Beneath the Trees is a blogfic by Wavey . It was originally a random snippet that popped into her head, but she turned it into a full blogfic.
The winds howled, curling the snow in a tight, recurring swirl around the trees, as if a snow globe had been shaken. The trees stood tall and firm, protecting the forest from the onslaught of snow and wind. Of course snow fell on the ground between them. It was only logic. They couldn’t block it all.
In a grove filled with thick trees, a group of people crowded beneath the treetops. The ones on the outside glanced nervously behind them, as if the snow might creep up on them, and inched farther away. On the far side of their group, against a large oak tree, a broad-shouldered woman rose up, spreading gray-tinted butterfly wings. Her large dark green eyes were hardened and her brow furrowed, as if staring would solve her problem.
“We cannot stay here,” she announced. “You will travel in pairs to find a suitable place for us to stay until springtime. If you find one, one will travel back to us while the other stays to protect it. Send out a signal if anything happens. Violet and Sandy, go east. Lily and Pearl, go west. Ruby and Daisy, go north.”
Six of these people nodded and set out in their directions. In a moment they were gone.
“Wait, Holly.” A middle-aged woman with shimmering dark silver hair and stormy gray eyes stepped forward. “I used to live in this forest too. I should go.”
Holly pursed her lips, glancing after Sandy and Violet, then back over the gathered group. “I see. But there’s no one for you to go with. We need fighters to defend the trainees and kits if anything happens, and a rescue team.”
A younger girl stepped forward, tossing her dark brown hair over her shoulder. “I’ll go with her.”
Holly drew herself up indignantly. “By no means will you go, Ivy. You’re only a trainee.”
“I’m her trainee!” Ivy protested. “And I’m not a new trainee either. I should go.”
Misty shook her head. “I don’t want her to go any more than you do, Holly. But she can handle herself, and it would be good experience for you.”
Holly sighed. “Fine. But I swear to the plants that if anything happens to you, you won’t be allowed to leave us until after we’ve charted everything.”
Ivy nodded shortly. “Agreed.”
Misty reached out a hand to touch Ivy’s shoulder. “Ivy-”
Holly shook her head at her, and Misty pulled her hand back to her side and spread her wings. “Let’s go.”
They were gone in a flash, leaving the two other trainees whining about how they wanted to go and Holly shaking her head, her hands pressed against the sides of her face, eyes closed in frustration and worry.
The snow roared outside, but inside it was clean and bright, the fire warming the house and lighting up the spirits of its residents.
He crouched in front of it, holding his hands to the fire. What a luxury. There were times when he questioned if his decision had been worth it, but not now. He knew he’d have a better life, and he did. There were so many things he could do now that he never could’ve done before.
Shaking his head, he knew he had to stop thinking about it. If anything, the winter would keep most witches away, and would keep them preoccupied. Hopefully. He didn’t know what other witches did during winter.
He jerked his head up at a knock at the door. His first reaction was to run to the closest and hide. It can’t be an attack. Not in this storm. That would be crazy! His mind began to race. Unless it’s a Winter Witch, and this storm is deliberate. They’d either have a lot of power from the storm, or it would be draining their power. With my luck it would be the first one.
Groaning, he dragged his hand through his hair and darted into a back room while a woman raced past him. She was all curves, with brown hair curved under her chin, bangs above her round, soft brown eyes ending in a gentle curl, and her body seemed to be made up of wide circles. He jumped into the other room, pressed against the wall, his heart pounding. He dared to poke his head through the doorframe, but pulled it back as she opened the door.
“Hello!” her cheerful and surprised greeting came to whoever was at the door. “What are you doing out in this storm?”
There was a nervous pause, before a younger, tense voice replied “Please, miss, my pack and I need shelter during the winter. Are there any caves nearby we could stay in?”
Pack. The tone of voice, the urgency, the words… it was all too familiar. His heart pounded.
There were witches at his door.
“Your… pack?” The woman answered, and he imagined her tilting her head like she did when she was confused. “All right. There’s a large cave a few miles north of here in the oak forest.”
“Yes, yes thank you,” the younger girl replied breathlessly. “Would you lead me and my mentor to it? We’re… it’s hard to explain but we can’t really find our way around right now.”
“It’s fine, just let me get my coat,” the woman replied, wisely not questioning this strange girl.
She hurried back into the room, shooting him a reassuring smile. He glared at her, wide-eyed. Don’t go! But she only continued smiling as she shrugged on her pale pink winter coat. He watched her leave, stomach churning. Footsteps, away from him. The door closed, and the wind quieted once again.
He waited a few moments, before sinking to the ground, chest heaving. She won’t get discovered. Ashley’s a smart woman. We’ve evaded them for this long. They’ll have to stay until spring – until newleaf – at the earliest. If they’re an Earth Pack. Probably, since they’re hiding in a cave, but if they’re desperate enough to talk to a human they could be a Water Pack. If they’re a Water Pack they might stay until summer. But summer means camp! I can’t hide during summer. I have a job to do. His gaze flitted panicked around the room, catching on various things and shooting away as fast as his thoughts would carry it. Maybe I should go away. Slip away under the guise of the storm. Before the witches awake and realize I’m here. Find a job until fall, when they’ll surely be gone. Find somewhere where they won’t find me… again. That alone might take until fall.
Then the door burst open and the woman stumbled inside, alone. Her pink coat was dusted with snow and her hands stuffed deep in her pockets. She swiftly shut the door and hurried into the next room, where he waited. She took one glance at his panicked expression and enveloped him into a hug, snow and all. “Oh Hazel, Hazel. It’s fine. They have their cave. They’re settled in. They have no idea.”
Hazel gasped and threw his arms around her, relishing the amazed feeling of seeing her, touching her. With her, it felt like everything would be okay. She would protect him from the witches and keep them safe. Her power of humanity was all he needed. She was all he needed.
After a moment she stood up and shrugged off her coat. Snow fell on the floor, but they both ignored it. They were too happy to have escaped this dangerous encounter unscathed.
A small green ball fell from the coat pocket, unnoticed by both.
Ivy leaned against the back of the cave, wrapped in leaves, trying to keep the smug expression off of her face. Most of the witches were too exhausted by their trek to do much. They leaned against the earth and stone, power re-coursing through their limbs. Even the kits were too exhausted to play. They curled up beside their parents and siblings, having a rare family moment.
Ivy glanced sideways at her own sister. Berry lay a few trainees away, talking softly with Honey. She didn’t play competitive kit games with her sister anymore, but she still felt a rush of pride that she had been the one to search and find the cave. She knew Holly and Peony would thank her later. But the two leaders were busy absorbing strength as well. They sat at one edge of the cave, Holly’s wing-tip brushing the moss that grew outside of the cave as well. It was the least safe area of the cave, but after what they’d been through, they all felt pretty safe.
