AN: At first, it was supposed to be a one-shot. Then I realized it was too long to be one… WAAAAY too long. And yes, I know I'm supposed to be revising my old stories and updating the new ones, but how could I resist? I'll let you decide if this fic is worth anything. (Hint: I don't.)
Disclaimer: I'm glad I don't own Inuyasha. My allergies would kill me. And I'm especially glad I don't own The Ring. I sorta-kinda want to live, if you know what I mean.
The usually warmest season of the year, occurring between spring and autumn. A period of fruition, fulfillment, happiness, or beauty. Everything a dictionary would say.
…well, Kagome didn't exactly feel warm. And whether if was the bus's overactive A/C or her temporary depression, no one would ever know.
Wearing the camp uniform and leaning on the window, she watched the beautiful greenery pass by with mounting anxiety. The inevitable had yet to come – not that the mad bus driver was trying to prevent it. Kagome peeked above the seat before her and stared at the obese woman.
"Hallelujah y'all – GET YOUR CLUNKER OFF THE ROAD, BEE-YOTCH – praise the lord, everybody! – DAMN YOU TO HELL!"
The kiddies screamed when the bus suddenly swerved to the right, just missing a diaper delivery truck.
The driver raised both of her hands, tipped her head back, and sang along with the Christian music. The poor children panicked as the bus continued uncontrollably on the highway, their screams feeding the driver's passion to shriek…err – sing – to her almighty lord.
"Bless the lord! Bless the lord for the LOVE he gave us!"
Kagome, somehow ending up on the floor of the bus, shielded her virgin ears in a desperate attempt to drown out the horrible 'praising'. Oh lord, save us all.
After an unknown amount of time, they had finally reached their destination.
The 15 year-old, like all the teens, never thought she would actually rush out of the bus. Much less look forward to enter the Kamishima Campgrounds.
"Have a good vacation, y'all!"
None of the kids could respond to that, as one by one they struggled to walk out of the vehicle without bursting into tears in utter relief.
Dragging her yellow backpack behind her, Kagome wandered to the dirt path where a large stadium of sort was setup. Before anyone could sigh and release the breath they were holding in, the nearly forgotten bus slammed its door shut and ominously started its engine.
Kagome swore she heard a witch-like cackle after the bus sped off into the mountains with a screech, leaving the group in a cloud of dust.
As the coughs and the swearing subsided with the dust, someone cleared their throat on the stadium. They looked up, only to notice for the first time an old woman in her late 50's, standing there with a hump on her gnarled form. Her one good eye scrutinized the newcomers with a calculating look that freaked the living daylights out of anyone in her peripheral vision.
"Welcome," She started with an unusually smooth voice. "To Kamishima Camp."
No one said anything. No one asked if she was a pirate, what with her eye-patch and all. Behind them, a solitary ball of twigs rolled by.
"You have been welcomed, because you have been invited. Invited because you have somehow and in someway managed to do something your school councilors have quoted, 'The single most disturbing behavior ever recorded on the public sanctity of education.'"
Kagome glared. Now that was out of line.
"For the safety of the private grounds all of you will be attending after summer, you have been brought here from each of your previous institutes. Reasons differ when it comes down to you, individually, but we will treat you and your backgrounds no differently; all of you have passed your freshman entrance assessments in flying colors… I'm sorry I cannot say the same to your behavioral records."
Every one of the teens was spiteful by now. Yes, they had all attended public high schools for their freshman year in order to be qualified and analyzed for Kamishima High, intellectually, physically, and emotionally/mentally. They were here in this damned camp because they just so happened to be lacking the grade in the latter part of the evaluation.
If you were unfit academically and/or athletically, you were automatically out. But when you had problems where it figuratively concerned the heart, you had the option of coming to a summer camp sponsored by this special school.
Well, it was more like being forced to, seeing as you were one of the few selected candidates to obtain the exclusive rights to enter the academy.
"You can easily make it into the Ivy League if you can graduate Kamishima with a 4.0 average," Mother had said.
"With a full scholarship after a successful graduation, you'll be helping your family out in the long run," The school therapist had said.
Kagome's reminiscing was cut short, as the pirate hag continued nonchalantly.
"I am Kaede, head councilor of Kamishima Camp. You will be assigned to a cabin and appointed a mock-duty in half an hour. Before then, please enjoy the scenery while you have the time."
And with that, they were left to their own devices in front of the campground entrance.
A canine howled in the distance, and a bush in the nearby woods rustled with life.
"Oh man," Kagome whimpered as she followed the mass through the gates and into the camp. She wasn't alone in doing this, however. Most of the girls were moaning and grumbling while the guys were trying to put up a front of fake bravery and irrational courage. None of them wanted to enter, but it's not like they knew the way back to the city.
