I started writing a story earlier today which sparked a memory from when I was younger. I knew a girl who was amazing at telling scary stories during sleep overs and camping trips. She never failed to give me nightmares for at least a week… These stories stuck with me all these years, too.
Anyway, the story I was writing reminded me of a particular one that she had told during a camping trip one night. Right away, I stopped writing and opened a new Word document to recreate this tale. I ended up writing more than I originally thought I would without even getting much of anywhere, so I’m assuming it’s going to turn into a muli-chapter sort of thing.
Since I haven’t posted in a few days, I figured I would post the first part which…I might have to add to. Dunno. Also, I haven’t edited it yet, so feel free to criticize where needed. Back to writing.
“Let’s go, Sam! They’re waiting for you!” called a voice up the stairs.
“Ok, ok! I’m coming!” Sam yelled down to her mother, throwing the strap of her duffle bag over her shoulder. So she had taken a little more time packing than she thought she would have…and her aunt and cousin had been waiting outside for ten minutes…no big deal. It was only camp. It’s not like she would care if they left without her, considering she didn’t want to go anyway.
Her mother was waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs, an impatient look plastered on her face. It melted away when she reached her, turning into a tearful smile.
“I’m gonna miss you, baby!” her mother cried, throwing her arms around her daughter in one of thsoe squeeze-the-life-out-of-you type of ways. “I want you to call me every night! No..no that’s too much right? Every Sunday night then!”
“Mom…” Sam choked, “It’s only camp, and it’s only for two months!” Two hellish months. The only reason she had to go to this damn camp was because her aunt was sending her cousin, Michelle, and thought it was be oh-so-wonderful if they both went together. Great. She hated her cousin and her goody-two-shoes attitude. Plus, she could think of way more things she’d rather be doing than attending Camp Sunrise for two months…
With another honk from the minivan, Sam was free from the crushing hug of her mother. After a loud whistle, Max came bolting down the stairs, leash in tow. That was the only plus-side to this camp. They allowed each camper one pet to accompany them which worked out perfectly for Sam. She could never fall asleep wit out Max’s reassuring presence besides her bed, faithfully licking her hand when she was jolted awake from a nightmare.
Grabbing the leash in one hand and her water bottle in the other, out the door she went, mumbling the entire ten feet to the curb. She put up no fight and sat next to her cousin, Michelle, who was screeching bouncing in her seat with excitement. Sam wanted to punch her in the face, but she smiled instead, digging her nails into her bag to restrain herself. Max licked her knee before laying down on her feet, the smile becoming genuine.
The ride was a murderous four hours long, not taking into account the few quick stops they made to let Max and Michelle’s Chihuahua relieve themselves. By the time they arrived at the camp entrance, Sam was finding it incredibly hard to get her stiff legs to move. After toppling out of the van, though, she managed just fine.
“Tada! Welcome to Camp Sunrise!” yipped Michelle, wrapping an arm around her cousin’s shoulders. Sam gritted her teeth. “Isn’t it great?”
“Yeah…sure…whatever,” Sam muttered, shrugging away from Michelle. If we get bunked together, maybe I’ll score a ticket out of here when I suffocate her with my pillow…
Max barked excitedly as sounds of other dogs could be heard through the camp gates. Gates…like a prison…how very fitting. Sam sighed, tightening her grip on the leash as Max took a few steps forward. Good thing he was a well-trained dog, otherwise she would end up being the loving German Shepherd’s kite, soaring behind him in the wind as he took off running. Sam affectionately scratched behind his left ear, smiling as his eyes sleepily closed.
The smile disappeared as her aunt kissed her goodbye and Michelle grabbed her arm, dragging her through the camp gates. Hellos and Welcomes were thrown back and forth as they made their way through the crowd of campers, parents, and counselors just beyond. They joined a group of more squealing girls whom Sam assumed were Michelle’s friends as hugs and “Oh my god, hiiii!”’s were exchanged, much to Sam’s irritation. Thankfully, they stopped decently fast as a counselor approached.
“Hello, girls. Welcome back to Camp Sunshine,” came the silky voice of the woman. She looked very fit at her average height, just a few inches taller than Sam. Her dark brown hair was pulled back into a neat pony tail, the end threaded through a sky blue baseball cap that matched her eyes. She smiled when she looked at Sam, stirring up a strangely uncomfortable feeling inside of her. Regardless, Sam forced a smile back.
“It seems we have some new campers this year?”
“Yes! This is my cousin, Samantha. Oh, and her dog, Max,” Michelle said, in a tone that seemed unusual for her in Sam’s opinion.
“Welcome to Camp Sunrise, Samantha and Max,” she said with a smile, patting Max on the head. “I’m Counselor Miranda Stuart, but my girls typically call me Miri,” she winked at Sam, that glowing smile still stretched out on her face.
“Oh, uh…hi. Uhm, you can just call me Sam. I don’t like when people call me Samantha…” she said, glaring at her cousin who seemed to be staring into space. How disgustingly like her…she thought, stumbling forward as Max yanked her, snapping at Miri.
“Max! No! Bad boy!” she yelled, pulling him back towards her, “I’m so sorry! He doesn’t usually behave like this…”
“That’s quite alright, my dear. I’m a stranger to him,” smiled Miri as she took a few steps backwards. Sam apologized again, shrinking away at the incredulous stares of the other girls who could at least control their dogs…and cat. Michelle shook her head, taking Sam’s hand and leading her towards their cabin with their bunk-mates.
Miri hadn’t moved. She still stood in place, eyes focused on Max. They narrowed into a glare, which was then focused up onto Sam. A younger male Counselor stepped up besides her, following her gaze and sighing.
“Another one,” he said in a monotonous tone.
“Two. It’s not just the dog. It’s the girl as well,” hissed Miri, no hint of a smile in her voice now. It had been two years since a camper entered Camp Sunrise unaffected, and she had personally taken care of the previous one. It looked like it was time to bloody her hands. Yet again.