Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2254293-A-Good-Idea
by Zehzeh
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Contest Entry · #2254293
It was a good idea, except for the circumstances.
747 words
It was, and still is, a good idea. It is simply that circumstances were not exactly -ideal-. The plan was to go down the cliff path, make our way around to Gull Cove, have a moonlight cook-out and camp in Tregarth's Hole until the tide went out. Then go home, full of sausages and adventure.

Blake went off to buy the beer, Angie and Dick did the supermarket sweep, Vance nipped in the bakery and I popped home to borrow the big fry pan. And scribble a note. 'Having a sleep over. See you later. Lannie. X.'

By sunset we had congregated at the top of the cliff path, except that Blake, and the beer, were missing. After a bit of argument, we decided to get down to the sea, Blake could be another twenty minutes. We could text him to follow on and be all set up, with the fire started and the bangers sizzling.

The cliff path was hacked out years ago and some of the steps are uneven and crumbly, by torch light, treacherous. As Vance found out. With a yelp, he tumbled backwards, flailing for balance. He was using the torch on his mobile and, as it spun on its downwards trajectory, its light flashed over the bag of bread as it too flew. Then it went out. Vance groaned.

'We'll pick it up at the bottom.' Angie was only trying to be comforting and went into sulk mode at Vance's reply. We spent ages searching the shingle for the busted phone. It was not until we saw the bread bag caught half way up that we finally found the remains of Vance's pride and joy. Then we had another spat about whether to pack it in or go home. Angie swanned off in a huff. The last I saw of her was her feet at eye level as she climbed back up top. Then Dick went after her because he would never hear the last of it if he didn't. Which left me and Vance hanging around waiting for Blake and the beer.

'Let's get round the point and into the cove.' Vance was morose. 'It'll be a bit warmer once we get the fire lit.' The rocks were a half-seen nightmare of pools, slippery seaweed and boulders that twisted underfoot. The tide was coming in rapidly and we had to paddle the last few yards before we were up on the pebble shelf.

Assuming that there would be plenty of driftwood for a bonfire was a slight miscalculation. We scavenged two waterlogged timbers, enough to, maybe, cook a sausage apiece. If they would have burned. If I had thought to bring some starter fuel and a lighter. If Angie had not gone off in a mardy with the food. And no beer either. The tide had cut us off and Blake was on the other side.

'We'd better get up into Tregarth's hole.' Vance was eyeing greasy looking wavelets as they began to fill up the cove. It is a bit of a scramble up to the hole, we had done it often enough as kids but, in the dark, with cold hands and a great big fry pan clonking around in my rucksack, it was character building. When we were small, Tregarth's Hole was big. Not so now.

It is a narrow passage cut into the ground connecting to one of the old tin mines. Back in the day it had been an adit, for drainage. There had been a lot of rain recently and now it was doing its old job. There was nowhere dry to sit inside and only a bramble covered boulder outside, barely big enough for the two of us. It was cold. It had not occurred to us that camping involved sleeping bags and blankets.

'Is that the moon?' Vance was peering out to sea.

'No idea.' I fished around for my mobile to Google moonrise times. There were a dozen, ever more frantic, messages from mum, dad, my mates and all. I had left it on silent and was totally oblivious off all the fuss.

'It's a bit bright to be the moon.' Vance's voice wavered. He believes in alien abduction and the like. I looked at the last message, turned on the torch and started waving it.

'It's the lifeboat.' Relief and embarrassment made my words crack. 'Dad hit the panic button.' He was going to ground me forever. He is the skipper.

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