Mists of Time

As the mists swirled around them they joined hands and staggered forwards....or was it backwards?

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14. Around the Fire

‘Good the fire’s going’ said Sarah placing some twigs on the side of the fire and sitting down. Sinead sat at the side of her and looked across the fire at Mai and Tom.  

Paul and Terry drifted over towards the fire. They too had brought some wood.  

‘Everyone done then?’ asked Tom.  He saw them all nod his way. ‘right, I’ll get the grub’  

‘Food!’ said Terry looking at Tom with open eyes. Everyone laughed. Terry was known to have eaten anything that came his way.   

A few months ago Tom had had them all play a game at the hut. They’d had loads of cornflakes left after a camp and he sent them all outside. A few minutes later he had come out and said they had to go in and pick as many whole cornflakes up as they could in two minutes, in the dark. They’d all gone in and started scurrying around the hut in the dark. When the two minutes were up, the lights went on and Terry was sitting there, eating the cornflakes off the floor. They’d all laughed at him. However he didn’t care. He’d even managed a half eaten Mars bar off the street once. The amazing thing was that although he ate for England, he never got heavier.  

‘It’s getting dark now’ Paul said as he looked around. Sure enough they saw that all around them the woodland was getting really dark. The light from the fire lit the trees with a flickering light. Above them the sky was turning from pale to dark blue. In spite of the warmth from the fire Sarah felt really cold. She edged closer to the fire and placed a few more pieces of wood on the fire.  

‘Should I fetch your fleece?’ Mai asked, noticing how cold Sarah looked.  

‘Please’ she asked.’ I don’t want to go back into my bivvy on my own’  

‘There’s things out there get kids with glasses on’ Paul said laughing. It was one from one of Ians campfire stories. They all laughed as Mai disappeared into the dark.  

Tom came back with a cool box. He sat down and opened it. In it were loads of supermarket bags of food. He hunted through them and found what he wanted.  

‘What we having then ?’ said Sinead.  

Erm, I’ve got some sausages and some hot chocolate mix’ he replied. ‘ Can someone go and get some plates, mugs, dixies and a frying pan from the pile of equipment?’  

‘Come on Tel, we’ll go’ said Paul, ‘unless you think there’s things out there’ll get you’  

‘Give over, I’m not scared’ Terry said pulling himself up and wandering after Paul.  

The other three sat quietly around the fire, when Sarah felt a hand on her shoulder. She yelled and jumped. Swivelling round she saw that it was Mai back with her fleece.  

‘Sorry if I scared you’ Mai said sitting down next to Sarah. Sarah pulled on the fleece and linked her arm through Mai’s.  

‘It’s Ok, just a little spooked tonight’ she said, ‘Thanks for getting the fleece for me’  

Paul and Terry came back carrying the cooking equipment. They filled the dixie with water and placed it on the fires edge. Paul passed the frying pan to Tom and sat down.  

Err Tom, I need to go’ Sarah said, ‘have we anywhere dug yet?’  

‘Go ?’ Tom said and then realised what she meant. ‘no, we’ll have to dig a toilet trench in the morning, you’ll have to go behind some bushes.’  

‘Typical, it’s OK for you lads, it’s a lot easier for you.’ Sarah said picking herself up from the floor, ‘come on girls, lets go and get some privacy’. Sinead and Mai followed her and they all disappeared into the dark.  

It’s Ok, we’ll not look’ Paul shouted at their departing backs.  

Tom had placed the sausages in the pan and placed it over the fire. It didn’t take long until the fat was coming out of the sausages and the smell of cooking meat was wafting through the air.  

‘You can’t beat food cooked on a wood fire, can you,’ Terry said. He was already licking his lips at the thought of the hot food.  

‘No there’s something about the taste, sort of smoky’, Paul said.  

‘Some people say that if you put a wood chip in the water, before cooking, that it’ll stop it tasting smoky’ Tom said. He leaned over and put a small wood chip in the water.  

Terry looked at Tom. Sometimes Tom would have them on about something, you could never tell if he was yanking their chains. Once he’d convinced everyone at the last troop camp that the latest Harry Potter film had been filmed at their local campsite. He’d even shown them a giant spider’s web made of rope in the woods. He’d said it so convincingly, and with such a straight face, that they’d all been taken in. Even Bob had wondered for a while. The warden had laughed when they asked him the next morning and told them that it wasn’t true. The web was part of an area they’d used for team building a while ago and was still there.  

‘I thought the smoke always came from Bob’s fags?’ Paul said.  

They all laughed, they hated the way Bob continued to smoke around them. He didn’t seem to notice that they were there at times.  

‘Those sausages ready yet?’ Terry said expectantly at Tom.   

Tom glanced in the pan and gave the pan a quick toss to turn them over again.  

‘Give them a few more minutes, have you brought the bread?’ Tom asked Terry  

‘Yes, here it is’, Terry said handing over a loaf.   

There was a scream from in the woods. 

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