Olde Fort Mifflin
retold by S.E. Schlosser
There is only one word for Fort Mifflin during a siege reenactment. LOUD! My ears were ringing as I hurried inside the ammunition mound, according to my assigned role. The mound muffled the sound of canons a little bit. But I still reckoned I'd be deaf all day tomorrow!
The air grew chillier as I moved deeper into the mound. It felt as if I'd entered a cavern, and the tiny hairs on the back of my neck bristled. I rubbed my neck, trying to make the feeling go away, and shivered as another gust of cold air hit my face. I was freezing cold in spite of my heavy Revolutionary uniform, and I almost turned and left the mound in spite of my errand when I heard someone crying at the very back of the mound.
I hurried to the sound, and saw a boy curled up into a ball, crying hard because he was scared by the sound of the cannons. I couldn't blame him.
"Are you lost?" I asked him. "Shall I get your parents?"
He didn't seem to see me, and he kept crying into his tattered sleeve. His costume looked even more realistic than mine, down to the poor dirty little bare feet.
"Stay here, and I'll go find your parents," I told him. I hurried toward the door through the freezing air - really, it felt cold enough to snow! -- and out into the comparative warmth of a November day. I motioned to a friend of mine who was guarding the mound, and told him about the child. He ducked inside to have a quick talk with the boy, but he returned moments later to say that the child had ignored him and kept crying into his sleeve. So my friend stood watch over the door to make sure the little fellow wouldn't slip away and I ran off to try to locate his parents. But no one on the battlefield was missing a child. That surprised me. I figured I'd better go back and question the lad further.
I hurried back to the mound and went inside with my friend at my heels. The air inside was much warmer than it had been when I walked into the mound the first time. And the weeping boy was gone. With no way in or out of the mound except the door my friend guarded, the boy had somehow vanished. I got goose bumps all over my skin when I saw the empty floor where the boy had lain weeping. Oh lord, I had seen a ghost! I could tell from my friend's white face that he realized it too.
"I hope that he made it safely out of the ammunition mound that day," I said to my friend.
He nodded gravely. "I hope so too," he said.