Campfire Muses

The night is nigh, darkness, overturning the light of the day. The violet hue of the daytime sun finally drained from the fading sky. A thick fog, flowing into existence, obscuring our every move. The fire burning, sparks, stream through the dark as if they are snowflakes, in the bleak dismal months. 

When I look closely, I can see the silhouettes of the trees the castle guards protecting the stronghold within. We have kindling, the color of which is describable to the wisps of smoke that were clouding the air. They are piled up, to give breath to the blazing inferno, to warm ourselves in the cold blackness of night. 

We sit by the fire, my mother is reading, my father is stoking the flames. It’s a nice moment. A quiet moment. 

The tent we had set out on the deck was in a haze, a ghostly form in the night. We had put it there, after the previous summer, when a swarm of wasps had (unfortunately) chosen to burrow into the side of our home. The idea of one of these wretched beasts, just getting irritated with me, was a tormenting demon, a constant lingering dread. Despite this fact, I had fought through my demons, and I now no longer had a fear of the wasps.

If I look now, I can see my cat peeking through the large windows on the side of our house. He likes to pretend that he’s a hostage trapped in our walls, but he would never make it alone, outside in the wilderness.

We had spent many a night during that past summer on our porch. Sometimes, we would watch the bats that lived near our house. They would swoop bye quickly, a fleeting moment when they were in the sky, before retreating to their home, hidden in the hollow of our haggard tree. 

Besides the bats, we would observe the stars, and pick out constellations. We would examine the vastness of space, that is ever reaching in the night sky. We had once taken my telescope out into the cold wheezing air. Disappointingly though, the night was too cloudy to observe any celestial bodies.

On one a night, just like this one, we had given up on the telescope, (we were never lucky enough to be able to see anything) so

“When do you want to do s’ mores?”, I ask, (I wanted s’ mores, but I wasn’t sure if we were going to have them or not, so I twisted the question to make it non-optional… this strategy has never failed me… ).

“Be patient,” my father says, “We can’t roast marshmallows in a roaring fire, give it like, 10 minutes.”

While I want s’ mores, I also know that he’s probably right. I had come in close contact with this situation before, and it nearly got me very hurt. 

We had been out, on just a night like this one, and I, (being a bright 7-year-old) was standing right next to the fire. This situation is already dangerous, and I don’t know why I was their, or why my parents let me be in it. As I have been told happened, I had sat down on a chair that we had on the deck when my father noticed that I had a giant hole in my shorts, it didn’t take long for it to be determined that, the fire… had melted my pants… 

I wait for the 10 minutes (I really wanted the s’ mores) before my father (begrudgingly) walks into the house, to get some marshmallows to roast. (To be honest, 2 or 3 years ago, the climax of having a campfire was just roasting marshmallows, I’ve changed my ways).


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