"The victim's head was left in front of their family's door step."
My brain keeps recalling that horrid news broadcast. Every day more people keep getting snatched from their homes and all that's left of them is their head. Kidnapped, killed, dismembered, then left on their family's doorstep.
Unfortunately, it's the poverty-stricken neighborhoods that are being targeted. I'm not worried about my safety, my family is very wealthy. My father, Theodore Everglot, owns a multi-million dollar company selling golf products. It's my best friend I'm worried about.
Florence O'Connor, a orange curly headed ball of energy. She lives in a pretty poor neighborhood, that disgusting killer had already taken someone's life near her home and with summer approaching, she'll be home all alone while her parents work from day to night.
That's not the only person that's life had been cut short. Florence and I had another friend, Jaiden Martin. She was killed too. Her mother was diagnosed with PTSD after finding her daughter's head.
Jaiden and I were friends but Florence and Jaiden were inseparable. They had these best friends bracelets that Jaiden made for them.
They were braided together carefully with colorful strings. She'd add a little charm on it with their initials.
They were very beautiful, people often asked where Florence bought it and she'd always tell them that they were exclusive and that the store ran out and will never make them again. Jaiden loved making bracelets, she even made one for me and I love it but I don't wear it because Florence doesn't wear it. It makes her too sad.
I don't want to lose Florence that way.
I've had nightmares about her getting kidnapped. I'd wake up in a cold sweat after dreaming about her cold blue skin, stiff and frozen with a look of fear. Her curly hair matted to the dried blood on her porch, the edges of her neck where it had been cut all jagged and peeling. Then the worst would happen, her head would start moving. Her face slowly contorting into a long frown, tears would start to run down her cheeks as her loud sobs would make me shiver. I'd cover my ears to block the noise but it somehow made it louder. She'd scream and scream and scream...then i'd wake up crying.
My parents saw how upset I was, so for the summer they paid for her to come to my summer camp! Camp Somber Falls. I was so excited! I couldn't wait to show her the cabin I always stay in and for her to meet all the counselors and most importantly, she was safe. She is safe.
I unpack my bags and watch as Florence looks around in awe at the huge cabin. She suddenly runs to our bunk and jumps on the bed. "OooooOoooOo..comfy."she laughs melting into the bed.
I'm happy to see Florence feeling cheerful. After Jaiden died she was stuck in her room for almost a whole month. I don't mention Jaiden to her at all, I feel like she should talk about it but everytime I mentioned her, Florence would...shut down. No facial expressions, no words, no nothing, so eventually I just stopped trying. I know we're best friends but I feel like I don't make Florence as happy as Jaiden but I won't let that stop me from making sure she has an amazing summer.
"I'm glad you like it." I state with a grin on my face. "Like it? I love it! I wanna live here." She gets up and runs to me squeezing me into a hug. "Thank yooouu!" I giggle and continue to unpack, speaking of unpacking. "Aren't you going to put your things away?"
Her smile drops and she puts on a pouty face. "Right now?" She says, I roll my eyes. "Yes, now. So you won't have to do it later." I say trying to convince her. "Mmmmm." She hums thinking about it.
Beep! My watch beeps.
"Never mind, we have to go to the orientation."
"HAH! WASN'T MENT TO BE!" She grabs my wrist and pulls me out of the cabin. We walk along the pebble path to the main building. I'm convinced that no matter how many times I look at that building, I will never cease to be amazed at the architecture.
A grand building with a large gold rimmed clock in the middle, under it the name of the camp. The east and west wings stretch far seeming almost endless. Even though it's only a two story building I'm sure you'd get lost without a map. Not that I think you'd mind. The outside is a rich blue color. The inside walls are a light cream, the edges carved with gold, the floors a shiny marble.
Eventually we reach the auditorium. We follow the carpeted stairs to a pair of empty seats. We sit in anticipation waiting for someone to walk on stage. I can hear the excited whispers of other campers. One thing I love about this camp is that there aren't that many campers, it's a very expensive camp most people can't afford and there aren't many spots open especially since some spots are reserved for some people, like me.
I get pulled out of my thoughts by Florence gasping very dramatically. "What?" I ask. She gasps even harder.
