Control the Beat

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9 | Constructive Criticism

Bringing the two camps together in a singing battle had an advantage and a disadvantage; The advantage was that we actually had a lot of fun. The disadvantage was that we had so much fun, Chris decided to bring his camp back the next day for the weekly concert.

This meant Chase would be coming.

This meant Chris would be around more.

I moaned into my food. It was ten o’clock on a Saturday morning. Yes. Ten o’ clock! These people don’t understand lie in’s.

“Damn, that moan.” Josh whispered into my ear. I gave him a flat look, and he winked.

“Stop being happy.” I muttered.

“I’m only happy for you.”

“I swear, I will cut off all your fingers and throw them down a toilet.”


“You should know by now that it’s morning. You do not mess with me in the morning.” I growled.

“How should I know what you’re like in the morning unless-“

“When are they going to be here?” Shannon butted in angrily. I gave her a grateful smile. I seriously wasn’t in the mood for Josh’s pick up lines.

“Probably in half an hour.” I replied.

“So. How are we going to keep an eye on Chris today? We’ll all be piled into the field, and not let out!” Shane stated. He seemed pissed off, as he didn’t have a resolution. Shane always had an idea.

“It’ll be fine.” Max spoke up. “We’re probably over-reacting. It could be another Chris Marren, trying to take over another music camp.”

I stared at him. “Keep telling yourself that mate. Come back and tell me if you start to believe it.”

Max glowered at me. “Just trying to be positive.”

“It’s morning! You’re not meant to be positive!” I cried out.

Everyone laughed at this. Cassie looked up from a food, and her eyes widened. “Uh.. Guys?”

“Hello kids! You all seem very secretive over hear on your own.” Dave said cheerfully. I jumped in fright, tossing my orange juice to the ground. I watched as the juice spread on the ground near Dave’s expensive shoes.

“Dave. Uh you, um, you… What’s the word again?” I spluttered.

“Frightened.” Shannon suggested.

“Yes. Frightened! You frightened me.” I nodded, trying to relax a little.

Dave stared at me for a second. “Okay… You’re May right? I’m so sorry I haven’t had time to properly introduce myself.”

“You’re a busy man.” I smile.

“Yes. Indeed I am. I’d like to congratulate you for bringing the two camps together..” He strained a smile. “It was delightful. Mr Williams would be ecstatic.”

“I’m glad to hear that.” I smiled, “But I really didn’t-“

I was interrupted by the sirens, and looked over to see camp Turn It Up walking over to us again. It didn’t seem as dramatic as last time, yet you could still feel the tension in the air.

“You coming?” Josh asked, as he jumped out of his seat to ‘greet’ them.

“Nah, food is a calling.” I winked, “I’ll catch up with you later.”

He shrugs, “You’re loss. You could have even held my hand if you were scared?”

“Oh yes. I forgot. I need your protection, right?”

“You know it.”

I rolled my eyes, and helped myself to some nutella. I closed my eyes in pleasure after taking another mouthful. I couldn’t help but thank the dude that made this. He made nutella, kinder, and Tic Tac’s.

That is what you call a legend.

I watched intrigued, as the two camps began to make their way to the concert area. Basically the concert area was a huge field, like a festival.

What intrigued me, was the awkwardness of it all. Both camps seemed to be trying not to piss each other off. It was like a ticking bomb. If one person from TIU so much as falls into a person from SUTB, there would be a brawl.

The similarities between the two camps were interesting too. There was the Camp Turn It Up’s, queen W. She clung to Chase’s arm, as she competed with our very own Jessica, who I dare say was a lot prettier than her.

Like, I know Jessica wears makeup, but compared to this girl? She looks like she wears none.

There was the ‘nerds’, who all had a bag containing their laptop.

The ‘badass’ seemed to be Chase. And then there was the most awesome person in the world.. Wait, never mind. There’s only one me.

I caught a glimpse of Chris from the side of my eye. He was heading the opposite way, towards the manager’s office.

I jumped to my feet, reluctantly leaving my nutella behind, and followed Chris Marren. I thanked god that I was wearing tennis shoes, as they were quiet and were impossible for me to fall over them.

Don’t pretend like you have never fallen over your feet before, judgmental person.

I watched as Chris entered the manager’s office, and mentally scoffed.

Dave is basically begging for this camp to be stolen, like who leaves their door unlocked when there’s a threat in the camp!

