The week's end never looked so good! Well, I suppose there are some things that could be better than a new chapter of Positivity Camp, but we won't talk about those!
Previously on Positivity Camp:Counselor Markus left with the four younger campers, which gave Daniel and the other five campers time to come up with a plan of escape.
Counselor Markus was at his wits end by the time he and the other four campers arrived back in the cabin. He kept his flashlight on, but as he entered, he turned off the cabin lights. Directly behind him came Jiminy, the Million Questions Kid.
Somehow A Million Questions Kid still had questions to ask. The second he stepped through the cabin doors he asked if there were nearby restrooms (which there weren’t. The closest one was in the bathhouse and required waking up the counselor or a buddy to go to). With that question answered, the kid switched to what to do in case of different emergency situations, health risks, spider bites, asthma, panic attacks, and bedwetting – just out of a general curiosity, he had said. The worst part about the questions was that they were relevant enough that Counselor Markus had no choice but to answer them.
“Enough, Jiminy,” Counselor Markus said with a worn-out sigh. “It is well past lights out. If there are any issues, real issues, wake me up and ask me.”
Jiminy opened his mouth and Counselor Markus stared at him with dead eyes as he sat on his bed. “Is it really alright to wake you up?” Jiminy asked anyway. “And what is the best way to wake you up? Do you ever punch people when they wake you up?”
Counselor Markus stared at Jiminy, his tired and red-shot eyes unblinking. The only evidence that he had heard the questions at all was clear in the way his eyebrow shot up at the question of punching people who woke him up.
Jiminy stared back, a follow up question ready on his lips.
“Will the first two campers please go and shower,” Counselor Markus said in a monotone voice. He blinked and rubbed his eyes. Then he kicked off his shoes, clicked off his flashlight, and put a pillow over his face as he fell into his bed. He was clearly done with the world.
We had done it! We had broken Counselor Markus! Best yet, we hadn’t even tried to do it. Jiminy had singlehandedly taken him down. It was beautiful.
“Jackal, let’s go,” Mitchel said, taking the lead. As he clicked on his flashlight, he gave me a thumbs up and what I thought was a wink. It was difficult to tell in the shadows now that Counselor Markus’ giant lantern light and the cabin lights were off.
Time ticked by slowly, but after what felt like five minutes, Greg and Brennan took their leave of the cabin. Once they were gone, it would be myself and Tyler next. I wasn’t sure if the other four kids would come or not, since they hadn’t been there during the plan, and it was too risky to try including them now. Besides, none of them flinched or said anything as Greg and Brennan left. I just hoped Tyler and I could slip out without notice as well.
My heart was racing by the time it felt safe enough to slip out. Counselor Markus had removed the pillow from over his face and had already started a light snore. There were a few swooshing sounds as the younger kids tossed and turned in their sleeping bags, but for the most part everyone seemed to be passing out.
Tyler was the first to stand up. He had the furthest to walk to the door, so I took my time in quietly slipping off the bottom bunk. For the first time, I was glad I hadn’t arrived in time to claim a top bunk. A floorboard squeaked behind me as Tyler wandered over. I fought to keep from shushing him. The last thing we needed was more noise.
As quietly as I could, I positioned my flashlight inside my shirt and flipped it on. Counselor Markus made a noise and I froze. It took a while, but eventually he went back to his light snoring.
Tyler nodded at me and I grabbed my bag with my spare clothes and bathroom supplies. That way, if we were caught, it wouldn’t look too suspicious. With one hand holding the flashlight and the other holding my back, I didn’t have a hand free for my shoes. Not willing to let my shoes ruin the mission, I stuffed my feet in them as best I could and started for the door.
It was only when we were both outside and the cabin door had creaked painfully loud behind us that I was able to breathe again. That was when I looked up at the stupid sign that marked our cabin as House Joy.
That stupid sign had to go! I looked around and motioned for us to get off the porch. I didn’t want Tyler to know what I was going to do, so I hung back a bit until I had a plan.
“Need to fix my shoes,” I whispered at him just as he was about to say something to me.
“I’ll meet you at the bathhouse,” he whispered back. Tyler was gone before I could ask him what he had been about to say.
I shook my head as I turned off my flashlight and set my backpack down. Then I fixed my shoes and started back up the ramp. At least with Tyler gone, the group still had a chance to get away if I was caught.
Worried that overthinking would destroy my conviction, I easily climbed the handrail of the cabin, leaned over to the ledge that came about hallway up the doorframe, and then I was fully standing on the little ledge with my body smushed against the cabin wall. From what I could tell, I hadn’t made a sound, yet. My mouth felt dry as I raised my arms slowly over my head and grabbed House Joy. The sign didn’t immediately fall away and I was forced to lift it higher and wriggle it loose.
The sign came away suddenly and I nearly lost my balance. Now both my arms were over my head as I continued to hold the heavy wood sign. I held my breath as I tried to decide what to do. I couldn’t let the sign go or it would fall to the wood planks below and make far too much noise, but if I jumped down, it would have a similar effect.
“Go in reverse?” I whispered to myself, needing something to help me focus. I should have asked Tyler to help me. Removing signs was really a two-person job. I grimaced at the thought of having Tyler helping me. He would have stolen the credit anyway and given one of his ridiculous nods.
Thinking of Tyler gave me a burst of energy, and I used it to kick out behind me. My foot slipped or missed the railing entirely and I felt myself falling. Still stubbornly sticking to the plan, I kept from calling out. I hit the deck of the cabin with an audible thud. Worried someone would step outside to investigate, I scrambled to my feet, tucked the sign under one arm and ran. I only stopped long enough to pick up my backpack and flashlight.
Then I was gone, running alone in the dark as I made my way to the rendezvous at the bathhouse. As I ran by a particularly thick patch of overgrowth, I tossed away the sign. I wondered how long it would take for them to discover the sign missing and the old cabin name restored.
“Wait!” I stopped in my tracks and looked back. I’d totally forgotten to read the cabin’s original name!