Positivity Camp was never meant to go on for this long, but I’ve done it. I’ve reached part 40. In case anyone was wondering, this was supposed to be a short 5 tops sort of blog story. That, uh….that didn’t happen. Still, the end grows closer with each new chapter! I know I’m excited!
Also, in case anyone was wondering: Yes, I am going to eventually turn this into a published book. That requires…haha…finishing it first, editing, formatting, and all the other fun steps of publishing. It’ll be a while, but when it’s done, I’ll share a link for purchasing the finished book. Until then, I hope you enjoy these last few chapters!
Previously on Positivity Camp: Wendy reveals to Daniel her fear that the camp has hidden listening devices. Because of this, the two decide to sneak quietly to Daniel’s unknown destination.
Finding a clear path was difficult in the dark, and avoiding twigs was nearly impossible. Thankfully there were plenty of leaves and plants to help cushion and silence their footfalls. Besides that, there was one good thing about traveling in a forest at night, the counselors weren’t around.
As far as Daniel and Wendy could tell, the adults were all keeping to the trails or the sidewalks. There were a few scares as a flashlight would briefly pass over them unexpectedly, but Wendy and Daniel were always too far away and too obscured to be seen. After a while, the searching counselor would move on and so too would the runaway campers.
Every step felt intense for the two fleeing campers. They didn’t speak as Daniel guided them to some unknown destination. On occasion, Wendy or Daniel would tug on the rope to indicate some problem, like with the appearance of a nearby counselor wielding a flashlight.
Finally, Daniel tugged on the rope to indicate they had arrived at the destination. It felt like hours had passed since they had begun their journey, though in reality no more than half an hour had gone by. Before either could move or try and communicate their next move, a light, far brighter than any flashlight, illuminated the area.
Caught in the spotlight, the two campers froze. Ahead of them, now perfectly lit up was the art barn. As they looked on in wide-eyed disbelief, an animal roughly the size of a raccoon, skunk, fox, or small cat went running across the open ground. It disappeared into a different patch of wooded area before either Wendy or Daniel could do anything more than stare.
“Motion sensor,” Wendy breathed with a sigh of relief. The words were barely audible over Daniel’s racing heart, but after a moment he was able to translate the words.
“Did we set it off or did the animal?” Daniel whispered back.
“Dunno, but what’s your plan?”
Daniel didn’t reply right away. He had a plan that involved destroying the stupid signs Teacher made, but the bright security light had revealed a problem with that plan; the barn doors were not only closed but chained and locked.
“I need to get in there,” Daniel whispered back after thinking the problem through for a moment.
“Those doors are locked,” Wendy whispered matter-of-factly. She looked around the clearing without moving her head. While the two were still in the forest, too much movement could draw attention to them. “There’s a backdoor, but it goes to a small shop. I don’t think it’s used anymore.”
“How do you know that?” Daniel whispered back.
“I saw it when Teacher had me sit out back, remember? But that’s not the problem…” she gave Daniel a pleading look.
Daniel didn’t know how to respond to that. He wasn’t a fan of the eight-legged critters, but Wendy looked like she was on the verge of tears, and he didn’t know how to respond to that. “What if I go?” he suggested.
“Then what do I do?”
“What, and caw like a bird if someone comes?”
Wendy had a point, Daniel realized. There weren’t many sounds someone could make that wouldn’t be suspicious, particularly nocturnal sounds. Hooting like an owl came to mind, but he didn’t want to have Wendy test the sound first and he didn’t want to have that be the signal before testing it out.
As he thought, his eyes wandered to the ground. Eventually his eyes came to rest on what looked like an acorn, though the lighting wasn’t the best for him to be sure. Acting more confident than he felt, he picked it up. Luckily, it was just a regular acorn and not some spider sac. Post from caffeine is my muse.
“If someone comes, toss this on the roof or a window.” Daniel handed the acorn over and Wendy nodded.
“I’m going to make my way to the back,” Daniel whispered as he began untying the rope from his hand. “Hopefully there’s a way in and I can do something about those stupid signs.”
Wendy smiled. “Good plan. I’ll follow for a bit.”
They nodded and grinned stupidly at each other. Neither of them had ever done anything so foolish before or so meaningful. Wendy found it difficult to keep from giggling. At last, they were going to bring the camp down!
Together the two took off for the back of the barn, which was interestingly unlit. At some point, Wendy stopped following. With more webbing and a few spiders resting boldly in the middle of their webs, Daniel didn’t blame her for refusing to go further. As more than one spider skittered across his skin, he too began having second thoughts. Then the light went out.
“Shit,” Daniel swore quietly into the darkness. He had nearly reached the backdoor, but he hesitated. Without his night vision, stumbling ahead could end disastrously. While he had already picked out a path forward, he decided to wait until he his eyes adjusted rather than counting on his memory alone. There was also the fear of being discovered by a counselor.
As he stood in the dark, Daniel wondered why the counselors hadn’t rushed the barn. Surely, they’d seen the blazing light? Or were they on their way to them and he and Wendy had simply been lucky to avoid them thus far. Cursing his rotten luck, Daniel did his best to quickly and quietly reach the door he’d seen. Unlike the front of the barn, the back didn’t have a motion detector. That much he had been able to tell before the light at the front had gone out.
