Friday is here again! As promised, here is more Positivity Camp! The tale has taken quite a dark turn as the campers failed to escape. The only one who seems unconcerned is cool kid Tyler.
As usual, next Friday will have more random Dungeons & Dragons style misadventure or epic success. They’re short tales, but they’re always fun to write! Hopefully they are as fun to read as they are to write :) Well, see you again next week!
Previously on Positivity Camp: As the boys make their way through the woods, they meet up with Wendy and the girls from her cabin. They are chased further into the woods by canines and become trapped in mud. Only Kayla understood the truth of their predicament.
“You and I need to talk,” a man growled as he stumbled through the underbrush to reach Teacher. Several flashlights turned his way. With the added light he stumbled less, but that did little to calm our shattered nerves. The light revealed his officer’s uniform and his scowling face.
“I am aware of your concerns,” Teacher said. “However, no children were harmed by your K9s. Besides, at this point, they are all delinquents and therefore criminals.”
“Our dogs…they’re children…” the officer fumbled to find the words. He took a calming breath. “If I hadn't blown my whistle when I did.”
“Yet you did,” Teacher informed him coldly. “And the children are safe. You are quite right though.” Teacher turned to face the officer. “There are many things we need to discuss, including your son’s early retirement from the camp.”
The officers face, which had been flush with anger a moment before, paled as Teacher spoke. I couldn't help but wonder if Teacher meant Kevin. If so, then the rumor about his father being a police officer had been true. It also meant his father led or was a part of a K9 unit. If Teacher or Mr. Petrel had known of our plans, which I remembered Tyler’s smug expression when Kayla had practically called him out for betraying us, then we really hadn’t stood a chance. What chance could we have had with trained dogs on our trail?
I turned my flashlight to Tyler, needing to see his reaction to all of this. He smiled that knowingly smug smile and gave that ridiculous nod of his head. Just who did he think he was?!
“Traitor,” I spat.
He shrugged. “If you had followed the rules, you would still be safe in your cabins.”
“Too true,” Teacher said.
“But why?!” Kayla wailed. Several lights flickered to her, but quickly flickered away as it became clear she was crying. In fact, several of the girls were in tears. Even a few of the guys looked like they wanted to cry. This night hadn’t gone the way any of us had planned.
“I’ve been here for weeks,” Tyler began.
“That is enough, Tyler,” Teacher said calmly.
“You made a deal to leave camp,” Wendy said from the other side of the log.
“Yeah, I did! So what? I finally had a chance to leave and all I had to do was find the bad apples in the bunch.”
“Tyler, Tyler, Tyler,” the words came out like a death sentence from Teacher. “You were to receive clemency for your previous behavior, but only for your previous behavior. With the uttering of that forbidden word. I’m afraid you’ll be staying with us a while longer, and you’ll be reporting to Counselor Pamela for your behavior.”
“What?! No! We had a deal!”
“That’s yet another strike. Do you wish to have a third and final strike?”
Apparently, that was the last straw because Tyler stopped talking and started fighting against the mud instead. He struggled but succeeded only in sinking further. Frustrated and defeated, he quickly broke down crying. While it was great that Tyler’s scheme for himself had failed, it only made everyone else feel worse. If Tyler couldn't find a way out, how we're we supposed to break free?
A different officer appeared shortly after that. She hesitated next to the pit of mud as though uncertain about what to do or where to start.
“Would you be so kind as to assist us in rounding up the children?” Teacher asked, the words coming out more as a command than a question. “You can start with the ones along the perimeter. The others appear to be quite stuck.”
So began the lengthy process of freeing us all from the trap. More counselors arrived to help take campers away. One by one they took everyone except for myself, Wendy, and Tyler.
Tyler struggled at first, but with a look from Teacher, who had remained with us through it all, he settled down.
“Before sending him to Psychiatrist Pam, would you take him to see Mr. Petrel? I believe the two of them have much to discuss.”
“Of course, Teacher.” The unknown counselor took Tyler's hand and led him away. They were escorted by an officer as well. Apparently, we three ranked high enough on the list of troublemakers to warrant such attention. I already saw two officers coming our way. They all had lights of their own now, or else they'd had them before and had avoided using them so they wouldn’t give their location away.
I didn't care anymore. I just wanted to go home. I'd settle for a hot shower and passing out in one of the cabins.
Teacher fumbled with something before holding it up to his mouth. The action quickly drew my attention as I began to wonder what nefarious device he had now.
“Counselor Emily,” Teacher called over the radio.
My jaw dropped. I stared at him, suddenly very aware that no one had used a radio since we had been busted. That meant our entire capture had been expertly planned and executed. They'd even thought ahead to know that a single radio call could have given their location away. They were psychotic!
Teacher smiled as he noticed my obvious dismay. As he turned away to search for the counselor, for Emily had radioed back that she was on her way, Wendy moved closer.
“What is it?” she whispered to me.
“They knew the whole time. They knew our route. They knew to keep their radios off. They knew the whole plan. I bet our counselor was awake the whole time.”
“Yeah. Ours passed out way to easy as well.” Wendy pulled away before she could say more. I don't know how she knew, but Teacher turned a second later. We'd have been busted for sure, though I wasn't entirely sure how a little whispering could make our predicament worse.
Teacher eyed us coldly. “I know you've both spoken with Mr. Petrel before about your actions, but after tonight… For those who turn away from positivity, we have a special video,” he informed us. “For ones such as yourselves. Well, it is clear that you would do better to learn to be positive in private than among others. For the moment, you will go with Counselor Emily and watch a different video. For your sake,” he said slowly, “I hope its message reaches you.”
“You sure act all high and mighty,” Wendy taunted him.
“Wendy. Wendy. Wendy,” Teacher said with a slow shake of his head with each word. He offered her a sad smile for her efforts to strike back at him.
“Yes, Creton Malefic?” Wendy asked in the sweetest voice I had yet heard her use.
The effect those three simple words had on Teacher were amazing! He crumpled! He visibly rocked back on his feet, his smile gone in an instant, and his solid pose of superiority vanished!
Then he laughed.
He regained his pose. No, I realized, he had never lost it, he had only pretended to lose it. “Ah, child. It has been a long time since anyone has broken into those old records. That may be my true name, but that hardly matters.” He laughed again, a chilly mirthless laugh. “You will have to do much better if you wish to break me.”
It was Wendy's turn to look uncertain. Where only a moment before she had been full of bold defiance, she now looked as scared as I felt. We'd been bested. Over and over again, we had been bested.
“You seem pretty confident about those videos,” I said with as much confidence as I could muster. I wasn’t so much worried about them as I was curious.
“Oh, you'll see what they contain soon enough,” Counselor Emily said as she stomped through the mud toward us. She had tall boots on, like all the other counselors we had seen take kids away. They were so prepared! It wasn't fair.
“If you could free them so we might bring this night to a close. I'll be joining you for some of the walk, but I must speak with Mr. Petrel before anything else is to be done.”
“I understand,” Counselor Emily said, grinning at us. “Shall we begin?” she taunted, though the hand she offered for assistance seemed sincere enough.