Misty was crouched in front of the two leaders, and a streak of shock pulsed through Ivy as she spotted the uneasy expressions on their faces. Surely nothing is wrong now. We’ve been through so much! Another streak of fear shot through her as she realized that since they were with Misty, they were probably talking about her. Smugness evaporating, she turned her head away, pressing her cheek to the stone, and stared at the pebble Rose was slowly lifting up and down, testing her newfound power. Sure enough, soon she felt something rubbing her shoulder, and rolled over to see Misty. She followed her mentor to the two leaders.
Holly motioned for her to sit down, and she did. “Ivy, was there anyone else in the house beside the woman who led you here?”
Ivy frowned thoughtfully. “No. I thought I heard voices, but it might’ve just been the wind.”
Peony hissed unhappily and pursed her lips. “Did she mention anyone else?”
Ivy shook her head. “She seemed a bit nervous, and she didn’t ask many questions about us, like I thought a human would.”
Holly and Peony exchanged a glance. “Thank you, Ivy,” Holly replied after a moment.
Knowing she was dismissed, Ivy nodded respectfully and headed back to her spot. She ignored Berry’s questioning stare and curled up in her leaves, head turned away. Her blood chilled as she saw Ruby slip out of the cave, and the worried glances of her packmates.
Have I made a terrible mistake?
Chapter 1 Edit
The caramel-skinned girl pressed her nose to the bus window, watching the trees pass by. The mid-morning sunlight brightened patches of the dark dirt to warm brown, dappling the forest in an array of browns and greens. A squirrel jumped from tree to tree alongside the bus, and the girl broke into a grin as she watched it. Most animals would hide from a bus, but this one must be used to it by now. The forest was quiet, but between sessions there were buses rushing to and fro through the worn dirt roads.
She turned away to nudge her bus partner, a hazel-eyed girl who was reading a book. “Ottilie, look.”
Ottilie lifted her head and peered around Silvanna. She laughed and nudged the girl across the isle, a tall ginger. “Maple, Maple look!”
Maple craned her neck to peer around Ottilie and laughed. “That’s a fast squirrel!”
Silvanna leaned back so Maple could see and grinned. This was only her second year at camp, but she was just as excited as she had been a year ago. Just not as nervous. And she would see her twin again!
She reached into the front pocket of her bag and pulled out a crumpled piece of paper scrawled with her sister’s trademark handwriting. Luna had been sending her letters since the first day she arrived at camp, before school was even out (she’d been allowed to leave early). Luna was a head counselor this year, so sadly they wouldn’t be together, but she was very happy to see her sister again anyway.
Camp is great! We’re nearing the end of this session, so Carmen has pulled all of us Head Counselors and CITs to talk about our cabins and campers for your session. I know what cabin you’re in and who you’ll be with. I can’t tell you, but your counselor is AWESOME! I signed up to lead horseback riding again. I’m so happy they have it this year. They added horseback riding, photography, and dance. Blue, who’ll be the head counselor for Ruby, is very happy about the dance part. It’s her passion. She’s leading it again, but this session Marissa is leading a session while she takes time off. I’m so excited for you to get here! I can’t wait to see you! I’ve told everyone all about you. You have quite a reputation to uphold! This session in the Sapphire cabin I had this great camper named Echo. She was always drawing Lams fanart. Anyway, Echo and her friend Lup from the Ruby cabin snuck off into the woods during breakfast while the Pearl cabin was having their overnight. They went to the overnight spot and stole all the marshmallows from the s’mores stack. Boy was Blue mad! Starla organized a search party, but the one who found them, Snowy, only found them by accident on a mapping activity. Mari, who runs the overnight, said it was one of the funniest things that happened the entire time she’d been working at camp! They were punished, of course, but everyone thought it was really funny. The punishment only made Echo draw more Lams fanart. I’m really looking forward for you to get here! Everything’s going to be great!
Silvanna grinned and stuck the letter back into the front pocket of her backpack. She turned to the window again and pressed her hand to the glass. After half a summer of being away from her twin, they were so close!
She narrowed her eyes at a familiar huge, gnarled oak tree with roots that stuck up and curled out of the ground. Could it be…?
“It’s the Curly Oak!” Kinks shouted from where she was sitting near the front of the bus. Cheers erupted, startling Ottilie, who had gone back to her book.
The Curly Oak! It was a popular hiking meetup spot right near the entrance of camp! It was a sign that they were close!
Sure enough, in just a few minutes, the bus pulled underneath a wooden arch with the words Camp Pelangi carved on top with decorations of pretty flower carvings. Campers pressed themselves to windows and started gathering their bags. A group of people raced down a hill to greet them, all wearing cream-lemon colored shirts with a white pine tree in the middle and words around the collar that Silvanna couldn’t read from that far away. The bus jolted to a stop and she stood, stretching her arms above her. Ottilie finally shut her book and placed it in her bag.
“Okay, single file everyone! Off the bus! Single file!” the bus driver barked as the excited campers jumped off the bus and onto the gravel road. Two of the people who had come to greet them ran to the side of the bus and pulled it open, and the rest began unloading their bags, except for two girls who stood at the bus door, welcoming them.
“Hey! Welcome to camp! I’m Iris and that’s Sammy! We’re CITs!” a dark brown-haired girl welcomed them excitedly. Silvanna grinned at them, not having time to say hi or introduce herself before she continued on, pushed forward by the tide of campers.
Silvanna hurried to the pile of bags and quickly located her suitcase before glancing around. The CITs were unloading the last bags and the campers were quickly retrieving them. The last camper, a tall boy with greyish eyes, picked up his bag and a jet-black-haired girl with electric blue eyes headed a few paces in front of them and called “Welcome to camp! I’m Starla, a CIT. Follow me to meet your head counselors and the rest of your cabin!”
The campers set off after her with a cheer, and the rest of the CITs mixed themselves into the group, clearly just as excited as the campers. Silvanna found herself walking with Ottilie and a CIT named Flower. “Call me Peto,” she chirped.
“So, Peto, how’s camp been for you?” Ottilie asked cheerfully.
“Great! Except for when we eat hamburgers. We have them every week. I feel bad for the poor cows!” Peto shuddered. “My campers have always been so nice! Flash wanted to add winterguard as an activity. He and Wavey, a head counselor, got Ashley to let them have a block of teaching that one night. I’m so proud of him! It was fun.” She turned back to the girls. “How’s your summer been so far?”
“Weird,” Silvanna admitted. “My sister’s a head counselor here this year, so she hasn’t been around.”
“Really? Who? Oh, Luna right?” Peto asked. “It’s cool to meet you!”
“Thanks!” Silvanna flashed a grin. “I’m Silvanna, as you probably know.”
Peto nodded. “How’s your summer been, Ottie?”
“Good,” Ottilie replied. “I read an entire book series.”
