Chapter 4 – Living Room Campfire

The house didn’t creak… because the wet wood was tired. Fatboy and Rayn entered the uninviting darkness of the living room only to feel the tainted air steal their breath away.

“Black mold!! Cover your face, Rayn!” said Fatboy while removing one of the larger ziplock bags from her backpack to hand her the dry red scarf within it.

“Mmf… t-what about you, Fatboy?” questioned Rayn as her forest green eyes seem to glow in the darkness.

“I’ll be alright.” replied her elder while pulling his drenched shirt above his nose. “We gotta light a fire tonight.” The duo hugged the wall to feel out the basic shape of the room making sure not to go too deep into the home or too far from the front door.

The rain howled viciously outside as a wounded animal trapped. A thousand beads of water collided against the side of the house as a constant rhythm of perpetual knocks begging for the duo to come back outside. Although the nearing crackle of lightning made each of the two visitors jump, the brief glimpses of light were actually an aid in figuring out the room that they resided.

“What do we have left for fire and light?” enquired Fatboy as he pushed one of the couches towards the bottom of the stairs leading up to the upper bedrooms.

“Two glow sticks, a pack of matches, a roll of toilet paper, and crushed plastic. What do you want to use?” said Rayn as she unwrapped the matches without sight. Fatboy pulled out his pocket knife, removed the pillows from the top of the couch and cut deep into the folded bed built into it. He extracted almost totally dry cotton from the center then broke the wooden chairs in the kitchen to gather wood.

Rayn used her birthday knife to cut the damp couch pillows into long pieces in order to form a circle in the center of the room. She worked in between lightning flashes and finished preparing the area by breaking out two of the windows on the opposite side of the room that was receiving the brunt of the rain. It was a joy for her to do her part now that she was an eleven year old ‘grown’ woman and it showed by her secret little smile in the darkness each time she looked back at Fatboy struggling to get the fire lit.

The pile of cotton on the bottom of the makeshift ‘campfire’ pile didn’t light until the pack of matches was almost depleted. The cotton burned handsomely and bright on the bottom of the collected wood. The heat from it melted the crushed plastic on top causing it to drip down slowly and burn at a crawl all over the wood. This further dried the wood and eventually made it burn.

“Ta-daaa… we have a fire, Rayn!” celebrated the youth while puffing his chest out with his hands on his hips. “Cough – cough, its gonna take a while to burn this mold in the air. We have any more of the incense stuff?”

“We’re down to the last bit, Fatboy. Let me light it.” Said Rayn enthusiastically as she opened another small plastic bag and unwrapped a small cloth bag inside of it filled with frankincense and myrrh. She then lit it with a small piece of smoldering wood. The strange gummy aroma of the incense was sweet and relaxing to the duo as it cleaned the air around their area.

“We’d better take advantage of this fire to dry our clothes. Go on over there and change into your dry stuff, Rayn.”

“What about you, Fatboy?”

“Quit worryin’ about me so much. I’m gonna be alright,” the guardian paused, “I lost my backpack when we hit the truck outside. It’s probably washed away by now.”

“You can wear one of my shirts… uhm, its going to be tight, but its okay.”

Fatboy stared at his friend for a moment then burst into a gut wrenching laugh that made her join in. He grabbed his belly in the crackling light and gasped for air as he jumped up in his classic fashion to act out what he would look like in girl clothes.

“Loook at me, I’m Sandra Dee, lousy with my real-tight tee…” he singed, just before tripping on to the floor with a new series of laughter. Rayn jumped on him and they wrestled until she won. The duo then sat hypnotized by the flames while enjoying the warmth for the rest of the night.

Fatboy began to drift off to sleep first, right after throwing another piece of wood on the fire.

Rayn stayed awake long enough to use one of the last glow sticks to update her journal. The final line in her entry was a thank you to God and a remark of how good their day ended.