Hello! The weekend is upon us, and I don’t know about you, but I’m excited! I’ll finally have some time for reading the books I picked up from the library and time to play three, maybe four, D&D campaigns. You can be sure those’ll generate a story or two!
Progress on my second novel continues, but it’s slow going. Yes, I know I should work on that this weekend, but the books are calling me. As for other procrastination in the form of D&D, well, how else am I supposed to generate interesting role-playing stories of epic success or critical failures? For more on what I’m talking about, check out my blog on Role-Playing Shenanigans.
Without further delay, here’s the latest installment of Positivity Camp – a camp where counselors punish children when they speak negative words.
Previously on Positivity Camp: Daniel and Wendy arrived at the art barn and Daniel proceeded to break inside. He then sabotaged Teachers precious wooden signs in a most destructive way.
Web after web smacked Daniel in the face as he made his mad dash into the underbrush. After feeling, or believing he felt, tiny legs scampering over his exposed face and arms, Daniel stopped running and began slapping away the ticklish tendrils that clung to him.
He was nearly done clearing off the worst of it when something small struck him in the arm. He turned and saw the dark outline of Wendy. She was desperately trying to get his attention. As Daniel looked at her, Wendy seemed to sense that she had his attention for she turned and pointed.
With a sense of dread, Daniel followed her pointing finger and saw what had her so upset. Three sets of flashlights were coming up the path, fast. Unfortunately, they were coming from the direction Daniel wanted to go. Now that he had the wire cutters, he had hoped to wait out the night in the rock-climbing tower. He quickly dismissed that as being far too risky.
As Daniel debated where to go next, Wendy worked her way over to him. A few twigs snapped, despite the cautious placement of her feet. By the time she reached Daniel, the lights had reached the barn and the motion sensor activated. Both campers could hear the counselors speaking, though they couldn’t make out the words.
Not wanting to stick around any longer, Daniel took the end of Wendy’s rope and started off. She hesitated, but she too started off. They both kept looking back to see if their noisy departure had alerted the counselors to their presence. As far as they could tell, they weren’t being followed. That only made the agony of every snap of a twig or swoosh of leaves that much more devastating. Had they known they were being followed, they could have broken out into a run, but they didn’t know.
With frayed nerves, they arrived at Daniel’s second location of choice. He was about to rush out of the forest line when Wendy tugged him back.
“The cabins?” she moaned as she squeezed his arm tightly. “You brought us back to the cabins?!”
“The names,” Daniel said as loud as he dared. When Wendy didn’t understand, he repeated the phrase. It took her a few moments, but then she released his arm. He thought he saw her nod.
“Risky,” she said far more quietly than when she had spoken the first time.
“Already caught?” Daniel replied.
Wendy looked back toward the barn as though expecting to see a counselor bearing down on them or else a flash of light from some pursuing party. What she saw made her gasp, and it made Daniel turn and look.
In the distance, where the art barn should have been, the start of an orange glow began to grow. Daniel frowned. He hadn’t expected the barn to go up so quickly, or for there to be so much light from the fire. The fire also meant that they probably weren’t caught as the counselors would have turned their attention to the more immediate problem.
“What did you do?” Wendy asked as she stared at the burning barn.
Daniel wasn’t sure if she sounded pleased or concerned. “Me? More like, what did Teacher neglect to do,” Daniel answered.
Wendy turned on him, puzzled. Then, bit by bit, she seemed to understand what Daniel was implying. Her eyes became whiter as she stared in wide-eyed appreciation. Then she giggled. It took her a few seconds for her to quiet down.
“They’re distracted,” Daniel said, nodding in the direction of the art barn.
Wendy nodded as she understood how the fire might distract the counselors from their search…or from seeing them removing cabin names. Ahead of them loomed the cluster of cabins where the girls stayed. Just as Daniel was about to leave the forest and rush the first cabin, Wendy pulled him back in again.
“Not from this side,” she warned. Then she cautiously outlined the path they should take to avoid being seen leaving the woods from the direction of the art barn.
This time it was Daniel’s turn to nod appreciatively. With their path decided, they started off again. It took far less time to make it around to the back of the cabins than it should have, but they had to rush as the light from the fire in the barn began to light up the night.
The two stopped just shy of reaching the back of the cabins as a different light flooded the area. All the cabins near them were opening their doors. They heard mumbles and complaints as sleepy kids were ushered outside. The counselors looked frantic as they worked to get everyone moving. They were so distraught, none of them punished any of the campers who spoke forbidden words.
In silence, Daniel and Wendy watched as the groggy kids and alert counselors began corralling the kids away. It was only when all the cabins had been emptied that Daniel and Wendy broke the silence.
“Where are they going?” Daniel asked first.
“Probably the main hall,” Wendy said. “There’s a fire, escaped campers, and police running around with dogs. They probably want to get everyone in one spot, count heads, and collect themselves properly.”
“Then this is the perfect time to take down the signs!” Daniel said excitedly. Wendy giggled.
Together they rushed up to the first cabin. Daniel, having already removed the sign from his own cabin, knew how to get the sign down better than Wendy, so he climbed up on the railing of the first cabin, leaned against the wall for support, and tore the false sign free. Then he handed it to Wendy below and she ran off.
She rejoined Daniel as he reached the next cabin. “Where’d you go with the sign?” he asked as he worked.
“I hid it where they’ll never find it,” Wendy said. She giggled as she ran off with the second sign.
Daniel shook his head as he jumped down and ran for the third cabin. When Wendy caught up to him, he tried asking her where she was hiding the signs. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust her, he just wasn’t sure that hiding them all nearby was going to do any good, particularly against police dogs. However, before he could say anything, Wendy shushed him and tapped her ear.
Remembering that the cabins could be bugged, Daniel clamped his mouth shut. Then he handed the next sign down to Wendy. They repeated the process until all the cabins in the area were cleared of the dreadful signs. As both campers realized this, Daniel took Wendy’s hand and started them off toward the boy’s cabins.
Far in the distance, the sky glowed orange and flames licked at the trees. Daniel and Wendy used the light to help guide them. They were no longer hiding in the forest but were running at full speed down a concrete sidewalk.
“Signs…where?” Daniel panted as he ran. He couldn’t help but ask.
Wendy giggled. “River,” she said, her face beaming as she ran.