“Ooh, nice!” the girls chorused. “You can read a lot here,” Peto added with a wink, making Ottilie and Silvanna laugh.
They reached the top of the hill and came to a circle of neatly cut grass with a wooden circular stage at one end. A bunch of people were standing on and around it, chatting excitedly. When the campers and CITs emerged, they broke into grins and waves. Some of the people settled down in the front, while others climbed onto the stage.
As the campers settled down on the grass, a plump woman with short brown hair and bangs stepped forward. “Welcome, welcome!” she cheered. “We’re all so glad you’re here! If you don’t know me, I’m Ashley, the executive director here at Camp Pelangi. I am the Supreme Overlord of everything here. My word is law.” She smiled warmly at the campers as they chuckled.
“No, I am Supreme Overlord,” Silvanna heard one of the girls up front mutter, which earned her giggles from the people sitting up there.
“If you need anything, feel free to come to me,” Ashley continued once the laughter died down. “Really, I’m not scary. You can find me in the big white house over there.” She pointed left at a white farmhouse at the edge of the field with its back facing the forest. “That is, creatively named, the Big House.”
“Don’t expect to find Chiron there,” called one of the people up front.
“I love nature, animals, and fantasy stories,” Ashley continued. She stepped back and the woman standing next to her, a skinny, tall, dark-skinned lady with dark chocolate-brown eyes, and freckles, stepped forward.
“I’m Izzy,” she announced. “I’m the assistant director. I do all of Ashley’s dirty work. I love sports and will often come down to play them with you.”
A tall and skinny man with bronze skin and a short hair and beard stepped forward. His hazel eyes glimmered, searching the crowd. “I… I’m Hazel, the activities director. I like most activities, which is why I direct them.” He shrugged. “My favorites are arts and crafts, music, and hiking.” He ran a hand through his hair nervously and stepped back.
A short, pale woman with midnight-blue hair stepped forward and introduced herself as Mari, the overnight head. The rest of the staff went through their introductions. There were quite a lot of them. Silvanna recognized Carmen, the counselor head, and Alana, the animals head. Since Luna enjoyed horseback riding and was a head counselor, she interacted most with those two. She would’ve been surprised that the dark-skinned woman wearing a pink sundress was the sports head if she hadn’t known her last year. They had varying appearances and personalities, but they all shared two qualities – they were very passionate about their jobs and camp itself.
A curly-haired blonde girl stepped back from introducing herself as “Fix-It” Bridget, the camp handyman, and Carmen stepped forward again. “Now, the moment you have all been waiting for. Time to meet your head counselors! These nine lovely people have been here all summer. They sleep in your cabin, oversee cabin activities, and lead camp activities. Here we have Wavey, Luna, Willow Light, Blue, Dawn, Thunder, Willow Rain, Marissa, and Leaf.”
The people who sat in front climbed up onto the stage and grinned at the campers. They shared the same passion and enjoyment to be there as the staff. Their shirts were the same – a white pine tree in the center, white words around the collar – but their shirts were aqua, compared to the CITs’ cream yellow and the staffs’ pale pink. Silvanna spotted her sister easily and tried to catch her eye, but Luna seemed to be searching everywhere in the crowd but were she sat. She tried to avoid the stone of disappointment in her stomach and studied the other counselors instead.
The counselors filed back off the stage and Bailey, the head of CITs, stepped forward. “We also have nine CITs with us. They’re the people you met as you came off the bus. Your CITs will also do the in-cabin jobs of your counselors and join you on cabin activities, but they have activities of their own. Next year, they might just be counselors! Can I get all of the great CITs to stand up please?”
Flower pushed herself to her feet and all around the nine CITs stood up and waved.
Bailey stepped back and Ashley stepped forward again. “Thank you! Now that you’ve met all of our amazing staff members, it’s time to meet your cabin! Over there is our check-in table. Four of our wonderful trainees will help you get checked in to your cabin. If your name starts with A-F go with Nico! If your name starts with G-M go with Melody! If your name starts with N-Q go with Maisie! If your name starts with R-Z go with Luke! If you have any questions, find anyone wearing a shirt with a pine tree on it! Counselors and CITs, to your stations. Thank you everybody and welcome to Camp Pelangi!”
The campers dispersed, chattering excitedly and pushing every which way. Flower bade Ottilie and Silvanna a quick goodbye and made her way to the stage. The two pushed through the crowd to the table and separated into their lines, waving goodbye. Silvanna watched her go and wondered how often she’d see Ottilie after this.
The girl in front of her, who was tall with long, wavy golden brown hair, turned around. “Hi! I’m River, but you can call me Riv. What’s your name?”
Silvanna smiled. “I’m Silv. Nice to meet you, Riv!”
River nodded. “Likewise. How long have you been going to camp?”
Silvanna shrugged. “This is my third summer. How about you?”
“Second for me,” River replied. “Last year was really fun. I play guitar, but I didn’t know to bring it. Samantha brought a spare, but it was really small. It was really fun, though! I remembered for this year. I brought by guitar and my violin!”
Silvanna smiled. “Ooh, cool! I brought my violin too! My sister brought her violin and her viola. We’re going to do a duet at campfire one of these days!”
“Nice,” River replied. “If you want we could do one together too.”
Silvanna smiled. “Sure. I bet there’s more people at camp who play orchestra instruments. My sister sent me a letter about how Starla and Iris were trying to create an orchestra. Starla plays violin and Iris plays flute.”
River frowned. “Your sister was here for another session?”
“She’s a head counselor,” Silvanna confirmed. “Luna.”
River nodded. “Ohhhh.”
When it was Silvanna’s turn, she found herself facing a tall, broad-shouldered boy with warm brown eyes and curly brown hair. “Hey! I’m Luke. Name?”
“Silvanna,” she replied.
He smiled at her. “Ooh, you’re Luna’s sister, right?”
He handed her a pin. It was a white circle with two smaller circles – one red, one blue – inside and the word GARNET printed across it. Her name and session were scribbled in black marker. “You’re in Garnet cabin. Follow the path behind the stage and find the sign that matches your pin. Welcome to Camp Pelangi!”
Silvanna thanked him and joined the crowd of people walking along a small stone path at the edge of the grass. She glanced around for Ottilie or River, but neither of them were near. Instead, she found herself walking next to a girl with shoulder-length blonde hair.
“Hey! I’m Dusk!” she chirped, smiling warmly at Silvanna.
“Hey!” she replied happily. “I’m Silv!”
Dusk glanced at the pin on Silvanna’s shirt. “Ooh, Garnet. I’m in Sapphire.” She pointed to the pin on her shirt, which was identical to Silvanna’s except it only had a blue circle.
Silvanna nodded. “Cool. I think that was my sister’s cabin last session.”
“Ooh, your sister’s a head counselor? Mine too!” Dusk replied cheerily. “I’m Dawn’s sister.”
