Sunscreen Dream

J. L. Lambert II
8 min readJan 30, 2023


Art By J.L. Lambert II


JERR(28) squeezes his brown hands together before rubbing them. He glances down at a journal, first aid kit, and a bottle of sunscreen underneath the glovebox. Before glancing out the window.


He pops open the front door of the SUV.

He steps and adjusts the first three buttons of his black dress shirt before ruffling his wet curly hair. He looks over to a ravine that sat at the front of his SUV.

The river down below was large about sixty feet wide. It wasn’t rapid but if you weren’t careful you could easily get swept away.

Just above, hanging overhead in the sky, were grey clouds. It was going to rain.

WOMAN: Kind close to the edge.

ANNA(28) says pointing to the Equinox. A black woman with her hair braided up and tied back into a bun. She wore a thin purple blouse and jeans. She wasn’t a large woman but she wasn’t skinny either. She was in the ‘just right’ category, though she didn’t feel that way herself.

JERR: It should be fine.

Jerr says, pulling off his flip-flops and tossing them into the SUV.

ANNA: You’re already wet.

JERR: Took a dip before hand to make sure everything was set.

ANNA: How are we going to get down? The usual or the safe way?

She asks walking up and opening the trunk of the SUV.

JERR: Grab the first aid.

ANNA: Where is it?

JERR: By the oil.

ANNA: Got it.

Jerr snaps open the driver-side door…


…he grabs the journal and glances back at Anna. He watches how her swimsuit bled through the blouse.

He averts his gaze.


Anna shuts the trunk and makes her way to the front.

ANNA: I’m kind of getting excited.

Jerr grabs her and pulls her close. He stuffs his face into her shoulder — taking in her scent.

ANNA: Jerr…

JERR: Promise me, that when we jump you’ll keep everything a secret.

He asks.

ANNA: We’re jumping?

Anna asks.

JERR: Promise me. You don’t say a word of what happens down there.

ANNA: Easy. He’s not even here and what about you?

JERR: Same. Its just the two of us.

Jerr grabs the first aid kit as Anna unbuttons the rest of his shirt. He wasn’t bulked with muscle but leaned heading more to the thin side. His body was still damp from his dip.

JERR: Let’s go.

He pushes past her and leaps off the edge.

The wind rushes up and around his body as he could feel an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach.

Nerves. He thinks.

Anna doesn’t wait for him to land and rushes in after him.


Anna pencil dives down, making a splash. She isn’t under for long before bursting out of the water. She treads carefully not to get swept away. It was tough since she was wearing jeans, but she manages.

She glances around.

ANNA: Jerr?


ANNA: Jerr!

She calls out louder. Still nothing

ANNA: Jerr!

She calls out one more time.

JERR: I’m here.

He says bursting up behind her.

JERR: Come.

Together they swim their way to the edge.

Jerr lifts himself out of the water, slamming the first aid kit and his journal on the rocks. He glances at the soggy book and let out a grumbling sigh before climbing up.

Anna reaches out to him and he pulls her up.

JERR: You okay?

Jerr asks.

ANNA: Where were you?

She says.

JERR: I was going to surprise you.

ANNA: Not funny.

JERR: I know. Sorry.

Anna plops down and begins undoing her pants, just loosening them.

Jerr stares up at the sky, as the rain slowly begins to fall. He turns back to the ravine wall where a small opening for a cave sits.

This is why they came down here.

One last time.

JERR: You good to move?

He asks struggling to put back on his black shirt.

ANNA: I’m good.

She says.

He stuffs his journal in his back pocket. Carefully trying not to rip the pages.

ANNA: You should have put it in the first aid kit.

Anna says stepping past him.

JERR: I didn’t think of it at the time.

She chuckles as she crouches down and enters the cave.


Anna glances around. It wasn’t too dark and she could see the light peering down from the holes in the ceiling.

ANNA: We should move before the rain clouds cover our light.

She says.

Jerr crouches down and enters.

JERR: Lead the way.

Anna steps forward, being careful to watch her step. We pull out to see that cave is massive with many little paths leading everywhere. Some to dead ends and others further in.

Anna checks around the stalagmites till she finds one with a yellow ribbon and an arrow scratchings into it telling her to go right.

ANNA: This way.

JERR: Remember when we first found this cave?

ANNA: Of course I do.

She says heading in the right direction.

ANNA: We got swept down the river on some floaters.

JERR: Yeah. The others didn’t want to go.

ANNA: I believe they wanted to set up lunch and we wanted to have fun.

Jerr stops under one of the many holes and glanced up.

ANNA: Are you looking for more rain?

Anna says glancing back.

JERR: No…I guess I’m stalling.

ANNA: We have time. No one at camp meeting is going to be looking for us…yet

JERR: You said he wasn’t here.

ANNA: Well…I lied.

JERR: You know I’ve thought of this moment…a dozen times. Trying to understand if I…love you…or just…lust for you.

Jerr says, he feels complicated. Twisted, fighting against himself and his inner demon.

