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FlashNano #6 – Time in the Tub

November 6, 2017

Day 6 prompt: Write a story that takes place in a hot tub

Time in the Tub (807 words)

We have a beautiful hot tub. This thing’s a built-in on the deck, walk right in, no steps to climb up or down, it sits in a roasted chestnut cabinet and sports a sleek platinum shell. Seven feet square, this baby seats six – or eight if you’re adventuresome and want to get cozy with your neighbors. The tub has 15 jets, a lounge seat, caddy trays, a nine-and-a-half foot side umbrella and a color-changing light system. And, yeah, we’ve even got waterproof playing cards. I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging with the boring details, but you name it, this monster’s got it and I’m proud of it.

You might wonder why someone living in Minnesota would put so much into a hot tub with, you know, winter and cold and snow, but we don’t stop ‘tubbing’ up here just because the temperature dips into the single digits. Believe me, there’s nothing more relaxing and refreshing than sitting in a 100 degree hot tub under a starlit sky in the middle of winter.

I don’t know who came up with the idea but I think it was Herb Benton. We’re in the tub, Marjorie and me and Herb and Amanda, middle of February, playing Bridge. Mother Nature is throwing a fit all around us with a temperature hovering just above zero and dumping, according to the KTWO meteorologist, anywhere from six to eight inches of snow around us.

We’d just finished a hand and Herb says to me, “You ever jump out of a hot tub and roll in the snow and then jump back in the water?”

I looked over at him. “I thought people only did that from saunas.”

“Sauna, hot tub, what’s the difference.”

“Doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me,” I said.

“Me either,” said Amanda. “You want to deal, Herb?”

“Sheesh,” Herb said. “A bunch of shrinking violets here or what?”

“Or more like ‘cold fish’?” I said.

Herb dealt out the next hand. “I’ve done it before,” said Marjorie.

I looked at her and raised my eyebrows in doubt.

“This was years before you, Scott.”

“Aha!” said Scott. “Our Margie’s got a secret past. Tell us more!”

“Cool off, Herb.” Marjorie laughed. “It’s nothing like you’re thinking. Up in Eveleth saunas are pretty common and my folks had one. We’d spend as much time in there as we could during the winter and dad would always ran out, roll in the snow and then run back in. I tried it for the first time when I was about nine and loved it.”

“Seriously?” I said.

“It was a lot of fun!”

“Well, I’m sold,” said Herb. He stood up onto the deck and stood there for a moment, 100-degree water dripping off his swim trunks and steam billowing off his body. He pulled himself out of the hot tub and ran off the deck into the snow. He did a belly flop into the snow, rolled around and then got up and ran back into the water.

“Hoo-WEE!” he yelled. “That was refreshing. Give a try Scott.”

“I don’t think I’m . . .”

“Go on, babe,” said Marjorie.

I looked around at three pair of eyes watching me and waiting for me to prove my Minnesota-bred toughness so I stood up and hopped onto the deck and then I ran straight for the snow. Unfortunately, I forgot that snow was slippery and I hadn’t gone four paces before my feet slid out from under me and down I went, flat onto my back.

“Oh, Scott, you alright?” Marjorie said.

“Ouch.”

Herb stopped laughing long enough to tell me to get up and to shag my big behind back into the water before I got stuck there and I stopped hurting long enough to tell him that I couldn’t move.

It’s no fun throwing your back out. When three of them couldn’t get me to my feet without sending my pain into the stratosphere, Marjorie went back inside and got some blankets to cover me up and then she called 911. Two big guys showed up in about four minutes and they managed to get me vertical and they held me upright until the ambulance showed up. Then the four of them got me down onto the stretcher and into the ambulance.

Two days later I left the hospital with a back that was still sore, but loose enough to let me walk upright, a prescription for some muscle relaxers and a warning from the orthopedist to maybe think about acting my age, which, he told me, didn’t involve diving into snow banks wearing nothing but a bathing suit during a snowstorm.

We still have the hot tub but I tend to use it nowadays for therapeutic reasons rather than recreational.

And I don’t run into snow anymore.

– End

What is FlashNano: “Created by Nancy Stohlman in 2012 in solidarity with NaNoWriMo. FlashNano is in its 6th year!” Click HERE to learn more.

(Please pardon any typos or grammatical errors. My goal at this point is to just get the story down. I can worry about fine-tuning and editing later if I want. Thanks for reading!)

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