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Camp Sanity [ACF2016]

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posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:11 PM
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The fire crackled and spat, like it was angry at the wood it was consuming. The smoke swirled upward in the still air obscuring the dusky sky that was visible through the forest canopy. The sounds of nature were singing their evening chorus. It was a good time to be in the woods.

“They say if you stare deep enough in to the flames of a fire you can see the future,” Kurt said trying hard to sound philosophical. He was hoping his comments would impress the attractive woman, named Lynn, sitting across from him. They didn't.

“My husband tried that once...took months for his eyebrows to grow back,” Karen joked further derailing Kurt's train.

“Where is Dan, anyway?” Bob asked as he poked at the fire with a long stick. Sparks mixed with the smoke and swirled upward as he prodded the logs into proper position.

“He said nature was calling,” Karen answered. “It was probably a wrong number...”

Everyone felt a little uneasy laughing at Dan behind his back, but it was kind of funny. It was obvious to the group that Dan and Karen were having some issues. They each cast silent glances at each other as if seeking approval while Karen stared into the fire snickering at her joke.

The truth was that everyone on the trip had issues of some kind. Thats what this trip was for – getting back in touch with your true inner self and healing. Bob hoped this group would be as good as the last one he brought out here to Camp Sanity, as he called it. It was always a little odd being in a strange environment with strange people but that was part of the deal. No one was on their home turf and they needed to work together to make it. He wished he had been informed of the last minute addition to the group though. She just walked in to the campsite like she owned the place and took a seat at the fire. It would have been nice to at least know she was coming.

“I like that bit about camping in that Star Trek movie. I think it was the fourth one,” Kurt said knowing full well it was. Kurt, the oldest of the group, had spent the greater majority of his childhood, and a good portion of his adulthood, glued to a television set, but always seemed a little ashamed of it.

“Spock said he did some research on camping and discovered that they were supposed to toast some marshmellows. Bones asked him what they were supposed to do after that. He said, “Consume them.” I laughed my butt off.”

“Didn't they have a sing along?” Beverly asked.

“Oh gawd...” was Karen's only response.

“Or not,” Beverly replied.

“Does anyone know any spooky campfire stories?” Bob asked in the uncomfortable silence.

“I know one,” Karen said. “It's an oldie but a goodie.”

Everyone settled in to more comfortable positions eagerly awaiting Karen's tale. The bottle of Jack that had been circling the campfire just out of Bob's line of sight was on its last legs. Karen reasoned that the time for telling her story wasn't going to get any better than this.

“Some people say this is just an old urban legend, but we all know that urban legends all start with some degree of truth. This forest preserve is called the “Willis Nature Preserve” but years ago, when I was growing up here, it was just called Big Hill-Little Hill. You saw the big hill on the way in. No one goes to the little hill any more.”

Karen was looking down at the ground in front of her with a very troubled look on her face.

“Years ago there were a bunch of people camping out here when one of them went missing. The others were worried, of course, but they stayed near the camp fire and waited for a long time calling out but got no reply. They thought he was trying to play a joke on them or something so they figured they would wait him out. After a couple of hours the joke wasn't funny any more and they decided half the group would go look for him and the other half would stay at the campsite.”

“This sounds spooky already,” Bob said, stirring the fire.

“Three people from the group went looking for the guy while the other four stayed by the fire in case he came back, and because there was safety in numbers, campfire or not. Two of the other guys and the missing man's girlfriend went looking for him. The four at the camp, the other three girls and the fourth guy, could hear the other group calling out the guy's name but no one answered. Their shouts grew more and more distant until they couldn't be heard any more. The search party figured they could cover more ground if they split up, and with the sun about to set time was running out. The girl was afraid of being out in the woods alone but the guys said she should stay in the middle and they would branch out on either side of her. They said they would be able to hear her if she shouted out for them. She agreed and they split up. After an hour or two the two men made it back to the campsite but the girl didn't.”

