Celebrate the end of a week of holidays with a quick reading break! This week’s story is a continuation of Positivity Camp, a camp where only positive words are allowed. That’s right, this freakish camp forbids different words and punished campers for speaking them. If you’re new, be sure to click the link that takes you to the beginning of the tale.
Next week should be more tabletop madness as I delve into the misfortune of critical success of some D&D character. Until then, may you have a happy New Year!
Previously on Positivity Camp: Wendy and Daniel escape the nurse’s station and make it to the lakeshore. They hitch a ride in a canoe Naython and Jiminy commandeered during their own escape.
Wendy smiled at Daniel, though the smile faded as she looked around. Daniel was about to ask what had her concerned, but Wendy held a finger up to her lips, silencing him. More concerned than ever, Daniel did his best to stay quiet as Wendy waved at him to follow her.
Together they crouched behind the stage. The campfire on the other side had long since been snuffed out, but Wendy kept low, so Daniel did too. When they made it to the edge of the stage, Wendy waited again. Several seconds passed before she made a mad dash for the eerily dark tree line.
Daniel, not wanting to be left alone, decided to follow her example. He peaked out cautiously from behind the stage. He saw some flashlights shining in the distance, but they were higher up and too far away to spot either him or Wendy. Despite the craziness of the situation, Daniel sprinted across the open ground, feeling confident with each stride.
As confident as he was about not being caught, his confidence faded as he neared the trees. While he'd been watching the flashes of light that likely belonged to searching counselors, he had not bothered watching to see where Wendy had entered the trees. He stopped just inside the woods and hoped Wendy had paid attention and would find him.
Sure enough, she came walking up a short while later. She snapped a few twigs as she walked, alerting Daniel to her position. He hated to think what would happen if any of the counselors had their flashlights off and were listening. He silenced those thoughts. There was little they could do to avoid unseen things on the ground, not without any flashlights of their own, which would have given them away in any case.
“Sorry, can’t see,” Wendy whispered as she walked closer.
“Why did you want us to stay quiet earlier?” Daniel whispered back.
“I’ve been thinking. Do you remember how the speakers came on immediately after Nurse Pam said a forbidden word? Well, I’d heard rumors and even some tales from a girl who swears she’s been here for a month, that the place is rigged.”
“Wait, a month? That’s not possible,” Daniel said, his voice rising unintentionally.
“Shush. Yes. Tyler isn’t the only one who’s been trapped here. They reset the signs for the next batch of campers. Resetting them is also supposed to help reset the faulty camper’s record. They’re then given a chance to change and be more positive, but one slip up and they’re stuck again whereas everyone else can make a few mistakes. But you’re missing the point!”
Wendy had to stop talking and take a deep breath as she became too worked up. Daniel wasn’t surprised. The camp has his own nerves fried. He wasn’t sure what to believe and worse yet, he wasn’t sure where was safe, or if anywhere was safe. Still, he wasn’t about to abandon his plan to bring down the camp. If anything, he felt surer than ever that this was the right decision. They were tormenting kids and probably feeding their parents’ lies just to keep them there.
“The point is, they have microphones and speakers in different places, and I don’t know where they are, how many there are, or even how diligently they’re listened to.”
“And Nurse Pam was heard pretty immediately,” Daniel whispered back. “It doesn’t matter,” he said after a short pause. “I have a plan to bring the camp down. They might be able to fool our parents, but those cops still care about our safety. I bet if we can prove the place is as corrupt as Kevin’s dad believes, and prove it to the other officers, they’ll be forced to do something even if Teacher has something over them.”
“I’d wondered if that was Kevin’s dad,” Wendy said, her white smile visible in the dark. “What’s the plan?”
“No,” Daniel said after a moment’s thought. “I can’t say it out loud. If I do…”
“Right, no use having them waiting for us. Lead the way then.”
“Wait, how will I know you’re still following? If we stay quiet, we could lose each other.”
Wendy smiled again, then she began fussing with some part of her clothing. Daniel stood there dumbfounded. Before he could ask what she was doing, Wendy handed him something.
“We’ll both hold onto this. I thought it might come in handy, I just didn’t think I’d have to use it for this.”
“What is it?” Daniel asked, finding his voice at last.
“Ha, it’s a funny story actually. My mom gave it to me in case of an emergency. It’s a wristband that turns into a really long rope. It’s really meant for if you go hiking in the mountains, but she gets overly worried.”
“And Teacher didn’t think to take it when he took all our supplies because it looked like a fashion accessory,” Daniel said in awe of Wendy’s cunning. He was glad Wendy was on his side.
“I know I have some questions of my own for you, but…” Wendy stopped talking as a flashlight appeared at the top of the stairs that led down to the stage. While Wendy and Daniel were nowhere near the stage or the stairs and they were concealed by the dark forest around them, they still felt nervous. The light scanned the area below the stairs, but it barely reached the stage. Still, it was enough to make the two runaways nervous.
Daniel took the end of the rope Wendy had offered and tied it around his wrist. He made sure it was tight enough not to fall off, but not too tight in case he needed to release it in a hurry. Then he quietly rung his clothes out some more. Despite the risk the noise caused, he heard and partially saw Wendy doing the same. When they were done, the light of the counselor at the stairs was gone. -Written by Sarah Maree-
“Three tugs for stop,” Wendy said as she pulled three times on the rope. Then they were both quiet. Daniel hated not knowing where the counselors were, but Wendy had been right. They had no choice but to move. The longer they waited, the less they accomplished. Confident he knew the way, even in the dark, Daniel gave one tug on the rope before starting out.