No one was exactly sure of who had thought up the trip, but everyone seemed to be dreading it. Max, Furiosa, all five of their girls, Nux, Glory, Vallie, Reliable, Little Max, Sunflower, and somehow Slit (though no one was exactly sure how he’d been invited) were all packed into three cars and driving four hours to the mountains, where they’d spend two nights camping.
It hadn’t been bad at first; Max, Furiosa, Angharad, Max Jr, and Toast had all gone in Furiosa’s SUV, and they mostly listened to music or just sat in silence. Nux and Capable had taken a car with their kids and were able to pass the time talking. Cheedo, Dag, Sunflower, and Slit had all gone in Cheedo’s car and alternated between talking and arguing (really it was just Dag and Slit arguing). While Angharad and Cheedo took the kids swimming, the rest of the adults pitched tents and set up camp. When the work was done, Max took Toast, Nux, Dag, Max Jr., and Sunflower fishing while everyone else kept swimming.
“This is perfect,” Cheedo sighed in contentment.
Even dinner went surprisingly well; Furiosa, Angharad, Capable, Cheedo, and Slit, having been the ones to not catch any fish, skinned, boned, and cooked the fish. It was very good, and when they roasted marshmallows for s’mores after, Furiosa told the grandkids the stories her family used to tell around campfires.
“This is nice,” Toast commented to Angharad. “Like when we used to come on camping trips with the Vuvalini.”
It was nice.
And then Slit had suggested a bear hunt.
Ace used to take his boys out on “bear hunts”, which was really just Ace leading the boys around the woods while his buddies would hide and make noises, and finally one would leap out of the darkness with a roar and all the boys would scream and run back to the campsite. Except none of the adults were wiling to do that, so it ended up being just Slit leading all the kids into the woods and giving them bullshit advice like “clapping two sticks together keeps the mountain lions away” and “bears can smell if you’ve taken a bath recently”.
“Why did you even invite him?” Toast complained to Dag.
But Dag blinked. “I didn’t invite him. I thought one of you did.”
They turned to Nux, who looked just as surprised. “I didn’t invite him. I thought this was a family thing.”
Eventually they realized no one had invited Slit–he had, as per usual, just shown up.
They were laughing about it and cracking open beers when they heard screaming that could only mean Slit had scared them. The mothers sighed and went to go catch their children and prepared to scold Slit, but he was leading the charge.
“THERE’S A BEAR!” he shouted. “OR SOMETHING!”
“Where is my daughter?!” Dag demanded.
“Yeah, and where’s Max?” Angharad wanted to know.
Everyone realized that the oldest two were in fact missing.
“You just left them behind?!” Dag shrieked.
“They were right behind us!” Slit insisted. Reliable began to cry.
“They’re probably fine,” Max said gruffly. “We’ll go look for them.”
Everyone grabbed flashlights and clumped together as they wandered back into the woods. Slit, feeling guilty, strayed a little away from the group–so when he heard a rustle behind a nearby tree, he let out a very unmanly scream–
–and was tackled by Max and Sunflower, who burst into laughter.
“We scared you!” Sunflower shouted. The rest of the adults had come running, and Dag high-fived Sunflower. “Mum, it worked just like you said!”
“What are you talking about?!” Slit demanded as Angharad brushed leaves off of Max.
“I knew you’d pull some stupid BS like that, so I told them to do it,” Dag said smugly.
Everyone was laughing by now. Slit was still upset and still feeling ashamed for running off and leaving two of the kids, so they sat him down in front of the fire and cracked open a beer for him while Sunflower made him a s’more.
It was a good trip.