The new stranger on the scene unslung the canteen from his shoulder in an easy manner and held it out to her. The canteen dangled at the end of the strap held in his hand ~ swung like a pendulum in front of Ruthie’s sun-charred face. The great gift of life, water, enticingly splashed around inside. Ruthie could hear it.
So Ruthie grabbed the canteen ~ unscrewed the lid ~ gulped ~ handed it back empty. “Thank you,” she said. She kept smiling a smile that began twitching. Water dribbled down her chin.
The feller with the fairy-tale hair shook the canteen next to his ear ~ heard the brand new emptiness inside ~ sadly frowned. He neglected to screw on the lid which was attached to the canteen by a chain ~ slipped the strap back over his shoulder.
“What are you doing in that ditch?” he said.
“Having the time of my life,” said she.
Ruthie couldn’t stop smiling since she had downed that delicious draught of aluminun-tainted canteen water. She was smiling as if her pants were on fire and she a ticklish smokestack.
The feller held out his hand ~ helped Ruthie out of the ditch. He was pretty strong ~ like he had unloaded a boxcar or two in his lifetime.
The Road Princess & Eternity