1 comment

Bedtime Coming of Age Teens & Young Adult

Maddy and I sat on the dock and watched as the dark sky filled with golden streaks.  The sun slowly crested over the horizon and we could see the giant orange disk growing in size as more of it became visible. The sky changed from shades of amber to orange to rose to violet and then back to amber again, all in a matter of seconds.  The sunbeam colors were magnificent and the way the sun shimmered off of the lake was incredible. Soon the heat of the sun would touch our skin and we would be jumping into the lake to cool off, but for now, we sat and enjoyed the quiet sunrise. 

         It was a chilly morning and for the first time all summer we had to wear a sweater.  My best friend Maddy and I had crept out of the cabin on our tippy toes, trying our best not to make the floorboards squeak as we snuck out.  It was still dark outside, but we could see enough to not run into anything on our way through the door.  We didn’t want to wake up our camp counselor again.  We had been at camp for only a week and Maddy and I had already been in trouble more times than we could count.  Summer camp wasn’t any fun if you followed all of the rules.

         “Come on, Maddy, we better get back to the cabin before they figure out we are gone,” I said, looking at my watch and standing up on the dock.

         “Ginny said she and Paige were going to run out of the front door of the cabin at exactly 6:20 so that it looks like the four of us all left together to go to the bathroom,” Maddy told me.

         “We had better hurry, we only have a few minutes to get there,” I said, running down the dock.

         “It’s about time you got here,” Paige said as Maddy and I ducked into the girl’s bathroom.

         “Did anyone see you leave?” Maddy asked.

         “I don’t think so, but we made lots of noise once we got out the door, so it sounded like there were more of us leaving,” Ginny said.

         “Good morning, Ladies,” said Kelly, our camp counselor.

         “Good morning, Kelly,” we all chimed in unison, sounding like innocent little angels.

         “Did you enjoy the sunrise?” Kelly asked as she walked past Maddy and me.

         “It was…” Maddy started to say but I cut her off with a dirty look.

         “I see all and know all,” said Kelly with a wicked laugh.

         “Are we in trouble?” I asked, intentionally not making eye contact with Kelly.

         “Should you be in trouble, Laney?” Kelly asked me.

         “No, yes, but really no,” I answered, trying to rationalize this situation.

         “Laney, sneaking off in the dark isn’t safe.  There are wild animals out there.  The counselors were talking yesterday about a mountain lion sighting on the nature trail at the backside of the lake.  I don’t think your parents would be very happy with me if you got attacked by a mountain lion,” Kelly said, trying to stress the seriousness of the situation.

         “We are sorry, Kelly,” Maddy said for us.

         “If you want to watch the sunrise, then all of us should go out to the dock tomorrow and watch it,” Kelly told us.

         “You would do that for us?” I asked, kind of surprised that Kelly would offer such a thing.

         “Of course, Laney.  I love sunrises, too, and my friends and I used to sneak out to watch them at camp,” Kelly added with a whisper so that only I heard her.

         I smiled at Kelly.  So far, she was turning out to be the best camp counselor we had ever had, and this was our fourth year at Crescent Lake Summer Camp.

         We went back to our cabin and got ready for breakfast.  The cafeteria filled up fast and emptied just as fast. Everyone’s day had already been planned out and campers headed off to do crafts, take swimming lessons, and play games.

         After lunch, our cabin went on a hike with the boys in Zion.  All of the camp cabins were named after National Parks.  So far Maddy, Paige, Ginny, and I have been in Yellowstone, Redwood, and Pinnacles and now we were in Shenandoah. 

         The hike was to the north side of the lake.  Once we got there we traded places with two other cabins.  We paddled their canoes back across the lake while they hiked back. It was nice not having to hike back on the dusty trail.

         We paddled the canoes up onto the shore and carefully climbed out.  Maddy and I had tipped the canoe over before and had been soaking wet all day, so we made sure that didn’t happen again. We didn’t like walking around in squishy shoes.

         The rest of the day was uneventful and for Maddy and me that was usually rare.

         As soon as it got dark we sat around the campfire singing camp songs and listening to stories.

It wasn’t long before we were showered and ready for bed.  It had been a long day and all of us were tired.  I set the alarm on my watch so we could watch the sunrise and fell asleep.

         I woke up in the middle of the night to something tickling my arm, which was hanging outside of my sleeping bag.  It took a couple of blinks before my eyes focused on the object standing next to my cot.

         “AHHHH” I yelled.

         “What happened?” Kelly asked.

         “SKUNK!” I yelled, scrambling out of my sleeping bag, trying to get away from it.

         “How did a skunk get in here?” I heard someone else ask.

         “AHHHH!” I yelled again as it sprayed me.

         “Laney, what’s wrong?  What’s happening?” I heard Maggie ask me, but I was too busy trying to get out of the cabin to answer her.

         As I ran out of the cabin I saw lights turning on in the cabins around us, everyone in camp was awake now.  Everyone in our cabin was screaming and trying to get away from the skunk without getting sprayed.  I had never been face-to-face with a skunk before and I had been more scared of it biting me and giving me rabies than I had been about it spraying me with stinky skunk spray.  In fact, skunk spray hadn’t even crossed my mind at the time. 

         It wasn’t until I stopped at the edge of the lake did I realize how bad I smelt; I was covered in skunk stench.  I plopped down on the sand and didn’t know if I should laugh or cry.  I just sat there staring at the moon reflecting off of the lake. 

The End.

November 18, 2020 23:23

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

1 comment

21:45 Nov 25, 2020

Hi, Lisa! I really liked the characters in this story! Their conversations were fun and seemed so natural. Your grammar is also very good- it is refreshing to read a story by a person who knows what they are doing in the grammar department. ;) I will say this, though: I was waiting for the climax. I feel like the skunk came too late in the story (I did laugh, though. It was funny). Excellent job, Lisa!


Show 0 replies
RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in Reedsy Studio. 100% free.