Cabins that looked more like shacks were nestled in front of a small lake, and gravels lined the paths. Two (slightly dilapidated) wooden buildings, larger than a house but smaller than a gym, stood proudly behind a wilted garden.
"Hello, hello, hello!" A female strolled into the clearing and stretched her arms out.
Everyone stared at the woman, a figure that was clad in a tight army tank-top with a matching mini-skirt to boot. The boys were going to enjoy their summer.
"I am Yura, the head of the junior-councilor's committee, and I will be assigning you your new cabin partners! But before I let you step any closer, you'll have to go through the guards, first…" She said the last word as an afterthought and snapped her fingers. On command, a dozen men with German Shepherds stepped in. It her sing-song tone wasn't bad enough, she had the command of a small militia!
Kagome yelled in vain when her only luggage was ripped away from her grasp and thrown into the heap on the sandy ground. The dogs mounted on top of the pile and started sniffing and searching through the bags.
After half an hour of tension and shocking revelations, Kagome sat on a grassy patch with the rest of the helpless observers.
"Matchsticks, lighters, knives… ooh, a beer bottle? My, my…" Yura grinned and turned to her victims. "You're a lively bunch. However, our elders here aren't easily impressed like me… take the troublemakers away, Butch."
An unusually large man stepped forward with a stare that could stun a bullet. Shirtless, he revealed his luminous six pack and his bulking muscles. Kagome gawked when he promptly began to flex his chest muscles, his bosom forming a bulge and twitching here and there. He regarded his prey for the first few seconds then started to grin oh-so maliciously.
"Who wants a hug?" He opened his arms and gestured for a bear hug, winking at a male near the corner of the group. The ill-fated child began to sob. "Aw, are you sad? Come now, daddy will make your tears go away… No? You need a hug!"
Kagome just about curled up into a ball when this Butch lifted up not one, not two, not three, but five pupils onto his shoulder, all of them squirming and screaming in agony.
As Butch carried them away into the wooden building, Yura broke the silence that came afterwards.
"Anyone who breaks the rules will be treated as such," She said with an edge unheard of. "And Butch will escort you to the detention center, where you will be held for 7 days."
Her voice seemed to echo in the pregnant pause, the chilling words embedding itself into Kagome's head.
Yura lightened up, lifting her head and clearing away the bangs from her eyes. "Anyway, I think it's about time we get you to your cabins, hmm?" She waved her hands and the guards shuffled away with the campers' bags, their trained dogs trailing after. She pulled a pen and a clipboard from behind her back and began to walk away. "Your luggage will be sent to the detention center and searched through more thoroughly, so I suggest you follow me before we decide to set the dogs on you."
Everyone, including Kagome, got up and grudgingly did as she said.
Yura stopped in front of the first cabin and turned around. She crossed off a few things before calling out, "Katy Sweets?"
The girl who answered was a redhead, her ponytail laced with a black ribbon that hung all the way to her thighs. Her heavy mascara hid most of her green eyes, and her uniform was hand-designed to appear looser with patchworks covering her elbows and knees.
"You will be paired up with… Apple Rainer."
"Apple? What kind of a name is…Apple…?" Her sarcastic question ended with a meek disposition and her freckled face dreadfully paled. Yura had opened the door to introduce Katy's new cabin partner, who happened to be lifting a couple of enormous dumbbells at the time. She resembled Butch in a weird way, and Kagome concluded that this buxom blonde had one too many steroids for the day.
All introductions after that was a same type of shocker; Cody was partnered with a boy that leaked of an unbearable stench, Lucy was handed over to a girl who practiced something closely related to vampirism, etc, etc.
Incidentally, Kagome was the last to be paired up.
"Kagome Higurashi, hmm?" Yura raised her brow and studied her casually. "Yes, you will be bunking with a… let's see…"
Kagome held her breath. Who will it be? A bisexual pervert with a drug habit? A creepy kid with a belief that she was the goddess of all things mortal? The possibilities were endless.
"…oh… you'll be in a single cabin."
Kagome blanched. "Eh?"
"Your partner was sent to the detention center just this morning… aren't you a lucky one?"
And indeed she was.
Kagome closed the door behind her and stared at the tiny setting. A bathroom the size of a cardboard box, two beds with a comfort level of cement, and a nightstand that was supposedly the closet and vanity all in one.
Unsurprisingly, she was speechless.
Summer could not end any slower.
The Camp's last day of attendance was in the middle of August, and as he stood there under the sun, ignoring his garden chores, the July heat taunted and peeved him with its sweltering hot spell.
