I know I’ve said this before, but damn. I’ve been doing the prompt challenge at More Odds Than Ends for a year now. A whole year! I don’t think I really expected to last this long, but I’m pleasantly surprised with myself. So, I am happily setting off on year two of prompts and prompt challenges. My prompt this week, Week 53(!) came from Fiona Grey: The goblins got in the garbage again. Growing up I did a lot of camping and backpacking in the Sierra Nevada and San Bernardino mountains. We always had to make sure our food and trash was secure from bears and other critters, and that’s what hit me when I read the prompt. I hope you enjoy this small adventure in camping.
Teobald stood at the front end of campsite #47 in the Dragontooth Overlook Campground and Caravan Park and read the long list of rules nailed to the tree. The interminable rules were why he preferred overnighting at Malachite campgrounds. They tended to attract a higher class of campers who didn’t require rules for everything. Oh, well. It was only for one night.
“No loud parties after 11pm…no worries, we’re old, we’ll be in bed by then,” he muttered. “Pick up all trash when leaving…makes sense. Secure all trash bins after depositing trash. Deposit trash in bins every day before nightfall. Huh. Okay. That one’s a bit strange, but whatever.”
Léane came up behind him. “Anything special listed there?”
“Not really. Just this one, ‘deposit trash every day before nightfall’. Bit different,” Teobald draped an arm across her shoulders.
“Yeah, that is different. Why before nightfall? Wonder what they’re worried about? Bears? I didn’t think there were any around here,” Léane turned back to the wagon and started unloading their gear. Teobald walked over to help.
Later that evening as Teobald was cleaning up after their dinner, Léane reminded him of the notice regarding trash.
He sighed. “The secure bins are all the way across the campground. If they were serious about that, they would’ve put secure bins closer to each campsite. We’ve had a long day and all I want to do is go to bed. I’ll double bag it and put it under the wagon. It should be fine there.”
“If you’re sure…” Léane responded.
“Well, if you want to haul it across to the bins be my guest,” Teobald muttered.
“No, no. We’ll leave it under the wagon,” Léane smiled.
“Yes, we will,” Teobald declared, shoving the trash bag under the wagon. He spread out the ground cover and blankets in their small tent. Léane banked the fire and put the cooking pots back in their box in the wagon. They both crawled into the tent and snuggled together under their blankets.
Teobald sat bolt upright in the small tent. Judging by the moon, he had only been asleep for about an hour. Léane was fast asleep. There it was again. It wasn’t their horse. A small noise. That’s what had woken him up. He sat still, barely breathing, straining to hear it again. Faint chittering sounds. Must be mice or some other small animal. He decided he didn’t need to go investigate. The night was quiet again. After listening for another minute, Teobald lay back down and curled himself around Léane’s warmth. She sighed in her sleep and snuggled into him.
At sunrise, Teobald crept out of the tent to avoid waking Léane. When he returned from taking care of the morning’s necessities, he gazed around the campsite. All his carefully bagged trash had been pulled out from under the wagon and was strewn across the site.
“Oh, hell. That must have been the noise I heard last night,” he muttered to himself. Heaving a sigh, he pulled another bag from the back of the wagon and started picking up the remaining trash.
Léane emerged from the tent. “What happened?” she stared at the trash scattered across the ground.
“Something got into the trash last night. I thought I heard a noise, but I didn’t get up. Serves me right,” Teobald answered.
A small pony trap pulled up at the front end of their site. “What happened? Are the goblins in the garbage again?” The woman driving the trap called. A sign hanging off the side of the trap read “Manager”.
“Goblins? Here?” Teobald straightened up and stared at the woman.
“Aye, lad. Goblins. Didya nae see the rules? Deposit all trash in bins before nightfall,” her tone was curt, suggesting she’d dealt with many unobservant campers in her time.
“I did, and I apologize. I was exhausted last night and didn’t think there was any harm in waiting until this morning,” Teobald apologized.
“Wael, as long as ya pick it up,” the woman softened her tone somewhat. “Please put it in the bins on your way out.”
Léane returned and looked curiously between the woman and Teobald. “We will. But what’s the problem?” The manager nodded to Teobald, clucked to the pony, and continued her morning rounds of the campground.
Teobald showed Léane the traces of tiny footprints in the dirt. “The goblins got in the garbage again. That’s what the sign was talking about. And what she was upset with us about.”
“Oh, hell. I didn’t realize there were goblins all the way down here,” Léane groaned.
“Yeah. I guess there’s no escaping the little buggers,” Teobald grumbled.
My prompt went to AC Young. Head on over to this weeks’ prompts and see what he came up with for You got everything you wanted for Christmas and then some… . As always you are free to join us at More Odds Than Ends. You can either do a challenge and send in your prompt and in return get a prompt assigned to you, or simply pick up one of the spares and have at it! No matter what, have fun and get creative!