Bear Necessities

Bear Necessities

They pulled into West Yellowstone to re-fuel. One more day, he thought. She’s driving me nuts. Her incessant babbling, gossipy nature, the way she needed him to validate every little thing she said. Ugh! So much for vacation. Oh well, live and learn. Chalk it up to experience.

He turned onto the highway and said nothing. It was just easier to let the differences lie until they got back to Oceanside. The Explorer rental was filled with gas, ready to continue their adventure through Yellowstone National Park. The early morning’s chilly temperatures created vaporous wisps that hovered close to the ground.

“You know, saying nothing is really saying something,” Lynne said.

He rolled his eyes. “I knew you’d say that.” She didn’t used to be predictable, not during their fling last summer.  Then she seemed spontaneous, goofy, a little reckless even. But since they’d started lifeguarding together at Jones Beach in May, she’d become a huge pain in the ass.

“Our problem is that you want to keep us secret. Like I’m your mistress.” She popped a piece of Juicy Fruit gum in her mouth, fluffed her bangs with her fingers. She slid down in her seat, propping her feet on the dashboard.

“Your problem is that you want the world to know the last time we…” He was looking in the rear view mirror, slowed the car, stopped.

“What? Why are we stopping, Frank?”

“Look!” He pointed behind him. “A grizzly!” They turned, looked out the back window of the car. The bear lumbered across the road, twenty yards away.

“Wow, it’s huge,” she said, holding her breath, eyes bulging. “We probably shouldn’t stop here, you think?” she whispered.

He wondered what food they had to coax the bear closer. It stopped on the opposite shoulder, turned to face the SUV. Stood on its hind feet.

“Frank,” she jabbed him,  “did you hear me?”

He ignored her. Looked out his rear view mirror, then opened his door.

“Frank? What the f…?”


About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, Robert leads week long National writing retreats at sites like Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Synergia Ranch, and EarthRise IONS. His poems and fiction are published in over 500 print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Los Angeles Weekly, Literary Orphans and Smokelong Quarterly. He is Editor-in-Chief at (b)OINK magazine and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing in Milwaukee. He is six times a Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His books are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms); RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press), and FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press).
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13 Responses to Bear Necessities

  1. Andrea says:

    You are funny! Frank is naughty. Oh and ROAR!

  2. Suzi says:

    An act of desperation or redemption?????

  3. theprayerlady says:

    Slapp’n the shit right out of you. You could at least let me know if he got killed, maimed or went crazy with her.
    Your lov’n Mom

  4. Dez says:

    Great cliffhanger! You take us right up to the moment, then we get to decide what happens after Frank opens the SUV door. I like how you leave us wondering. This piece might work better if we had more back story? Maybe it could start last summer when they were getting along so well. Then Frank proposes this trip to Yellowstone, then we get to see more of Lynne’s incessant babbling and gossipy nature once in Wyoming. Just an idea. Might build the story better for when they cross the bear’s path.

  5. Angie says:

    I love the character descriptions. I have never been to Yellowstone, but your writing gave me a good visual.

  6. tomfroehlich says:

    The early morning’s chilly temperatures created vaporous wisps to hover close to the ground. Did you mean, “chilly temperatures caused valorous wisps to hover” or possibly, “vaporous wisps hovering close to the ground”?

    Other than that LMAO!!! We’ve all had those high maintenance relationships that started out with great sex. Without noticing the sex slows down and the maintenance picks up. Then you don’t even really want the sex because they are such a pain in the ass! SO screwed! Of course this may or may not be my experience.

    Anyway, the way I read it he chose to be with a life threatening animal than with her annoying high maintenance self!

    Loved it!

  7. tomfroehlich says:

    Love your mom!!!

    More than a little curious about the visuals of Yellowstone? The only thing you even referred to was the grizzly. Apparently she thinks it’s a park full of grizzlies!

  8. Betsy says:

    Wonderful! I love reading your stuff.

  9. david says:

    you tricked me with that title.. dang

  10. Shari says:

    This is fun, I liked it a lot. As someone who has been to Yellowstone more than a few times, I wonder if you would consider building in more sensory aspects of “place.” It is so lovely there. Also, I like Dez’s suggestion about starting earlier. I wanted to get inside these two (or at least him?) from the beginning of when they met. Great opportunity? Or at least some more to look forward to as one of your readers.

  11. Kimberly says:

    I like it…. What happens next? And why are they travelling together if he doesn’t like her????

  12. Bo says:

    Really liked this one. would love to know what happens next!!

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