I really should be working on Home is Where the Heart is...ah well. I needed a little break, and this is what I came out with: my first oneshot! :D It's a bit more light-hearted than my other stuff; just a fun little story about Danny's adventures as a camp counselor.
I'm high on reviews...please send them my way ;D
I had barely lain my head down to sleep when I heard a ten-year-old voice squeak loudly into my ear, "Mr. Danny, sir! Wake up mister! It's time to get up!"
I grumbled incoherently before turning in the opposite direction and pulling the covers over my head. Ignoring the exasperated sigh that came from behind me, I sunk back into the blissful dreams in which I had been forcing Vlad to reveal to all of Amity Park that their mayor was actually half evil ghost.
Suddenly, I felt the covers being ripped off of me and shrieks of happiness and fits of laughter pursued. I immediately realized what was going on, and, not exactly happy about being woken up from my dreams, I rose to give the culprits a piece of my mind. Unfortunately, in my hurry to do so, I bumped my head against the top bunk of the bed and I was left dazed for a few moments. Though I was still a bit groggy and my vision was still a little blurry, I quickly regained my strength as I realized that the laughter had increased. I rose with every intention of pummeling the one who'd disturbed my sleep. The kids however, realizing their job was done, scurried into the room adjacent to mine and locked the door behind them for safety.
"We just thought we should let you know that it's breakfast time!" one of the boys called from the inside good-humouredly. I couldn't help but give a small, though tired laugh before answering, "Yeah, yeah, alright. You guys get ready and go to the cafeteria. Tucker and I will meet you there."
"Hey dude!" Tucker called suddenly, appearing at the bathroom door. "You finally up?" He took a towel and wiped his hands, then threw it on the bunk above mine.
"Yeah. The little squirts practically pushed me outta bed to wake me up," I said stifling a yawn.
"Well I'm glad it worked! I've been trying to wake you up for the past half hour! If this hadn't worked, I was just gonna let you miss breakfast," he said, digging through his suitcase for a t-shirt.
It took me a few moments to understand what Tucker was implying. "Wait, you're the one who made the kids wake me up?"
It must've dawned on Tucker that I wasn't exactly happy about this because his expression changed from cheerful to uneasy. He gave a small nervous laugh before continuing, "At least now you won't miss the food?"
I sighed and rolled my eyes. "I would rather sleep in then even try to eat what whatever glop they feed us down at the caf!"
Tucker was about to retort, but he was interrupted by a knock at the door.
"Hey guys? Are you ready to go down and eat?" It was Sam.
I looked at Tucker knowingly. "Uh…sure, yeah…" I lied. "We're almost ready…"
I could almost hear Sam roll her eyes. "Oh, you guys haven't even changed yet, have you?"
Tucker sighed exasperatedly, "Chill out, would you, Sam? We'll be there in a bit."
"Just once, I'd like to see you guys come down to breakfast on time," she said pointedly. "I hate having to sit alone till you drag yourselves down to the cafeteria. I always get stuck next to some ditz like Starr or Paulina!"
Tucker and I exchanged glances. We'd been counselors at Camp Clearsea for the past week, and yet we still hadn't managed to make it down to breakfast in time for the best seats and the morning announcements.
"We won't be long, okay Sam?" I said reassuringly, though I couldn't exactly see what was so bad about having to sit by Paulina.
"Fine. Just hurry up," she said abruptly before marching off to the cafeteria, leaving Tucker and I alone in the cabin to get ready.
It sounded as though the other boys had already gone down for breakfast, so we hurried and within the next ten minutes, we were making our way to the cafeteria at the bottom of the hill. On our way there, we passed by the big football field where one of the boys from the group of kids that I was in charge of called out to me, "Hey Danny! Look what Dash showed me how to do!" In his hand he held a football. He pretended he was going to throw the football at his friend, and then almost instantly, did a swerve, whirled the ball at Kwan, and tackled his friend.
Dash shot me a nasty look and shouted, "Hey Fentonio! Want me to try that tackle move on you?" He laughed as though this were the funniest and cleverest thing he'd ever managed to come up with in his life, and then gave Kwan a high five. I rolled my eyes as I continued walking with Tucker.
If I had known when Sam had forced Tucker and I to volunteer at this summer camp that Dash, Kwan, Valerie and Starr would be here too, I wouldn't have agreed to come. Thankfully though, I'd been placed in a cabin with Tucker and his group of kids, so I didn't have to endure the bullies' idiocy all night as well as all day.
"Hey guys! Over here!" I heard Sam's voice call as we entered the dining hall. She waved to draw our attention to her.
I noticed Valerie and Starr were already at the table, sitting as faraway as possible from Sam, who'd brought Tuck and I trays of food.
"Mornin' Sam," I yawned as I took a seat across from her.
The cafeteria was packed as usual; Tucker and I must've come really late. Most of the kids were sitting at tables, chatting animatedly. Many of the counselors were either eating or running around after their kids, trying to stop them from tearing the room apart. Some groups had already finished and had gone out to the field to kick some soccer balls or do cartwheels.
