Campfire Clichés

… with a hook for a hand!”

“Hold up there a moment, Phil! Are we supposed to believe that a secure psychiatric facility let a criminally insane inmate keep his prosthetic hook, and incidentally his murder weapon?”

“Nah, don’t be stupid – he made a new one after he escaped.”

“Dude, Karen’s mom wears a prosthetic foot, or had you forgotten? You’re saying he ‘made’ a new hand, like it was nothing!? Do you know how long it takes to fit those things?”

“Well it was the old days…”

“Right, when fabrication of synthetic appendages was much easier…”

“Look, question it as much as you like, it’s a true story! I don’t know how he did it, but it’s only a hook – maybe he strapped a gaff to his arm!”

“True story? Let’s see – who’s got reception?”

“I’ve got two bars, but no 3G down here. Let me check from the ridge.”

“Really, Sue, you’re walking up there by yourself? Didn’t you hear Phil? There’s a killer on the loose!”

“Fine… Dan, you come with me. Last one back gets taken!”

“Hey! Damn, she’s fast! See you guys soon.”

“That was too easy. Reckon they’ll get together up there?”

“Eurgh! That’s my sister, man. And your fat friend!”

“So he’s carrying an extra pound or two – he’s an awesome guy. Much better than some I could name. And he worships Sue.”

“Whatever. He’d better not try anything, or I’ll add another lump or two.”

“Lucky you’re not really such an arsehole, or you’d be out here alone, practising your guitar under the stars and singing to keep the maniacs at bay.”

“With my voice, I’d probably set them off! Speaking of, we gonna scare them when they get back?”

“Hell yeah! We need something good, though, something simple – none of your ‘hook’ bullshit. It was scary when we were 10, but it’s just sad now.”

“Hey, Sue? Any luck? God, that hill was steep!”

“Hardly a hill, but yeah, at least I’m not the only one panting. I’m loading Snopes now. Let’s take our time – I want that bastard to squirm, with his ancient urban legends!”

“Yeah, so much crap. But none of us could come up with anything better.”



“I’m just wondering. Of course the story is fiction… but they don’t know that.”

“I like the way you think! What do you have in mind?”

“I have a plan, but first we wait. Let’s stay up here for, say, another hour.

“I’ve, um, got an idea about that, too – come over here.”

“Mmm! Sue! I wasn’t expecting that. Er, sorry… I’m not a very good kisser.”

“I wouldn’t say that! But let’s practise some more, anyway…”

“Sshhh… They’re asleep!”

“Well that ‘hour’ did last a very long time. Not that I’m complaining.”

“Looks like they were planning to scare us, the bastards, hiding behind the tents!”

“How dare they? What’s the plan?”

“Hold the sark, it doesn’t work in whispers! First, we grab the ketchup… Quietly!”

“Phil? Phil, you awake?”

“Ah, let me sleep!”

“Wake up man! Something’s really fucking wrong!”

“Okay, okay. What the hell?”

“Open your bloody eyes! The tents!”

“Holy motherfuc… Where’s Sue?”

“They’re not here – I already looked. Fuck, man. The tents, the gear, gone. ”

“They probably just took it to screw with u… Oh shit! Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!”

“What? Take it easy, man, that’s my scout knife? So they forgot something. Oh. Fuck. Is that blood?”

“I don’t know. Don’t touch it – are you fucking nuts? Still got your phone?”

“Yeah, it’s here – half-charged. Okay, let’s call for help.”

“Hang on. We both need to calm down first. Breathe!”

“Fuck waiting, we need the cops.”

“And what if it’s all a joke? Call Sue and Dan first.”

“Fine – I’m trying Sue now…”

“Hear that?”

“Ssshh, think it’s over this way.”

“Hurry! It’s getting louder.”

“There it i… Dude? I don’t feel so good…”

“Damnit! Dave? Dave! Sue? Oh my God! Sis!”

“… And he fainted. You should have seen the look on Phil’s face, when he saw you covered in blood! His eyes rolled up like this…”

“Did uncle Phil really faint?”

“Yep, even bumped his head on the way down!

“Of course, he never tells anyone that part, but he won’t bore you with the hook story, either, and you can thank me and your father for that.”


This piece was written for Nika Harper’s Wordplay #4. The challenge was dialogue, with the prompts “starlight and an acoustic guitar” and “why you just don’t get it.”