The Moth Man

as told to us by Ibar Isenax

AS most of you know, if you spend some time in the S.C.A., you are bound to have a "no shit there I was" story find you. Well, last Pensic, Pensic XXVII, Such a story found me.

The last evening had passed, and it was now night. My camp and I had a nice fire going, and four of us were sitting around the fire talking. Now it should be noted that this was a Really nice fire, as we were burning all the remaining half or more cord of firewood. The flames were blue, and about five feet high, easily topping the iron spit, by about two feet. The rocks at the edge of the fire were glowing red from the heat, and we were melting an empty glass bottle a little in from the edge of the fire. As I said, it was a Really nice fire.

As we were sitting there talking we had people walking by, who would stop, admire the fire, talk a bit, and move on. AS it got later, less and less people stopped by. The bigger parties were still going strong, across the lake. It was about 1 a.m., and we still had a fourth or more of the wood left to burn. We had not had anybody stop by for about twenty minutes, when around the bend comes stumbling a dishevelled man.

He walks up to the edge of the camp, and says "That fire looks good enough to jump in". We were stunned by what he had just said, but I quickly responded, as he walked nearer to the fire, just stepping over the edge of the camp about five feet away from the fire, said "No it doesn't". He proceeds to repeat himself, and explain why he'll be fine. I turn to one of my campmates, and tell her to go talk to him, and convince him not to jump in our fire. I did this because she was the least threatening person in the camp, and the rest of us were there to help her if necessary. She talks to him for about ten minutes, with no discernible effect. He starts to move around her, towards the fire, when I stand up and intercept him. I try to explain to him that he would get hurt if he jumps into the fire. He persists in trying to convince me otherwise. He ends with the statement "I'm going to jump into the fire now," and takes a step towards the fire.

Using my intimidating manner, as nothing else seems to get through, I tell him twice, as he doesn't seem to grasp it the first time, "This is a closed camp, Leave". When he finally gets it, he stutters over and apology, and stumbles off into the night. When he disappears, I add some more wood to the fire, and sit back down.

The talk resumes, and I predict that he'll be back before the night is over. Sure enough, he stumbles back around the same corner he left by and walks up to the camp! AS I intercept him, he asks to come near the fire, the flames of which are still about five feet high and blue. I ask him if the fire still looks good enough to jump in, and he says no. I, however, remain adamant and turn him away from the camp, as he still had the look of a moth drawn to flame in his eyes. It was at this moment, that what little faith I had left in general human intelligence was irrevocably shattered.