Fear’s Heat

Waking up, he kept his eyes closed.  He was uncomfortable for sure.  Besides feeling like he was sleeping on uneven ground, he felt a disabling heat surround him.  It was a stifling heat.  He thought back to the last thing that he could remember.  He knew he was not alone.  He knew they had traveled to this place, their destination.  But where were they?  And where was she?  And why was it so hot?

Sweating, he could feel his pants clinging to his legs as if he had just climbed fully clothed from a hot spring.  A curiosity overtook his movements and he reached out with his hand blindly feeling for anything.  He felt something hot.  That’s all he knew for certain.  Suddenly he felt, not cool air itself, but the memory of cool air–the memory that cooler temperatures existed somewhere not too far from where he was.

Time taking effect, he began to remember where they were.  It was a campground.  They had setup their tent, and she wanted to take a rest.  He couldn’t believe his luck, and so they both crawled in the tent, sun blazing.  He remembered that before dozing off into a restful slumber he reassured himself that she couldn’t get into too much trouble within the confines of a tent, especially not a four-season, dual-door, dual-vestibule beaut like his.  Still, she did have a sleeping bag, a water bottle that emptied at a rate equivalent to a sippy cup, and Pingu, her pink penguin.

Finally, he heard her whispering.  It was unintelligible, so he made the decision to open his eyes and see she was up to.  Looking towards her whispers, he was immediately struck by a fear brought on by the inexplicable.  Her hair was soaked.  Her shorts just below her waistline were soaked.  In a moment, realizing she had not ‘rested’ but stayed up playing for who knows how long in a hot tent with no vents open, her sweaty hair made sense.  But why were her pants wet?  She was a potty trained three and a half year old.  Then he finally heard a full sentence as she guiltily turned, pouring water into her hand.

“Okay Pingu, we’re almost done with your shower.”

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