Day 1

"We're nearing the camp...campers," the bus driver droned on the speakers that I unfortunately sat next to. It echoed throughout my eardrums and probably caused internal bleeding in my skull. Yeah, thanks, Camp Mason, for the first memory: ear damage on the bus.

"Ankle, we're nearing civilization," Davy whispered in my other ear.

"That's great, Davy. So excited. Sounds like the bus driver is, too."

He licked some random thing in his braces in thought. Probably a bug or something. I was glad I had gotten my braces taken off when I was 14. Looked like a metalmouth freak for a year.

"Okay, campers." The driver suddenly stood up, wrapped in his brown cargo jacket even though it was 102 degrees outside of the bus. "We're not going to have any problems on this bus. You are ALL going to get out-" He pointed his fingers for dramatic effect. "-alive. I expect that. So, single file."

I was too busy staring out the window the entire time I stood up, backpack hanging low from its enormous weight. There were fields and fields of cabins and wooden buildings, and I could even see the top of a yellow slide peeking up from behind another. Was there any other color? Was this Pleasantville or something? Seriously, everything was green and brown. I wanted some freaking hope that I wasn't going to go colorblind this week or something.


I jumped. Bus driver had snapped. Everyone was in a whole tangled group of short hair and short-sleeved everything. If only there were girls on this bus, then I'd be pressed up against a hot chick instead of 6 foot tall Davy.

We all jumped into single file right then because the bus driver's loud voice sounded like it ripped the first guy in line into shreds. Our fiery, red-headed driver crossed his arms, wiped his runny nose across his sleeve, and leaned against the door pole.

"Now," he fumed, "if anyone gets out of line, I'm going to throw you out this window and you better pray to God that you don't land on some damn cactus."

Nobody had a lot to say. Some guy sniffled, but was staring out the window to not see the bus driver's boiling glare.

Watching a spider crawl across the back of a guy's mole-ish arm, I shuffled my feet as we all started walking out of the bus and onto the ground. At that point, I wanted to drop to the grass and cry to Jesus Christ, "LAND!" but Redhead Bus Driver would've probably torn the hairs off of the back of my neck.

In fact, Redhead Bus Driver did have something to say to me before we headed towards a huge building full of cabins.

I brushed past him and tried hard not to look up at him, but my overly-stimulated gaze happened to jerk up at him just at the moment he looked down at me with as much respect as he had for a piece of grass under his boot.

"Keep on walkin', Checkerboard Face," he spat.

Checkerboard Face? Was that the best he had in him? I mean, I didn't wash my face a lot, 'cause I wasn't some girl with a bottle of ProActive in my backpack, but...and the freckles...I thought I giggled there a bit.

Boot camp. This wasn't a boot camp - Camp Mason. It was a peace retreat for people with problems. Didn't look like it already.

The line entered a giant brick corridor that was split down the middle of the building, and on each wall of the corridor were doors with months on the mantles. Our badges tied tight to our necks had seasons on them to label us like flipping Jews, for bloody sake, so we hustled to months of that season.


Urgle, I hated spring. Sign two, basically.

The cabins were epic, at least. They were three rooms connected and seperated by different doors, all by individual months, and plastic twin bunks were placed in the middle of the cabins, along with twin bunks built into the walls, like open cabinets. Or open tombs, either way.

Davy and I rushed to the April cabin, hands heavy of our weighted luggage that jiggled like they were stimulated. The walls were decorated bright pink and sky blue...

I sighed. "Really? For the guys' cabins?"

Davy laughed out his deep, dumb chuckle and pointed to the wall. "These rooms are for girls, dude. They think we're gay or somethin'?"

"Psh. Right," I smirked. "We're not gay."

Next to us, we heard some man shout really loud, "Boys! Don't call things 'gay'! That can be offensive and hurt people's feelings!" while he was laying down sheets for a top bunk in the corner.

Oh yeah. We were at a peace retreat. Forgot that.