9:\\ Camping

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I hate camping. I hate nature. I hate anything that has to do with getting off the couch.

When my family suddenly decided they want to have an electronic free weekend, my first thoughts went along the lines of oh shit.

And again it didn't seem like I had a say in the matter. We packed our bags and were immediately in the car and on the highway to hell. More like the bumpy, moss-covered, worm-infested road.

Being an only child does have its perks sometimes, but it also means that you're the only one that your parents can do stuff with, like going to Six Flags.

"Hey Joe, hand me the mosquito repellent." Mom asked me as she murderously scratched at her arm. I reached into our emergency bag, the one containing our cell phones, band aids, and other things that I won't be allowed to use and pull out a small bottle of sun tan lotion. Who would even think of tanning in this sort of weather.

I put my hand back into the bag and pulled out a larger bottle of insect repellent, tossing it over to the brown haired lady sitting in front of me just as the car cane to a halt.

"Joseph, set up the camps, your mother and I will go get some wood."  Dad commanded and all I could do was glare in response. The whole area was surrounded by trees and trees meant wood. Unless there was another reason he wanted to go with just mom.

I shudder led away any unnecessary thought and pitched the tents. I climbed up to the top of the tree where I slapped angrily at the mosquitos. I groaned as I climbed back down and miss a branch, landing on top of the tent I just pitched.

I hate camping.


"Joe, can you get some more wood, the fire is dying out." Dad commanded, he no longer asked me to do anything. He scared the shit out of me so there really was no purpose in arguing back. I quietly rolled my eyes, clenching my fists in annoyance as I stomped away from the tent that took me three tries to keep up.

"Go do that Joe. And get us wood Joe. Joe leave so we can canoodle. Disgusting, you people should be ashamed of youselves." I mimicked them, waving my arms around as I continued to swat at the inch long mosquitos.

I don't necessarily know where the wood is supposed to be. Do I cut down a tree and give it to them or do I collect a bunch of twigs? It was getting extremely dark as I continued my voyage through the shadow of the valley of death and have no fear because I had finished all the insect repellents on myself. Ha! That's what you all get for forcing me to come here.

As soon as my demonic thoughts passed through my mind, I was immediately tripped by none other than some moron's antique box of junk. I glare at the box that had made me scrape my knee and probably will make me end up dying of an infection. I grabbed the crap and threw it down, attempting to break it.

Whoever the hell this idiot was that left a box in the middle of some soggy woods is never going to see their ugly box again.

I kept kicking the thing until I noticed the blotches of blood staining my sweatpants. Fun.

I groaned as I continued my search for wood. Ironic how I'm searching for wood in the woods. Cleverly, I grabbed the box and continued back to the camp site. Maybe my parents would let me burn it. Burning metal usually lasts longer than wood, that is to say that the temperature is high enough to burn the metal in the first place.

The damn mosquitos had attached themselves to the bleeding knee of mine and were happily eating away. Shit, I could get malaria from this and die.

I walk back to the camp with my box to see none other than my parents arguing.

"You're the reason that damn mosquito bit me!" My dad shouted as mom stood silently in front of him. She remained silent throughout his entire loud argumentative speech on why she was the reason that everything bad in his life happened.

Yeah, because my mom was definately the reason he can't hold a job or that she is the reason his dad died of a heart attack. Yeah, she's definately the reason why it rains and why it gets cold because she is such an awful person. My dad can be such an asshole sometimes.

On the other hand, my mom is an amazing person and I hope nothing happens to her because of all the stress and bad behavior he forces on her. She deserves better but she doesn't want a divorce because it's "wrong in God's eyes". She needs to understand that assholes like my dad are a force to never to be reconned with.

Mom still stood there silently looking at him as he continued to throw insults her way. Be strong mom, be strong. I felt bad, very guilty and grumpy. She deserves way better.

"Stop!" I commanded loudly as the devil turns his attention to me. I gulped audibly as the sides of his mouth curve up into a horrid smile. If I didn't know any better, I would say his face was turning purple.

"What the hell do you want?" He shouts, "It's your fault too you know, if you hadn't finished all the bug repellant then we wouldn't be in this mess." He began and continued as he approached me to slap me.

His eyes landed on the shiny rushing metal box in my hands and he swiftly took it.

"I tell you to go get wood and this is what you bring? Idiot!" He roared and slapped a mosquito dead as it sags down onto his neck. I took slow steps toward mom as she hugs me. I love my mom.

"What do we have here. . ." He continues as he grabs the lock and opens it with his muscular arm. It's repulsive to watch. His hand strains as he pulls the box apart and it goes flying out of his hands.

"Stupid boy! Don't you know how to catch?" He yells as his hand harshly meets my face. I was sure it was red by now. Most definately red.

"Hank."Mom finally speaks up, but shrivels quickly as he gives her a menacing glance.

I didn't want to say anything, didn't want to ruin the things we already had. The silence filled the air as my parents turned on their heels and walked the other way.

I was left with an unbuilt tent and the box my father threw at me and, of course, no wood. I walk toward the box, pick it up out of anger and threw it as hard as I could at the tree. I stomp forward to grab it again but trip over the damn wood I was attempting to pick up. I groan now in anger, picking myself off the ground and angrily trip again over twigs that were all over the ground.

The box lay beside a giant oak tree. My blood fueled my anger as my fists clenched and a scream erupted from my face as I ran up to kick the stupid box. I wanted to tear down the entire forest.

Without thinking, I grabbed the box and tossed it at my fathers head as he fell with blood leaking. My heart raced as I glanced at mom. He fell to the ground and I could do nothing but stare.

"Joseph!" I heard mom's cry for help, her worn face appearing through the sudden whiteness of the forest.

If you'd like to learn more about Joseph Cooper, please read "An Era Away" on the profile of @veronicasoli

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