Late Night Visitor

Crashing metal on metal noise startled me out of a deep sleep with a strong, jumpy twitch.

Autumn woke up, but didn’t say anything. We lay still together and listened in the darkness. Jamie must have been roused from unconsciousness, too. Steel was being attacked by something big. Very close to us. Scratching sounds were followed by a length of chain link rattling against a hollow object. Every few seconds the deafening metal noise exploded into still night air again, then calmed down slightly before furious scratching and chain rattling took place again. I could hear hushed rustling coming from nearby campsites as other people were abruptly woke up by the sudden fracas. I thought I heard one or two people whispering to each other in confusion.

Directly across from our campsite, there was a large trailer with a massive tent planted alongside. Before it got dark outside I noticed the trailer and tent compound was occupied by a family with a multitude of members. Too many were already crammed into that big ass trailer so their tent held the overflow of bodies. A few minutes after that hollow metallic commotion began, a young child screamed aloud. It sounded to me like the screaming came from that mob-sized family across the road from our spot. The kid screamed as if someone was slowly poking it’s eyes out with a corroded kitchen knife. It was sheer terror the likes of which I have never heard before. I couldn’t decide which was worse; the noise from metal taking a severe beating or that damned brat’s wailing. Adult voices whispered to the youngster that it was okay and to be quiet.

The child’s shrieking didn’t stop.

Less than a hundred feet from our tents there is a well maintained restroom facility with a garbage dumpster located just outside the restroom doors. After dinner I walked to the dumpster so I could toss our junk. Both heavy steel dumpster lids are secured with rusty chains hooked to a thick welded loop. A warning about bears rummaging through the trash is spray painted in bright yellow stenciled letters across the front of the dumpster. The lids are supposed to remain latched in a locked-down position at all times.

A hungry bear must have been out there beating the shit out of the dumpster, forcing it’s front paws and muzzle in just enough to raise the lids a few inches. Then it gave up for a moment causing the metal to slam together, and try again. The bear wasn’t quitting. Autumn and I were awake for a considerable time during the dumpster onslaught.

I woke up again hours later, flat on my back looking upwards at blue sky breaking through scattered treetops. Autumn wasn’t lying next to me. I got a lousy night’s sleep and felt like crap for it. I listened to activity outside our tent and I realized someone was cooking breakfast on a propane stove. Sitting up, I hunted around for my pants and shoes. I threw yesterday’s shirt across my shoulders and stepped outside losing my balance as I did so. Disoriented, I stood on top of a bear-proof food locker as Autumn appeared out of nowhere shoving a mug full of hot coffee into my free hand. Then she snapped a picture of me. By the way she was laughing with her camera in her hands I figured I must have looked retarded.

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This morning I spoke with a guy who is part of that large family in the campsite across from us. He told me the reason why one of their kids screamed so bad that night was because a sibling was telling him the garbage dumpster bear was going to eat him. His older brother said the more he screamed, the faster the bear would find him and rip him to pieces. Man, kids are so fucked up.

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~ by factorypeasant on February 19, 2007.

2 Responses to “Late Night Visitor”

  1. bwuahahaaaa nic pic mang! you mangy bastid

  2. mangy indeed.

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