"Gee, it's about time," Sam scoffed. "I grabbed you guys some food before it was all finished," she said, pointing to the two trays across her.
"Um…thanks…" I said uncertainly, not really sure what I was thanking her for as I looked down at the yellow clump of food on my plate and poked it with a fork.
Tucker, however, seemed to be enjoying the food seeing as he was digging through it as though there was hidden treasure at the bottom of his plate. Flying pieces of "eggs" soared wildly from his tray.
"You look really worn out, Danny…" Sam noted. "Are you okay?"
Tucker sniggered as he gulfed down more food. I shot him a reproachful glance before sighing. "Yeah. I had a rough night…"
"How come?" she asked curiously.
"Well, you remember that game of hide and seek we had yesterday night before curfew?" I asked Sam. She nodded.
"You mean the one the senior camp counselors organized?"
"Obviously," Tucker said through a mouthful of food, "They organize everything. We just drag the kids along and force them to participate."
Tucker more or less had a point. As junior camp counselors, our main duties were taking care of our group of kids. Making sure they got to bed, to meals and to activities on time. The senior counselors would mostly organize the activities, with occasional help from us.
"Anyways, yeah. That one. Well, one of the kids in my group was hiding so well, that no one found him. He didn't hear the whistle that signaled that the game was over, so he just stayed in his spot for hours. I only noticed he was gone during dinner, so I went to look for him. It took me a whole forty minutes. By the time I got back to the cabin, everyone was already in their pyjamas. Then I had to fix up his knee because he'd tripped and fell over a log or something, and it was bleeding like crazy."
"Oh. So I guess you didn't much sleep, huh?" Sam asked me sympathetically.
"Well, only a little less than usual, but I was kinda worn out from carrying a wounded kid all the way back to camp. I don't know whose mental idea it was to play hide and seek with a bunch of ten year olds when it was so dark out," I said with annoyance.
"Yeah well, it's better than what we have to do today," Sam sighed, pulling a schedule out of her pocket. "It says here that after breakfast, we're all meeting at the campfire for an overview of the day's activities. Then we're going to merge groups for the first activity, which is canoeing. Then we have a discussion about leadership at the cathedral…"
"Oh man!" Tucker whined. "I hate those discussions! They're so boring!"
"Yeah, they are pretty bad," Sam agreed, "But at least it'll only be a half hour. Afterwards it's lunch," (there was a grin of approval from Tuck), "And then we have a treasure hunt."
"Well what comes after?" I asked.
"I dunno, it says to go back to the campfire to find out the rest of the plans for the d-,"
Sam was interrupted by Macy, a senior camp counselor.
"Hi guys," the perky young brunette said, poking her head in the middle of our conversation. "We're going to be meeting at the campfire with the kids in about ten minutes, okay guys?"
"Sure thing, Macy," Sam answered, and with that, the young girl bounced away and went over to join Jazz and the other senior counselors.
"Here, let's throw the rest of this stuff out," Sam said as she whisked away our trays.
"Hey!" Tucker said indignantly, "I wash eating dat!"
"You guys get your groups and I'll meet you at the campfire!" she said as she disappeared within the crowd.
And so Tucker and I arose, trying to find our kids in the midst of the noisy crowd.
Thirty-five minutes later, I was sitting in an old, rusty canoe under the blazing hot sun, with two overly excited and hyper-active ten year-olds sitting on the benches behind me. They were moving and talking so much that I thought the boat might tip over.
"Danny mister!" one of them said, (he was the same one who'd woken me up that morning).
"I told you not to call me that," I repeated for what felt like the hundredth time that week, "It's Danny. Just Danny."
"Danny mister," he continued, completely oblivious to what I had just said and to my sigh of annoyance, "When's lunch?"
"We just had breakfast!" I said indignantly. Wiping the sweat off my forehead and rolling up my sleeves, I picked up the paddle sitting at my feet. I could tell it was going to be a long morning.
"But I'm hungry!"
"Look Chester," I started, but then interrupted myself, "Timmy! Timmy, what are you doing?!" I practically yelled, looking at the pink-hatted boy sitting by Chester. "What on earth do you think you're doing bringing your goldfish canoeing?! It's dangerous; what if they fall in the lake!" I said angrily. That kid carried his goldfish everywhere. Dinner, activities, even campfires!
"That's okay," he said squeakily, not looking worried at all, "I'll just pull them back out again if they fall."
"How?" I challenged, tired of telling him to keep his pets in the cabin, "They can't just magically poof themselves out of dangerous situations!"
I don't know if it was just the sun getting to me, but Timmy seemed to look a little worried at my statement. He hesitated, but was saved the trouble of having to answer by Tucker, who was calling my name.
"Hey Danny!" he called from his canoe.
The moment I turned my head around, my whole world came crashing down…literally. One second, I was trying to talk to my friend, the next, I was gasping for breath under the murky waters of the infamous Camp Clearsea lake.
As I felt myself sink lower and lower into the depths of the lake, all the shouting voices above seemed to muffle and disappear. The last few words I heard came from Macy, who was shouting, "Dash! Come here! Quick!"
