Have you ever broken the law? Stealing candy doesn’t count. Something more substantial. Like tying the officer’s shoelaces together when you’re ten years old, so he can’t run after you when you grab an entire ice cream bucket from the town market. Not that I would know how that would be done, of course. So really, have you ever been bad?
I remember a specific summer when we had gone camping. That week was fully, completely, no-turning-back, law-breaking. There was almost nothing legal about it.
To begin with, we had camped in a non-authorised camping zone. And we would soon realise why.
We had gotten off track on the way there, because one of us had forgotten the GPS, and, well, let’s face it, a sense of orientation is not our strongest trait. But that is why we went camping to begin with. To practice.
It took us three hours to set up our tents (when at practice we had them set up and equipped within thirty minutes). The wind was blowing everything away, the tent blew up like a balloon, and then we spent about two and a half hours chasing the tents around the makeshift camp zone in order to bolt them down to the ground. It was kinda funny if you weren’t the one running after the tent.
So, by the time we got that part done, we were starving. Luckily we had brought enough food with us. Well, at least for the first couple of days. We had to light a fire to warm up the pre-cooked food we had cleverly tagged along, yet there were no marked firewood lying around anywhere (as there would have been if we had reached the intended camping site). So, the two “macho” men in our group proclaimed they “would go get wood”. We waited. And waited. Then we heard a screech, a yell, and a bump. Apparently, they had reenacted that cartoon scene where one of them sits on a branch, sawing the wrong end of it, so that eventually both branch and sawyer fell onto the on-viewer who was (stupidly, may I add) observing from ground view. Enough said.
We could not sleep at all during the night, because we were literally bombarded by flying monkeys. OK, so they weren’t monkeys, they were mosquitoes. But they were huge and noisy and were everywhere. They might as well have been flying monkeys.
The next day, we decided to go fishing at the lake. Well, you can see where this is going, so I won’t tell you much. Just that it involved a cut arm, a rusty fishing line, an eel, some whitebait, and someone almost drowning.
Our food ran out, faster than the sun set. It seems that misfortunes, and the absolute lack of any first-world comforts that we so often take for granted, can certainly accentuate your appetite. We decided to hike to the nearest market. On the way, we were almost tackled by a grizzly bear. OK, that is a bit of an exaggeration. On the way, we were definitely tackled by a grizzly bear. It tore off both the “macho” men’s T-shirts and tried to pull of my shoe. Luckily, the boot was tightly fitted on to my leg and I managed to run away.
We had hiked for three kilometers by the time we reached the market and found an inn right on top of it. But of course, we had (smartly) left our money back at the “campsite”. Nonetheless, we decided to sneak in and take a shower. Us two girls, managed quite easily. But when the second boy was finishing up and looking for a towel, the innkeeper’s wife came in. Screaming ensued, mostly from the wet, naked man, who had fortunately managed to grab a towel that turned out to be the innkeeper’s conservative nightgown, and we ran out of there like crazy.
The innkeeper, however, fulfilled the threat he had so loudly yelled at us. Police were called, of course.
By the time we returned to the campsite, the police were already there. So was the bear. We were the ones to get a heavy fine for all this confusion and illegality. But we did also get a ride back to town. Not matter if it was in a police car. With the sirens on. Apparently, the police thought we had something to hide and that is why we were acting so strangely. Little did they know, this is how insane we were. We were forced to spend the night at the police department and pay the fine in full before we were released. It was certainly better than spending the night with a grizzly bear in our tent.
One thing is for sure though. We definitely learnt to appreciate all the things we usually take for granted. Clean water, food of all sorts, warmth, technology, bear-free zones. But the camping trip did us good, for we realized that we need a little order lest our world springs into chaos; a little light to save us from our own darkness.
Also part of Daily Prompt: Breaking the Law
Posted in Short Stories
and tagged adventure
, breaking bad
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, grizzly bear
, short stories
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