My dad, my sister, my brother, and I were camping. It had been cold that day, but we had lived. We had huddled around the campfire. Christopher was half-asleep, but Adrianna was still awake. It was somewhat dark out, the sky a lighter blue than the trees. I shivered along with the branches of the trees, despite the warmth of the fire.
“Whoa!” my dad said. “What?” I said, a little panicked, worried He shined his flashlight on the sound, and my heart almost skipped a beat. It was a baby skunk! Adrianna came up to me. “Wow!” she said. Startled, I took a step back, ignoring my brother’s cries of “It’s okay!” coming from near the warm glow of the fire. I pictured myself taking a bath of tomato juice to get rid of the smell as the skunk cocked his head at us as if to crawl closer. But instead, he stayed still. Too nervous to do anything, I backed into the tent and watched through the screen windows as it scampered away.
I came out five minutes later. Adrianna had fallen asleep. Christopher was snoring. The flashlight was of and my dad was roasting marshmallows by the light of the fire. “Want one?” he asked.
Nodding, I gulped down a perfect one, trying to appreciate the way the mushy inside swam down my throat, the way the roasted outside was crunchy and took some time to swallow. I could still picture the skunk very clearly in my mind.
And I always will.