Silvanna brightened. “Wow, neat! I didn’t know there was anyone else! My sister’s Luna.”
“Has your sister been sending you letters full of gossip and funny stories?” Dusk asked. “Because mine has!”
“Yeah!” Silvanna replied. “Lots of it.”
“Hey!” Starla ran up and nudged Dusk. “You walked right past us! I’m Starla, your CIT.”
Dusk laughed. “Oh well good thing you noticed me! I’m Dusk. Bye Silv!”
Starla glanced at Silvanna with a smile. “Your cabin’s over that way.”
“Bye! Thanks!” Silvanna called and set off in the direction that Starla had pointed in. She spotted the sign easily enough. A few girls were crowded under it, talking excitedly.
She hurried up. “Hey! This is Garnet, right? I’m Silv!”
“Silv!” Someone squealed from behind her.
Silvanna turned with a huge grin. “Luna! Hey!”
Luna beamed at her twin. “I’m your counselor!”
Silv blinked. “Whoa, really? That’s awesome!”
Luna nodded. “Come meet the rest of our cabin,” she said brightly, putting her arm around Silvanna and guiding her over to three other girls.
“Hey, Silv!” Ottilie called.
Silvanna smiled at her friend, happy to see they were in the same cabin. “Hey Ottie! Nice to see you again!”
“This is Cleo and Lion,” Luna interrupted, gesturing to the two other girls. Lion waved.
Luna glanced at her list. “Now, let’s head up to the cabin and get settled. Follow me!”
Silvanna set off up a hill to a group of cabins alongside the rest of her cabin. Her smile felt like it was bursting off her face. It felt wonderful to be in the same cabin as her sister and her friend, as well as two other lovely new girls. She was sure she, Cleo, and Lion would be great friends in just a few days. That was how camp worked. She’d see River and Dusk again soon, and meet lots of new people. She, River, Starla, Iris, and Luna would have their “orchestra”, along with some other people who would probably want to be in it.
She glanced back at the stone circle of gathering people. A cabin whos sign was a cream oval was heading up the hill just behind them, and campers were still streaming into the pavilion, running to meet their new cabinmates. Everyone was happy.
Camp was off to a great start.
Her foot hit a jutting stone in the path and she tripped. Luckily Cleo had good reflexes and caught her before she hit the ground.
“Are you okay?” Lion gasped.
Silv stood up and brushed off at her pants. “Yeah, I’m fine. I just wasn’t paying attention. Thanks a bunch, Cleo!”
Cleo shrugged. “No problem. It would suck so much if you got injured on your first day.”
“Or at all!” Lion broke in.
The group laughed and continued up the hill.
A pebble, dislodged by Silvanna’s foot, rolled down the hill.
A green glow, disguised in the light of the sun, lit the stones.
Chapter 2 Edit
It’s so dark…
Why is it so dark…
Does someone have a green flashlight?
No that couldn’t be right.
She’d fallen asleep again.
Swan rubbed her eyes and propped herself up on the bed, squinting outside the windows. She knew it was late. Probably early by this point.
A few hours ago… or minutes, she wasn’t sure, she would have welcomed sleep. It was so odd to sleep in an unfamiliar place. She’d been to camp last year. She knew how it felt to sleep in a cabin, on a bunk (and she was on the top bunk again). She knew how it felt to be away from home.
But she could never sleep on the first night.
Maybe I could draw all those trees I was dreaming about. Would that tire me out?
Sighing, she curled her blanket over her shoulders like a cape and reached to the dresser at the side of her bed. Laid on top were some of her belongings. She reached for her sketchbook and a pencil, but accidentally knocked a book onto the floor.
Swan froze and dropped back under her covers, clutching the sketchbook and pencil to her chest. I hope I don’t get in trouble. I’m not supposed to be awake. I don’t want to be awake!
Heart pounding, she heard Fire groan and roll over from somewhere beneath her, but after that the heavy breathing of her sleeping cabinmates continued and Swan let out a breath. Sitting up in bed, she raised her pencil to the paper and began to sketch in the dim light.
“Swan! Swan! Swaaaaaaaaaaaaaan! Wake up!”
“Puuuurple moooossss,” Swan groaned, more than half asleep.
“Swan!” Wavey yelled sharply, and the brunette jerked awake. “What?”
“Kinks has been trying to wake you up,” Wavey replied, sliding a brush through her purple-tipped golden hair. “We have to go to breakfast soon. Don’t worry, you’ve still got time.”
Kinks stood beside her bunk, peering up. The other girls were already dressed and doing some last-minute unpacking or hanging out, except Moon, who was still in her pajamas and looked like she hadn’t gotten up long before Swan had.
That’s a relief.
Swan hurried to get ready and in no time was dressed in her black art shirt and jean shorts.
“Sooo,” Kinks said mischievously, nudging Swan. “What was that about purple moss? They say when one dreams of brightly colored plants, they have a cruuuuuuush.”
“Wha- where? No I don’t!” Swan protested. “They don’t say that, do they?”
Kinks just laughed in response.
“C’mon guys, we have a breakfast train to catch!” Fire yelled, and the girls quickly hurried out of the cabin, stomachs rumbling. The camp food was exceptionally good.
The Amethyst table was marked by a sign with their symbol – a purple circle with white lining – and rested between Peridot and Pearl. Swan sat between Wavey and Moon and munched on her pancakes drizzled with maple syrup. Moon’s were practically drowning in them. The breakfast hall was filled with the excited chatter of the first-day campers. Trainees stood at the buffet tables at the edge of the room, serving the campers, CITs, and counselors. There was an air of cheerfulness, more than usual.
After breakfast the campers went back to the amphitheater, where Hazel stood on the stage, with Mason, Rachel, Ryan, and Jamila – the heads of art, cooking, art, music, and sports respectively, and six of the head counselors. Dawny, the head counselor for Sapphire, had her time off during their first block, and had left right after breakfast, but aside from that, the counselors that weren’t leading an activity were helping out around camp or hanging out.
Yesterday, in the cabin, Wavey had passed out sheets of paper that asked the camper to rate each activity listed from one to ten. The activities were music, horseback riding, dance, photography, sports, swimming, hiking, arts and crafts, boating, diving, gardening, and cooking. She, as well as all the other head counselors, had turned them in to Hazel at last night’s dinner, and now their activities for Slot 1 would be announced.
Hazel waved his arms for quiet and after a few moments the buzz of chatter settled down. “Thank you,” he announced. “As you all know, last night you filled out your activity preference sheet. Your head counselors have turned them in to me and I have created a schedule for all of you with four activities. I tried my best to give you the activities you wanted most, but no one is going to be in something they don’t like. If there was a mistake please let the head counselor running your activity know.”
