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Mountain Encounters

Mountain Encounters

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Mountain Encounters

4/5 (2 Bewertungen)
69 Seiten
59 Minuten
Jul 23, 2020


Callie has spent weeks planning a romantic weekend for Neil in the Olympic Mountains. She has no idea that Neil has completely different plans. This camping trip is his chance to tell her the secret he’s been keeping from her for all these months … that is, if he has the courage to come clean.
Things come to a head during their camping trip, as the secret starts to get out of hand. While trying to help an injured camper, Neil has to make a painful choice without knowing the outcome. As the lives of five people converge in a quiet campground in springtime, each brings their own hopes, prejudices, and needs — and in the end, each life is changed.

Jul 23, 2020

Über den Autor

Iris Forester is never happier than when she’s tossed everything aside to follow one of the story threads that cross her path. She shares her home place with eagles, ravens and owls — but also makes time every year to spend in New York City. When she’s not writing, Iris works with paint, clay, and various difficult creatures.

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Mountain Encounters - Iris Forester

Part 1: Night Visitors

Tara guided her car up the narrow, winding road with her bright lights on. She was out much later than she should have been, and twilight fell fast in these dense, Northwestern forests. She’d been determined to equip herself properly for this solo camping trip, but she hadn’t anticipated that locating an affordable sleeping bag and one-person tent would take her half the day. Then, she’d missed the highway turnoff and driven twenty miles in the wrong direction before seeing a road sign that got her back on track. Now, she was arriving at the campground after sunset, and it would be all she could do to get her new tent set up in the darkness.

She sighed. This is self-sufficiency, she reminded herself. It’s not all a bed of roses.

The camping trip had been a last-minute decision, made earlier in the week as she approached her last day of work at a job that she just couldn’t take any longer. Until yesterday, Tara had been working at her aunt and uncle’s commercial carpet-cleaning business as webmaster and bookkeeper. It was unfulfilling, tedious office work with no real chance for advancement. With the Seattle rains yielding to soft, flowery spring days, Tara had suddenly come to her senses and realized she couldn’t face a future shut inside the same beige office day after day. And the idea of a solo camping trip came to mind soon after.

It was indeed almost completely dark by the time Tara pulled into the campground. May temperatures were still formidably cold in the mountains, so luckily, it hadn’t been hard to get a reservation. Tara’s searched for her reservation — space sixteen — but it was hard to find the numbers in the dark. Since most of the spaces were empty, she pulled into a random site and parked her car, realizing she was already hungry.

It took her a while to hook up the little gas cylinder to her folding camp stove. She hadn’t been camping since college, but she already felt absurdly pleased with her modest stash of gear. While her ramen was heating in the pan she’d brought, Tara pulled the tent out of its bag. Using a flashlight to study the multi-page instruction booklet that came with the tent, it occurred to her that she had no idea where to start. Furthermore, it looked like it was supposed to be anchored down with tent pegs, which she did not have.

Need some help there? a voice asked from behind.

Tara whirled around and saw a tall man standing just outside the circle of light from her battery-operated lamp. She braced herself.

No, thanks. I’m fine.

But he didn’t seem discouraged; instead, he stepped in closer. Tara stood and spoke more assertively this time.

I don’t need help. Thank you.

Apparently catching the warning in her voice, the man stopped. He looked at the dim lamplight, the spread-out instruction sheet, and the collapsed pile of tent poles and bright nylon.

Do you know how to set this up? That cheapo brand is tricky. They never put enough cable in the poles, so it’s hard to get them to snap together.

Tara was annoyed now, partly because of his presumptuousness — who did he think he was, barging in on her campsite — and partly because she was embarrassed. It was a cheap brand, but it was the only one she could afford on short notice, and it was her own fault that she hadn’t practiced putting it up. She put the instruction sheet down and took a step toward him.

I do not want help, she repeated firmly, glaring at this intruding stranger.

The man merely seemed amused. He was so tall: at least six-four. At five-foot-two, Tara felt vulnerable. But she had promised herself that she wouldn’t let fear stop her from taking this camping trip. She needed it to clear the depressing fog that had set in during the months after the breakup with her hopeless, video game addict boyfriend, Jeremy.

I don’t want to have to tell you to leave, but…. She left the sentence unfinished.

The tall man put up his hands in a way that seemed to suggest that he wasn’t going to argue with the little lady. Eyeing the mess of nylon and tent poles, he said, You can let me know if you change your mind. I’m over in campsite twenty.

Tara didn’t say anything but stood silently, waiting for him to go.

By the way, he added, tilting his head and looking back at her with a grin. Your dinner is burning.

Dammit. She rushed over to her stove and pulled the pan off the burner. Her noodles were smoking, stuck to the bottom of the pan. As the man walked away, she thought she could hear him laughing. Tara sank down on the bench of the picnic table, feeling completely discouraged.

Why did I think this was a good idea? she wondered.

People like her couldn’t just decide to go

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