Elizabeth woke up the next morning to her worst nightmare.
She had to pee.
Lying there, staring at the ceiling, she wondered how much longer she'd be able to last until her bladder exploded. The last thing she wanted to do was squat in a bush. What would she wipe with? How would she wash her hands?
Elizabeth rolled back onto her side. There was no other way around it. She would wait for Reuben to wake up so they could find the nearest restroom.
That plan lasted for another five minutes. The abdominal pain was growing more and more uncomfortable as she wiggled in her seat. No longer being able to listen to the lake outside she reached for the door handle. A loud creak tore through the early morning, before a hush fell back over their campsite.
The silence was unsettling and Elizabeth toyed with the idea of relieving herself somewhere closeby. She didn't want to stray too far, but the thought of Reuben waking up to her squatting next to his truck didn't sit well with her.
His gentle snoring comforted her as she inched towards the other side of their campsite. When she felt like she had enough privacy – and wasn't standing in poison ivy – Elizabeth lowered her shorts. The tree bark pressing against her back wasn't comfortable, but it kept her from falling over.
"You can do this," she mumbled, trying to focus on the sounds of the lake behind her. "Just please don't pee on yourself."
A couple minutes later and Elizabeth's bladder didn't feel like it was the size of a watermelon. She let on a content sigh and moved to pull her shorts up from the floor. They were halfway up her thighs when a twig snapped nearby.
Elizabeth's eyes grew the size of dinner plates. Her head snapped to the left. At first she didn't see anything. Then a bush began to shake as if something was moving around inside it. Her heart was moving just as fast as the leaves, all of her limbs mimicking the same motion.
Elizabeth inched back. The last thing she wanted to do was let whatever was in that bush know she was there. She was trying to be quiet, but her breathing sounded like exhaust pipes to her ears. Through the thick foliage she could make out the dense, brown fur of a large animal. She couldn't harbour the growing anxiety anymore.
"Bear!" Elizabeth barrelled out of the trees and back across the campsite. It was a short dash but her body was already burning with adrenaline.
"Bear!" Elizabeth pounded on the side of the truck. "There's a bear!"
Without waiting for Reuben she threw the driver side door open and jumped inside. Taking hold of the keys that he left on the dash Elizabeth cranked the Crapmobile to life. She peered into the rearview mirror just in time to witness Reuben pop his head up from the truck bed before stomping on the gas.
* * * * *
"I'm sorry?" Elizabeth said for the tenth time since arriving at the gas station.
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A Wattpad Featured Story Highest Ranking: #173 in Humor Eleutheromania (n.) an intense and irresistible desire for freedom. When her parents break another one of their no-good promises, Elizabeth Blackwell decides to run away from the five-star res...