I heard him shuffling inside. What if he takes something important? I thought.

“Ahh, what do I do. What do I?” I whispered, jumping up and down anxiously on my feet. “Fuck it.”

I stormed into the office, throwing the door open dramatically.

Chris looked up in panic. “Uh, May.”

“Don’t uh, May me. Mister!” I snapped, attempting to look threatening.

“It isn’t what it looks like.” He tried.

“So.. You aren’t stealing a bunch of Dave’s files?” I asked bluntly.

“Well, I am…”

“Then that’s exactly what it looks like, dude!”

Chris groaned and buried his face into his hands. I had to admit that he was attractive. He looked around Kelly’s age. Yet I couldn’t help but think that I had seen him before.

“Just let me explain. Can we go for a walk?” He asked. I hesitated for a moment. “If you give me the file, I will listen, then I’ll decide if you can have them.” I replied. I was pretty impressed with the deal I had made.

He huffed slightly. “Fine.”

I grabbed the papers from his hands and stuffed them into my backpack. “Where exactly will we walk?”

“The woods.” Chris replied simply.

I glanced over to the woods that were at the back of the camp.

“The woods are what separates Turn It Up and Step Up The Beat, you know?” Chris explains, “They are quite beautiful.”

“Dude! I’m not going into the woods with you! Have you never watched horror movies? Everything happens in the woods, and in the kitchen! Never go into a kitchen or the woods with a stranger. Geez.” I cried.

“Stop being so dramatic. I’m hardly going to kill you. If I did, I’d be murdered by K-” He catches himself and kept walking towards the woods.

“Before who murders you?” I asked curiously

“A lot of people.” He replied casually.

I follow him into the wood, and wait, as he sits down on a tree stump. I pull out my ipod and check the time. People would be wondering where I was.

“Okay.” Chris cleared his throat. “You can’t repeat this, because I am not positive yet. I won’t be positive until I see those papers.”

I just nodded, gesturing him to continue.

“Mr Williams is sick.” He murmured. “Very sick. That’s the reason he still isn’t here”

“I kind of guessed that.” I shrugged

“So you probably know, that he has left the camp to his grandson Kevin, who is only fifteen. Dave is ‘looking after’ the camp until this kid is able to.”


“Except. I don’t think Dave is. I went to school with the guy, I know him well. And all he is, is power hungry.”

“So you’re presuming this on high school relationships?”

“No. I heard Dave talking on the phone after the meeting.”

“What meeting?”

“Mr Williams’ meeting.”

“You were there?”

Chris groaned. “You all know nothing. Mr Williams used to own Turn It Up too. Until he gave it to me.”

“Gave it?”

“I’m his grandson. Just like Kevin. I got this camp when I was old enough.”

“So, why don’t you just tell Mr Williams!”

“Because he is too sick. I can’t stress him out.”

I groaned. “What did you hear him say on the phone?”

“Basically? Well, he said that Williams wouldn’t be around much longer. He can then make his move, soon he’ll have control and be able to make a fortune.”

I chewed the side of my lip, thinking hard.

“But if he-“

“May! Where are you?” I heard voices shout.

I grabbed my backpack and flung it over my shoulder. “I better go. You can explain the rest later.”

Chris nodded. “I’m just doing the best for the camp. Believe me.”

I turned around and began walking back to the camp. Shannon saw me coming and ran over to me, her eyes were wide and she looked angry.

“Where were you? I was scared that something happened!” She cried, slapping my arm.

“Like what, kidnapped by the boogie man?” I snorted.

“Possibly!” She shouted. “This isn’t a laughing matter! God..”

I chuckled again, “Come on.” I linked arms with her, “What did I miss?”

“Well I need your help.”

“With what?”

“Jessica has kind of gotten into a bitch fight with Stella.”


“The queen B of Turn It up.”

I grinned. “That I got to see.” I mused, starting to walk forward.

“You need to stop them May! It’s ridiculous, and people are picking sides..”

I groaned. “Why me?”

“People listen to you! You’re good at that. You’re as good as Jessica, maybe even better!”

“I’m not like Jessica!” I gasped, punching Shannon’s arm lightly.

“No! You’re able to get people to listen to you, and like you. Jessica does that, but differently.”

I grumbled under my breath as I headed to the concert area.