Inuyasha could care less about maintaining his not-quite-but-close-to nonexistent reputation; and he did not bother start making a new one, good or bad. Everyone here may be in his high school… and so be it if it happened to be a camp for the 'misfits' – but it was his last summer in this despicable place.
Sure, he had yet to enter senior year, but his failing grades and financial problems were stacked up against him, and sooner or later it would've eventually led to this. Tuitions, testing and exams, and not to mention the rumors surrounding his family issues were enough to drive a punk like him into a premature burial.
Sadly, circumstances aside, he wasn't given much of an option – he would quit and officially become a dropout, right before his final year in high school.
"So Bob, how did you loose your pinky?" A boy in his same age group spoke to their outdoor supervisor. "Gardening tragedy?"
The old man snorted or chuckled after briefly going over what he had asked, and stroked his left hand on his right, where the said finger used to be. His delayed reaction was a funny thing to watch.
"Oh no, my boy; it's a long story, you see. See, I was with this spunky girl in my 30's or so, fiddling with each other and all that. Her giggles were something, you know. High-pitched, it was. So I decided to stick my finger up her you-know-what and POP! I loose it in the middle of our heated playtime."
Just about all the students groaned and covered their ears before he promptly began to laugh. Now THAT was a vivid image they never ever wanted to imagine again.
"Oh god, man, that's just wrong…sick and wrong, Bob."
"Dude, did you HAVE to tell us that?"
"Your mind isn't in the gutter… it's under it, like it's under the sewers, where it's with all those creepy-crawly stuff."
The teenager watching the onslaught of criticisms Bob was receiving turned around, snapping at the boy in annoyance. The preteen Shippou rolled his eyes and steadily stood where he had been for the last 5 minutes. "You got a package to deliver from the detention center. You do have the delivery duty this week, right?"
Inuyasha snatched the package from the boy's clasp and inspected the address. He scowled. "This is the friggin' thing I sent out last week! And the week before that!"
Shippou glanced over his shoulder and examined it with a hint of interest. "Huh, that's pretty weird… there's more than 20 postage stamps on it."
"Brazil, China, Canada, Austria, Korea… Vatican City? Malta? They all keep sending it back after adding a new shipping address on it!" Inuyasha growled.
"Well, if the postbox is so useless why don't you just open it? I sure want to see what's inside…"
"Hell no! The last thing I need is loosing the free food and shelter by peeping into this thing!"
The kiddy uttered a simple 'Ha,' unimpressed. "Since when did you get so sensitive about leeching off the taxpayers?"
Kagome's back was killing her. And even she had to wonder if it was meant literally or not.
This 'mock-duty' turned out to be some extreme workout session. They made her lug bucket-load of manures into the dead garden with the rest of the chain gang in tow, handing them over to the future seniors who would dump it all on top of the dry soil. She didn't get the point – the garden was far beyond wasted that no green thumb or miracle seed would ever hope to achieve a single blade of grass to grow.
…must've been some disciplinary lesson.
Kagome snickered. She proved her elementary schoolmates wrong. All those years ago, when they mocked her whenever she ran more laps than anyone else in her class, or grade for that matter. Oh no, even to this day she didn't 'collapse and barf out her brains' after a long and healthy workout.
"Mm," Kagome muttered under her breath. "I gotta start lifting with my legs, though."
When she finally rested her eyes somewhere other than the ground, she saw something that was somewhat… oddly peculiar.
It was a little boy, standing on a pair of bamboo stilts. He was sneaking around a particularly isolated cabin that was settled on the edge of a small pond in the distance. Either he was the entertainment for dinner, or Mardi Gras came early this year.
"Umm," Kagome started and stared at the stilt-master. He looked hardly 10 and still had better hand-eye coordination skills than most teens her age. She had to know his secret. "Hello? Excuse me!"
Shippou squeaked when his delicate cover was blown before his very eyes. He tried to turn around, scanning the area for the moron that had ruined his sensitive operation. But suddenly twisting on a pair of stilts can get a little tricky, especially after the sun had set…
Kagome gasped when the stilts forebodingly wobbled, making a giant X as the boy stood to face her, his balance swaying while they stood without moving an inch out of each other's way.
They both thought the two of them had grazed past calamity. Then–
"What the hell's going on out here?"
Someone slammed the door open from inside the small cabin, knocking back one of Shippou's stilts into the pond. Kagome screamed when Shippou shouted "Timber!" and fell to his certain demise. The silver haired man realized what just happened and yelled out something incoherent to the two's ears, then leaping to make a heroic dive to catch the falling boy.
