The four friends sat alone at a table talking excitedly about their plans for the weekend. They agreed where they would camp on the river, a place they went too often. They talked about hiking and swimming in the river and other things they might do. They were going to meet at Matt’s house in an hour and ride together from there.
“This has been the best day ever” Matt told his friends as they left the park. Beady little eyes followed their progress till they were out of sight.
“Oh it will be the best all right, for me” Growled the troll like Butch who had been listening to their entire conversation from the bushes.
The four had gathered supplies, met and loaded everything into Matts old Bronco. Matt’s father gave encouragement to have a great time but to be careful. He shoved something into Matt’s hand.
“Just in case son” Said his dad with a wink as he turned and walked into the house. Matt looked down to see a small box of Trojans.
“Oh crap! How embarrassing” he said aloud and shoved them in his pocket. Matt ran to the truck, jumped in with his friends. Then they were off, singing and joking with not a care in the world. Life was perfect for them at this moment. But only for a moment.
Fate, destiny, call it what you will, had its own plans in store. They were dark and pain filled.
They made it to their spot and set up camp without incident, unaware that they had been followed by a vengeful Butch Reynolds and a couple of his goons. It was going to be interesting.
The fire pit was in the middle of camp with a tent on either side of it. The nearby river ran through a canyon with beautiful pine filled mountains surrounding it. There was a small road the friends used which followed the river through the canyon. Their campsite was just off this road hidden by thick green pine. It was perfect
There was a slight breeze, which brought the scent of pine and wild flowers. The river bubbled and splashed, night birds and crickets sang their songs. The night sky was clear, full of stars and bright round moon. Marshmallows roasted over the fire on sticks cut from nearby trees. Remnants of dinner lay scattered on the ground as the four friends lounged around the fire. The conversation had died down into a comfortable silence. The girls had moved close to snuggle with their men.
“We should go to bed soon” Sally said looking shyly at her lap. There was something in her voice that stirred Matt’s blood.
“This could be the night” Matt was thinking as he held Sally close. Jack and Dana were having similar thoughts; teenage hormones revving up dulled the senses. That’s probably why it took so long for them to notice the sound of a motor coming closer.
‘Hey, hear that? Sounds like someone is stopped at our road” Dana commented. Matt cocked an ear to listen, there was a vehicle stopped close by. Not uncommon for other people to drive up the canyon, the friends didn’t think much about it. They ate smores and started cleaning up camp before anybody noticed the sound of the motor had not changed.
“Whoever it is hasn’t moved. Wonder what’s going on.” Said Jack as he looked to where the sound was.
“I don’t know it seems a little strange” answered Matt. Just then they could hear the sound of gravel under tires as the vehicle moved. There was a sense of relief as Matt thought they were leaving. Why he didn’t know. Relief was short lived though as the sound got closer. The flash of headlights through the trees confirmed they were coming towards them. Matt had an uneasy feeling creeping in his gut like a twisting worm.
“Why would they be coming to our camp at this time of night?” Matt thought. It was after midnight after all and this spot was obviously taken. Matt hoped they were lost or looking for friends and would soon be on their way.
“It looks like we have late night guest.” Jack stated without much emotion as he joined Matt and the girls by the fire.
A truck lumbered into camp and lurched to a stop a couple of yards from the friends. The headlights blinded them from seeing much more. After a minute the motor shut down and the doors opened. The sound of several empty cans hitting each other and the ground seemed to be amplified in the still night. No one moved or made a sound in the truck. Another minute went by and tension filled the cool night air. Then finally someone climbed out the driver’s door knocking more cans to the ground. The smell of alcohol was strong when the wind shifted a bit.
“Don’t be shy boys, come out and say hello.” Said a slurred and all too familiar voice from behind the open door.
Stay tuned for more sometime in the future.