“In Slot 1, our first rotation of activities,” he continued. “We have music, led by Wavey; archery, led by Blue; sports, led by Luna; arts and crafts, led by Willow Light; cooking, led by Marissa; and photography, led by Willow Rain.”
Hazel nodded toward Ryan, who stepped forward and cleared his throat. “Music will be meeting every day at the instrument room and spending time here,” he announced, before nodding to Wavey, who stepped forward, holding a notecard. “Joining me in music will be Ottilie, Snow, Jasmine, Stoat, and Cleo.”
The rest of the counselors and heads went through their rotations the same way. Swan was placed in Arts and Crafts, led by Willow Light, with Dusk, Lion, River, Kinks, Luana, and Shivy. Willow and Rachel led the group to the Art Room. Swan walked with her cabinmate Kinks and Shivy.
Rachel and the three other art staff, Oceane, Grace, and Kai, along with the two trainees that were currently there, Zoe and Finn, began to set out art supplies at different tables. Each table had a stack of white paper, pencils, colored pencils, erasers, crayons, markers, and pens. One table at the end held glue, stickers, and different colored paper.
“Welcome to Arts and Crafts,” Willow began. “I am your leader and Supreme Overlord. Everything I say goes. Rachel, Oceane, Grace, and Kai are also in charge. Anything they tell you to do you do. We’ll have two trainees here every day. Today we have Zoe and Finn. While they are here they get the same amount of respect as you’d give to me and any of the art staff.”
She waved her hand at the tables. “We’ll be doing a different form of art every day. Today we’re doing drawing. Simple. You can draw anything you want as long as it’s not hurtful or inappropriate. Bonus points if your drawing involves me as queen, stalkerinas, or food.”
“I’m drawing food,” Lion immediately replied.
“What’s a stalkerina?” Luana whispered to Shivy.
Willow waved her hand at the tables again. “That’s it. Draw.”
Swan headed over to a table with River and Dusk and lifted the pencil to her paper. She began to draw a cat, sitting down with its tail curled over its paws in a peaceful and comfortable position, though its eyes held a glow of interest and uncertainty, like there was something they didn’t know that they wanted to. She colored it in gray, with paler gray spots, and with green eyes that had a slight glow to them.
Almost satisfied, she sat back and looked at the drawing. She wouldn’t have time to finish another one, but she reached for another piece of paper anyway. I can finish later.
“Wow, that’s really good!” Dusk exclaimed, peering over at Swan’s drawing. Swan glanced at Dusk’s drawing in return. She had drawn a pretty good hamburger in a dark green wrapper.
“Thanks!” Swan replied. “I draw a lot. It could be better, though.”
Dusk laughed and nudged the other girl. “You kidding? It’s great!”
Swan grinned back at her. “Yours is really nice too.”
“Aw, thanks!” Dusk replied, smiling.
“Time to clean up! Drop your pencils!” Wollow yelled from the other side of the room.
Swan laughed and pushed her paper back in place. “Guess I won’t be able to start a new one. Good thing I’ve got my sketchbook in my cabin.”
“Do you have any spare colored pencils?” River asked, picking up her half-finished drawing of a guitar.
“I do,” Dusk replied before Swan could open her mouth. “I’ll give them to you during rest hour.”
“Thanks!” River replied cheerily. “I’m in the Ruby cabin.”
“I’m in Sapphire,” Dusk added. “See you then!”
“We should have a drawing session,” Swan put in.
River pursed her lips. “Let’s suggest it to our counselors. We have group activities after dinner and campers can suggest them.”
Dusk glanced around. “Everyone here would like that.”
Swan nodded. “I think my counselor would like that. I can suggest it.”
Dusk nodded. “Fine by me.”
River nodded as well, confirming it. “You can tell her we want it too.”
Swan mock saluted to the laughter of the other girls. “Will do!”
They ran down the hill after the rest of their group, laughing, not a care in the world.
Chapter 3 Edit
The pool water shone like glass. Untouched. The light of the midmorning sun glanced off of it, giving it a pearly blue sheen.
That is, until Willow Rain jumped in.
The head counselor leaped in with a neat dive and resurfaced, black hair plastered to her cheeks. “Welcome to swimming!” she called. “For now, we have the pool to ourselves. However, there is a boating activity at this time, and we’ll be rotating through the pool, lake, and river. We’ll also end up sharing sometimes.”
“We won’t be doing much today,” she continued. “I suppose you all know how to swim, so a swimming test won’t be necessary, even though you’ll have to take it when your cabin does swimming as an activity. So you’ll only need to do the final part of the test, treading water, as a group today. Then we can do some actual swimming. If you don’t know how to swim, please speak up now.”
Silence. Shifting of feet and curious, impatient glances.
Willow Rain nodded, smiling slightly. “Follow me.”
The head counselor turned and swam to the edge of the deep end. Moon jumped in after her and after a moment’s hesitation Flower and Flame did as well. Soon all the campers were in the pool waiting at the edge of the deep end.
Jason, one of the lifeguards, stood on the concrete in front of them, stopwatch in hand. “Push one arm’s length away from the wall,” he instructed. “Ready… set… tread!”
Flower churned the water with her legs, imagining her invisible underwater bicycle. The pool was mostly silent, except for the splashing and pants of the swimmers, and the quiet murmur of Willow Rain and Sara, another lifeguard.
“So,” she gasped, glancing at Jasmine, who was next to her. “What was your first activity?”
“Music,” Jasmine replied, pushing her arms through the water to keep afloat. “It was fun. We talked about the different musical instruments at camp, and then Wavey and Ollie got their guitars and we all sang together, like at campfire. Next time we’re going to be splitting into groups. Wavey is going to lead a woodwind sectional, Samantha is going to lead brass, Adrian is going to lead percussion, and Tessie will lead voice. I want to sing.”
“Fun!” Flower replied. “I suck at it.”
“Everybody sucks at campfire,” Jasmine answered, her grin widening.
Flower giggled. “True.”
“Aaaaaaand that’s time!” Jason called. “Congratulations, you all passed. Just barely, though. C+, I’d say.”
Hailey snorted and shoved him. “Shut up. You all did great.”
Willow Rain pushed off the wall and swam gracefully to the edge of the shallow end. “Let’s have some races, shall we?”
“Ooh, a competition,” Moon muttered, splashing after Willow Rain.
Flower wrung out her straight dark brown hair, smiling slightly. She hadn’t won any races, but they had been fun. Her favorite had been the four lap relay, where Silvanna and Ottilie were the last swimmers and had nearly come in on a tie! None of the campers could see who finished first, and they both blazed across the pool at the speed of light.
A distant rumble reached her ears and she lifted her head, frowning. I thought there was no music block for this activity slot. Besides, Jazzy said they didn’t do percussion. So what could it be?
She glanced around. The other campers and staff were looking up in confusion as well. Riley jumped out of the pool, looking worriedly at the sky, but it was basically cloudless.
