Mists of Time

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


3. Plots are made

Tom walked up to the scout hut. He was early as usual. Bob, the scout leader was outside having a smoke. Tom shook his head. He couldn't understand why Bob still insisted on smoking in front of them. Sometimes the pallor of cigarette smoke hung in the air like an early 20th century smog. The smell clung to their clothes like a wet weekend in Blackpool. 

'Ah Tom, glad you're here, we're fire lighting tonight. Can you get things set up. 

Ah, thought Tom. Another excuse for Bob to do nothing at all during the evening. He'd be round the front smoking his cigarettes. Why the hell he ran scouts was anyone's guess. 

Tom went around the back of the hut and started to get the equipment ready for the evening. Whilst he was there he spotted Sarah and Sinead coming down the bank. He smiled to himself and waved. Then he spotted the unmistakable sight of Mai following them as well. Mai's long black hair was shining in the early evening sunlight.Tom gulped. He never thought he'd have seen Mai come to scouts. It didn't seem to be her sort of fun. He knew her from school. They often pitted their skills against each other across the chess board. Tom was a good player but Mai was exceptional. He rarely got the better of her. Even though they'd spent many a dinnertime in the library together, they had hardly shared more than a couple of conversations. 

'Hi Tom' Sinead said running towards him. I wish she was more like Mai and not so over the top. Tom thought. However you couldn't not like Sinead, she was infectious. Tonight should be fun. 

When the others arrived they quickly split into groups. By some fortune, Tom found himself in the same group as the three girls. He slowly showed then how to light a fire, Sarah, as usual, was fast to learn. He took time showing Mai how to use the flint and steel. Crouching down next to her he could smell the perfumed spray that she'd used. He didn't know what it was but it smelled strangely exotic. He closed it eyes to take in the heady smell.  

'Oy, pay attention' Sarah said digging him in the ribs, 'are we going camping this weekend ?' 

Tom had been telling them that some of the older scouts were going camping on the moors above Stockby. There was a small wood in a valley about 3 miles away whose owner let the scouts camp occasionally.  

'Are you coming Mai' Sarah asked, 'we're going to go' 

Mai looked at the three of them. She'd love to go, but she was sure that her mother wouldn't let her. It had been a surprise that she had been allowed to come tonight, but to go away with boys for a weekend. There was no way she'd be allowed to do that. 

Mai tried explaining all this to Sarah, how protective her mum was of her and how it would be impossible to spend the weekend in the woods.  

'How about you tell her you're staying at my house this weekend, then we'll go to the woods. No-one will ever know.' 

Mai hesitated. Whilst it would be incredible to spend a night outdoors, she didn't want to lie to her family, especially her mother.  

She shook her head 'Sorry, I can't do it. It wouldn't be right.' 

She looked at them. Tom had a real look of disappointment on his face. He was obviously upset that she wouldn't be there at the weekend. Mai wondered if she could actually lie to her mother. After all it would be an interesting weekend with Tom.

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