ANNA: Me too.

Anna says continuing forward. Jerr follows behind.

ANNA: How long have we known each other?

JERR: Since grade ten.

ANNA: How long have we been friends?

JERR: I don’t know. It feels like forever.

ANNA: I’m pretty sure in grade eleven we became friends.

JERR: And now you want to go back to being friends.

Anna stops.

ANNA: This way.


We see the cave exit as Anna appears we pull slowly to see that the cave leads to a platform jutting out of the ravine wall.

The platform looks out over the ravine and onward to the rest of the never-ending prairie. To the left of them was a waterfall pouring down.

ANNA: This never gets old.

Anna says as Jerr took a seat against the wall. She sits between his legs leaning up against him as he wraps his arms around her.

The rain performs all around them as if these two were the only ones to see the concert.

In the distance, the grey clouds were just beginning to form over the rest of the landscape as the hills shifted between the shade as the clouds fluffed overhead.

Jerr bends down and starts kissing Anna’s neck as she relaxes.

ANNA: What was in the journal?

She asks.

He continues kissing her.

ANNA: Jerr? The journal.

He stops.

JERR: It was…I had written…it was a journal about our meetings.

He confesses.

ANNA: You wrote them down?

JERR: I didn’t want to forget.

ANNA: What if your fiancé found them?

Anna asks. Are they compromised?

JERR: She didn’t.

She lets out a sigh of relief.

ANNA: But what if?

JERR: I don’t know. You didn’t do anything like this.

Jerr asks.

ANNA: I…no. I didn’t want my husband to find out. This wasn’t suppose to happen.

JERR: But it did and now you want to throw it all away. We’re happy.

ANNA: No we’re not.

JERR: Look around you this perfect.

He gazes up at the raw beauty of nature. Something that painters and photographers only wish to have access to. This untouched beauty was for them…

…just for them.

ANNA: This is a fantasy and at some point we have to come back to reality.

Jerr’s face tenses up.

JERR: This could be our reality.

He grumbles.

ANNA: And give up everything we already have.

JERR: Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for love.

ANNA: But we don’t even know if this is love or lust.

JERR: Well I love you!

ANNA: I don’t!

He pushes her off and walks over to the edge. He places his hands on his hips.

JERR: You know…I guess I’m just a useless romantic to you.

He says. He hates the notion of it but it is who he is. He wishes he could be more like his inner demon. Unchained and gouging on its desires. Free from such weak thoughts.

ANNA: Don’t do that.

Jerr turns to her as tears stream down his face. He’s hurt her, that’s not what he wanted.

JERR: I know…this is a dream. And…I want to dream it ever night, the feeling, the touch. I awake every morning just to close my eyes again to continue the dream. So why do you wake me from this?

He yells, his voice drowning out by the waterfall’s descent.

ANNA: Because I’m happy with what I have. I hade lose it to…heh…understand what I took granted for. Don’t you feel it?

JERR: Conflicted. Yes.

Jerr relaxes his arms and peers off the edge. It all could end just here.

JERR: Maybe…nevermind. The journal is ruined just like my dreams.

ANNA: Poetic aren’t you.

Anna says.

JERR: And hopeless. Is this how you wanted it to end?

ANNA: Its better than yelling.

Anna says standing up, a small gust of wind breezes by her and she clenches tight her shawl.

JERR: Alright. You head on up. I’ll be there shortly.

Anna smiles and Jerr glances at her, catching it and memorizing this moment in his mind.

JERR: Dazzling.

He says.

ANNA: Always.

She winks and heads along a path behind the waterfall. It was a small path but one could make their way across…

…if they were careful.

Anna places her hand on the wall and steps forward. It is dry. She felt that her footing was good and steps again.

Jerr pulls out the journal and lets the wet mush pages drop off the edge. The wind taking the wet pages and throwing them into the waterfall.

He looked up as if he had forgotten something. He heads back to the cave and from behind one of the rocks was a waterproof bag with two towels.

He opens it up and pulls one out.

He glanced over to the path up. No one is there. He grips the towel and then starts drying himself off.

JERR: Just like a dream.

He tells himself.

He grabs the other towel and places it on the path behind the waterfall.


Jerr walks over to the trunk of his SUV and pops it. In the back is a pair of fresh clothes. He tosses the first aid to the side and starts changing.

He glances over to the crowd of people heading back to their tents and RVs from their daily meeting. Learning about how they too can be just like Christ. Taking in everything they can to be a better person.

Jerr scoffs.


He jumps into the driving seat and turns on the vehicle. He glances over to the passenger seat. All that is left is a bottle of sunscreen.

He grabs it.

It’s empty.

Jerr grips the bottle tight before tossing it in the back.

JERR: Hmph. I just don’t think I can wake up.

He says as he adjusts the rearview mirror, revealing Anna staring at him. She’s soaked and her hair is a mess.

She smiles.

Jerr smiles back before putting the car in reverse.


Jerr reverses out and we see in the backseat no one there.



J. L. Lambert II

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