A shiver haunts me, a shade, as a carefree zip of lightning ruins somebody’s home somewhere before choosing to rumble sneaky. They were coming for me. I could tell from how the thuds were louder now. I hide into a warming southerly corner of my tent and feel at home for a fucking less than a second. The grass wets my pants in batches as I scramble to find a dryer spot to cover. The slow, stealthy beginnings of a long, wet night, camping.
Movement creeps shadowy on my strong, nylon walls. I hide in a hug.
A distant pee of lighter fluid and a scramble to keep a match dry in the flirty drizzle. The clunking of iron and is that somebody prying open a pack of something with their teeth? Crip-crop, chopping fingers. Enough heard, the unzip-wave of twelve campers.
I smell my mother like roses, like home, like tea and catch her in my empty, wet palms and smile.
We follow bugs to the fire and read the dessert menu in drools.
The fire was a reluctant virgin. But stoked with our huddle of marshmallows, he crackles in joy, like love. Smores and random rhubarb crisp under the curly black skies.