“Oh my god! He would never be interested in you! Like look at you!” I heard a high pitched voice squeal.

“Me? At least I don’t look like an umpa-lumpa!” Jessica screamed back.

I headed over to them, and pushed my way through the crowd.

“Haha, an umpa-lumpa? How unoriginal! At least I’m not some slut who doesn’t understand the meaning of back off.” The girl, Stella, cackled.

“Oh, I understand it all right. I just don’t take instructions from small orange wannabe’s!” Jessica retorted with a smirk.

“Oooh! Burn!” I laughed out loudly.

Everyone turned and looked at me. Jessica seemed pleased that I backed her up while Stella, who I had never met, gave me a dirty look, and Chase who was stuck in the middle winked at me.

I sighed. “Okay, so how about we sort this like adults?”

“Who are you!” Stella snapped.

“Well, Stella, maybe if you came yesterday you would have known.” I criticized with a tut. “Anyway, stop bickering over, who… Chase? Ew. Stop bickering! It can be entertaining, but Stella you have a really annoying voice so it’s giving me a headache.”

The crowd remained silent. “What did you say?” Stella hissed.

“Why is it always the popular chicks who hate me?” I grumbled.

“Because you’re a bitch?” Chase asked with a smirk.

“Not helping!” I pointed at him. “Anyway. It’s concert day! We’re supposed to have fun.”

Max chooses his time to butt in. “She’s right. It’s about the music. Everyone get the stage ready!”

I watched as nerds jumped onto the stage to organize the lighting. A girl almost tripped in front of me, as she ran up with her laptop.

I caught and steadied her. “Careful.” I smiled. Damn, I’m such a nice person.

She grinned back, “Thanks!”

After about fifteen minutes, the stage had been set up. Max jumped onto the stage grinning. “Okay everyone, get into shape will you! You all look like a circle of idiots!”

We all laughed, and organised ourselves out into a more relaxed position, facing the stage.

“Okay, okay, okay! Are you guy’s ready for this weeks band?” He shouts into the microphone.

“Yes!” We shouted back.

“What was that?” He pondered.

“Yes!” The crowd screamed. I laughed at how entertaining Max was. He would be a brilliant presenter.

“Good!” He laughed, “Today, we have a new band. They are called WaterWorks, singing Saturday Night by McFly!”

Everyone cheered in excitement, as the four boys came onto the stage. I noticed a guy called Calum who I had met earlier on in the week. He was setting up his drums.

“When my parents outta town,
I got all my buddies round,
So we gonna have a party tonight.
And if your daddy’s got the truck, Then I’ll come and pick you up,
And anyone who wants to go for a ride.

And if you wanna have a drink,
There’s some bottles by the sink,
There’ll be 20,000 people inside.
You know that everybody likes to party on Saturday night!” The main singer sang into the microphone, while playing his guitar.

“We got every girl in school in the deep end of the pool,
If you wanna take a dip bring your trunks.
When we start to dim the lights,
Gotta find a girl you like,
And you better hope she’s already drunk.

If somebody’s feelin’ sick,
Get them in the garden quick,
Cos we don’t want them to spoil all the fun.
You know that everybody wants to party on a Saturday night!”
The second guy stepped up and sang. His voice was amazing.

“We’re wakin’ everyone asleep,
When we start the party in the street!”
We sang, “We want the neighbors to complain, ’Cos the music’s driving them insane!”

New singers, and different bands performed all day. It was probably the most fun I had had in a long time.

“June!” A voice whispered in my ear.

“Did you just call me June?” I asked a smirking Chase.

“Maybe.” He sing-sang.

“Well then I’m calling you caught.”

“I’d prefer catch, because I’m a good-“

“Terrible catch. Yeah yeah I get it.” I replied, fighting a smile that was creeping onto my face. Chase just shrugged. “Yeah well, I have better things to do, than talk to you… So adios!”

“You came over here remember!” I shouted after him. I pulled a face at him, before walking after him, and going to the drink table. He walked over to Stella, who greeted him with a kiss.


“You better hope he becomes a builder when he gets older.” I muttered to the random girl standing beside me.

“Why?” She giggled. I remembered that she was from Turn It Up.

“Because she’s going to need a discount on all that foundation!” I chuckled at my own joke, and the girl beside let out a snort of laughter too.

