“How ‘bout there?” Norman asked, gesturing up the rocky slope to a glade among the trees. “Looks flat enough, so we could make a comfortable enough camp. Plus, it’ll be really visible, like, for miles around. Um, g-good chance of a campfire there attracting one’s attention.”
Dipper nodded. “Good thinking. Plus, I’ve been scattering marshmallows behind us for about … a half-mile mile or so. If one’s nearby, it’s bound to follow our trail once night falls.
“Yeah. Which’ll be soon. B-better get up there and, y’know, build a campfire while we still got some light. You take care of th-that, okay? You’re better than me at it, anyway,” Norman hinted (and hoped he wasn’t being too obvious about it).
Before long, the boys had reached the designated spot and deposited their packs on the ground. And, while Norman cleared a space for their awning and sleeping bags, Dipper gathered up wood for their campfire. Then arranged a cone out of kindling, with some dry tinder at its center. Getting down on his hands and knees, he struck a match, set it among the tinder, and gently breathed on it to coax some flames to life.
Behind him, Norman seated himself on a log to watch. There was something almost skittish about him as he did though, manifested by how he fidgeted and kept clearing his throat. Like there was something he wanted to say. All at once, he blurted out, “I’m jealous. Of that fire, I mean—little bit j-jealous.”
“Huh?” Dipper glanced back from the smoking, smoldering cone. “What d’ya mean?”
(The spice starts after here. Advance only if you want that.)