Control the Beat

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8 | Oh Mighty One

“So what exactly is bonding day?" I questioned Shane.

We were all sitting around a small, yet warm, camp fire. That being myself, Shane, Josh, Max, Cassie and Shannon. It was ten o’clock on Thursday night, and Josh came up with the ingenious idea, to have a mini campfire.

‘It’ll be fun.’ He had said.

‘It gives us a chance to settle in.’ He added.

What he forgot to say was that we would be surrounded by moths and spiders, that we would be sitting uncomfortable on the hard ground or that he would refuse to let us go to bed, and put up a huge fuss until we stayed until eleven o’clock.

“Well basically it’s a day that we all bond and get to know each other.” Shane replied.

I gasped. “Really? No way! Bonding day is a day… Where we bond! Did you know that guys?” I cried out sarcastically. “No duh genius!”

Shane rolled his eyes, and continued. “It’s also where we bond with outsiders.”

“Outsiders?”

“Camp Turn It Up. It’s the neighboring music camp. Our rivals.” Shannon explained.

Shannon looked amazing that night. She was wearing a pair of waist high jeans, and a pretty blouse, her hair was straight and her make up perfect. I remember asking her what the occasion was, yet she refused to tell.

“Why would our ‘rivals’ be coming here, if they’re our rivals?” I asked confused.

“We don’t have a choice to be honest.” Josh added, “Mr William’s says that it’s important that we ‘stay close to our friends’, what he doesn’t understand is that we aren’t friends.”

I yawned and lay my head onto Shane’s lap. “Mr William’s seem’s cool.”

Mr Williams, Jay Williams was an old rock star. He set up the camp years ago, in hope to let kids share their musical talent. He is now almost seventy eight, and too old to run the camp, so he has let Dave take charge for now, until his grandson is old enough to take control. His grandson is only fifteen, so we have another three years of Dave.

“He is.” Shane agreed, “I kind of miss him.”

My eyes fluttered closed, and I sighed. “Josh can we go in yet?”

“You all are the most boring people ever.” Josh complained. “This shit is fun! Let’s stay out until midnight.”

“No!” Max cried out.

“Just… No.” Shane agreed.

“You’re taking the piss right?” I asked.

“Sure!” Shannon piped up.

“Josh. We are leaving.” Cassie announces. She jumps to her feet, kisses Josh on the head and patted it like he was a child. “Good boy!”

I laughed out loud, and dragged Shannon to her feet. “Come on! We need some sleep.”

“But the sky’s pretty!” Shannon whined.

“The ceiling of our cosy cabin is also pretty. Move it!”

I woke up really early that morning. I basically only had seven hours of sleep. I groaned and rubbed my eyes, looking over to Shannon. Who was still fast asleep.

There was voices outside, which I presumed is what had woke me. I jumped out of my bed, accidentally standing on one of Shannon’s lipstick lids.

When you aren’t wearing any shoes, trust me. It hurts.

I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to stop myself from crying out in pain. “Ow, ow, ow..” I whispered, hopping over to my wardrobe and grabbing a pair of shoes. I slipped them on, with a simple hoodie, and stepped outside.

It was already bright. The birds were singing to themselves, and the voices were gone.

Singing to themselves? How do you know they aren’t singing to someone else? Or simply talking to their friends. They’re probably laughing at us like, ‘Haha, that dopey human thinks we’re singing! Idiots.’

I tiptoed down the steps, and began walking down the path. Listening out for any voices, I was curious to who would be up at this time in the morning.

“Right this way Mr Carlow.” I heard Dave say. “Into my office, all the kids are asleep so we’re good.”

I frowned, and waited for our manager and the stranger to walk into the small building, which was the manager’s office, before running over and putting my ear to the door.

“-Don’t know how long this will last! Chris Marren has been on my tail for ages.” I heard Dave mutter.

“Chris Marren already has his own camp. He won’t bother with this one.” The stranger replied.

“No. Chris Marren want’s to take this camp over! I know he does.”

“But he wouldn’t be able to afford this place anyway! And we will fight him for it. He isn’t taking over this camp.”

I furrowed my eyebrows, confused. Who’s taking over the camp?

“Okay.” Dave sighed. “Just sign this and go before anyone wakes up.”

My eyes widened, and I sprinted away from the door, back to my cabin. I didn’t attend on running straight into a person.

“Ow! Shit May. Where are you running to?” Josh cried out in pain, steadying me as he does so.

I didn’t reply, I blinked a few times.

