Things were quiet at the makeshift camping area, with just a few minor periodic snorts and snores breaking the silence. The nine remaining recruits of Upsilon had managed to drift off to sleep, shivering in their sleeping bags as the temperature continued to drop. Suddenly, the peaceful Colorado night was interrupted by aggressive whispers of a frightened young Laurence Dubois.
“Psssssst! Psssssst! Jackson!” whispered Dubois, shaking Jackson awake, urgent.
“Dubois?” mumbled Jackson, half asleep, eyes wide with confusion. “What is it? Is it midnight already? Ian, dude, I’ll pay you to take guard duty for me.”
“Jackson, there, there, there’s a Kodiak Bear in the woods!” exclaimed Dubois, terrified, and no longer whispering.
The recruits were awakened by the excited young Dubois, then most just gripped their sleeping bags tighter, and rolled over, away from the racket.
“Dubois, there aren’t any Kodiak Bears here!” exclaimed Jackson, now wide awake, peeking at the boy over the top of his sleeping bag. “That’s Alaska, man. And, it’s just 11. Go back to your post!”
“But, well, maybe the bear swam to Colorado,” stammered Dubois, shivering from the freezing cold, and afraid to go back to his post.
“Yo, Jackson,” interjected Ian, pulling his sleeping bag snug, yawning, rolling over to get more comfortable. “You might as well go look. Dubois is pretty upset. Besides, it’s technically possible for a bear to swim to Colorado from Alaska if it wanted to bad enough.”
“Aw, dang, man,” Jackson huffed, unzipping his bag, then wrapping it around his shoulders, “alright, come on, Dubois. Let’s go find your bear.”
The two boys walked across the open field to the fat pine tree at the edge of the forest. As Jackson and Dubois stood silently, it wasn’t long before the growls began again. The grumbling roars filled the night. Dubois hid behind Jackson, pulling his sleeping bag tighter around his shoulders as he peered into the treeline. Jackson slowly made his way toward the noise, shining his flashlight into the night. Dubois pressed against Jackson’s back, inching forward toward the horrible sound. The growls became louder as the boys moved closer. Suddenly, Dubois shrieked as Jackson located the angry animal’s eyes with his flashlight. The animal jumped and moaned, snorting loudly. It didn’t take long for the boys to realize the growls were actually loud snores, coming from the sleeping Sergeant Perkins, who was now awake with the blinding flashlight still shining in his eyes.
“What are you people doing!” groaned Perkins, confused, squinting at the bright light.
“Sorry, Sergeant Perkins,” answered Jackson, embarrassed, but still accidentally shining the flashlight in Perkins’ face.
“Shepherd, is that you!” grumbled Perkins, still mostly asleep.
“Sir, yes sir,” responded Jackson, “just looking for a spot to go to the bathroom. Have a good sleep sir.”
“So, find a spot, do your business, and get back to bed,” Perkins mumbled, actually falling back to sleep as he spoke.
Jackson and Dubois jogged away from the treeline, giggling uncontrollably as they hurried along. Jackson spent the rest of the hour with Dubois, sitting beneath the pine tree, wrapped in their sleeping bags. The boys chuckled quietly amongst themselves, and joked about the crazy-eyed look upon Perkins face. They couldn’t wait to tell the other recruits about their adventure with the horrible, Kodiak Bear Perkins.