My theme this month is adventure. What real-world adventure can you imagine for this picture? Who are the characters huddled around the campfire? Why are they camping? Is it a vacation? Or are they hiding out?
Here’s my inspiration:
“This is just what you need,” my cousin Dave said, poking at the fire. “Miles away from work stress and family stress.”
“Miles away from any other people,” said my brother Jace with a relaxed smile pushing back the weary lines of his face.
“It’s nice to sit and not think.” I took a long sip of coffee.
Dave hit the bottom of my boot with a stick. “This is a vacation. You’re not supposed to do what you do at work.”
We laughed, and the sound rose free to the wash of stars above us.
Dave lifted the coffee pot. “Want a–“
A scream pierced the utter quiet of the night.
Every muscle froze except for our swelling eyes.
“Could that be an animal?” I whispered.
“Not any animal I’ve ever heard.” Dave answered.
“Doesn’t sound like any person I’ve ever heard, either.” Jace picked up a log.
Stop by tomorrow to read a guest blog from adventure novelist M. Liz Boyle!
Awesome picture and story starter! I love the ideas! Here’s mine:
This is the life. I sigh, stretch my legs in front of me, and admire the very same stars whose names Grandpa taught me when I was little. It’s been a good trip, and on nights like these I often don’t even bother to set up my tent.
I can’t complain about my group either. A four week trek is hard on anybody, but now that we’re two weeks in and have been completely without cell phone service for three days, they’re actually adjusting well to the backcountry. Some groups don’t ever adapt, but these rich youngsters surprised me by getting in the groove. Maybe I’ve come a long way too, and we’re all getting the hang of life together. Mom would be glad. Not proud – I gave up on that hope years ago, but she might at least be glad to hear that I’ve successfully led 14 consecutive trips without mishap. 15 if this one goes well. That should prove to her that I’m a changed man.
Suddenly people are scuffling toward me. I bolt up and turn on my headlamp. “Everybody okay?”
Two of the stronger guys, Dane and Keegan, stare at me with crinkled brows and sweaty foreheads. What have they been doing?
“You gotta come here,” Keegan says. We take off, leaving my content thoughts in the dust.
Behind the tents are several people hunched over and retching up their guts. My knees go weak at the sight. Keegan looks like a 17-year-old on probation who just noticed the cop watching him speed through a school zone. “Spill it, Keegan.”
He gulps. “The only thing I can think that made them sick is, um,” he’s stammering, and I feel like the cop waiting for him to fess up.
“I need to know what happened so I can help them.”
He continues, “Some of us drank water straight from the stream.”
I want to scream. “When?”
“The first day.”
As in two weeks ago. “Some of us? Who else?”
Keegan gulps again. “Most of us.” No way. Unbelievable. I told them the dangers of drinking unfiltered water. Do these kids think I have a hospital in my backpack?
Sorry this has taken me so long to reply to. For some reason, I’m not getting notification of all my comments. Another great kick off to a story. Is this one based on personal experience?
Thanks-it’s a fun exercise!! No, that idea just came from my active imagination 🙂