By Claire Riley
“This is going to be an awesome camping trip!” Exclaimed Claire. “I know, right?!” Said Mooska (for she was a normal girl again). “Katie, hurry up! You always take so long to get ready!” Yelled Claire. “Ugh, I know, it’s just how I am and there’s nothing anybody can do about it.” Said Katie depressingly. As they made their way to the car, Katie stopped them, “Darn it! I forgot my sunglasses!” As she ran to the apartment they were staying in for a while (they had now become teenagers), Mooska told Claire, “She is so annoying! Why can’t she be faster at getting ready like us?” Claire answered, “Like she said, that’s just how she is and nobody can do anything about it.” “Okay, I’m ready. Let’s go have some fun!”Said Katie trying to lighten the mood as she locked the front door.
They made their way to the car and Katie opened the driver’s door and hopped inside and Mooska and Claire went into the back seat. “We have 20 minutes to pick up Haygan and Judah from their apartment and get food for the road up to the mountains to the camping spot.” Said Claire. Katie almost wrecked the car as she heard the names Haygan and Judah and started trembling. Then she asked Claire in a very soft voice, “B-But aren’t they d-d-dead?” Then Mooska replied, “What are you talking about, silly? Haygan texted Claire and told her that they wanted to come on our camping trip because they had so much fun on our Canadian camping trip a few years ago.” Katie could not get her mind off the supposed dead boys for 3 minutes and then asked, “Where is their apartment complex, Claire?” “It’s going to be another right and then it should be on your left.” Said Claire.
When they arrived at Haygan and Judah’s apartment, Katie decided to stay in the car as Mooska and Claire went to pick up the boys. When she saw that it was The Haygan and The Judah she started to freak out. Claire hopped in the passenger seat and Mooska, Haygan, and Judah hopped in the back. They went through a McDonald’s drive-thru so they would have food to hold them over for the drive to the mountains.
When they finally arrived at the mountains after 5 and-a-half hours, Katie was so happy to get to their destination because she was so freaked out the whole way and didn’t know what was going to happen or what Judah and Haygan might do because they were, what she thought of it as back from the dead. They were staying at an old piece of property that was owned by no one. It was in the middle of Spring and they were all on Spring Break and the mountains they were in were close to the place they camped at a few years ago, but this time they stayed right on the border of the United States because they didn’t want to go into Canada for a camping trip ever again because of “The Incident”(that’s what the three girls all referred to it now because they did NOT like to talk about it).
It was dark by the time they got to their camping spot and Katie was partially avoiding Haygan and Judah. “Okay guys, let’s gather around the campfire to tell ghost stories.” Said Judah thoughtfully. So they all went to the campfire and sat around it after they’d dragged over some fallen-over logs of course. Judah went first and said, “Once upon a time, it was a dark and stormy night and I was all alone somewhere in the wilderness and I was on a camping trip with some friends and had gotten lost. As I was walking, I came up to this creepy old 3 story abandoned house and I walked up onto the porch and knocked on the door. I yelled, ‘Hello?! Is anybody home?!’ I got no answer, so I started walking down the porch, and all of a sudden the door opened with a squeal. I whipped around and stared at the pitch blackness of the inside of the house. I slowly inched to the door and said, ‘H-Hello?’ No answer. I then realized that I was soaked and it was starting to pour even harder. So I decided to go inside and realized there was no one there and the wind must have blown the door open. I looked around the corner and flicked the light switch and got a nice warm light that lit up a musty and stuffy living room. The house was huge! It must have been a mansion! I walked around a bit after shutting the door and made myself at home for the night. I sat in front of the fireplace to warm up and dry off once I got a fire going. As I was quietly sitting, listening to the rain fall to the ground with the fire crackling, I was starting to get tired. Then, I heard small voices chanting, ‘When the log rolls around, we’ll all drown, we’ll all drown.’ My heart started pounding in my chest and I stood up and went over to the staircase where I thought the voices were coming from. Again I heard, ‘When the log rolls around, we’ll all drown, we’ll all drown.’ I made my way up the stairs and turned on a light at the top. I walked over to the shut bathroom door and heard, ‘When the log rolls around, we’ll all drown, we’ll all drown.’ I opened the door, flicked the light switch, and walked over to the toilet only to find a whole bunch of ants on an old **** and they were chanting, ‘When the log rolls around, we’ll all drown, we’ll all drown.’ I reached over and flushed the toilet and they all said in unison, ‘Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!’ and got quieter as they went down until you couldn’t hear them anymore. The End.”