Silvanna noticed it first.
“The rocks are rolling down the hill!” she yelled, pointing up at the large, rather muddy and rocky hill on the left side of the pool.
“She’s right!” Ottilie gasped. “Those rocks are really big!”
“LANDSLIDE!!!!!” Moon yelled.
Flower frowned and turned to Flame. “We have the fence, so we’ll be okay, right?”
The pool was built in the middle of the hill, and leveled out and fenced on all four sides by mesh.
Flame frowned, but before they could answer, the first rock smashed into the fence, leaving a sizeable dent. Hailey, who had been standing closest, jumped away. “We have to go! The fence won’t hold!”
Flame turned to Flower with a shrug and hurried over to the gate. Willow Rain flung it open and ushered the campers through panickedly, shooting worried glances at the rocks continuing to roll down the hill. The next ones weren’t far from the fence.
Flower hurried toward the gate with everyone else. She paused to let Jasmine and Sara go in front of her.
A rock quite a bit larger than the first hit the fence at full speed and crashed right through, rolling across the concrete, knocking over a lifeguard chair, and splashing straight into the pool. The impact sprayed Riley with pool water, and mud, dirt, small plants, and much smaller rocks, splashed through the opening that the rock had made.
“That’s not going to be fun to clean up,” Riley muttered.
“Just go!” Hailey screamed, giving Flower a last push through the gate and flipping her glossy chestnut hair away from her face.
Flower glanced back as the staff secured the gate as well as they could before joining her fellow campers on their flight down the hill path. She didn’t know where they were going, or what would happen. They were just fleeing, with no clear destination in mind.
What if there’s nowhere safe?
She frantically pushed the unwelcome negative thought away and pushed on, catching up with Jasmine and Ottilie.
“This isn’t normal, is it?!” Jasmine panted.
“Of course not!” Ottilie yelped back. “It’s usually quiet and normal. The most dangerous activity is when Jamila sings in the camp talent show!” The ground began to level out, and their footsteps slowed as they headed into the pavilion where they had gathered earlier. Ashley, Hazel, Tyler, Leaf, and Izzy were on the stage, talking frantically in a tight circle. Marissa and Blue stood on the stage’s steps, yelling at the campers to get some sort of order with no success. Luna’s horseback riding group flooded in just a moment later, with Sammy holding onto the reins of a panicked-looking palomino horse.
Everything was in chaos, punctuated by the sound of rocks and mud slamming down the hills.
Mason scampered up one of the pillars and began to count furiously.
“Get down from there!” Jackson screamed at him. “You’re nuts!”
“Everybody QUIET!!!!!!!!!” Blue yelled at the top of her lungs.
Silence fell over the pavilion.
Sadly, the moment continued to be punctuated by the very noisy sound of rocks rolling down hills.
Blue took a deep breath before continuing. “Campers and CITs, go straight to your head counselor. Aquamarine over there. Ruby here with me. Amethyst in that corner. Garnet near the back. Pearl over by that table. Peridot next to that obnoxiously large fern. Sapphire by the stone bench. Emerald on the path. Jade in the middle. Staff, get up on the stage. Count everyone! NOW!”
Chaos resumed with everyone scurrying to their respective places, but soon enough it was resolved. Campers clustered in their respective groups with counselors and CITs frantically counting all of them and breathing a sigh of relief when they were all there. Over on the stage, Ashley counted every staff member and trainee before breathing her own sigh of relief. The staff dispersed along the stage.
Flower jogged over to where Blue was and nervously awaited their campers’ arrival.
“Good, Peto, you’re here,” Blue said softly, something softening in her eyes. “Ooh, here comes River. And Fallen. Now…” she searched the crowd, not willing to say the unspeakable.
Shivy broke out between the Amethyst and Peridot cabins, bumping into a nervous and distracted Thunder, quickly apologizing, and bursting over to the rest of her cabin. “Sorry. I’m here. I’m fine,” she panted.
Blue gave her own sigh of relief. “Be quicker next time.”
Fallen frowned. “There won’t be a next time.”
River shrugged. “Hopefully not.”
No one answered.
“Blue!” Alana yelled from her place on the edge of the stage. “Is everyone from Ruby here?”
“Yes!” Blue yelled back.
“Wavey, is everyone from Amethyst here?”
Wavey gave a thumbs up.
“Thunder, is everyone from Peridot here?”
“Willow Rain, is everyone from Aquamarine here?”
Flower allowed a small grin to grace her face. Only the Pearl cabin was left. Surely everyone was here.
“Willow Light, is everyone from the Pearl cabin here?”
Willow Light turned away from her group, her face twisted in worry. “Stoat is missing!”
Chapter 4 Edit
Cleo frowned and leaned into Ottilie. Her head swam, struggling to process the events of the day.
She had been enjoying her photography block. She had been with Willow Light, and they had been taking some basic photos of the art room (“home base” for photography, even though they would travel all over camp) with a partner. Hers had been Bluefire. It was fun! They were just getting a great picture outside the window when a wall of earth tumbled down the hill by the pool. Juniper had seen it first, and yelled out to them and the art staff. They even managed to get a picture, but unfortunately it wasn’t a good one. Willow Light and Nico had been down in the indoor theater, which was right next to the art room, talking about some activity for that night.
Stoat had gone to go get them while Oceane led them down to the pavilion and Grace made sure no one was left behind.
The art room had been empty, she said.
Nico was onstage with the rest of the trainees, his head in his hands. Cassie was rubbing his back, trying to comfort him, but it didn’t look like it was working. He obviously blamed himself.
Willow Light was standing with her cabin, her eyes unusually wide and scared. Shady and Rebekah, Stoat’s cabinmates, stood close to her, as if she was worried they would suddenly disappear as well. Rebekah was fidgeting with the sleeve of her loose white top, and Shady was tugging at the zipper of her purple hoodie. Up, down. Up, down.
Cleo rubbed her head and struggled to focus on the stage again. Blue was trying to quiet everyone down again, but this time it wasn’t working as well. Everyone seemed to be in this shocked, panicked state. Stoat wasn’t risky or irresponsible. She was no first-time camper, so she knew the missing girl. Stoat was kind and responsible. Going back to find others sounded like something she’d do.
“Come on.” Cleo turned to Silvanna nudging her shoulder. “We’re going back to our cabin.”
Cleo frowned. She knew it was wrong, but she had been looking forward to the activities later. Oh well.
As she trudged up the hill, Cleo stared at the rough stone and gravel road, her feet kicking carelessly at rocks. Silvanna was leaning her head on Lion’s shoulder, and Lion was clutching her hand. Their steps were careless and uncertain at the same time.
The door squeaked as Silvanna pushed it open, the loudest sound anything had made on their way up. The silence continued as the girls flopped down on their beds, only broken by the occasional heavy sigh.
