Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2319049-Mountain-Lion-Campout
by Joseph
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Contest · #2319049
April contest entry for Bard's Hall. After a campout you wake up in a tree. Mt.lion below
(480 words)

Mountain Lion Campout

In the midst of the campout night, with sparks dancing like liberated sprites, I stood, pockets brimming with pyrotechnic potential. "Wow! Those are awesome. I love fireworks," I yelled, my grin rivaling the bursts of color above.

This year's spring campout looked to be even more intoxicating than last year’s. Just as the night promised to erupt into a symphony of light, a familiar laugh sliced through the air like a mischievous melody. "Somebody's coming. Oh, it's JR; I'd recognize that laugh anywhere," I remarked, anticipation tingling in the air like a prelude to chaos.

Then there he was, swaggering into the scene like a hero from some tipsy tale. "Yeeeeeeee hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. Have no fear, dudes.
JR's here," he bellowed, a beacon of beer-soaked bravado.

With him came a peculiar figure, a red-haired, bearded fellow in green short pants, offering a trade of smokes for swigs of something potent enough to pickle your insides.
"A trade, laddies. A smoke for a snort of this home brew. I warn you. Use caution; this stuff will separate the kiddies from the cats," he warned, showing off a clear mason jar full of homemade white lightning. His warning dripped with both allure and apprehension.

With a few swigs of moonshine, the night unraveled into a blur of laughter and libations. Reality took a somersault. I found myself perched precariously in the canopy of a big oak tree, with no recollection of the ascent or the whereabouts of my buddies.

Beneath me, a tan form stirred, but what I mistook for a sleeping bag revealed itself to be a beast of a different nature—a mountain lion, a big mountain lion, its golden gaze fixated on my precarious perch.

Panic pulsed through my veins like a siren's call as I heard my phone’s incessant ring with the realization that it was on the ground. It's ringing, annoying the giant cat. Slowly, amidst the chaos, a glimmer of clarity pierced the haze of confusion, and the events of the night began to coalesce like scattered embers in the wind.

Roosters squawk in the distance as rays of sunlight begin to filter through the densely wooded canopy. How am I going to get down? From the recesses of my mind a plan is born. Fueled by equal parts desperation and determination. With trembling hands, I retrieved the remnants of revelry from my coat pocket, igniting the early country morning with a shower of sparks and sound.

The fireworks exploded in a commotion of smoke and noise, the lion recoiled, startled by the sudden onslaught. With a burst of adrenaline, I seized the opportunity, descending from my arboreal refuge with the grace of a startled squirrel.

So, amidst the fading echoes of both fireworks and feline growls, I emerged from the treetops, shaken but unscathed, a survivor of a night that had veered dangerously close to becoming a tale of tragedy rather than a tale for the campfires.

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