"I don't....understand." I squint at her. This times she points while her mouth still gapes open. I follow her finger and see she's pointing at one of the camp counselors, Henry Walton.
I'm still confused. "And?" I say. She slowly moves her head next to mine. There's a long pause before she whispers, "He's hooooooottt."
"Oh my gosh, really?" I lean my head back to look at her in disappointment. "He's 25 years old." I say. "Well if you flip my age around I'm 71." "And a predator." I rebuttal. "Correction...a cougar." She said in a low voice, wriggling her eyebrows. Great. My best friend wants to harass the camp counselor.
"You better not try to flirt with him" I say sternly. "But whyyy?" She complains. "What do you mean why? Because you and I are 17 year old
c h i l d r e n
And he is an
A d u l t." I desperately explain. Florence puts on a sarcastic motherly posture. "My dear Corinne." She starts. "I'm not going to date him, that's illegal." She says. "Exactly." I nod. "But flirting isn't." I cross my arms. "Okay, you have to promise me you won't bother him.", "What? You like him too?" A sly grin spreads on her face. "No!" I yell kinda loudly.
Some of the other campers glance at me. I awkwardly smile and wave at them then turn my attention back to Florence. "Ahem...no, I just am really good friends with Henry and I will not have my best friend mess with him." I state. "Ooh so his name is Henry?" I mentally face palm. I go to scold her but the head camp counselor walks onto stage and begins talking.
"Hello campers, I'm Railey Packwood. I'm glad to see both new and familiar faces. Like every year we will have a variety of fun and challenging activities but of course there are rules." I sneak a peek at Florence, her eyes are glued to Railey. I smile and continue to listen. "Please wake up before 7 am, we have a busy schedule every day and we can't do all the activities if we have people sleeping in. There is also a curfew, lights out at 10.
Keep your cabins clean please, last time I remember your mother didn't give birth to a pig."
I see florence get taken aback a bit by the harsh comment. She gives me a bewildered look. "That's just how Railey is." I whisper. Railey's voice cuts through the auditorium.
"Same with the cafeteria, throw away your trash. Fights, arguments, and bullying are not tolerated and can even get you sent home."
Everyone went silent after that sentence. No one wants to go home. I start to get tense, what if Florence gets sent home? I mean she doesn't fight but she is kinda rough around the edges. My mind flashes to all the times she's talked back to her teachers. What if she talks back to Railey! I cover my face at the thought embarrassed. If she gets sent home she'll be vulnerable again. She could get killed. She'll get hurt and I'll be here not able to do anything! I think about Jaiden. I really wish she wouldn't cross my mind so often.
I jump at the touch of Florence's hand on my shoulder. " You..okay?" She looked concern. "Y-yea." I grin. She doesn't look convinced but she turns her head back to the stage anyway.
"Cabin 1, your camp counselor is Ashley."
She motions to a dirty blonde, young, female counselor. She smiles and waves. Honestly, she's one of my favorites, she's very optimistic and pretty much everyone's friend. Mostly her activities consist of Arts and crafts type stuff.
"Cabin 2 is with Henry."
I've gone to this camp for 5 years already and not once have I ever seen Henry mad or upset. He loves this job. I know because he says it a lot.
Florence looks at me with a huge smile. "We're Cabin 4." I told her. She stops smiling.
"Cabin 3 is with Dennis."
Dennis is the oldest one. He's in his 40's and is super chill. He always has this little grin on his face and likes talking to the campers. He mainly teaches music. Dennis knows like 12 different instruments but his favorite one is the ukulele, he plays it often, it's nice to listen to.
"And Cabin 4 is with me."
Florence gives me this scared look. "We got the strict one and cabin 2 gets the hot one?! That's not fair!" She crosses her arms and slunks in her seat. I chuckle at her behavior but my earlier thoughts sneak their way back into my head. "Florence." I say. "Ye?" She says. "Please, behave. Just don't be rude to Railey." I plead. She sits up and smirks. "Rude? When have I ever been rude?" She jokes. My face stays the same and she realizes I'm serious.
"I'll behave, Corinne. I promise." She says. I let out a sigh of relief. "Thank you."