After a few moments Cleo reached for her bag and pulled out a book, but struggled to focus on the words. All that was running through her head was Stoat, Stoat, Stoat. Glancing up and around the room, she saw that most of her cabinmates were having a similar problem. Lion had pulled out her sketchbook, but her pencil lay on top of it and the paper was mostly untouched. Silvanna had her head buried in her pillow and low, muffled snores rose up from her bunk. Cleo remembered that she had had trouble sleeping the previous night. At least she has something to do.
Sliding out of bed as quietly as she could, she padded over to the window and brushed the scarlet-striped curtains aside to peer out at the camp. The window next to the door provided a pretty good view of the camp. The cabins were situated on a hill, with most of the camp in the valley below, save for the swimming pool, hiking, music, boating, and nature cabins, barn, and garden, which were situated on the surrounding hills. The Garnet cabin was in the first row of cabins, so they had an unblocked view of the camp.
Cleo’s gaze attatched itself to the hill opposite the cabins. It was hard to see with all the trees, but that was where the swimming pool was.
Where the landslide had been.
She dropped her gaze back to the valley. At the foot of the left hill lay the art rooms. We weren’t near the landslide. How could Stoat have gotten lost?
Another thought struck her, and she shuddered. What if she’s still in the art room? Or around there?
Cleo could see the small group of staff searching the landslide area for Stoat. The rest were still on the stage, probably trying to figure out what to do. The cooking staff were in the kitchen, because people would still be hungry, but she could still see the large group of people in the pavilion.
She glanced back at her cabinmates, butterflies churning in her stomach. Silvanna was still asleep, and Lion was still staring at her sketchbook.
A rock with the softness and coldness of clay seemed to solidify in her stomach.
It was only a whisper, but it cut through the silence like a knife through butter. The other girl looked up immediately.
Cleo gulped. “I’m going to go look for Stoat. Want to come?”
Lion blinked, surprised. “What about the staff?”
Cleo shook her head. “I don’t think they’re looking in the right place.” She glanced worriedly at sleeping Silvanna.
Following her gaze, Lion hesitated for a moment, then nodded. “But we have to come back before the counselors do. I don’t want them to think we’ve disappeared too.”
Cleo nodded. “We, uh, we should go then.”
Lion nodded and after a moment slipped off her bunk and came over to join her.
Cleo paused, butterflies swarming in her stomach, before jerking her hand out and giving the knob a sharp twist. The door swung open.
She waited, her foot poised.
No alarms blared.
No staff members ran up the hill.
No Luna screaming about how they’d betrayed her.
Cleo took a step outside. Then another. Then a few more, until she was facing the row of cabins.
There was her own cabin, and Ruby and Sapphire, and Pearl. Behind it were Peridot, Jade, Amethyst, Emerald, and Aquamarine.
She waited, but no CITs charged out of the cabin. No campers poked their heads out wondering why they were there.
A green curtain shivered at a window in Peridot and Cleo froze. The gravel crunched as Lion skidded to a stop behind her.
Cleo stared at the window, then the door, but nothing happened.
Letting out a breath, she turned and headed down the foresty trail. “C’mon, let’s go.”
The door to the art room was left partly ajar, the tables still scattered with photography and art equipment. Rachel’s computer was still open and running on her desk, and Maisie’s sketchbook lay fallen on the floor, open to a half-finished flower drawing. Lion picked it up, closed it, and placed it back on Rachel’s desk.
Cleo wandered near a back table and picked up a paintbrush. “Where could she have gone?”
Lion shrugged. “Dunno. If I-” she paused at footsteps.
Cleo’s mind screamed at her to hide, not wanting to get in trouble, but she was frozen in place. Lion backed up a few paces, eyes, wide.
The door creaked wider and Juniper poked her head into the room. “Ah, here you are.”
“Juni!” Lion yelped, relief and happiness flooding her voice. “Oh my gosh, you scared me.”
Cleo frowned. “What are you doing here?”
Juniper frowned back at her. “I could ask the same of you.”
Cleo rubbed her arms uncomfortably. “Looking for Stoat.”
Juniper nodded. “That’s what I thought. Don’t worry, I’m not turning you in. I just want to come with you.”
“Okay,” Lion replied. “We haven’t found anything, though.”
“Have you looked in Rachel’s office?” Juniper asked.
“We were going to,” Cleo replied tensely. She squeezed behind Rachel’s desk and slipped into the small office, filled with supplies and drawings.
Behind her, she heard Juniper gasp, and Lion yelp “There!”
Nearly tucked behind a bookshelf stocking various colors of paint and rolls of poster paper was a white door, the paint fading and peeling from years of unuse. The hinges creaked when Cleo pushed it open, heart throbbing.
When it was about halfway open, she felt resistance and peeked out. The door was blocked by a bunch of brambles.
“We’re around the side,” Juniper murmured, confirming her thoughts.
Around one side of the art room there was a bunch of overgrown plants. Since it was at the base of the hill, it just led into forest, and no one ventured back there.
“Why is this here?” she wondered aloud.
“Maybe it’s from when there weren’t plants here,” Lion replied.
“Doesn’t matter now,” Juniper cut in. “This is obviously where Stoat is. We need to follow this trail.”
Cleo nodded and squeezed past the brambles and trees along a small dirt trail, barely big enough for them to go single file. She tucked her shoulders in close and tried to keep the branches out of her eyes. Ducking and squeezing, getting quite a few cuts and scrapes on their arms and sides, they slowly made their way along through the forest.
Cleo’s footsteps suddenly slowed and she heard Juniper’s and Lion’s stop as well as she stared at what was in front of them.
“Cleo?” Lion called.
“There’s a tunnel here,” Cleo replied. “It looks so out of place here.”
Juniper peered past her. “This must be an uncharted section!”
Lion took in the surroundings. “When we go back, I’m going to make a map.”
Cleo poked her head inside, but she couldn’t see anything. “Stoat? Stoat?”
“It’s Juniper, Cleo, and Lion!” Juniper called.
“We’re really worried!” Lion added. “We’re not even supposed to be here!”
“That’s right,” another voice sounded behind them.
They spun around fast as lightning, eyes wide. “Blue!”
The head counselor stood in front of them, her hands on her hips. “What do you think you’re doing out here?”
“Looking for Stoat,” Lion replied.
Blue frowned. “I know you had good intentions, but you can’t just run off like that! Silvanna woke up and found you gone and told Luna, and now we’re all worried sick!”
“Sorry,” Cleo mumbled.
“You’ll have time for apologies later,” Blue sighed. “Now it’s off to the Big House.”
Blue turned and marched off.
Cleo pushed herself against the brambles, grimacing, and let Juniper and Lion go ahead of her. She glanced back at the tunnel. Waiting. Inviting. Silent and unknown.
Stoat, are you in there?
How will I get to you?