Lynn pulled a cross on a chain out from under her sweater. It sparkled in the light of the campfire. Beverly asked if she could look at it more closely and Lynn complied.

“That is one of the most beautiful pieces of jewelry I have ever seen,” Beverly commented genuinely.

“Oh, thank you,” Lynn replied. “It was a gift from my boyfriend. I love how the little diamonds on the edges are mounted. They catch the light so nicely.”

Cont.
edit on 16-5-2016 by Vroomfondel because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:14 PM
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“The seven of them sat at the campfire trying to decide what to do,” Karen continued. “It was too dark to go looking in the woods and too long to wait until morning.”

The other people around the camp fire were subconsciously looking into the woods for a sign of Dan as Karen continued her story. Karen saw them getting anxious and knew the plan was working. Only she and Dan knew the plan they had concocted to scare everyone. Dan would excuse himself and 'disappear' for a while. Then Karen would start to tell the story. In the middle of the story Karen would say she needed to use the little girls tree and excuse herself, and not return. Just when the rest of the group were getting good and scared they would jump out of the bushes and yell, “Gotcha!” It was going to be great, Karen thought.

“One of the group went to the highway and called for help. A search party was gathered quickly and the forest lit up with dozens of flashlights. The barking of scent hounds echoed through the trees. A radio crackled and the words, “Little Hill! Little Hill!” were heard from a very excited deputy.”

Just as Karen was about to describe the gory scene and set up their victims, Dan emerged from the tree line looking a little shaken. Everyone stood and turned toward him wondering exactly where he had been and what had happened to him.

“Great job Dan,” Karen groused and sat down in a huff. “I really had them going.”

“You mean you had this planned?” Bob asked angrily. Playing tricks on each other is not what this trip is about. You know that.”

“I know,” Dan said holding a hand up to stop everyone. “But wait until I tell you what I found. You know that old story about the girl who was killed out here near Little Hill years ago? The story Karen was telling you tonight. That was supposedly a true story. I went to answer nature's call, and then thought I would go take a look around Little Hill. I haven't been out there since I was a teenager. Remember how in the story the only thing they found was blood soaked earth and her clothes? Every single thing was there but her necklace. That is why they suspected her boyfriend, even though he was found later at the camp site, clean as a whistle. Well, I found this hanging on a tree branch,” Dan said holding out a necklace in the shape of a cross that beautifully caught the light of the fire in the diamonds around the edges.

Everyone looked at Lynn, the surprise addition to their party. Her necklace had disappeared. Lynn looked up from the fire and said, “It wasn't my boyfriend. It was YOU!” and lunged at Kurt. She flew straight through the campfire, and straight through Kurt, eviscerating him in the process leaving a pool of blood soaked earth where he had been sitting.

The necklace in Dan's hand had vanished. Though they searched everywhere for it, it was never found. Dan and a team of investigators returned to the area where Dan said he had found the necklace. There was no evidence that anyone had been there in years.
edit on 16-5-2016 by Vroomfondel because: (no reason given)

edit on 16-5-2016 by Vroomfondel because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:19 PM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel

Really really good!!! S&F



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 07:37 AM
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great ending!! came out of nowhere ..caught me by surprise !!



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 10:09 AM
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a reply to: cosmickat
a reply to: Quantum12

Thank you both for the kind words. It is appreciated. :-)
edit on 17-5-2016 by Vroomfondel because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2016 @ 04:50 PM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel

Hi Vroomfondel!

That was great, I really enjoyed it!

I loved the first line...as soon as I started reading, I was thinking "Ooh this is good!"
Good luck in the contest.
S&F
jacy



posted on May, 31 2016 @ 01:25 PM
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originally posted by: jacygirl
a reply to: Vroomfondel

Hi Vroomfondel!

That was great, I really enjoyed it!

I loved the first line...as soon as I started reading, I was thinking "Ooh this is good!"
Good luck in the contest.
S&F
jacy




Thank you so much! Good luck to you too. :-)



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 04:02 PM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel

Great story, I'm jealous.



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