Kagome, who had tried to jump out of the way, tripped on the end of the stilt that was still sticking out of the pond and landed hard on her left shoulder. Inuyasha didn't see her land, thus tripping on her waist and missing Shippou by a hair. He fell right on top of Inuyasha's head, and they both crashed down on poor Kagome, who croaked out a weak "DAYAMN."
"Is she dead?"
Kagome felt her head beat with a very loud music… no, wait, there weren't any music on.
"Why don't you check?"
She felt an incredible pressure crush her abdominal region, knocking the wind out of her. She choked on her own spittle and raised her right hand in the air. "I'm still alive you fool…"
The female sat upright and felt woozy all of a sudden. "Oh… where am I?" She was on a couch in a cozy room that was pretty much empty, except for a large mat and a small TV on the opposite wall. "…was I kidnapped?"
"Eh," The little green eyed preteen hesitated to speak. "I'm Shippou, and that's Inuyasha over there. You were sort of… how do you say… squished."
Kagome blinked. "Squished… oh yeah! You guys fell on me and… hey!" She finally comprehended the situation she was in and looked around the wooden room. "The stilts… why were you on stilts?"
"Aha!" Inuyasha ganged up on the boy. "So you WERE spying on me!"
"Hey, I knew you were going to be stingy and take that package for yourself!" Shippou retorted.
Kagome waved her hands in the air. "Whoa, whoa! What package? What's going on?"
Shippou grabbed the remote controller from the armrest before Inuyasha could take it. "It was a video, wasn't it? I knew it! You didn't start it yet, did you?"
Inuyasha huffed and crossed his arms and legs stubbornly. "Hey, if you want to see it that badly why don't you turn on the TV? It's probably some cheap, homemade porn or something…"
"Porn?" Kagome stared, now completely at a loss for words.
"Fine, I'll press the button!" Shippou yelled.
"Yeah, and when we get caught you take the blame too!"
Somewhere in the scuffle, the two started shoving each other and the remote flew into the air.
Kagome reached out, a little nervous as she grasped the black object and drew in the item. She faced the TV and paused.
Inuyasha and Shippou immediately halted when the TV turned on and the old VCR whirled to life. They turned to Kagome and both opened their mouth to say something before she put her index finger on her lips, successfully shushing them to submission. The two turned back to the screen a little resentfully.
The three of them watched intently as the video started; the show underway.
Suddenly, the lights died and left them in terrible darkness.
"What the heck?" Shippou frowned. "Power outage?"
"Then why's the TV still on?"
Shippou and Kagome began to huddle around Inuyasha, his comments driving them to the edge of reason. He was feeling a tad be uncomfortable with this.
The screen suddenly flashed red and two white orbs glowed in the center, resembling eyes that bore into their head. Kagome and Shippou grew more anxious, and Inuyasha became even more cramped.
There was a loud cackle from the TV that was followed by the sound of a large splash. Another flash, another pair of white orbs that glowed in front of the red background.
By the end of the video, Kagome and Shippou had buried their faces into Inuyasha's arms, both of them not wanting to watch anymore of it. Inuyasha was a little unnerved himself, but more annoyed than anything. His circulation was cut off… he couldn't feel his arms anymore…
"That was the worst 7 minutes of my life," Shippou whimpered.
"I concur," Kagome sniveled.
"…" Inuyasha said.
The roof of the house began to shake, prompting the two sissies to tighten their hold on Inuyasha's arms again. Droplets of water fell on the small cabin, the drizzle attacking the wooden structure without resistance.
"Rain," Inuyasha looked up. "Shouldn't be raining… it's supposed to be dry all week."
"What?" Kagome looked to the stool holding an old fashioned phone near the door. She hadn't seen that before. "Err… I'll get that," Her manners took over and forgot the uneasiness she had been feeling moments ago.
Inuyasha and Shippou stopped her before she took another step forward.
"What are you doing?" Shippou hissed. "Do you know how much trouble we'll get into if we're caught here? This place is strictly restricted to students!"
Kagome's jaw stung. "Now you tell me!"
The three waited for the phone to stop ringing, all of them breathing shallowly in hopes of being undetectable to an unseen force. But after the fourth, fifth… and then the sixth ring, the noise became almost unbearable to listen to.
"That's it, I'm answering it," Kagome said. "If it's one of the councilors, I'll hang up, OK?"
Before the boys could protest, she stepped forward and picked up the receiver on the seventh ring.
There was no answer.
Kagome turned to her two 'companions' and shot a worried glance. "Err…"
Kagome sucked in a handful of air and nearly passed out.