“That was so terrible, it was funny.” She laughed. I rolled my eyes, amused.

“You’re May right? I'm Marie." She hesitated, "I just want to say I admire you a lot.”

My mouth dropped open. “Me?”

“Yeah. No one is ever able to stand up to Stella. Like Jessica does, but she’s just as popular. And you’re really new! You have a lot of guts.” She replied with a shrug.

“But, she’s hardly scary. I just said what I was thinking.”

“Yeah, well she has been bossing us around for a long time…” The girl mumbled. “Nerds are never going to stand up to her.”

“That is too cliché.” I responded. “Stand up to her, don’t worry about whatever name you’re characterized with. Just be yourself.”

She smiled slightly. “Maybe I will.”

“Or maybe you won’t!” I heard Stella snarl behind me. I turned around and grinned at her. “Wanna drink?” I asked with a smile.

Stella slapped the cup out of my hand.

“Okay. You don’t want a drink! Say it, don’t spill it.” I muttered.

“How dare you go and try and take over my camp.” She hissed.

“Oh, not this again.” I grumbled. “I don’t want any camp! People, get it through your heads!”

“Then stop telling these,” She gestured to the girl I had been talking to, “to try and stand up to me! I am the Queen B of this camp. I tell them what to do!”

“You know princess. Maybe if you just stop being so scared of them, because they’re smarter than you, and actually act like a human being, you wouldn’t be so angry all the time.”

“You’re a tramp.”

“So I heard. But you are a brainless, annoying, self caring, spoiled brat, who really needs to grow up.”

Stella’s eyes darkened, she stepped forward, slapping me across the face. My cheek stung for a second.

Then I saw red. I lunged at her.

No one hits me and get’s away with it. No one.

“Shit!” I heard Josh yell, and grab me. Trying to pull me back. Chase grabbed Stella and threw her behind him.

“You are so goddamn lucky you hit like a girl!” I cried at her. “Let go Josh.”

“If I let you go, will you attack her?”


“Then no. I won’t.”

“She fucking hit me, the son of a bitch can’t take constructive criticism!”

Chase let out a snort of laughter at this. I glared at him, “Don’t hide her behind you! She hit me!”

“I’ll do it again!” Stella screamed, trying to come at me. “And FYI, I am a girl!”

“Control your camper Chris.” I heard Dave shout.

“Oh, baby. You seriously want to try and fight me? Emphasis on the try!” I yelled at her.

“Okay, that’s it.” I heard Josh mutter, before throwing me over his shoulder and carrying me off. “Josh!” I screamed. “Put me down! Put me down now! Let me at the bitch!”

Josh just chuckles, and continues to carry me out of the concert area and to his cabin.

Once we got inside, he dropped me on the bed, and went to root out his first aid kit.

“I don’t need a first aid kit,” I muttered, “the poor thing couldn’t hit harder than a fly.”

Josh ignored me, and handed me an ice pack. “Here…” He muttered resting it against my cheek. “Just in case by some miracle, it bruises.”

I rolled my eyes, but didn’t respond. My heart was still pounding with rage. “Calm down.” He said, as he examined my face.

“No.” I huffed.

“Are you pissed with me?”


“You know you’d get in trouble if you hit her, right?”

I laughed humorlessly, “I thought I was troubled.”

Josh doesn’t reply. The ice pack was starting to hurt my face, it was so cold, so I pushed it away and lay back on the bed.

I calmed down after a few minutes, and sat back up. “Thank you. I probably would have been kicked out if I had have hit her. That wouldn’t have been good.”

“It’s fine.” Josh smiled. He checked my cheek again. “You have got quite a temper though.”

I laughed, “I know. That’s my biggest problem I guess.”

Josh nodded. “At least you admit it.”

“Hey! All my flaws are beautiful, alright?”

He chuckled. “Sure.” He humored me, as he grabbed my hand, stopping me from touching my cheek.

It went quiet for a few moments. I bit my lip, unsure of what to do.

Josh gazed at me, and leaned forward until he was inches away from me.

I felt my breath hitch, as he closed the gap and placed his lips gently on mine. Kissing me slowly and gently. I kissed him back, his breath tasted a lot like peppermint. His lip piercing was cold and smooth against my lips. I felt him squeeze my hand tighter.

After a few moments he pulled back, and smiled at me. His eyes sparkling.

I shot him a weak smile back.

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