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The heat from the campfire seemed to be sucked into the frigid air before ever reaching their frozen hands. They added more wood and poked it with long sticks. It seemed to die a little as if unsure of itself, unready to devour the new offerings. It licked at the new logs like a nervous kitten and sent feeble sparks to die in the air. But after a time it found it's confidence and grew until the heat warmed them, orange flames celebrated with their wild flickering dance. It would have to last through the night. Someone would have to stay up and nurse it through the darkest hours, guard it, feed it.
A fire crackled in the corner of the campsite, projecting long shadows on the surrounding area. The light cast by the flames danced across the dark trunks of the trees, twisting and curling in obscure shapes and providing a small radius of light. The fire itself was pulsating, the glowing embers seemed to move in rhythm with the flames, matching every dip and sweep. It was mesmerizing to watch, colours of orange and red gave way to yellow and white near the centre, where the emanating heat was the greatest.
The manual had called for a campfire, some singing and storytelling, but group C had their own ideas. They collected wood for far longer than they should have and built a bonfire. It was taller than even the teenagers and burnt with the smokiness of a funeral pyre. The flames leapt high and it's crackling could be heard from several hundred yards away. They were merrily tossing on tin-foil wrapped potatoes when the leader burst into the clearing, red faced and armed with a bucket of water not even large enough to annoy the merry inferno.
The heat of the campfire struggled to penetrate the wintry air. Mac sat as close has he dared to feel the radiating warmth, holding out numbed hands for defrosting. Sparks flew into the sub-zero air only to die mid-flight and fall unnoticed as a blackened charcoal speck. When he grew tired he placed two fat logs on top and lay next to the flames. The bears of the region and frostbite worried him far more than his clothes catching alight.
As the sun went down, the fire became bright and vivid, as though someone had shown a spotlight on it. The intensity and excitement of the flames was like they were dancing in the moonlight. A lake nearby had the reflection of a distant glow, like a bright sun on land. The colors were brilliant reds, oranges, and faint yellows.