Laughter echoed around the campfire and Mooska said, “Ooh! I got one!” “Okay, let’s hear it,” said Haygan. Then Mooska started, “Okay. Once upon a time, I was walking in the woods and it was dark and I was all alone. As I was walking, I started to hear wolves howling, but I wasn’t worried because they sounded far away. I started walking faster though just in case. The howling seemed to be getting closer so I started running. I heard running behind me as well but I decided to keep running as fast as I could and not look back. I had a clue where I was going but I knew I had to keep running and try not to trip on anything so I focused on where I was stepping, and not where I was going. All of a sudden, I came to a hard stop because I saw glowing red eyes in front of me. I whipped around and saw I was surrounded by huge wolves. They were snarling at me and I could tell it was over and I was going to die. Then, all of a sudden, there was this really odd scream that was high-pitched and it had a small higher-pitched crack in it. The wolves oddly started whining and ran away and I whipped around and didn’t see anything or anyone. The thing made the noise 2 more times and revealed itself. But apparently, it wasn’t an it, but a him. The boy came out and made the weird scream one more time and revealed himself completely, and he turned out to be, Oklin!”
Again, laughter echoed around the campfire. Then Claire said while holding Haygan’s hand, “That’s definitely what Oklin sounds like!” “Agreed!” Said Katie. Then Haygan yawned and fell backward onto his big, fat, fluffy, soft pillow and started snoring softly after a few minutes. Katie said, “Looks like he’s tired!” Judah laughed so hard, he almost couldn’t breathe and his face turned so red, which made Mooska, Claire, and Katie all laugh. Then they all had a nice conversation and they all felt a little sleepy so they decided to lay back in their sleeping bags and sleep, just like Haygan. Except for Katie… She was freaked out like heck and had been ever since they arrived. She was so scared that she actually pretended to be asleep and waited till everyone else was asleep and once they were, she quietly got up, zipped up her sleeping bag, and started walking slowly away from the warmth of the campfire.
She walked farther and farther away from the campsite and finally wandered so far she had no more light, but luckily she had a flashlight with her so she turned it on and just saw ahead of her a thick sheet of trees that went for miles, or that’s what she thought it looked like. She walked for a long time and then started to get tired so she sat down on the ground and wrapped her arms around her folded legs. She thought about Judah’s “ghost story” and Mooska’s also and thought, I wonder if maybe there will be an abandoned house I can stay at for the night so I’ll be away from those boys or maybe there will be wolves who want to eat me or maybe I’ll die out here. No. She had to stop thinking that way. She closed her eyes for a while and right when she started to doze off, it started to rain, not just sprinkles, but hard rain, almost pouring. She was getting soaked! Katie had no clue where she was but she somewhat regretted running away and now she was all alone…
Katie stood up and started walking the way she thought she might have come from and ended up getting even more lost. She called out, “Hello-o!” She called this so many times until her throat started hurting and she started crying. As she wept, she stared at the beam of light coming from the flashlight and she plopped on the wet ground knowing she probably got a mud stain on the bottom of her pants, but right now she didn’t care. She was starting to feel large portions of regret now. She sat freezing cold and soaked, all of her clothes including underclothes, just soaked from top to bottom, and she just sat, praying that God would send someone to rescue her for one whole hour straight, out loud. Katie felt like she was getting no answers from God or anyone else who could’ve been out here that she had been calling for. She felt like no one was listening. She felt unloved. She felt unwanted. She started to feel miserable and felt like she might throw up. She felt alone. Just like Judah’s and Mooska’s stories. Alone. Just Alone.
All of a sudden, just when she thought she was losing hope, Katie heard footsteps running towards her and she thought, Oh no! It’s probably the wolves from Mooska’s story! But it wasn’t wolves at all, but it turned out to be Judah! He ran up to Katie and she looked up to him and just stared with a smile on her face thanking God for sending someone to rescue her from a mistake she made by running away and asking God for forgiveness.
Judah extended his hand in the rain and Katie took it and he gently pulled her up from the sopping wet ground. Katie asked him, “How did you find me out here?” Judah answered, “The group split up to look for you so I came this way. Also, I heard you crying so I thought you were in trouble so I followed your voice here.” Then Katie asked, “Well, aren’t I far away from camp?” “Actually, you aren’t too, too far, you just couldn’t see because it’s dark and the fire is mostly put out,” replied Judah, “Come on, follow me, I’ll show you the way back. They are all looking for you in different directions, but still close to camp of course so they don’t get lost.”
So Katie and Judah made it back to camp safely and they gathered the others. “Thank God you guys are okay!” Exclaimed Claire. They were all soaking wet and Katie practically yelled, “Come on! Let’s get in the car! I have some towels in the trunk!” They made their way to the car and Katie popped the trunk and pulled out a whole bunch of towels for them to sit on so they didn’t ruin the interior. Katie opened the door to the back seat and laid a towel across the whole seat and did likewise to the passenger seat and driver’s seat except did them separately. Then Mooska said, “Ok then. Let’s all pile in the car.” Then Claire said, “Alright. I’ll look up hotels so we can find the nearest one and get a suite for the night.”
So they all piled in the car and went on their way. The girls brought up a very serious conversation via text message. Claire texted Katie, “Why did you run away when we were having a good time?” Katie was hesitant but answered, “Because don’t you remember a few years ago when we were in Canada, Mooska shoved Haygan off a cliff and stabbed Judah in the back?” They pulled into the parking lot of a Riverside Hotel and Claire and Mooska gasped. Claire typed furiously into her phone then a text message dinged. It said, “Katie! How dare you bring that up! You know what, we are all going to have a conversation once we get a room and get settled.” That settled that.
