surrounding areas, drank Margaritas and had a great time. Dottie followed Christelle around as she looked for a house to buy. Dottie had an appointment to meet with her financial advisor after this trip, so good thing it was looking like they would survive this ordeal after all. She had already taken loads of stuff to Goodwill. She was ready to hit that retirement button on the company website. Her days in the Pacific Northwest were numbered.

Oh man, Pete thought. No… it just can’t be! He’s so close, SO CLOSE and now she’s moving to freakin’ Arizona?! He was going to have to win her over and fast. And preferably before they get out of this lake!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on November 3, 2014, in Fiction, Seattle, Short Stories. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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