Review of J. D. Buffington, “Camping”, in Myths, Monsters, and Mutations, edited by Jessica Augustsson (JayHenge Publications, 2017): 260-265. — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)
What I liked about this story was the structure, a tale of two camping trips, of two sons and their parents (mother and boyfriend in one; father in the other), of encounters with the strange and unusual. The son in the first trip is the father in the second, and this allows the two encounters, experienced by one person, to be filtered through two very different lenses. What seems wild and exciting and just a bit scary as a child can be terrifying as an adult; and what was told off as merely a wild animal to a child may, when seen by an adult, be a very different thing. At the end of the story, one is left wondering if the man’s childhood memories are true, or if his adult experiences are closer to reality.