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Free Camp Fears

by Tara

The sun is just dropping behind the hills of our free-camp. The wind has picked up a lot, it is easily more powerful than any I have ever experienced. It roars around the tent violently; I can even feel it creeping under our groundsheet, lifting up the tent in the spaces not weighted down by our gear. Suddenly over the blasting gusts of wind I can faintly hear the sound of a car. I turn around and see the beams of two headlights coming up the dirt path we came in on.

"Turn off your headlamp!" I whisper to Tyler, as the car drives slowly past where we are camped. The car stops and parks about a hundred meters away. Night has fallen; it is completely dark save for the car's headlights. As I watch intently and fearfully, the headlights are quickly turned off, and everything goes dark once again. I can neither see nor hear anything now, save for the pitch black shadows of tree branches, roaring and writhing in the wind.

My mind is filled with countless horrific scenarios and their terrifying possibilities, all ending in death or serious trouble. Tyler, as usual, doesn't seem to be bothered in the least, and encourages me to relax and go to bed. As if I could fall asleep! Even though I know that in all likelihood, the people in the vehicle have either come to make out or smoke up, I still can't stop myself from getting worked up.

I crane my neck, trying to will my eyes into piercing the darkness to see what is going on. All my senses are on high-alert, and it bothers me that the wind is so loud I can't hear anything else. Every snapped twig could be someone coming, every gust of wind prevents me from hearing something important. Why is that car still lurking there?

Tyler's arms are wrapped around me and my mind is awake and dizzy with frightening thoughts for what feels like hours. It is a miracle when I finally fall fitfully asleep.