Coffee and Bacon
Maria unzipped the seal to the door of the thick canvas tent. It was cold beyond the protective walls. She watched as a cloud formed as she exhaled. Then, it disappeared like a wisp in the wind. The lawn in the park glistened with a thin white layer of frost. Over the horizon, the sun was just rising. Its bright rays will soon melt the fragile ice, watering the grass. Life finds a way, even in a time of death. Winter was fast approaching.
The tracks of people moving were visible in several trails leading to the north. A small group had gathered around the large fire pit at the heart of the encampment. The fragrance of coffee and bacon floated on the air. Where did they find bacon? It’s been so long.
Moving the tent flap aside, Maria peeked inside to be sure that Joseph and Jeremiah were still asleep. When she felt confident they were well, she headed out towards the group cooking breakfast.
Maria approached the fire and smiled at the three men drinking what looked to be coffee. “Good morning everyone. I couldn’t help but detect the aroma of bacon. Where did you ever find bacon?”
A tall, stocky man in his mid-fifties looked at her. Grizzly hair and a salt and pepper beard covered his tanned and wrinkled face. He was sipping on a steaming cup of something. “Good morning Maria, you’re up early. Come join us. I’ll get you a fresh cup of coffee.” He ladled the dark brown liquid from a pot over the fire into a cup and handed it to Maria.
She took the piping hot elixir and sipped it. “Oh that’s good, Tim. You always make the best coffee. What’s your secret?”
He placed the ladle back in to the pot and looked at her with a sly smile. “If I told you they’d no longer need me here.”
Maria laughed. “Funny Tim. Hey, where’s the bacon? The aroma is heavenly. How did you get it? It’s been forever since I had bacon.”
Tim glanced at Maria. “There’s no bacon here. I thought I could smell some earlier. It might be coming from there.” He pointed to the tops of the trees at the north end of the park.
Maria looked where Tim was pointing. Several people were pointing at the sky and a thick cloud of black smoke hanging in the air over Spy Pond on the northern end of the park. She looked towards a path headed in that direction and saw a crowd of people moving towards the smoke.