"Is this Chinn's Seafood Restaurant?"
She fell on her knees and bonked her head on the side of the stool.
"I'd like to order a takeout. Do you have a menu or –"
"THIS ISN'T CHINN'S YOU MORON!" Kagome screeched and slammed the phone down.
Shippou breathed a sigh of relief from behind her. "Thank lord, I was so s–"
Inuyasha rolled his eyes. "Tell him off. Maybe he'll get it the second time."
Kagome did as exactly as he said and picked up the receiver. "YES? Are you looking for CHINN'S?" Unnerved and disturbed, she had completely forgotten her manners.
Her answer wasn't the same male voice she had heard just seconds before. No, it was a heavy breathing that was mixed with a light, feminine 'Hmm'.
The voice was scratchy, and hearing her verbalize sent a shockwave down Kagome's spine. "Seven–"
"WHAT?" Kagome's voice broke in fear and she cut off the unknown speaker. "You're too quiet!"
"Sorry, still can't hear you!" Kagome practically screamed into the phone and slammed it down again. This time not in anger, however, but in absolute panic. She nearly sobbed when she turned around and faced the two males, both a little wide-eyed and shocked. "She, she said…GAH!" Kagome stumbled and stuck herself behind Inuyasha's back; completely set on staying where she thought was relatively safe.
"I'll get it," Shippou whispered and stepped up like a man. He cleared his throat before he picked up the receiver and quietly said, "Hello?"
"Seven D–" Like hearing someone make contact on the chalkboard with their nails, Shippou painfully winced.
"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Shippou just about threw the phone down.
"What the hell?" Inuyasha growled when he found himself the shield of two freaked out kids. "You're not even letting the weirdo finish and you're already freaking out!"
"Move, I'll handle this," Inuyasha sighed and trudged to the phone. "I'll get through to this idiot."
As he picked up the receiver, he didn't greet the caller. He simply listened to the heavy breathing until someone on the other end gave a tiny 'Hmm'.
"Loser," Inuyasha spoke first.
"What, you don't have a life so you pretend to be that creep from the Scream movie or something? You're that caller with the really gravelly voice? Huh? Huh?"
"You're so fat, when you jump into the ocean the whales start singing, 'We are family!'"
"You're so fat; when you get weighed the scale says 'To Be Continued!'"
"You're like a McDonald's; you're fat, you're greasy, and you only cost a buck!"
"HA! I win!" Inuyasha ended the one sided conversation and placed the phone down with a triumphant smirk. When Inuyasha faced his two amigos, the ceiling lights abruptly shook and the florescent glow danced in the shadows until it altogether woke back to animation.
"Light!" Shippou cried in relief. "Sweet, sweet, lustful light!"
Shippou and Kagome looked down to where Inuyasha was, who was on his knees and feeling for something behind the stool. "What're you doing?" One of them asked.
"This phone… it has no chord attached to it," Inuyasha turned to them with one brow up. "There's no outlet on the wall either…"
"Does that phone have a battery pack?"
Inuyasha examined it, and his final expression wasn't a happy one. "This thing's busted!"
"Again?" Kagome groaned.
Inuyasha didn't think about it. He picked up the phone and answered with a rough, "What?"
"Look, KID, how are you calling us in the first place? This phone shouldn't even be working… by the way, how did the other guy get this number?"
"You know – that Chinn's Restaurant guy?"
"…must've been a mistake. You all have 7 days. Goodbye."
"Hey, what the," Inuyasha looked down at what was in his hand with a grouchy demeanor. "She hung up on me!"
In the meantime, while Inuyasha and Kagome stood still staring at the unworkable phone, Shippou ejected the videotape from the VCR and checked out the black gizmo. "Guys…"
"What?" Kagome was the first to respond.
"There's a summary behind this thing… or something close to it, I guess."
The three gathered to huddle in front of the tape, reading the back in a hushed moment of silence and awe.
Seven Days, a curse it is. Watch this film, not. Be damned, you will be. Damned, 7 days you will have left.
Shippou had the nerve to speak. Or at least the funny bone to do so.
"Did Yoda write that down?"
The two older teens turned to eye him wearily.
"Hey, it sure sounds like what he would say."
AN: And the prologue is done! The fat lady that sung and the pinky-less geezer with a really bad taste in jokes are actually based on my real life bus drivers… okay, it's loosely based on them, but they can be close to insanity sometimes. Also, the 'You're so fat' jokes were materials from a friend. Not really sure which ones were hers, but I just wanted to give credit where it was due.
Anyhow, tell me what you think of this Parody. I know the idea's already been done, so you'll notice the little changes here and there when the storyline begins to appear.