Camping with the Cousins

“Okay, what’re we gonna do now?” Violet absently picked at a loose thread on the sofa cushion. “Did we end up bringing games?”

“Yes, you carried in the bag of games, remember? Here, it’s right here by the fireplace.” Andy tossed it at her. “Why don’t you pick one, and Jason and I will make a fire? Melissa, you want to make some hot chocolate? It seemed to be a little colder when we got back here.”

“Yeah, it is.” Melissa shivered as she dug around in the cabinet for the hot chocolate mix. “Jason? Where is the hot chocolate mix? Jason?” She turned around, seeing Jason staring out the window. “What are you looking at?”

Jason jumped. “Oh, sorry. It’s nothing. What do you want me to do?”

After all of them had found their favorite snacks and poured near-to-overflowing mugs of hot chocolate, they gathered around the living room to play some games.

“Can we play Monopoly first?” Violet pushed it to the middle of the rug, looking hopefully at them. “It’s my all-time favorite game.”

“That’s kind of long. Can we start with a shorter game and then come back to Monopoly?”

“Yeah, I guess. But I thought you told me to pick a game?”

“You did, and we’ll play that next.” Melissa held up the Uno box. “Let’s play this first.”

As she dealt it out, Jason kept looking out the window. Finally, Melissa asked, “Jason, what do you see out there?”

“Nothing.”

“It is not nothing. You’ve looked out the window at least ten times in the last twenty minutes. What’s out there?”

“Is it a bear?” Violet grabbed a pillow off the couch and hugged it close. “What if it’s a bear? Are we safe in here?”

“We’re fine. I just thought I saw some snowflakes, that’s all.”

“Snowflakes?” Andy didn’t try to hide his disbelief. “It’s October. Why would it be snowing?”

“Why couldn’t it? We’ve had snow in October before.”

“When?” Melissa wanted to know.

“Mom told me we did once. If you don’t believe me, go look for yourself.”

Melissa and Andy jumped up, nearly knocking over Violet’s hot chocolate as they did so. 

“Sorry, Vi. Whoa, Jason, you were right. There are a few flakes out there. But it’s hardly anything, right? It should be over in the morning.” Andy made a face. “What if we get stuck up here?”

“I don’t think we’ll get stuck, do you? Look how slowly it’s coming down.” Melissa sat back down next to Violet. “I don’t think we have anything to worry about.” 

“Yeah, you’re probably right. Let’s forget about it and have fun. Does anyone want popcorn?”

After staying up way too late playing games, drinking hot chocolate and laughing over the smallest things, the cousins went to bed, never dreaming of what was to come.

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