Persistent Friends :Episode VIII: The Light of the Darkness

Jason P Stadtlander
Published on: March 2013
Jack, Elaine and each of their fathers set out on their camping trip earlier that morning. Now, with the tent pitched and both changed into their swimming suits the four were walking down to the lake for a swim in the refreshing water. Not a soul was around as they waded on the rocky shore into the clear water. The two children played for hours while the two adults sat in their lawn chairs, smoking cigars and talking. Jack really wasn't sure what was so fun about sitting by the water smoking a cigar, but he was very glad he had Elaine to play with.

The two skipped rocks off the water, looking for the flattest rocks possible and later had races from the shore to the old stump forty yards out into the lake and back. Elaine won four out of six times and Jack decided that it was time to play something else. So they sat on the shore, building a sand and stone castle with the rocks they found.
Finally the sun began to sit low in the afternoon sky and Jack's father said it was time to head back into the woods to their campsite so that they could change and get some mosquito spray on them before the bugs were in full force. Walking back, both of the children found a nice long branch that they could use as a walking stick, which also came in handy to pat each other's behinds too if they weren't moving fast enough.

"That's enough you two, let's get back." Elaine's father said.

Once back they changed and sat by the fire, enjoying the warmth. Two hot dogs later the two sat with their fathers not far away, each of the children poking at the red hot coals with their walking sticks. Jack looked around and noticed he could see nothing but some stars and the shadows of the leaves in the trees above him. Fear began seeping into his veins of the darkness and things he couldn't see around him.

Not far away, a twig snapped and leaves rustled. Jack jumped a little startled, looking hard into the depths of the dark around him.

"What's wrong?" Elaine asked.

"That. Did you hear that?" Jack asked.

"It's only an animal. Probably a racoon or a squirel." Elaine could sense that her friend was scared of the dark and wanted to comfort him. "There's nothing to be afraid of." She said matter of factly.

She continued, "Do you know what I do when I'm afraid of the dark?"

"What?" he asked, still staring at the darkness.

"I close my eyes."

"Huh? That's dumb. It'll be just more dark."

"Try it. Close your eyes."

Jack did as he was asked, he saw nothing, not even the fire.
"Now, picture where we are right now but when the sun was up. What do you see around you?" Elaine asked.

"Trees, leaves on the ground. A squirel on the tree. Our tents."

"Right. Now, open your eyes and look around."

He did as she asked and could see the faint outlines of the trees and the leaves that were beneath his feet. Nothing had changed, just the lack of sunlight. "You're right, it's the same. I guess I just don't like not being able to see things."

"Trust me, anything out there is more scared of us with our fire, than you are of them."


"Yep. Really." She said smiling. "Come on, let's make a s'more!"
On a scale of 1-10, how inspiring did you find this article?