So they all went inside and brought the towels with them. They got to the front desk and Katie rang the bell for assistance. A young girl came out and asked them how many nights they were staying and how many rooms. Katie suddenly yelled out, “Elli!” Everyone looked at her confused. “Umm… Yes, that’s my name like it says on the nametag.” Elli responded. “You don’t remember me?” Katie asked. “Am I supposed to? I’ve never met you in my life.” “Yes, you have. You were just so young. I’m your sister Katie.” Everyone gasped and Elli asked, “My sister?! I have a sister?” “Yes, Elli. When mom died I got adopted but you were put into the system and we were split up. Do you still have your locket?” “Yes, I do. Here.” Elli said handing the necklace out to Katie. Katie took it and put it together with hers. “This was so we would always find each other. It’s an old way of doing things but that was how mom liked it.” “Well, how do you know that it’s me? Anyone could have the same lockets.” “No, these are custom made. No lockets are made the same.” “Oh.” “Yeah.” Then Katie hugged Elli and asked if she wanted to join them for the night. Elli agreed.
Elli then checked them all into the same suite which was big enough for all of them. Just then A boy about Katie’s age came out of the backroom. “Who are these people Elli?” He asked. “Oh, this is my sister Katie and her friends Judah, Claire, and her boyfriend Haygan-” “Oh no. We aren’t dating.” Claire said. “Oh. I assumed that you were. My bad.” Elli responded. Then Haygan spoke up. “Actually Claire I would like to be your boyfriend. If you’ll have me?” Claire gasped then said overjoyed. “Yes! Of course Haygan!” He smiled and took her hand. Katie and Mooska started ooohing. “Stop it,” Claire said firmly but she was smiling. “Umm… Ok then.” Elli said. “Anyways, and this is Mooska.
“Nice.” Commented the boy. “I’m Caleb.” There was a chorus of ‘nice to meet you’. Then Katie who had been strangely quiet blurted out, “Do you want to come hang out with us in our suite?” “Yeah, I’d like that.” Replied Caleb with a charming smile. Katie giggled.
Finally, they got up into their room. Katie went to sit by Caleb. Judah kept looking at Elli and couldn’t stop. Then they made eye contact and Elli smiled and waved him over. Judah blushed and then went to sit by her.
Once they got all settled in, they had a long conversation amongst themselves about random things. Then they ran out of things to say and silence fell over the room while the group warmed up and dried off. After quite some time, the silence finally broke. Claire said, “So, Katie. Let’s talk. Why would you run away?” Katie thought for a minute and then replied, “I told you, because of ‘The Incident’. I got freaked out because I thought Haygan and Judah were dead.” Then Mooska followed into the conversation, “Did neither Judah nor Haygan tell you?” “What are you talking about?” Katie asked. Claire answered her in a surprised voice, “I think maybe it’s the boys’ turn to talk to Katie now.”
So Katie turned to Haygan and Judah with curiosity covering her face. Judah finally spoke up with a gentle voice, “I think there is something Haygan and I need to tell you that we should have told you a long time ago. When Mooska stabbed me in the back, the knife went in far enough into my back to knock me unconscious, but it didn’t go far enough to kill me, thank goodness because Elli would have been devastated.” He said looking over at her and smiling. “So, I didn’t die when I was stabbed, just unconscious for a while and that’s where Haygan came in.” He looked at Haygan, trying to cue him that it was his turn to tell Katie what happened to him. So Haygan started, clearing his throat, “When Mooska shoved me off a cliff, I landed on a ledge that stuck out of the cliff about 20 feet down. I broke some bones but I didn’t die. I hoisted myself up using my rock climbing skills and when I got to the top I was in a lot of pain and agony but close by I saw Judah on his stomach unconscious with a knife in his back. He was starting to get up but I ran to him and said, ‘Here, don’t move, I’ll help you.’ So I had him hold still and I removed the knife from Judah’s back and then once he was feeling a tiny bit better we walked back down to town and went to the doctor and we both got treated and now here we are all healed with some scars. But what can I say, scars come with living. So that was our story.”
“So you’re telling me that I was believing a lie this whole time when it was completely preventable?” Asked Katie. “That’s sure what it seems like.” Said Caleb. Then Katie asked, “So I risked my life for nothing and thought I was saving my life?” “I’m afraid so, and we’re very sorry.” Replied Judah. “Do you forgive us?” Wondered Haygan out loud. Katie hesitated to think and then said, “Yes. I forgive you. The most important thing is that we are all okay, alive, and together.”
So they all lived happy lives after that and regularly went on camping trips here and there and included Elli so she and Judah could get to know each other better and so she and her long-lost sister, Katie, could too. They often brought Caleb along so he and Katie could also get to know each other better. And they always stayed in touch and had lots of fun on their camping trips when they went on adventures and hikes together. Oh yeah, Their Senior Trip is coming up. Buuuuut, that is probably another story… Or is it…?!:)
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