Thank you very much guys for those last reviews. I was really beginning to lose a lot of hype, but you guys pulled through. So...thanks. (Ah, I'll save it for later) You guys thought the last chapter was the end? Nope. Normally, I like to throw in fake endings, but that was not one of them. There's a bit more to the story-hope you guys like the real ending more than the one to the last chapter.
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It was a few days later. Ross and Mike were just heading into a church with sad, slow organ music playing inside. It was the memorial service for Mr. Dozzom. As they walked in with their parents, Ross and Mike sat down and slumped their heads, not saying or doing anything. When the service began, Ross and Mike lifted their heads up.
Both Ross and Mike were dressed pretty sophisticated. Ross had a pair of khakis and brown shoes that he had only one once before to a school dance. He had a white shirt with a green tie running down the center. There was more gel than normal in his hair today.
Mike also looked surprisingly well dressed up. He looked pretty much the same as Ross, except he was wearing a polo shirt instead of a white one. It even looked like he got a haircut for the event.
"Edgar Dozzom was a dear friend," said the woman speaking at the front of the church on the altar. It was Mrs. Tollo, the teacher Ross had for sixth grade. "He always tried to take the best approach when running our school. He was always stressed out, but even under those stressful conditions, he managed to do his job perfectly. He really was a true friend, and will be missed dearly."
Mrs. Tollo seemed to be ranting on about how hard Mr. Dozzom worked and what great care he had for the students. Ross didn't think everything Mrs. Tollo said was true, but Ross didn't think he should have mad any comments, considering the fact that if it weren't for him, Mr. Dozzom would still be alive.
When Mrs. Tollo's long speech finally ended, she sat back down at her seat. Ross was sure that he saw Mrs. Tollo's husband plant his hand on her knee and say "Good work" to her.
The memorial service dragged on longer and longer. The entire time, Ross was showing no emotions. He wasn't doing anything to show he was bored, he showed no sign of tears and, even though his heart was full of it, he had no signs of remorse.
The service ended about an hour later, with many people walking out of the church wiping their eyes with a handkerchief or tissues. Ross just walked out with his eyes staring at the floor. Ross would never forget those five days.
On Monday afternoon, Ross waited for the final bell of the day to ring. He stared up at the clock as the seconds hand slowly made its way around the circular face. Then, at the 2:35, the bell finally rang and everyone walked out very quickly, most of them forgetting what happened to their principal.
Ross got out of his chair as well. He walked to the front door, but then took a sharp left and to another wing of the building. He walked past all the people heading in the opposite direction of him and tried to make his way to Mr. Dozzom's office.
When the hallways cleared, Ross walked into the office. He sat down in the chair that he had to sit in so many times before- the chair he was always terrified of sitting in.
The office was undoubtedly different without Mr. Dozzom. It was as if all the life left from the office with Mr. Dozzom. Ross stared at his deceased's principal's desk. He could perfectly picture Mr. Dozzom sitting behind the desk.
Ross slowly got up and just stared at the desk some more. He looked out a window in the office and saw the buses driving off.
Whatever, Ross thought to himself. I can walk home.
Ross slowly went behind the desk and slumped down in the cushioned chair behind the desk. He spun around in it for a little bit and considered opening up the desk, but he knew that if Mr. Dozzom were alive, he wouldn't want Ross to do that at all. Ross elected to just ignore all the drawers and looking in.
"Hmmm…" Ross said softly as he sat in the office and listened to nothing. "I wonder how Terrence, Marie, Victoria, Melanie and Mr. Doz…er, Edgar, are going now," he asked himself. "Maybe they're finally at rest."
Ross just sat quietly until he felt something. Every bone in his body suddenly felt a great chill and it woke him up. Ross sat up and immediately recognized that tingly sensation. He felt it whenever Melanie was close by.
Ross looked around for wherever one of the ghosts of the campers was. One of them had to be close by.
"Hello?" Ross asked, getting out of the chair and looking through the office and out the door. "Hello?" he repeated.
Then a sudden sound caused Ross to jump. He turned around and recognized the sound. It was the telephone in Mr. Dozzom's office ringing.
Ross' heart beat started quickening. He slowly inched his way over to the phone and looked at the caller ID: UNKNOWN NUMBER written in pixilated letters.
