Writing Prompts Week #46– November 12th, 2020

This week’s prompt:

A boat, a gamer, “I love you”

A boat, a gamer, “I love you”

“I already said this was a terrible idea,” Judith as the boat bobbed in the little waves created by the larger boats. Boats with motors. Boats that actually got you from point A to point B. She hated the water, hated the outdoors, and really hated this boat.
Jerry just smiled, that placid, infuriating smile. The one he used when she was being absurd. It only made her madder.
“I Love you too,” he said. And Judith knew he meant it. Damn him. She looked over the side and the water was murky. As the oar dipped down into it it vanished after only a few inches. Why would anyone swim in this? It was like a horror movie set up. A cheesy one at that.
In her favorite game, if your character ventured out into water more than chest deep, you were thrown back to shore to the sounds of gagging and coughing as the character tried to recover from a near drowning. That was how she felt about water too. She had never really learned how to swim and being this far from shore made her anxious.
“Are you sure this is safe?” She asked, and hated the way her voiced sounded unsure.
“I did this almost every day as a kid,” Jerry assured her. He had already told her this many times, but it was nearly impossible to imagine. Her Jerry was not exactly athletic. He had soft hands, a round pale face, and thick square glasses that always made her think of her father. And she loved him madly.
Judith and Jerry met on an online forum for fans of a game series they both enjoyed. They spent hours talking about the crazy things people posted and the absurd drama that cropped up in niche communities like this. 
That was 5 years ago. Now they both held regular “adult” jobs. No more all night gaming dates. The dreams of working in the industry that gave them so many hours of enjoyment were washed away by the ebb and flow of day-to-day life. Did you remember to mail the water bill? Don’t forget to stop at Walgreen’s on your way home. I forgot to tell you, the trash bin lid was open, and it filled with rain water last night.
This was a far cry from hours long arguments about whether a character ship was cannon or crack. Or the evenings spent sharing pages of a favorite fan fiction. Life happened and one day you wake up to realize you are going camping on an island, in a lake, with no electricity. 
Why had she agreed to this?  Judith looked out over the lake. A tree covered dot had resolved itself into a pebble covered beach with a boat dock that had seen better days some time around the Nixon administration. Were they really staying here? Her heart was in the bottom of the boat. This was going to be a miserable holiday weekend.
“My grandparents owned this island,” Jerry said. She knew this, but he was trying to keep her from getting into a state where she would ruin everything. She knew this and was honestly trying her best.
“My brother and I stayed out here with them every summer.” Judith looked at him sharply. Jerry never mentioned his little brother. He had died in a tragic accident when they were teens. Why was he bringing this up now?
“This was where he died.”
“Christ, Jerry!” Judith could barely breathe. “Why are you coming out here? Why are you bringing us both out here?”
The rocky beach was near now, the island was small, but tall pines and sprawling oaks covered it in a dense green blanket. The interior was as dark and frightening as the depths of the lake.
“I told you we would camp out here,” Jerry said, and he looked a little sheepish.
“There is a house on the island. My grandparent’s house.” The row boat scraped and thunked against the worn dock. He tossed a rope around a post and pulled it tight. He looked competent. Confident. Was this the man she knew?
“I got a letter a couple weeks ago.” Judith frowned at the change of subject, but kept quiet as he helped her onto the wooden planks and grabbed their backpacks. “My uncle passed earlier this year.”
“What? John?” Judith asked.
“Yes, he inherited this place when his parents passed away years ago. He lived out by himself all this time. He didn’t turn up for his quarterly supply run and the store owner got worried. Sent his boys out here and they found him dead. “Jerry’s voice held no emotion. His eyes were flat and dark and he looked into the small forest.
“He was right were my brother was when he died.”
“Jerry,” Judith said quietly, reaching for his arm. “That is terrible. Why didn’t you say anything?”
“There was so much to do,” Jerry shrugged. “I just thought it would be easier if I could just show you.” 
“Show me what?”  A strange fear had crept into her heart. She followed his gaze to the trees and saw nothing.
“Our new home, of course,” Jerry said.

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