I want to do something different here with this post. Normally I, and my colleagues here, Will and Paul, have something to say about the craft of Naturist Fiction. It all began as I was driving to my son’s home a few days ago when I stopped to take a photo of some storm clouds, As usual, I was driving while nude – I do as much of that as I can while driving – and I stopped to capture a cloud formation. Later, when I saw the results, I saw a story in the photo thinking I would use this space to create that story, a short story of course. Now, the photo responsible for today’s launch into a naturist short story.
René stood on the hill looking in the distance at the dark, roiling clouds and wondered about the path ahead of him. In spite of the fact that the temperature had dropped, he wasn’t worried about getting too cold. The cabin was only two kilometres further along the trail. He knew without a doubt that he would be drenched by the time he reached the cabin.
René had been to the cabin before. The previous autumn he had taken shelter in the cabin with a few others who were hiking, training for yet another long-distance trek. The cabin was a small and simple affair, less than fifty square metres in size. The outside of the cabin had been coated with a mixture of mud and straw while the inside had only the spaces between the logs filled with the same mixture. The floor was rough planks carefully fitted together to keep out unwanted rodents and other unwelcome guests.
A simple counter with a few cupboards above went along one side of the cabin with a small window separating the cupboards. On the wall opposite the door, a wood stove served as a heat source as well as a cooking appliance. A simple table with four chairs sat between the counter and the stove. Along the opposite wall, another window, a smaller window, rested higher on the wall, above a trunk that held serviceable and warm blankets for the two beds on either side of the trunk.
René turned to again follow the faint trail across the grasslands. The cabin was about forty minutes away with no real difficult stretches between him and it. Just ahead of him on the path was a small copse of scrub poplar trees and dwarf wild berry trees, the usual hideout for mule deer during the heat of the day or when there was a need to hide from predators, especially human predators. His steps were heavier than normal as sadness and grief had stolen so much since his last trip to the cabin which he had made with Fred, Angela, and Monique.
Fred had become a frequent visitor to the Beauchemin acreage, something which surprised René as he thought that Fred’s wife and work would have fully occupied his time. Fred had disclosed to René that since the Camino, his wife had become increasingly distant. And as far as Fred’s work as pastor in his church, that had become more and more constraining as Fred’s published work on his blog site about nudity, the church, and God became more widely read. He had assumed that since there was so much talk about his work among the parishioners, the time was ripe to bring the message of sacredness and nudity to the sermons. Following the first, and only sermon wedding nudity and religion together, the church board demanded his resignation, and his wife demanded a divorce. Two weeks ago, Fred disappeared and no communication from him had reached René.
While mulling over negative scenarios involving his best friend, René was caught by surprise as Fred seemed to emerge from the copse of poplars.
“What? Where did you come from?” René uttered with a mixture of relief that Fred hadn’t committed suicide or disappeared into drugs or alcohol, and anger at Fred for his prolonged silence.
Fred grinned at his friend and embraced him with a hug, “It’s a long story, and likely one that you won’t believe. Just so that you know, I’m not a ghost or a figment of your imagination. And, it’s great to see you too. I think the question you should be asking is how I got here.”
René looked at his friend and didn’t care about any answers or questions. It was enough that Fred was alive and apparently well. “Okay then,” René asked knowing that Fred had a story that needed to be told. “How did you get here?”
Fred walked along side René as they headed towards the cabin, telling his story of the past two weeks. “Well, with no job and no marriage left, I went home so to speak.”
“Home? You’ve never talked about a home before.”
“Just listen and it will all become crystal clear,” Fred stated patiently. “I went home and met with my siblings, so to speak. With my life as a pastor and husband done, I had to come up with a plan to move ahead into the future. I needed their help in coming up with that plan. Of course, the plan had to include both you and Angela. Talking about Angela, why isn’t she here with you?”
“She sent me off here to be alone, to walk and to have time for a retreat while she occupies herself with the Calabogie Naturist Club and the acreage. She’s going to meet me at the cabin in three day’s time.”
“Anyway,” interrupted Fred who had a lot to tell René. “As I was saying, I had to come up with a plan. And, I need your’s and Angela’s help to make the plan work.”
As Fred spoke, a strong wind announced that rain was about to fall, perhaps even hail as the temperature had taken a significant drop. René shivered but Fred seemed not to notice the change in the elements. It was as if his naked body was unaffected by the sudden wave of cold air.
“What help do you need? I know that Angela would be more that willing to do what she can to hep as well,” René stated with certainty.
“Well, with that settled, but I will still ask Angela when she arrives at the cabin, here’s the plan.”
[to be continued]