Wait for it.

Wait for it.

“Achoo!”

After I sneezed, I was able to rub my poor nose. “What are you made of?” I inquired. “Brick?”

“It’s called cold, hard muscle.” Josh mused.

“Do you even work out?” I asked, curiously.

“Where exactly do you think the muscle comes from?”

“Dancing?”

“No.”

“So do you like do weights, or are you more of a yoga guy?”

“Just shut up.”

I chuckled, and looped my arm around his. “I saw Dave, he had some visitor here. It was secret though, said we couldn’t find out.”

“He told you that?” Josh asked, bewildered.

“No… I kind of overheard them talking, accidentally, of course.”

“Of course.”Josh repeated nodding sarcastically.

“Anyway. He was saying that some guy called… What’s his name?” I muttered to myself, wracking my brains.

“Oh wait, I’ll just get my psychic machine out!” Josh joked.

“Chris Marren! Some guy called Chris Marren is trying to steal the camp.”

“Steal the camp?”

I nodded, chewing on my nails. “If this guy steals the camp, Josh… I can’t go back home. Not yet. I’ll beat the shit out of him before I’m made go home.”

Josh wrapped his arm around my waist, and pulled me in for a hug. “Hey, It’ll be okay! Chris Marren? He’s the owner of Turn It Up. We can find out more when they come and visit.” He explains, hugging me tighter and sits his chin on my head as he cradles.

Advantages of being small: The passage above.

I didn’t think much of the hug. Josh seemed like a typical player, and showing affection was probably second nature to him.

I sighed. “What if the visit is just so he can get more information?”

“Then we won’t let him, this is my home too.” Josh murmurs into my hair.

“Operation defend Camp SUTB?” I announced.

“Activated.” Josh agreed.

“Up! Shannon! Wake up! Wake up rise and shine! The winter’s gone and the weather’s fine! Come and play in the-“I sang, to my sleepy roommate.

“Stop that torture!” Shannon cried

“Sucks doesn’t it?” I smirked, “Revenge is sweet.”

“You did not just quote Severus Snape-” Shannon checked her watch, “-At eight O’clock in the morning!”

“Yes. Yes I did.” I replied simply. “Now come on. I have loads to tell you.”

“Define loads.”

“A few sentences.”

Shannon groaned, and cursed a few times under her breath. She clambered clumsily out of her bed, and screamed in pain as she stepped on a lipstick lid.

“Ow, ow, ow.”

“It hurts right?” I smiled, “Now you know how I felt this morning!”

“You put that there?”

“Of course I did.”

“You’re just evil.”

I grinned, and tackled her in a hug. “I know pet. I know.”

Shannon took probably an hour to get ready. Like, seriously? I can get ready in twenty minutes.

Today she sat beside me at the weirdo table. (I changed the name from badass to weirdo. It sounds better).

“Won’t queen W be pissed that you’re sitting with us?” I asked.

Shannon just shrugged in reply, and rested her head on my shoulder. “Speak.”

“Okay, so I overheard Dave today with some guy. He was saying that Chris Marren is trying to take over the camp.”

Shannon jumped up, fully awake. “Chris Marren? As in TIU Chris Marren!”

“Do you know any other Chris Marren?” Josh asked.

“Jesus..” Cassie muttered. “That means we’d be joined with Turn It Up.”

“Ew.” Max whined.

I bit my lip, thinking hard. “What’s wrong with TIU anyway?”

“They are assholes.” Shane replied cheerfully. I gave his answer a thumbs up, and he laughed.

I helped myself to some Nutella straight out of the jar. It was there to be put on toast, but I wasn’t in the mood for toast. I was in the mood for Nutella, and only Nutella. I looked up to see Shane watching me with a weirded out expression.

‘Ew’ he mouths.

I showed him my finger, to let him know that I didn’t give a flying unicorn, and continued licking the Nutella off the spoon.

“That’s them.” Cassie cried out suddenly.

I turned around to see a group of people walking towards us through the entrance gate. They were all dressed casually, and looked a lot like Camp Step Up The Beat.

“Oh god.” I watched Jessica stand up, and fix her already perfect hair.

“She’s getting ready for Chase.” Shannon laughed.

The camps sirens began to go off as the group of kids walked towards us.

“Calm down everyone! I’d like you all to welcome Turn It Up into our own camp. Happy Bonding day!” Dave shouted, a sour expression on his face.

I stood up with the rest of the camp.

“Come on.” Max mutters.

“Where?”

