The wind stopped. Time stopped. Everything stopped, except Ashley. A pink mist rose from the dewy grass. She continued peering inside the tent unable to divert her gaze. Her husband’s eyes glazed with a startled smack, frozen in time. The naked woman, also frozen, lay in his arms. A sultry lust hung in her eyes. Then her body shifted, and shook until it became translucent.
Ashley glanced at Josh who was frozen on one knee. His camera aimed, pointing at her husband and the woman on the sleeping bag with him. The pink mist grew thicker. Josh’s body shifted now as well and shook until it too became translucent. His body along with the woman’s stopped shaking but remained translucent.
Ashley’s heart raced. Her brows pinched together. She wanted to turn and run but held fast. Glued to her spot. Words sat like paste in her mouth. A warmth radiated from her left hand. Looking at it now, the pink gemstone that hung on her key ring glowed. It was then she saw it. The mist came from the gemstone, and it wasn’t floating and wafting in haphazard style. No. There was direction to it. It moved in an arc over her husband and the woman, down to his hand……. The ring on his finger, it held the other pink gemstone. The mist flowed to it then out of it and back to the pink gemstone in her hand and on it went.
The woman and Josh shook again then stopped. A wind blew through the tent and their figures blew away like sand and faded way into nothing. The mist too disappeared as did her husband. The empty tent before her grew warm in the afternoon sun, a drop of sweat slid down her right temple. All was silent now except for the intense breathing she couldn’t place. Oh, it was her. Clasping a hand to her chest, she inhaled. Empty it was empty. No. What? She spun to exit the tent and ran full force into her husband.
“What the hell? How? Where?” said Ashley.
“Baby? You look like death. What’s wrong?” asked her husband Tim.
“Where? Where were you just now?”
“What do you mean? I just came from the river. I was fishing.” Tim cocked his head and frowned. “What’s going on? Why are you here?”
“Where’s the woman? And Josh?”
“What woman? And Josh is at home. He wasn’t able to come with me.”
“That’s impossible. I was just at Josh’s and his wife told me he was here with you; that you and he were planning this trip for a long time.”
“Why were over at their house?” asked Tim scratching his head. “You knew all the details of the trip. None of this makes sense.”
Ashley felt the warmth in her hand and looked down at the pink gemstone; its glow fading. She placed her hand on her husband’s chest and patted it a few times. “Yup, you’re real.”
“Tim, I think we need to sit and talk.” They went down to the river, sat down on the bank, took their shoes off and dunked their feet in the cool water. She told him all about what just happened. When she finished, he gave her a gentle kiss on the lips.
“Ashley, I think we need to get rid of these pink gemstones.”
She didn’t need to be told twice. She fully agreed with him. It remained clear everything she saw and experienced had to do with those. So she took her’s off of her key ring and Tim took his ring off his finger. Together they threw them into the river.
“Come on,” said Tim. “Let’s go home.”
LATER AT THE RIVER
“Oh Bill, what’s that in the water?”
Bill turned in the direction Marcy indicated. A pink glow shot up out of the water. He ran into the river to see what it was.