Ross looked around and saw there was no one around. No one in the halls, tangible or not.
Finally, Ross looked back at the phone and saw the red light next to the called ID flashing, signaling that the phone was ringing as if the ring tone wasn't enough.
Some voice in Ross's head told him to pick up the phone. He reached his hand down and picked up the receiver. As he reached down to pick it up, the hairs on the back of his neck stiffened more than they ever had before. It was as if every single sense he had when seeing Melanie around him was going crazy.
Ross picked up the receiver and the ringing ceased. With his arms shaking, Ross slowly raised the phone to his ear. He took a deep gulp as the earpiece was touching his ear. All those sensations seemed more violent than Ross had ever felt them before.
"…hello?" Ross weakly asked into the phone.
"...Ross..." said a raspy and ghostly, yet disturbingly familiar voice on the other end.
Ross got much more tense. His body froze and his eyebrows sharply pointed down to his nose. He felt like his entire body stopped working for a brief moment.
"...I always DID like you as a student. You may have gotten into trouble, but I never once doubted you were a good student, friend and kid when it came down to it..."
"Mr. Dozzom?! Is that you?!"
Ross suddenly heard the phone line go dead, and his body abruptly acted like it was placed in a freezer. For no reason other than that he had a gut instinct, he turned around. Standing right behind him was a little kid who looked very familiar. Too familiar. He had that same aura that Melanie had when he met her.
"Hey," the ghostly kid said, smiling happily at him. "I had four friends saying they wanted to thank you for something. They couldn't make it, though. But they told me to tell you that ya did 'em a huge favor."
Ross stared at the kid with his mouth hanging open. What was going on?
The ghostly kid continued smiling. "I guess I got something to thank you for as well. So...thanks, man. I had a feeling you'd be a good guy when it came down to it."
Without saying another word, the ghostly kid put his arm out pretty far until it was only about a foot away from Ross. The ghostly boy clenched his fist up when he reached out as far as he could go.
Ross still couldn't believe what was happening. Then, all the tension in his body just relaxed. His hairs stood still again and his pulse rate returned to normal. He looked at the ghostly kid who was still smiling at him. There was nothing threatening about him at all; the kid looked pretty friendly.
Then Ross finally smiled at the kid. After a very brief pause, he clenched his own right hand into a fist and brought it up so it was level with his chest.
He and the ghost kid lightly pounded their fists together.
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Okay, there's the end of this draft of Camp Glaregon. If you checked the trivia section of this in my profile, you would have read that this is the third draft of this story. The first draft was written in August 2004, and it was the first time I've ever tried outlining a story and getting the plot in my head instead of just sitting down at the computer and writing whatever came to mind. So, it was pretty much the best story I had written until then.
Now I know this story got pretty cliched. Well, this was written before I really knew a lot about cliches and how some of them should be avoided, so if I tried writing this today, it would have been a lot different because now I know what I need to keep out. (Heck, this story might not have even been written, because the whole 'Monster at Camp' idea was cliched enough)
And also, the ending has changed quite a bit over time. Back in 2004 when this was first written, the story ended with Ross walking home, and on the way, he sees the ghosts of all five campers, including Mr. Dozzom, except they all looked as old as they were when they encountered Glaregon in the woods. When this was put up on fanfiction in October 2005, I changed the ending with Ross thinking about how Mr. Dozzom's life had more value than he realized, and it ends with him trying to think about his own reason for living. Needless to say, I got negative feedback from that one, so I changed it again. For this draft, I was initially just going to end it with Ross saying "...hello?" into the phone. In fact, it was going to stay that way until that last wave of reviews I got for the last chapter. I had just about given up, but after you guys still showed that you cared, I tried to add on a bit more and make the ending a bit more "complete".
That brings me to what I want to say to you guys: thank you for taking the time to read this. You guys all gave me great feedback and I appreciate it. Thank you all for sending me reviews and your feedback.
So, the third incarnation of Camp Glaregon comes to an end. But it's time to move on (finally!). I'm working on other stories right now, and I'm into outlining a brand-spanking new one. Hopefully, that one will be up soon, but if any of you guys are still interested, I'll probably have some shorter ones to tide you over while I work on the next big one.
Thank you again to all you guys for reading this and sticking with it the whole way through. You guys were great. Thank you very much.