I tried to swim my way back up to the surface of the lake, but I felt something tugging at my leg, holding me down.
Looking down, I noticed a piece of seaweed had wrapped itself tightly around my ankle. I tugged at it violently, trying to free myself of its clutches, but the leaves only tightened their grip around my ankle, cutting my circulation and digging into my skin. I started panicking; my lungs felt as though they were about to collapse. In my panic, I actually attempted breathing in. Water swam up into my nose and mouth, and I felt myself beginning to get dizzy. The last thing I remember was a pair of strong, muscled arms wrapping themselves around my body, heaving me upwards…and then I blacked out.
The next time I awoke, I was laying comfortably in my bed back at the cabin, snuggled under a large, warm blanket.
I heard whispers of, "Hey, he's waking up!" as I blinked my eyes open. My vision was blurry, but when all the objects in the room finally came into placement, I noticed Sam, Tucker, Macy and Jazz sitting around me. For a moment, I felt petrified and confused at the sight of three angry-looking Dashes hovering above me, but I quickly calmed down as my vision straightened and the three Dashes all seemed to merge into the one single bully I was used to seeing.
"Hey Fentina! You better yet?" he asked harshly.
I shook my head dazedly as Dash's dripping-wet hair formed a puddle on the pillow near my head.
"There! He's up! Can I go now?" he asked exasperatedly.
"Yes, yes Dash," Jazz said distractedly, not really paying attention to him, but rather focusing on me, "You can go. Thank you for waiting here till Danny woke up."
I heard him stomp out of the cabin, muttering things like, "I can't believe they made me wait till he woke up! It's not like I made him fall! It's gonna take months to wash all the geek off me!"
I coughed as I rose my head from my pillow and leaned on the headboard, setting my head against it.
"Are you okay?" Jazz asked me worriedly.
"Yeah," I coughed, "Yeah, I'm alright. Thanks."
"Oh thank goodness! You really scared me, Danny!" she began, but was interrupted by a junior camp counselor who came bursting into the room.
"Jazz! Macy! There's a food fight that's started down in the cafeteria!" she panted. She looked like she'd ran all the way up to our cabin. "We need you guys to come help!"
"Oh, are you kidding?" Macy rolled her eyes. "Fine we're coming."
"Call me if you need anything, okay Danny?" Jazz said, ruffling my hair. "And take it easy, okay?" She then turned and followed Macy and the other girl out of the cabin.
"Mm, what time is it?" I asked, feeling disoriented.
"It's lunchtime, man. You slept through the whole morning." Tucker answered.
"What happened?" I asked.
"We were kinda hoping you'd tell us," Sam said.
"All I remember is Tucker calling me…I turned around to answer him, and I guess I must've destabilized the boat. I fell out and I tried to swim back up, but I got caught in some seaweed or something, and it was holding me down…"
"So that's why you weren't coming back up! I was wondering what was going on, you're usually an excellent swimmer!" Sam said, finally understanding. "We had to send Dash in after you!"
"Dash?" I asked weakly, my fears confirmed.
"Yeah. He grabbed you from the water and carried you up here, and then Jazz and Macy made him wait here till you woke up," Tucker told me.
I slumped down against the bed, dread washing over me. "Great," I said with an annoyed tone, running my hand through my hair and feeling my still-wet roots, "Now everyone's gonna think I had to be saved or something…"
"Hey, it's okay Danny," Sam said sympathetically, "You save people all the time!"
"Yeah, but they don't know that! Sometimes I wish I could just-," I started, but was cut off by a wisp of icy blue mist that protruded from my mouth. Oh great! I thought. Like I really need this right now!
More out of habit than anything else, I looked around to make sure that no one other than my friends was near so I could transform. Then suddenly, before I could even say, Going ghost!, I heard shouts of, "I am the box ghost! Fear me!"
I gave my friends a knowing look and we all burst out laughing. I abandoned the idea of transforming into my alter ego and decided for once, I would let the rest of the world deal with the stupidity of the box ghost while I just relaxed and hung out with my friends.
I spent the rest of the day doing all the other activities normally, but with more precaution than usual. I wasn't as ridiculed as I'd thought I'd be. There were a few laughs and jeers from Dash and his friends, but nothing I couldn't handle.
That evening, Sam, Tucker and I skipped dinner and went straight out to the after-meal campfire meeting place. I smiled as I let the cool breeze gently whip my face and ruffle my hair. The three of us watched the sun set into the distant horizon, as all the colorful hues blended into each other, leaving the sky painted with soft, dark blue streaks. It was so calming and relaxing that not even Tucker could speak for awhile. Eventually, as evening fell, we began talking once more, going over the day's events. As I rose to prepare the campfire for the kids and the other counselors, (it was my turn to start the fire tonight), I heard the distant cries of the box ghost shouting, "I am the box ghost! Fear my cubicle shapes of doom!"
As the three of us started laughing, I decided that maybe the next seven weeks weren't going to be so bad after all.