alton_lust (alton_lust) wrote,
alton_lust
alton_lust

Campfire

Oh the choices! Maybe start with my favorite? Keeping in mind that usually one tailors the tale to the surroundings and the audience. Campfire tales are best told at night, gathered around a crackling fire, with the darkness pressed against your backs. The flames playing shadows on the speaker's face, their eyes sunken and their teeth sharp. Their voice is not like their normal voice; now calmer, slower, more intense. You lean forward in spite of yourself. It is only the night air that feels cool on your spine. Right?

On a dark night, such as this. With a crisp wind, such as this. Not very far from here, in fact. You may have heard the story?
It made the news.
But I get ahead of myself. This part that I'm going to tell you, this happened on the Lover's Lane. Every town has one and this Lover's Lane was in a wooded area way on the edge of town. Because Lover's Lanes are about not being interrupted. This young couple, teenagers, they drive out there and park. He shuts off lights, the motor, and they start doing what you expect teenagers to do under those circumstances.
"What was that?"
"What was what?" He asks.
"I heard something." She says.
"Just the wind."
They go back to doing what they were doing. She stops again, "No, I heard something! Like a twig snap?"
"Babe, it is just the wind! Branches snap all the time in the wind."
They go back to it.
"No! There's somebody out there!"
"Babe, who is going to be all the way out here?"
"I dont know but I dont like it!"
He rolls the window down, a little. They listen. It is quiet outside. Just wind creaking branches.
"Hey!" He yells through the crack. His voice is loud but his tone has more bravado than he feels.
"See?" He rolls the window back up. "Nothing out there!"
"I want to go home. Now!"
The boy grumbles. "Fine. Mood's dead anyway. Maybe the game is still on..." He clicks on the radio.
"...extremely dangerous! The state and local police are searching the area for the fugitive. They warn everyone to stay inside and to lock all doors and windows. Please remain alert. Again, a dangerous murderer has escaped, killing several guards. He is missing his left hand and is armed with a hook..."
The wind brushes a branch against the car. The girl's voice rises with fear, "Johnny...!"
The boy cranks the key and stomps on the gas. The squeal of the engine and her screams are louder than the kick of gravel as the car peels out. The boy remembers to turn on the headlights and they make it back to her house in a white-knuckle ride. In front of her house is a streetlight. The houses are lit up from within. Everything looks normal. Safe. They laugh nervously.
"You should have seen your face!"
"My face? Your face!"
They laugh.
"I should get inside. My parents must be going crazy."
"Crazy like this?". He curls a finger like a hook and makes a face.
She hits his hand, "Stop it!"
"All right. I'll walk you in. They'll like that."
He opens his door and walks around the car. The headlights light up his face and then he comes around to her door. He freezes.
"Get out through my door.". His voice is horse.
"What? Why?"
"GET OUT OF THE CAR. MY DOOR."
She scoots across, gets out of the car and comes around. Curiousity must win out. She sees what he sees. There, hanging from the door handle is a blood soaked hook.
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