Short Story: Overnight Lookout
They had lingered at the lookout point for too long. Now dusk had turned to night, and all they had was the light of their dying phones to navigate the twisting hiking trail back to their cars, but nothing warm to protect them from the chill of the night.
The group was split between two sides: brave the night at the lookout point, or brave the trail to their cars. Both sides were equally strong, and in the end it was decided that they would split up, staying or leaving at their own discretion.
“What will you do?” he asked his sister.
She studied the shadowed trail with furrowed brows.
“I’ll take care of the trail group,” she said.
He nodded. “Then I’ll take care of the lookout group.”
“See you tomorrow.”
They went their separate ways. His sister guided the trail group down the tricky path, and he herded the lookout group together to keep warm during the cold night. While the others caught snatches of fitful sleep, he remained wide awake, alert for any news from the other group.
Finally, he received a text.
Arrived at cars. Heading back.
The words lifted a weight off his chest, but the night wasn’t over yet. He kept watch over the lookout group until the sun rose and daylight chased away the cold darkness of the night.