Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Campfire Stories for Shifters

“We want a ghost story!”

“Yeah! Ghost story! Ghost story!”
Sandra sighed happily as the now sugar-wired cubs stared across the camp fire at Kevin. Poor thing; he looked more like a deer caught in headlights than a big, dominant mountain lion right now. That ought to teach him to mach a lady’s shoes. What a great idea it had been to come on this camping trip, but not for the expected reason. Nothing about her fellow campers was expected, including their species!

The first night had been a bit odd. The moms and kids had welcomed her presence better than that sexy young camp counselor had, that was for certain. They had been a little reserved at first but warmed to her. She, for her part, was finally glad of having spent 20 years trying to fit in with a crowd she didn’t belong to. They had no idea that they freaked her out as they fixed raw hamburgers for the kids’ dinner. They offered her one, only cooked, too. She thought that was weird.

Then they asked her to watch the kids while they went for a late night hunt. They asked her to do this as they were stripping down to bare skin. This might have freaked her out as well, but she and her ex-husband had lived next to Britney Spears for two years. That woman was perfectly capable of doing something this bizarre, so Sandra said yes. She fell asleep with eight tired, squirmy children sprawled out on top of her in a puppy pile after telling them every single camp fire story she remembered from her childhood. She woke up with eight mountain lion cubs buried in her double sleeping bag with her.

Raw hamburgers explained.

After a moment of confusion, it slowly started to sink in what Mr. Too-Sexy-By-Half had meant when he said “her type” didn’t belong on this camping trip. By the time she extracted herself from her sleeping bag without waking anyone else up, she had made up her mind to prove him wrong. She genuinely liked these people, er, animals. Yes, they were definitely not what she was used to but she hadn’t really belonged with her “usual” crowd, either. Besides, it was just a one-week camping trip. Surly she could deal with people who turned furry at night for a week. Especially if it made that insufferable Kevin uncomfortable.

She was glad had refused to leave. These cubs were so awesome to be around! They lived solitary lives for the most part and hadn’t really known how to do things as a group. Their mothers didn’t seem to understand the concept, either. Kevin had explained on the first day that this trip was to bring the cougar population closer, to form tighter bonds to help them move into the 21st century. He had stared right at her with those liquid gold eyes and a sarcastic smirk on his beautiful mouth while he said it, too.

The problem was, while everyone present was all for the idea, they had no idea how to actually be a group. Even Kevin had been clueless. That first night, Sandra had made progress without realizing it. She had eight shifter cubs all together listening to camp fire tales. They then fell asleep in a big pile. The mothers had been shocked when they came back from their night hunt—a solo hunt, as it turned out. Kevin told them to go off and hunt together while the monkey watched the cubs. They had tried, they really had. They just didn’t know how.

Sandra’s answer to that, now that she understood what was going on, was to suggest they try teaching their cubs to fish human style. The moms didn’t know how to do this, so they thought it was great fun. The cubs all ended up in the water trying to catch fish bare handed while the moms tried to herd the fish back upstream. By the end of the “fishing” they had no fish caught but the moms had learned how to work together.

The second night, Sandra had the cubs singing campfire songs after sending the moms off to play paintball in teams. The third day, the moms got to teach their cubs how to play paintball while playing in teams. It was now the third night and Kevin was not happy with her! She chuckled at the memory of his towering over her, seething that she had “stolen” his camping trip away from him. She had leaning back into him, putting her hands on his chest, whispered “tuff titty said the kitty,” then shoved him into the creek he’d just climbed out of.

Now the cubs wanted ghost stories. Of course, Kevin had informed them that he would be conducting this evening’s entertainment, so it was to him they looked for the telling. And it looked like he didn’t have a clue how to handle it.

“No ghost stories,” he muttered gruffly. “We are going to tell hunting stories.”


“Hunting stories are good!” Kevin said, dismissing the sound of disappointment coming from

the cubs.

“Miss Sandra tells good stories. Are you sure you have to be the one to tell us the stories?”

Sandra dipped her head and hid her smirk. She raised her eyes to peak and found Kevin glaring at her.

“I don’t think Sandra knows any good hunting stories,” he bit out.

“I bet Miss Sandra could tell us the bestest hunting story ever!”

“A good scary hunting story!”

Sandra dropped her head back down, shaking with her effort not to giggle out loud.

“As a matter of fact, I do know a very good hunting story. It’s the story of Courage Wolf.”

“I’m sure they don’t want to hear about wolves, Miss Sandra,” Kevin said with a glare.

“It’s not a story about a wolf, Mr. Kevin,” Sandra said snidely. “It’s a story about hunting. The bad guy is a big ghost wolf who comes out at night and eats all the little lion cubs who don’t have the courage to out-wit him!”

“YES!!!” screamed all eight cubs as the jumped up and down. “TELL US THAT ONE!!!”

Sandra let herself smile as she locked eyes with Kevin across the camp fire. She could see he wanted to refuse. But like all cats, curiosity was going to get him. He wanted to hear the story, too.


Serena Shay said...

OMGosh!! I wanna hear the story too!

Poor Kevin... Miss Sandra may be a monkey, but she braved the lion pride and outwitted a curious little kitty! LOLOLOLOL

Great post, Rebecca!

Savanna Kougar said...

Wow, it looks like Sandra is fitting in just fine, despite Kevin's doubts, and is very much needed by the cougar shifter community. Good for her. I'm on her side.

And, yeah, I'd like to hear that story, too!

Fun and clever flash, Rebecca.

Rebecca said...

You'll just have to tune in next week to hear the story... and see the mischief it stirs up. Sandra is by no means done riling up her sexy antagonist.

Pat C. said...

Go, Sandra! That's the advantage of an older heroine: they can wake up in a pile of cougar cubs and not run screaming through the woods. She figured it out and rolled with it. Must be a paranormal romance reader.

Then there's the other life experience, which I'm guessing Kevin will be receiving at some point. Heh heh.

Team Monkey for the win!

Savanna Kougar said...

Yeah, Team Monkey for the win!

Rebecca said...

You all remember the best part of the hunam tradition of scary campfire stories, right? He, he. Kevin's about to find out about it, too.