Mystery and Crime Fiction posted August 30, 2018

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A Big Surprise!

Camping Trip Gone Wild

by country ranch writer

What we call primitive camping here in the United States is called camping gone wild in other countries. There is just nothing like going camping for getting away from it all and getting back to nature. You will be hooked on wild camping. The world is yours to enjoy if you be sure and clean up after yourself every place you camp.

We were getting together once again for a family camping trip as summer was almost over and the weather was turning off cooler. Everyone was all packed and ready to go and we'd be leaving Friday afternoon. Everyone is excited to hit the road! We have all been camping for most of our lives and don't plan to quit anytime soon.

We were eager to get started and maybe explore some caves as a bonus this year. My youngest son just turned sixteen when this was written. The other two children will be adding their truth or dare challenge this year they are challenging their sixteen-year-old brother to accept their challenge to find something different this year. We will be finding a very secluded area to camp this year far away from the hustle and bustle of the crowd.

My daughter arrived first dropping into the kitchen chair she said, "Hi, Mom." She rolled her eyes at her brothers as they walked in behind her and said, "Dad thought we should come by and we should bond as a family and all that stuff we do each year."

My oldest son said, "Yeah, one big happy family!"

Pulling out the map I showed them where we'd be heading this year. My husband speaks up says " You know I thought we'd camp here for the night pointing to a place on the map."

Plopping down my youngest son tells his dad, "Good enough for me!"

Kicking off my shoes thinking what a day I had and the day isn't even over. Smiling to myself thinking it has been a while since everyone was here together. It has been a while since everyone could get the time off to be together.

Next morning my husband wakes me up saying, "Brace yourself"

The kids came waltzing into the bedroom carrying a breakfast tray and coffee! They smiled and said, "It's showtime!"

It's time to get this show on the road they piped in all together!

"That it is," I said reaching for my coffee.

While getting up and getting dressed I took some antacid tablets hoping they'd kick in soon. My daughter plopped down on the bed and said, "Mom can I talk to you for a minute?"

"Sure, what's up? "I inquired. "What do you want to talk about?"

"Do you think it wise for my brothers to keep playing their stupid truth or dare competition again this year?"

Maybe they will grow out of it sooner or later, maybe it will be their last year now they are getting older. We can hope I patted her shoulder in sympathy.

The boys came up to see what was holding things up and had a questioning look when they spied their sister sitting there. "Everything all right they asked?" Off handily their sister said "Peachy keen," Jumping up off the bead heading out the door. My husband appeared at the door, "There you a are!"

"Come on you all times a wasting!" He says.

"I wouldn't miss this for the world, " I replied, grabbing my backpack off the chair. I grabbed a water on my way through the kitchen on the way out. I said, "Let's get cracking!"

I had a feeling on the way to camp the kids were plotting something. It was just a feeling I had. My husband gets out of the truck stretching and looks at me with that sexy look of his. He sighs grabbing a water out of the cooler keeping his eyes on me as he does so. Takes a big drink, smiles at me, he had lust in his eyes. I told him, "You are still a tease."

He says laughing,"Stick around and see how much of a tease there is!"

"Promises, promises!" I laugh at him. You better stay focused on whatever it is our brood is hatching up. Reminding him when they get together we never know what they plan to spring on us.

"We'll be heading back in a couple of hours probably, " He says.

"With those guys, don't count on it," I said.

"How was our daughter this morning? Any indication she was up to anything with her brothers?" He inquired.

"She was an angel, as usual!"

"Well, maybe her halo tilts once in a while, but she wouldn't be normal if it hadn't." He says.

"I suppose you're right," I agreed.

"Oh! come on you lazy bones!" My youngest shouts!

"This is going to be a fun trip!" My oldest chimes in.

"Okay, let's go see what they have in store for us !" I say laughing. Grabbing his hand as we go. His fingers are so warm to my touch. The kids were laughing and having a good time pushing and shoving each other as they walked along.

Suddenly my youngest son tells us to stop we have come upon his find. Slapping his younger brother on his back his older brother praises him. "Well, little brother I think you have outdone yourself this year."

My youngest says,"Yeah, I got lucky " he says cockily.

My daughter says to both of them, "That's enough! " You two are enough to drive a sane person crazy!
Looking from me to her dad she blushed. "You know it's true!"

My husband said, " Its okay honey, putting is arm around her shoulder. We'll talk about this later."

"Whatever," She mutters as she pulls out of his arms and walks away. She was tired of her brothers trying to outdo each other. Her dad tried to tell her it was all apart of boys growing up.

She says,"Yeah, I suppose."

Our youngest tried to make peace with his sister by grabbing her hand pulling her along toward the cave. He was brandishing a flashlight and saying, " Come on sis, it will be fun; shoving his hat backward on his head, we'll have a blast."

Hey, wait before you all go running off let's have lunch, hesitating to look at each other food won out. Spreading a blanket on the ground they all plopped down. Let's eat they all chimed in at once. Serving up sandwiches of ham and cheese, cookies and thermoset of tea to wash it down with. While they ate they all were amazed at how the surrounding area was so beautiful. Even the birds flew down to get there fair share of crumbs. Squirrels chattered off in the distance disturbed by trespassers in the woods. Lunch over they began there trail going up to the mouth of the cave.

Everyone was now relaxed and in tune with each other willing to work as a team. Entering the cave it seemed to stretch on for miles. Suddenly my youngest shouted everyone stop! He says, "No way!"

" Dad, can you come up here and take a look at this?"

My husband says, "Oh! my God!"

Everyone turn around carefully and go back out the way you come in. We have to call the police. Getting back to the truck my husband used his CB radio to get in touch with the police for help. It wasn't long and the place was crawling with the police and the coroner. This was now a crime scene. Yellow tape was now everywhere.

My husband asked me if I was okay? "Look I said, I just need time to digest this."

"I know," He rubbed his chin trying to ease the memory from his mind. Let's not talk about it anymore."

I said, "Good."

The kids came into their tent right about then and asked if it was alright to talk about it? Suit yourselves we told them.

They said they had talked amongst themselves and decided they needed to talk about it. They said, they learned a lot about wild camping on this trip. We learned that we were meant to be here for a reason. My youngest son said, " By finding that man we were able to find closure for his family. They were able to find his killer."

"Oh! " I asked. "How so?"

They were able to run a trace on the bullets and from other stuff left in the cave. There had been no one near there for years. If I hadn't stumbled on the cave they may never have found him or the killers.

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