Hello! It’s the news you’ve been waiting for! Positivity Camp is back! I hit a bit of a slump with what to do with Daniel and all, but I’m back and have the next three Positivity Camps done! Next week will be another random;Dungeons & Dragons;misadventure story as I work on mixing it up each week, but hey, at least after that you’ll have some confirmed camp stories to look forward to ;)
If you’re new, Positivity Camp is a short…ha…ha….story…hahahahahaha… Ah, well. It was supposed to be a short 3-4 blog story that has evolved into a much longer piece. As you can see by the title, it is now up to number 34 and it is still going. What can I say? The story needed fleshed out more and I couldn’t end it in three blogs. So, if you’re looking for a fun read on a twisted tale about a camp that bans the use of negative sounding words and the effect it has on its campers, then feel free to check it out from the beginning. Enjoy!
Previously on Positivity Camp: Counselor Markus returned with the younger kids, and promptly passed out. Daniel and the others began their late-night escape plan.
I hesitated as I looked at the dark patch of overgrowth where I had tossed House Joy’s plaque and then back in the direction, or what I thought was the direction, of my cabin. Did I go back to see the name? Or did I keep going? There was still a chance my fall had woken Counselor Markus. If I went back now and the counselor was looking for me…and if I were caught without a buddy…
With a sigh, I turned away from my old cabin. Some mysteries simply weren’t worth the risk. Besides, someone would see it eventually and … and I would be hiding in some kid’s basement. I gave another wistful look back down the dark path. With each step I took I felt the odds of finding out dwindle away.
“Doesn’t matter,” I grumbled quietly. “Better to escape than go back for some stupid sign.”
Still feeling grumpy over the loss of the cabin’s true name, I walked to the outer reaches of the well-lit bathhouse. I’d had to hide off the path a few times as other campers had returned to their cabins. Each time I’d thought about suggesting they come with us, but caution and fear over ruining the already questionable plan had kept me in the mosquito filled shadows.
Scratching at more than a few red bumps from the thirsty insects, I quietly made my way around the perimeter of light surrounding the bathhouse. After a while, I thought I could make out the dark forms of my fellow cabin members around what I vaguely recalled being the start of a trail. As I approached, I saw the shadows shirk away and hesitated.
A flashlight flicked on, momentarily illuminating the group. In the brief moment before it switched off again, I made out a few familiar faces.
“Keep them off!” someone whispered harshly at the light bearer. There were several more warnings to not use any light followed by even more shushes to keep quiet.
“It’s just me,” I whispered back as the group quieted down again. “Is everyone here?”
“Almost,” someone grumbled. It was too dark to tell anyone apart and I didn’t recognize anyone’s voice well enough to distinguish one person from another.
“We lost two of our people,” cool kid Tyler explained. That voice, with its annoying air of superiority was easy enough to tell apart from the others. Even his shadow seemed to move as he gave his customary nod.
There was silence for several long seconds as I waited for an explanation. No one else seemed to notice, or care since they probably knew where the two had gone, and Tyler had always been exceptionally annoying at dragging things out. He probably thought it was cool to have long dramatic pauses.
Unable to take it any longer, I finally asked, “Where are they then?”
“Oh, they went to the bathroom,” Tyler said with another shift of his shadowy form.
I glared at him, confident my expression couldn’t be seen in the dark.
“I thought we left the babies behind. Couldn’t they have just peed in the bushes? That’s what I did.”
I wasn’t sure who had said that, but considering they mentioned babies, I figured it was either Jackal or Mitchel. Regardless of who it was, I needed to step in and prevent any rifts from forming in our group. We would be stronger united. “At least they went together and followed the buddy rule,” I said, trying to ease the tension. “How long ago did they leave?”
“A few minutes, maybe.”
“Should be back soon.”
I nodded. Then, as I realized no one could see properly, I said, “We wait.”
“Yeah,” Tyler said, drawing the word out. “We wait.”
I took a deep quiet breath. We needed Tyler. He knew the escape route. He had a place to hide.
“What took you so long?” Tyler asked just as two dark figures came walking up.
“Sorry, it was crowded,” someone answered.
“No, not you two,” Tyler said, confusing everyone. “What took you so long, Daniel? I thought you only had to tie your shoe?”
I laughed, quietly of course. “I took down House Joy’s sign. Now the real name of the cabin can be seen!”
I was shushed for my raised voice but didn’t care.
“The cabins don’t have real names,” Tyler said, bursting my bubble.
“What?” My thoughts were echoed around me.
“Yeah, the original cabins didn’t have names. It took Positivity Camp to give them ones. You took a big risk in bringing it down. We could’ve been busted!”
“Oh,” I said, feeling my elation turn sour in my stomach. He was right, I could have gotten us all busted. I couldn’t help but remember my fall and how loud it had been.
“Still seems worth it to me. Anything to strike back at this stupid place,” someone else said. The sentiment was shared by a few others, but it was clear no one was too happy about the blunder. Luckily, no one knew how bad it had likely been.
“If we’re all here,” I began, trying to sound more confident than I felt, “then let’s start. I vote we only have two flashlights in use. One will be for the person in front and one for the person in back. We’ll want to shield them somehow,” I paused. From the walk here I knew having no light in the forest could prove hazardous, but I also knew that having too much could give us away.
“What is it?” I asked, turning to look in the direction of the sound.
“Uh, well. It’s just. On the way here, I used my shirt or maybe my towel… Yeah, I used my towel to shield the light. You put the flashlight inside it and point it down and then turn it on. It shields it pretty well, but I could still see sticks and things.”
The kid went quiet and it seemed the shadows turned back to me. I smiled as I realized no one had looked to Tyler.
“That’s a good plan. We’ll want Tyler in front and I’ll be in back to make sure we aren’t being followed.”
“I could take the lead,” someone suggested. “I found a stick when I went in the forest earlier. I can use it to clear the trail.”
“You afraid of spiders?” someone snickered.
“Say that again, and the first spider I find is going down the back of your shirt.” The dead sincerity of those words brought silence to the group.
“So, you’ll go in front,” I decided quickly, “and you’ll clear our path while Tyler lights up the area ahead of you. Any questions?” I didn’t wait for any questions. I’d seen teachers use similar tactics in school to force kids to move on. “Good, let’s go.”
“Can we…uh…put bug spray on first? I’m getting eaten alive,” someone complained.
“I brought some. Let’s just get this over with. Anyone who doesn’t want it should move now. I’m spraying anyone who doesn’t.”
There was a click of a cap coming off and then someone began spraying. Thankfully, they were good about not spraying at anyone in the eyes, or there would have been screaming. How they did it so well and with such precision, for I felt the spray hit my neck, arms, legs, and front and back; I didn’t know. Aside from the terrible poison that filled the air as bug spray was released, it went rather well.
“Tyler, go,” I ordered between suppressed coughs. Not even Tyler objected as we began moving.