what the fluff?

When I was a kid, my parents shipped me off to camp for the entire summer, right after school ended. This isn’t really true; I was probably only at summer camp for a couple weeks, but it was every summer, until I was old enough to get a summer job. First it was day-camp, then it was Girl Scout camp, then it was church camp — which isn’t as bad as it sounds. I grew up Lutheran; church was pretty chill, and so was church camp. 

Matthias jumped out of the van, his sneakers crunching on loose gravel. He couldn’t believe he was here. He’d never done anything so grandiose as making a vow never to return, but he’d sure as hell never wanted to come back. The place even smelled the same: the deep green loamy funk of the encircling forests, mingled with the sweetness of the milkweed growing wild at the edge of the motel parking lot.

Karen stood with her back to him, hands on her hips, looking around. Her brother Wes stood right beside her, his hands poked into the front pockets of his jeans.

“What do you say, Karen?” Matthias asked her. “Is it everything you dreamed?”

My unlaced sneakers went slip-slopping down the pavement as I carried the the recycling to the end of the driveway. It had been raining buckets for days, and now the air was cold and fresh, the hanging haze all washed away. The hills stood out sharp and green underneath a pale gray sky.

Someone says his name. They’ve said it several times already. Heron becomes aware of this slowly, like he’s walking out of a fog bank. The world brightens into focus, the conversation with his father dissipates into mist.