The scariest moment of my life.
They all sat in the backyard. They’d been sitting around the fire for a few hours now, telling stories and enjoying s’mores. This was their campground for the night. Their faces flickered in the flames flying skyward from the little Smokey Joe in the middle. Dwight looked around at the people he loved. His wife, Jean, laughed long and loud. She always had, and that’s one of the things he’d always loved about her. His beautiful daughter Hilary (whom this very narrator has a huge crush on) blew out a burning marshmallow and peeled off the burnt outer layer before setting it ablaze again. Her husband, Matt (the lucky bastard), struggled to pull stringy marshmallow leftovers out of his beard. Meghan and Matthew, two of Jean’s family’s cousins (although distantly and awkwardly related), sat somewhat silently but with huge ear-to-ear grins. Dwight noticed how late it was getting, but he suddenly felt inspired.
“Before we climb into the tent for bed, everybody has to chug an Amp energy drink,” Dwight said. His challenge was gladly accepted by Matt (the bearded fool of whom I harbor so much envy) and Matthew, the younger of the two cousins. The three boys chugged energy drinks and climbed into the tent. It had been a long day, and, energy drinks be damned, they were all very tired. Everyone slipped off to sleep without a moment’s hesitation, thinking that perhaps Amp energy drinks weren’t so potent after all.
That is, until about 3:30 in the morning.
“uuhhhhhHHAAAAAAAAAAAHHHARGH!” Everyone in the tent was violently awoken by a sudden scream.
“What the hell was that?” Hilary asked, groggily.
“I think it was your dad,” cousin Matthew said.
There was a moment of silence before Dwight said, “It’s okay, everybody. Daddy just had a bad dream. Go back to sleep.” More silence.
Matt (the bearded one) lay on his back, shaking in fear. What could have possibly affected such a manly man so deeply? What could Dwight have to fear? And how was he supposed to sleep now? Sure, he hadn’t the dream, which had obviously been terrifying for Dwight. But what’s scarier? To have such a dream and to wake up? Or to be so violently awoken by the terror in someone else’s voice?
But who was Matt kidding? That was one of the most hilarious things he’d ever seen. What was really scary was thinking about what Dwight might do to him when he found out how much Matt liked to tell that story to everyone he knew.