Yesteryears

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Review Chain

Entry in fast fiction contest

He was surprised to learn the conference would be at the camp where he was a counselor the summer before college. That had been a long time ago. Decades. He had not thought about that summer for years. He did not expect anything to be the same, and almost every building had been replaced.

One afternoon between sessions he had sought where his cabin had been, wandering under the douglas firs and between huckelberry bushes. He thought he found where it had stood with the other cabins for the boys. There had been no trace of any of the cabins, not even one of the rocks surrounding the fire pit.

What surprised him most were the trees: trees stood where he remembered had been open spaces. He shared this at lunch with Janice, whom he had met at the mixer on the first evening of the conference.

"I remember it was all open between the lodge, the dining hall, and the flag pole. But now there are full-grown trees between the lodge and the flag pole."

"Mais ou sout les neiges d'antan?" she replied.

He recognized the words from Francois Villon's poem, and he liked her for quoting them in French. Her spouse had died recently, as had his. His children were grown; hers were not old enough to be camp counselors.

"I'd say it was like a dream, gone without a trace when we awake. But aren't dreams magical? That summer was anything but. There were homesick kids, fussy eaters. I had one kid who wet his bed." He forgot to tell her how he would wake the boy from his dreams every night, and help him to the toilets to prevent another accident.

"I see," Janice said. She made a point of checking the time on her cell phone. "My presentation starts in 10 minutes. I need to go."

"So see you at dinner then?"

She flashed a smile as she stood up. Then Janice went away.


Submitted: July 10, 2021

© Copyright 2021 llywrch. All rights reserved.

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Archia

I actually work at a camp, and a lot of people do come that have also come to camps as a kid, and they always talk about what it used to be like, and look like (apparrently the freezer used to be a bedroom). There's such a sense of nostalgia in it, and I always find it interesting how connected people are to it. What I really loved about your story was how you captured that connection and the fondness of those memories and also that little touch of sadness at change and years going by.

Sun, July 18th, 2021 10:53pm

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