It’s been a while since I’ve had the time and motivation to write. The good news? I’m very close to having my first novel sent off to an editor! It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time. In the meantime, here’s the next part of Positivity Camp. Enjoy!
Previously on Positivity Camp:Petrel announces that the word know is now forbidden. Cool Kid Tyler admits he was the one who vanished from the group and explains that he went to the old camp. They discuss the trails before Teacher arrives and sends Daniel and Brian to a different group.
“Welcome back to the group, Camper Daniel!” Dave shouted cheerfully, a wide smile on his face.
Counselor Dave looked as excited as he sounded, something that made my skin crawl. How could he forget what Wendy and I had done to him so quickly? Or forgive?
“Hello, Counselor Dave,” Brian said glumly.
“Hello, camper! Welcome to our group! You can call me Davey. What’s your name?”
I tried to keep my face blank, but the way he had said Davey made me regret eating so much food for breakfast. From the looks on his campers’ faces, I wasn’t the only one disturbed by the guy.
“Brian,” Brian said hesitantly. I didn’t blame him one bit.
“B for brave! R for righteous! I for integrity! A for astounding! N for night! It’s nice to meet you, Knightly Brian!”
My jaw dropped in disbelief. Mr. Cheerful, as I still found myself thinking of him, was more sickly sweet and outgoing than I remembered him being. At that moment, I wanted to cry. Spending time with Teacher felt preferable than spending time with Davey.
“Well, my happy troop! Let’s head off to the signs out front and read those words. Then it’s off to the rest area for a quick siesta!”
“What’s a siesta?” some foolish camper asked.
“A siesta is a form of rest, like a nap. It’s often done after lunch as that is the hottest part of the day; however, today we are taking it early so you campers can get adjusted to our schedule. Is that swell, or what?!”
“Or what,” I said too quietly for Mr. Cheerful to hear me. Brian gave a little laugh, but I couldn’t tell if it was a nervous laugh, completely understandable given what he had just gone through, or if he had heard me.
“Form a line, my troop of cheer!” There were a few groans from the group, which gave me some hope. They, at least, were normal if they found Dave abnormally cheerful. “Daniel, you and Brian can be at the head of the line today. Everyone gets a chance to be first at least once in my troop!”
Brian and I reluctantly made our way to the front of the line. I had a sinking suspicion we were going to be at the front a lot, or at the very least, I was going to be.
“We are off to the signs!” Dave announced as we finished forming our less than excited line.
No one talked as we made the dreadful walk to the signs. We could see other groups making the same journey, but somehow, they were all spaced enough apart to keep campers secluded and stuck in their own groups. It seemed too perfect to have been an accident. Not that it mattered, if my plan worked, the camp would fall to pieces.
Before we had gone too far, Brian jabbed me in the back. His nail dug in painfully between a muscle or something. The pain took me completely by surprise and I cried out. Just before Dave could turn around, I felt Brian’s hand stuff something into mine. Paper maybe?
“Is everything alright, camper?” Dave waved everyone to a stop as he addressed me.
“Yeah,” I lied, but my tone came out harsher than I had intended.
Dave gave me a faintly suspicions look, one I barely noticed since he still had that goofy smile on his face. He leaned down, and I began to panic. Acting quickly, I started rubbing my arm, careful to keep the paper concealed. I pinched a spot for good measure, hoping I could pass that off as being the source of my pain rather than the sore spot on my back where Brian had jabbed me.
“Bug bit me,” I lied. I pretended to inspect the wound, and Dave stood back up.
“Careful of the Horsefly’s around here, my happy troop! Their bites can be painful!” He turned around then and we began moving again.
I didn’t dare open the paper, not with Davey looking back every so often now. I cursed my rotten luck. He hadn’t started randomly looking back until after I had shouted. It didn’t matter, they couldn’t watch me forever.
Then an idea hit me. I quickly cupped my hand around the spot I had pinched myself. With my eyes on Dave, I carefully opened the paper fragment Brian had snuck to me. I waited a few more seconds, then I opened my hand enough to read the paper, all the while keeping it cupped around the ‘bug bite.’
Want to help. How? the paper read.
I closed my hand over my arm and focused on keeping my expression blank. If only I had a pencil or something! But how was I supposed to write such a complex plan on a tiny piece of paper?
I used the rest of the time thinking of what I needed and how to say it in only a few words. When I had the words in my mind, I repeated them over and over, fearful I would forget them before I could write my message down.
We reached the signs outside of camp shortly after that. Dave said some things, but I didn’t listen. I was too busy trying to remember my message. He certainly talked for a while. There was something about being good, doing good, and a whole bunch of nonsense that I would have wanted to block out anyway.
Then it came. As we were all clustered around the signs, no longer trapped in a solitary line, someone stabbed me with what felt like a pencil tip. I took it, hopeful that they hadn’t broken the tip of it off on my arm. What was it with everyone stabbing me, anyway?
Suddenly the area in front of me became overly crowded as campers nudged each other and pushed each other as they formed a wall in front of me.
“What are you doing? Chelsea, speak up, please!”
Dave had noticed all the movement! I froze, my hands already in position for me to write my message on the back of the paper.
“Macey is in my spot!” Chelsea said indignantly.
“It’s my spot!” Macey retorted.
“Girls, girls! We must share our space!” Dave tried in vain to settle the argument, but it was clear he was struggling to find the positive words to do so.
I used their argument to my advantage. I didn’t care if it was a ruse or not, I used it and quickly jotted down my message:Need distraction. Do opposite of rules.
I passed the message to the nearest camper. He gave me a brief nod as he accepted and carefully hid the paper. In that moment I knew, a resistance had been formed.