The fire seemed to pull back, flames cowered, licking the blackened twigs like nursing wounds. Beneath and between the cracks of the charred logs, embers glowed like living things. And the fire whispered to itself secrets only known within the primordial circles of things like moss and spore and fire and ice. The knowledge remembered in the spaces between heartbeats, when breath is neither expelled nor drawn, the solitary stillness where the truth lies dormant, near forgotten. Where the old things dwell and bide their time.
The campers huddled, eyes wide. The storyteller began, filled with joy, weaving his tale.