“Well that was weird,” Dewy remarked, pulling her jacket closer over her shoulders. “Everyone seems so calm.”
Blue snorted. “Like we’re running around in circles screaming, but okay. Where should we try next?”
“What about the kitchen?” Frosty asked. “Flo is usually making dinner around now.”
“Ooh, food.” Ottie grinned. “I wonder if we can get any snacks.”
Leaf shrugged. “I’m down. Let’s go.”
“Maybe Embix will be there,” Peto replied wistfully. No one answered.
Blue started off, not waiting for anyone else. Sky hurried after her. “Well if what Moss and Darkie said in the infirmary was any indication, she’s not. Let’s go.”
On that happy note, the group headed across the hill to the large building that housed the mess hall and the kitchen, waving to Shady, Flamey, and Moon as they passed a ball around on the way. Swany pushed the door open and they headed into the mess hall, their footsteps echoing on the smooth wooden floor. Dewy had rarely seen the mess hall empty, and it had an odd peacefulness to it. Afternoon sun poured through the windows, lighting up the tables and turning the browns to tan and gold. After all the weirdness they’d seen so far, she would have expected it to be eerie, but it wasn’t.
Peto skipped ahead and swung open the door to the kitchens. Blue flinched, but the rest of the group followed, poking their heads in a bit warily.
“Hi!” Wavey called, not looking up from where she was cutting potatoes. Across the kitchen, Wollow poured chocolate chips into a bowl and shoved them into the mircowave. She glanced up with a nod.
Dewy exchanged a glance with Frosty. No Flo.
“Hey, have you guys seen Flo?” Leaf asked.
Wavey and Wollow glanced at each other. “I came in to get a snack and found Wollow. I wanted to make French fries,” Wavey replied with a shrug.
“I never miss a chance to become the Supreme Overlord of something,” Wollow added. “She went to some BlogTeam meeting or something. I saw her leaving. She asked me to check out the oven while she was gone.”
Dewy nodded, remembering that the oven had been faulty for the last couple of days. She winced at the memory of Spotzel’s failed apple pie from last night. At least Dusky had made ice cream to go along with it. They weren’t left completely without a dessert.
Frosty broke the silence that followed, with Wavey and Wollow continuing their work. “Whatcha guys doing?”
“Making French fries,” Wavey repeated.
“I’m making candies,” Wollow added, pulling her bowl out of the microwave and stirring it.
“You know we have a candy store, right?” Win asked, raising an eyebrow.
Wollow simply nodded. “I know.”
“Are you going to fix the oven?” Sky asked quizzically.
Wollow shrugged. “I took a look at it, and tweaked some of the code. But this weird timeout thing came up. It should be done soon, so I’ll check then.”
Peto reached for her phone. “I can call Steppy if you need help.”
Wollow waved her off. “Thanks, but no. Wavey already offered, with Stoatie. I got it. We’ll have a fixed oven and chocolates soon.”
“And French fries!” Wavey sang, pouring some of her potatoes in a bowl. Win sighed.
Blue shifted from foot to foot, seeming to hold a pessimistic reply in. “Well if you see Flo, please tell us,” she replied at last.
Dewy nodded earnestly. “Or any other BlogTeam members. It’s really important.”
Wavey narrowed her eyes, and Dewy hoped she wouldn’t go into theory land. But to her relief, the other girl nodded. “Will do. Where will you be?”
Dewy glanced back at her group and shrugged. “Around.”
“We’re going to the archery range next,” Sky added.
“Then after that, probably… the swimming pool,” Swany said after a moment’s thought. She exchanged a glance with Win. Dewy nodded in understanding. Jayie was going there earlier with Streamy, Jetty, and Haz.
Wollow nodded. “We’ll reach you.”
Frosty grinned. “Thanks.”
Peto reached up on her toes. “Sooo, what else is for dinner besides French fries?”
“Burgers?” Leaf asked hopefully.
“No, silly!” Peto replied. “Those have beef in them.”
Wavey laughed. “I was thinking maybe quesadillas. Or maybe those mini tacos Maple brought in on her last trip to the store. We still have a few of those.”
Blue snorted. “I think Silv and Dawny ate them all.”
Frosty stuck his hands in his pockets. “If Fawny, Thunder, and Wistep didn’t on their kitchen raids.”
Swany laughed. “I like those. They brought back marshmallows once. We had a marshmallow fight. I almost won, but Lily jumped on the bed and got everyone from there.”
Wavey nodded appreciatively. “Nice strategy.”
Swany shrugged. “Don’t compliment me. It was Lily.”
Sky nudged her friend’s shoulder. “Don’t brag just because you’re in the rowdy cabin,” she scolded affectionately.
Win cleared his throat. “Anyway! We should be going.” He took a step toward the door.
Blue nodded uncomfortably. “Right. The archery range.” Where Russet is supposed to be.
Wavey tipped her head. “I saw Ice and Willa go there earlier,” she commented.
Sky nodded. “We were following Russet’s group of Dais, Blaz, and Aster, but yeah. Hopefully it’s not too crowded.”
“It shouldn’t be,” Leaf replied, tugging their hands through their hair at the uncomfortable silence that followed. Even Wavey and Wollow might have figured out the meaning of their words.
Wavey pressed her hands against the counter. “Well, if you see Beech or Fallen, let them know that I still have their swim goggles.”
Peto nodded. “Will do.”
Win sighed. “All right, we really have to go. Bye.” Not waiting any longer, he pushed open the door. Blue and Sky followed him. Frosty shot Wavey and Wollow an apologetic smile and headed out the door as well. Dewy waited for Peto and Swany to leave, waiting a little bit longer. She took a few steps toward the counter. “Please don’t worry. Everything’s going to be fine.”
“Yeah.” Wavey nodded, studying Dewy’s face. She hoped she hadn’t said the wrong thing.
“Dewy!” Swany called through the door. “Win’s getting impatient!”
“Coming!” Dewy called back. With an awkward wave, she slipped through the door and after her group.
They were already outside. Sky was fiddling with some grass on the ground. Peto was talking to Jay and Kinky. Leaf was running down the hill to reach Loudy and Bluefire. Dewy gazed across the camp, at all its BlogClanners scattered about. So many familiar faces.
She had to keep them safe.
She reached out a hand and pulled Sky to her feet. “So,” she muttered. “Archery range. Let’s keep going.”
BlogClanners Featured Edit
- Ottie (Ottilie)
- Cheetah (Cleo)
- Silv (Silvanna)
- Moon(breeze) (Luna)
- Wistep (Willow Rain)
- Wollow (Willow Light)
- Potato (Luana)
- Sylph (Song)
- Sky (Starla)
- Beech (Marissa)
- Oakie (Samuel)
- Almond (Rebekah)
- Libbypaw (Savannah)
- Foxie (Rayanna)
- Stream (Kasumi)