More than one twig snapped and an uncomfortable number of spiderwebs made contact as Daniel pressed forward. At last he stood in a clear section. Still worried about discovery, Daniel rushed to the door. It was locked, but as he held the handle, something jabbed his wrist. Daniel’s hand recoiled from the door as though bitten.
As the adrenaline wore off, he finally moved close enough to see what had jabbed him. There was a key in the lock. Shaking his head in disbelief, Daniel turned the key. It took a bit of wiggling, but eventually the thing turned enough to unlock the door. Then he turned the doorknob and opened the door. It opened, slowly at first, but with little to no creaking.
The darkness that met him was more severe than he had anticipated finding. He stepped back and looked for where he thought Wendy might be, but he had no luck finding her. He wanted to know what she thought he should do when he had no way to see what he was doing.
A twig snapped in the forested area and Daniel jumped. The sound came from the front of the barn and not where Wendy should’ve been. Daniel ducked inside the room he’d unlocked and hid inside. He debated closing the door but didn’t want it creaking shut. As he stood in the darkness, he began wondering why Wendy hadn’t alerted him with the acorn or with a rock or something on the metal roof. So why hadn’t Wendy warned him? Or had the sound come from an animal?
As Daniel waited, something terrible or else miraculous happened. The light at the front of the barn turned on again. With its renewed light, Daniel saw more of the room he was in light came from a large window at the top of the room. As Daniel walked over to it, he stood on his tiptoes and found he was looking into the art barn’s main room. The light was coming through a gap in the barn’s main front doors.
While the light wasn’t great enough to see everything in detail, it did illuminate enough for him to see the main obstacles like chairs, desks, and the workbench where Teacher crafted his signs. Daniel hesitated as he debated moving forward with his plan or running away. He decided that since nothing had struck the metal roof of the barn, a sound he would’ve heard, that whatever had triggered the light wasn’t a threat.
Moving quickly while keeping an ear out for Wendy, Daniel forced the window open. It creaked painfully loud, but it opened. Adrenaline pumping, Daniel flung himself up and through the window. He hit his head as he landed on the other side, but he hardly noticed. As his head rang, he rushed over to the workbench and began lifting wood planks into his arms. Then he saw a bit of light glint off a metal object on the table. He halted his actions immediately as a new plan began to form.
Moving faster than before, he placed all the wood planks back on the table. This time he arranged them in a stacked formation that allowed air flow between the planks. That done, he opened different cabinets and searched for paper. He found it with little trouble. Then he stuffed the empty sections between the wood planks and around the table.
That done, he cautiously touched the metal item he’d found. When he was sure it was safe to handle, he put the tip of it on a wooden edge near to but not touching the paper. Then, he followed the length of the woodburning tool until he found what he was looking.
At the end of the cord, Daniel found the two metal prongs he’d been looking for. Even more cautiously, he felt along the wall. For several agonizing seconds, which felt more like agonizing minutes, he searched for a wall socket. His hand, however, only found cool metal tools. Some of them, Daniel knew with one touch while others baffled him.
Then, something unexpected happened. Daniel’s finger snagged on a sharp edge and he cut his finger. He cursed his rotten luck and stuck his finger in his mouth. With his other hand, he took the tool off the hook it had been on. As he held it up to see what he’d cut himself on, his thoughts racing with concern over tetanus, he saw he’d cut himself on the sharp edge of a wire cutter.
He was about to throw the tool across the room, mostly out of anger at having been frightened over nothing, when he had a brilliant idea. He closed the tool properly and pocketed it. Then he resumed his search, this time with his uninjured hand. It took far too long, but he eventually found an outlet on the side of the workbench. He plugged the cord in for the woodburning tool and looked over to see a red light come to life.
Daniel carefully searched the cable and located a dial. Holding it up just right, he saw the black section of doom. Even in the dim light, he made out the word HIGHEST. He turned the knob until the white indented arrow pointed at the word. That done, he made his escape out the window.
The trip out of the art barn was far less pleasant than the one into it. He hit his head on a wood panel as he flipped through the window, and he tore his pants and shirt on something sharp, most likely a nail. Unsteady from the fall and fearful of some new injury, Daniel struggled to close the window back up.
The trip out of the art barn was far less pleasant than the one into it. He hit his head on a wood panel as he flipped through the window and he tore his pants and shirt on something sharp, most likely a nail. Unsteady from the fall and the fear of some new injury, Daniel struggled to close the window back up.
It moaned and creaked as he forced it closed but it did close. Daniel sighed with relief as he peered once more through the closed glass. At that moment, the light at the front of the art barn went out again. In the near darkness, Daniel clearly made out the red light, and more importantly, he made out the faint red glow of the tool as it pressed against two pieces of wood. He thought he saw, thanks to the fierce red glow, the white edge of papers that surrounded and lay around the wood.
Daniel grinned foolishly as he moved for the exit. Then he had the door closed and locked. He wanted to get Wendy and get as far away from the Art Barn as possible. As he thought about where they would go next, Daniel heard the clang of something strike the roof of the barn. His adrenaline surged once more as he dashed into the cover of the forest.