“To the front of the line. You’re one of the most intimidating people here. You’ll be up beside me, Josh, Shane, Shannon, Jessica, Corey and James. We have to ‘welcome’ them.”

I rolled my eyes at the immaturity of it all, but followed anyway.

We walked up in front of our own camp towards the group. It felt like one of those dramatic movies, like in twilight, when they’re walking over to meet the Volturi.

Oh god, I’m now referring my life to twilight. Help me.

“Chase. Hi there!” Jessica called out in greeting, “It’s nice to see you and your camp again.”

“Of course.” The person replied, “Same to you Jess.”

They kept approaching until they were right in front of us. That’s when I saw it.

“You’ve got to be kidding me…” I whispered, Josh glanced at me, confused. The guy looked over at me, and grinned in realization.

“May Riley.” He smirked.

“Hey delivery guy.” I replied casually, trying to stay cool. Chase was here. I think his name was Chase? What a stupid name..

“Camp Step Up The Beat? You should’ve told me, I would have brought you to camp Turn It Up instead. The best camp, for the best girl.” He winked.

“Okay, Prince Charming, or whatever you said your name was-“

“You can stick with future husband.”

“-It’s cute that you think I’m the best girl, but diss this camp while pathetically flirting again? I will, personally of course, be sure that you regret it.” I threatened.

“Damn, about time SUTB got someone with a little feistiness.”

“And it’s about time TIU remove some of that cockiness.”

“Okay! Okay!” Shane interrupts, “Back it up. How do you two know each other?”

“He was a delivery boy, and he was doing stuff for my neighbors house.” I grumbled. The last thing I wanted was for a guy who I had a small tinsy bit of an amusing moment with from back home, to be here at camp. The memory of me calling him ‘future husband’ made me blush deeply.

Chase just grinned at me. He looked even better out of his uniform, he was wearing a white t-shirt and denim jeans. He also wore a cocky grin that I was eager to slap off his face.

“Come on guys.” A man behind Chase called out. “Let’s all play nice. It’s bonding day after all.” The man seemed to be in his twenties. He was quite good looking. Yet I recognized him from somewhere.

“Do I know you?” I asked curiously.

“I doubt it.” He replied, with a tight smile.

“That’s Chris Marren.” Shannon murmured.

“Well guys. Do follow me!” Jessica smiled, she looped her arm through Chase’s and pulled him away. Corey scowled slightly, yet also followed.

“Chris!” Dave shouted, with a fake smile plastered to his face.

“Hey Dave.” Chris greeted. I watched their transaction curiously. What is he up too?

“Shannon, would you be able to lead Camp Turn It up to the concert area?” Dave smiled.

Shannon nodded in response, “Sure. Hey! Everybody!” She shouted, trying to get both of the camp’s attention.

“Oi! Listen up!” I roared. Everyone went quiet.

I burst out laughing. “Oh my god, that actually worked!”

Shannon rolled her eyes, laughing. “Okay, oh mighty one. You’re taking over my place. Tell them to go to the concert area.”

“Yeah, yeah. Get the fuck to the concert area.” Everyone began making their way as they were told. I glanced at Josh and mouthed. “I got this shit.”

I looked around to see a pretty girl making out with Jessica’s sidekick James. “Hey, beauty and the beast! Move it!”

James scowled at me, and shot me the finger before walking away. “That guy really doesn’t like me..” I mused.

Shannon chuckles, and loops our arms together. “He doesn’t like anyone. Don’t take it personally.”

“Wouldn't dream of it.” I grinned, staring after his retreating figure.


We walked towards the concert area trailing behind the rest of the crowd.

“So! May!” Chase called, coming towards us. “I hear you’re the new leader!”

Jessica came running up behind him. “No she’s not! I’m the leader!” She cried.

“That’s not what people are saying..” He replied, with a sly smile.

“This is all your fault Riley!” Jessica screamed. I glared at Chase. He had actually planned this.

“First you try and steal my boyfriend. Then you steal my best friend. ” I just nod along sarcastically. “Now you’re stealing my throne!”

I couldn’t contain my laughter anymore. “Your-” I spluttered, “Your throne?”

Tears of laughter poured from my eyes, as I laughed. I probably laughed for five minutes, before jumping up and wiping my eyes. “Crazy bitch say what?”

Jessica stalks towards me. “You will regret this May. I will ruin you.”

“Is that a threat, or a challenge?”

“You wouldn’t handle the challenge.” She spat, before spinning on her heels and walking off.

