Chance encounter
This is a small short story I wrote on the 23rd October 2012. I went kayaking down the River Wye one summer and was inspired by it to write something about kayaking in rivers...this doesn't mean I'm now done with them...this is just something that popped into my head!

Hope you like it! :) xxx

Chance Encounter

The splash of the oar calmed him. The movement of the kayak gave him peace and took him away from the troubles in his mind. They didn't matter anymore.

This was why he would dissapear onto the river sometimes. He had a wife and two kids back at home so he wouldn't go for lon

g. Sometimes his mind needed to be cleared.

He watched the thick, dense woodland on the banks of the river endlessly slide past.

He went passed a woman making a camp fire on a shingly island at the edge of the river. Her dark green kayak had been pulled up onto the shore and was upside down. In the brief moment of passing he saw that she had long blonde hair and wore a red woolen hate with a bobble on top.

On he went past the endless trees. He passed a few more rocky islands and banks but there weren't any women on these.

He pulled up on a muddy bank and tied his kayak to a think tree trunk at the edge of a river. He kept his belongings in the back of his kayak, sealed with a tight rubber lid. He undid the lid and fished around for a snack. His belly was rumbling.

There he sat, chewing on lumps of baguette and cheddar cheese. He stared out at the river to his left as the blonde woman rowed past.

About te

n minutes later, he packed up his small snack and carried on. He needed to get to the next campsite which was around 5 miles from where he was now. It had already begun to get dark.

About thirty minutes later, he saw a small blue tent pitched at the top of a slope on the river bank. There was a dark green kayak beside it. The blonde woman sat outside the tent, warming her hands on her fire. She still had her hat on.

He pulled up to the bank below her; a small gap in the trees, and looked up the slope, catching her attention.

"You know there's a camp site barely 5 miles from here?" he called.

"Yeah, I know. But it's too late now. You'll be pitching in the dark. Besides, the weatherforecast predicts rain."

He grunted in reply and made up his mind.

"D'you mind if I pull up here, too?" He called.

"Not at a


He climbed out of his kayak, keeping a firm grip on it then firmly tied it to a tree. He then emptied his storage hole and took his belongings up to the camp in three trips.

He hauled his kayak up and lay it next to hers, also upside down.

His was a light blue colour and suddenly looked rubbish next to hers. He had always thought of his kayak as the most majestic thing on the river; but hers was sleek; long and thin. His was rusty and the seat inside was torn, revealing the brown cushion underneath the black glossy fabric.

They were at the edge of a large empty field surrounded by trees. He set up his tent a few metres from hers in silence then went to join her at the fire, carrying a pack of sausages, a small bottle of cooking oil, a mini carton of apple juice, plastic cutler, a frying pan and a light green plastic plate - all in a tescos bag.

"May I?" he

asked, pointed to the fire with his saucepan.

"Sure" she replied, stirring her pasta in a pan suspended above the fire with sticks. She seemed very shy so he said no more at present.

In silence, they cooked their seperate meals. Once his sausages were ready to eat he said.

"I'm Jimmy, by the way" with a confident tone.

She nodded in responce.

"I'm Celia." She blushed and looked at her feet, her bowl of pasta steeming in her hands.

The light was quickly receeding but Jimmy could just about make out her features using the fire.

Her mou

sy blonde hair was straight and reached her hips where it curled inwards. She looked around twenty-three years old. She had big green eyes and thin lips. She had prominent cheeck bones and a chiselled jaw. Her face was small and delicate. Her cheek bones were flushed from the cold and her lips had turned a darker shade. A light, chill breeze had just started up, softly blowing her long hair.

Jimmy went to his tent and retrieved a small blanket. He rested it on her shoulders and sat down again where we had been sitting before. She gave him a grateful smile and wrapped her blanket around herself. She thenn poured her leftover pasta onto his plate. He looked at her with a questioning look. She returned his gaze. He was struck by the incredibly kind gesture she had given in return.

"I like to get away from home sometimes" she offered in explanation.

"Same." he replied.

"Life can get so

noisy and tiresome sometimes" she said.

"I'm married with two kids. I like to get some peace and quiet occasionally." he explained.

"Uh-huh" she replied. She understood.

Jimmy had a stubbly dark brown beard and blue eyes with long dark lashes. He had messy dark brown hair and looked like he was in his early thirties.When he looked at her, she felt as if he was reading her every move.

"I live in a house with four brother, one sister and my parents. I'm the oldest".

He looked at h

er with a sympathetic expression.

"I was an only child" he said.

The only light left was now coming from the fire. He checked the time on his watch in the firelight.


They had been there for longer than he had thought. He told her the time.

"I'm going to bed then. Thanks for the blanket..." she stood up and handed him the blanket. Then she wiped the dry mud from the floor of

f the back of her trousers and dissapeared inside her tent.

Jimmy soon put out the fire and went to bed himself.

For an hour, he lay staring into the darkness thinking about what she might be thinking about now or dreaming about. The rain started just as he slipped off into sleep.

Jimmy was woken by the sun and the twittering birds. He climbed out of his tent, desperate for fresh air and had to shield his eyes from the bright morning sun.

It was 9:33am.

Celia had gone.

He would never forget how she'd given her food to a total stranger, simply in return for a warm blanket.

Her tent and kayak had left no trace of her. He couldn't even see any footprints at the river's edge.

He would never forget the blonde girl, Celia, and her dark green Kayak.

He didn't see her again, which left him wondering whether she had ever been real or not.

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