Skipping Stones by Keith Froslie

We stood ankle deep in cutoffs and tennies in a gentle bend of the Truckee River near Verdi. She wore a floral bikini top. My Maroon 5 t-shirt was drying on our inner tubes near a leaning cottonwood. A cloudless blue Nevada sky in an early August afternoon found us skipping stones, brown, white, ruby, and black.  

‘Rules!’ she said. ‘Six skips for a kiss, seven for something else.’  

‘Something else?’ I stammered. 

She was skipping effortlessly. Well, I was going for the magic seven. I was throwing too hard, nervous in anticipation.  

She said, ‘this is so beautiful. Are your senses shouting at you, like mine at me?’  

‘What? Sorry, I was counting the tiny freckles dancing all over your body.’ She giggled and shook her finger at me.  

Two mallards were dabbling and eyeing us cautiously.  

‘Ok, I smell the sun on your olive skin and the apple shampoo in your auburn hair.’ She gingerly laughed at my awkward boldness. ‘And my heart hammers whenever you look my way or touch my arm,’ I continued.  

Then she skipped six and kissed me softly.  

The river lapped and the Bank Swallows twittered around us.  

‘Colors?’ she murmured.  

‘I see mirror images in the waters. The lazy colors of wildflowers, horsetail, and cottonwood. …And why seven skips,’ I inquired.  

‘Seven spells Truckee,’ she said with an easiness that had captured my heart.  

‘I also hear our souls whispering,’ I said.  

‘What?’  

‘Yes, they whisper that we are together in this river on an afternoon we will forever treasure.’  

Her sparkling hazel eyes looked deeply into mine. With an easy twinkle she skipped a ruby stone seven times. She mischievously said, ‘it doesn’t matter who skips seven.’  

Romance spells Truckee!