Fiction Sunday, Uncategorized

Camping with the Cousins

“Let’s go for a hike!” Jason turned back towards them after investigating the lake. “We could pack a lunch and hike until dinner. What do you all think?”

Andy looked at Melissa, and Melissa looked at Violet. “What are you looking at me for?” she demanded. “He asked a question. I think it sounds fun. I’ll make the sandwiches.”

“And I’ll help make the rest of the food.” Melissa followed Violet to the cabin, calling back, “We won’t be long.”

“Is lunch ready yet?” Andy and Jason took the steps two at a time, somehow avoiding falling on their faces. “All the suitcases are put away for the moment.”

“Yeah, it’s almost ready. Can you find the fruit Mom sent?”

“Here it is.” Andy handed Violet the bag of fruit. “Jason and I will be outside. Don’t take too long!”

When the girls finished packing the lunch, they met the boys outside on the porch.

“We found a trail over there,” Jason pointed. “We followed it for a while, and it’s not bad. Here, let me carry the bag.”

Melissa gladly handed it over. “Let’s go!”

It was a beautiful day for a hike. The sun was shining down through the tree branches, making little pools of sunlight on the forest floor. Birds chirped merrily above while squirrels scampered about, storing away nuts for the approaching winter.

“Do you hear that? I think it’s a flock of Canada geese.” Melissa looked up into the sky, trying to find the source of the sound. “There they are! See them?”

No response. Looking around, she saw the other three up ahead on the trail, looking at something. “Hey, wait for me!” Melissa ran towards them, wondering what they were up to. “What are you looking at?”

“An apple orchard, I think.” Andy waved her closer. “See? We were waiting for you to go explore it. You wanna come?”

“Of course!”

“We shouldn’t stay too long, though.” Jason looked at the sky. “The sun will set soon, and we don’t want to be out after dark.

Pushing through the brush, the four burst into a clearing full of twisted, tangled apple trees.

“I wonder how old this orchard is?” Violet was thinking aloud as she nimbly climbed the least twisted tree. “There aren’t very many apples here. And they look awful.”

“Who knows. I’d guess maybe thirty years old. They’ve probably been neglected for at least twenty, and apple trees need care every year to produce nice apples. You weren’t expecting to take some back with us, were you, Vi?” Jason asked.

“Well, no, but I thought they might be kind of nice,” she said slowly.

“Hey Jason, girls, come here!” Andy shouted. “Come look at this..”

“What is it?” Melissa stared at the ground. “It isn’t a snake, is it?”

“No, Melissa. Look. The sun is setting.”

The cousins stared in awe at the colorful orange, mauve, and pink streaks across the sky.

“It’s so beautiful,” Violet sighed. “Sunsets are the best.”

After watching for a few more minutes, they turned around and headed back to the cabin.


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