Friday, October 26, 2007

Little Writers in the Big Woods: Part 6

Day 3 proves to be Marathon Day. Pam, writing in Notepad because the laptop she's using doesn't have Word (funny how we writers assume, or expect, that every computer comes loaded with Word) doesn't let a crummy little detail like NO FORMATTING stop her. We hammer away, face to face across enormous plank table. Munching Snickers bars and Skittles. Guzzling caffiene. Breaking frequently for nicotine and conversation.

Danger signals set in, so we make hopeful trip to the "better" outhouse up the hill only to discover the second cabin now had a light in the window and fresh firewood stacked on the porch.

We consider stealing some wood, since we have none, and everything's wet from the rain. Nah, that wouldn't be nice.

Pam notices the light on at the bath house and knocks on the door, only to be chased away by an unexpected male voice.

OMIGOD! We are no longer alone! Does this mean no more peeing in a bucket by the back door? Hell, no! We still have no plans to use that disease-riddled if peeing outside means mooning our new unseen neighbor, well, so be it. He'll get an eyeful, that's for sure.

Later--yes, while "mooning"--I notice a smell (and no, it's not me). You know how a male cat smells when he's either being frisky or else has been rolling around in his cat box for a while? That's the smell. Only this cat seems to weigh about 200 pounds.

The odor grows stronger. And stronger. The darker it gets outside, the stronger the smell. We cook ribs on the grill, and every now and then we get a whiff of that deep, funky, wild animal fragrance.

Then just after dark, while rocking on the porch, minding our own business, we hear a sound that I've heard before, but only on TV. Not a growl, exactly. More like a deep, throaty moan.

And yeah-, now we REALLY smell it. And I'm pretty sure it ain't no cat.

Pam: "Um, we did leave that barbecue sauce bottle out..."

Kill ourselves rushing back inside. Slam and barricade the front door. Lock the back door with some dinky little latch a two-year-old kid could break with a flick of a finger. Out with the screens and down with the windows. We sit and discuss the facts:

Bears are timid.

Bears can be easily scared away by loud noises (as I sit there with a skillet and ladle in hand)

Bears rarely, rarely, rarely attack humans. Except, ya know, for on "When Animals Attack!"

The cabin is stuffy as hell with everything closed. We hover at the windows with a flashlight but we can't see a thing. Every now and then we'll venture outside only to be chased back in by the smell and an occasional "groooooaaaaannnnnn."

We never do see it. But yeah, we know it's there.

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In the morning Pam finds the barbecue sauce bottle on the other side of the camp.

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