I watched her walk away with a raised eyebrow. “I’m speechless. She actually thinks she could take me.” I turned to Shannon. “Nothing could take… This.”

“Oh yeah sure.” Chase coughed behind me.

“Are you still here?”

“Um, no?”

“Go away.”

“You don’t need to play hard to get darling, I already like what I see.”

“Who says I like what I see?”

“You did call me-“

I shut him up by clasping my hand to his mouth, blushing deeply. I didn’t tend to get embarrassed often, but when I did I got pissed.

“You are an egotistic, vexatious, aggravating, idiotic jerk, who needs to go back and time and trip over yourself while racing your unborn siblings to the womb.” I snapped.

Chase and Shannon just stared at me.

“Um, English May. English.” Shannon whispered.

“You’re annoying and you need to fuck off.”

Chase smirked and pulled my hand away. “Do you feel better now?”

“I’d feel better if you weren’t here.”

“Suck it up wifey.” He winked, “I’ll be around a lot.” He jogged off to his friends with that smirk stuck to his face. My was face burning from the ‘wifey’ jab.

“He’s an asshole. But he’s hot.” Shannon murmured.

“He’s an asshole, full stop.” I corrected. Which was a lie. He had an amazing jaw line and the best cheekbones I had ever seen. Plus his hair was brown and wavy, which was always my downfall.

Shane walked over to us, a scowl on his face. “Let’s show these mother fuckers how its done.”

“Language Shane.” I tutted. “Tell Max to get the music ready.”

Josh joined us. “I’ve been keeping an eye on Chris, but he’s over here now.”

I nodded, and looked over to the direction of Chase. He caught my eye, smirked and winked at me. I threw him my middle finger, gritting my teeth angrily.

“Aww. I like you better when you’re angry May. It’s hot.”

A smile grew on my face, and I winked back at him. “I like you better when you’re…”

Chase’s smirk dropped slightly, and watched me curiously. Max yet seemed to catch the drift. Music, of the exact song in my mind, began playing from the speakers .

“I like us better when we’re wasted.” I sang. “It makes it easier to fake it. The only time we really talk, is when our clothes are coming off, I like us better when we’re wasted-“

“It makes it easier to say it. Lay all your laundry on the bed, And then I’ll lay in it instead.” Shannon continued for me.

“I like us better when we’re wasted! Woah oh oh oh. Oh oh oh oh.. Oh oh oh ohh, oh oh oh!” The whole crowd of Step Up The Beat sang together.Dancers began to dance in front of us, as we jumped to the beat.

“You are my glass half empty. Sipping my ocean dry. Emotionally spend me, Til none of our planets could align.. But I could stand you one more night” Chase sang. His voice shocked me. It was a bit like Micheal Bublé.

“I like us better when we’re wasted.
It makes it easier to say it!
Lay all your laundry on the bed,
And then I’ll lay it in instead.
I like us better when we’re wasted!
Ohhh ohh ohh oh oh…” Camp TIU sang, dancing to the beat.

I walked up closer to Chase. “You are a catch 22, either way I miss out. All of the grief I give you. It’s energy I can’t live without, but I could stand you one more night”

I raised my hands mockingly, challenging the rival camp.

“I like us better when we’re wasted!

It makes it easier to say it..
Lay all your laundry on the bed,
And then I’ll lay it in instead.
I like us better when we’re wasted!”
“Ohhh ohh ohh oh oh-“ Both camps sang together. I started dancing along with the dancers of both camps.

We sang the last verse one more time, before both myself and Chase ended. “Oh, oh oh ohhh..”

Everyone in the area started cheering, and I laughed loudly. People from the camps were hugging each other awkwardly, and actually interacting with the rival camp.

“Well done.” I heard a voice murmur. “This is the first time they actually seemed to get along.”

Chris Marren smiled at me, and I smiled weakly back. Unsure of how to react.

“I applaud you Riley. You aren’t too bad.” Chase smirked.

“I pat your back, whatever your last name is. You aren’t half as bad either.” I smiled sweetly. “But I’ll pat it hard. Not even a pat, more like a full blown smack on the back.”

He just chuckled. “You should be the leader you know, you’d be better than Jessica any day.”

I shrugged at him. “I’ll keep that in my mind.”

I ran over to Shannon, who threw her arms around me. “You are amazing! You’re voice is so delicate and I can’t even describe it!”

I smirked, ignoring the compliment as I’m never sure how to reply, “Come on. Let’s get ‘bonding’”


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