Camp Toon 2
Chapter 1: Returning
A/N: Hey! I'm at the last bite of my cheeseburger! Oh, right, here's Chapter 1!
Just like this
To become never...
Gag Director woke up from the ocean, swifting up on a near current. A new camp appeared on the other side of the lake.
"Huh?" asked GD.
"You're in," said Vlad. "Now that we're using her to beat up Camp Toon, all we need to destroy is... Cindy."
Cindy Vortex's forehead pressed against the window of her mom's van, willing her to drive faster. Pine trees, rest stops, more pine trees... the trip seemed like it was taking forever! Then, suddenly, they came around a curve in the road, and Cindy let out a scream.
"There's the sign! Turn! Turn!" she told her mom, Sasha Vortex, excitedly as the wooden Camp Toon marker came into view. "I can't believe we're finally here." Cindy had been dreaming about being back at the prestigious musical camp all year long—and finally she was!
She searched her bag frantically for her phone. "I told Jimmy I'd text him when we were almost there," Cindy said.
Sasha, Cindy's mom and Camp Toon's cook extraordinare, looked over at her. "Cindy..." she began, before breaking off.
Cindy stopped her search. "What?" she asked.
Her mom sighed. "Nothing."
Cindy gave her mom a questioning look. "Well, it's obviously something," she said, having noticed the caution in her mom's voice. "You and boy genius—not very good friends."
Sasha hesitated. "I know you and Jimmy talk all the time, but you haven't actually seen this boy in almost a year," she told her daughter gently. "I don't want you to be too disappointed if he can't come this summer."
"Mom!" Cindy felt exasperated. She knew her mom was just trying to protect her, but she was positive that Jimmy Neutron would be there. Sure, he was the famous lead singer of The Neutron 3, but he'd also gotten his start at Camp Toon. After all, his uncle AJ was the camp's director. Cindy and Jimmy had been e-mailing and texting each other all year. Cindy had no doubt; Jimmy would definitely be back for another summer.
"I just want you to have fun and focus on your music," Sasha finished as they approached the camp's driveway.
Cindy to a deep breath. "First, this is gonna be the best summer ever. And second, nothing could ever make me lose my-" She stopped midsentence to gape out the window. "What's that?"
Across the road was a brand-new flashing neon sign that read Camp Evil, the same camp that the Gag Director joined in. It had a silhouette of a girl singing into a microphone, surrounded by musical notes. It pointed in the direction opposite Camp Toon.
Cindy couldn't believe it. Did someone open another music camp?
Everything at Camp Toon was the same as Cindy remembered. Bright sunshine, rustic cabins with cozy porches, the fresh smell of pine in the air, the beach, and the beautiful lake.
She hoisted her duffel bag outta the van. "Seriously, why would somebody open another music camp right across the lake?" she asked, shaking her head. That didn't make any sense. Everybody knew that Camp Toon was the only camp for aspiring rock stars.
Sasha shrugged. "Who knows? But I don't think it's anything to worry about. Maybe..."
But Cindy wasn't listening. She'd just spotted 1 of the greatest things about Camp Toon—her best friend, Lil DeVille!
Squealing, Cindy ran over to hug her. "I was afraid we'd be late, but it doesn't look like too many people are here yet," she said.
Lil grinned. She was a little taller, maybe, but other than that she looked exactly the same.
"You know what this means," Lil said, grabbing her own luggage and pulling Cindy toward their own cabin. "Since we're the first ones here, we totally get our own choice of bunk."
Lil and Cindy swung open the cabin door... and stared. Apparently they weren't the 1st ones there. The cabins were already covered with clothes, shoes, toiletries, & tons of other stuff. And there were 3 people unpacking—Owen Wu, Penny "Patricia" Lefcotwitz, and camp diva Portia Gibbons.
Cindy & Lil raced inside. The 5 girls hadn't been together since last summer, and they were excited to be bunkmates this year. Everyone began hugging and screaming and talking all at once.
"Penny! How was the song? Did you love it?" Cindy asked her friend, remembering an e-mail Penny had sent about a song she recorded last month. "I'm sure you were fantastic!"
Penny began jumping up and down. "It was so fabulous. I got to record, and they gave me the tape!"
"Ahhh, look at that dress!" Owen exclaimed to Cindy, stepping back to drink in her fashion choice. "You are so cute!"
Cindy laughed, then motioned toward Lil. "She won, like, this huge dance competition," she proudly told the girls as Lil tried to slush her. "I'll send you the link. She was so amazing!"
The girls were too busy catching up to noticed Portia standing off to the side with her arms crossed. "I see that no one wants to know about my life," Portia said, flipping her blond hair over her shoulder. Nothing's changed, Cindy thought, surpressing a laugh. Portia is still as dramatic as ever!
"What don't we know?" Lil asked. "You update your status, like, every 2 seconds."
Penny nodded. "You just Woofed me that Cindy and Lil are at the cabin door. I'm sitting right next to you."
"Okay, fine," Portia said breezily. "But I have a question. And it's for Cindy."
Knowing Portia, Cindy wasn't sure that was a good thing. Portia was a great performer—her mother was rock legend Mary Gibbons—and she was very competitive. "For me?" Cindy said warily.
Portia smirked. "For you." Then she broke into a wide smile. "What's going on with you and Jimmy?"
Cindy felt herself blushing as her friends gathered around to hear the latest news. "Nothing is going on," she told them, embarrassed to be in the center of attention.
"Total lie," Lil declared.
But Cindy shook her head. "You're all obsessed. But seriously, unless we actually get to spend some time together, nothing is ever gonna happen."
And they would only get to see each other if Jimmy actually returned to Camp Toon.
He would be there... wouldn't he?
Jimmy Neutron was the lead singer of one of the hottest bands on Earth. But right now? He was sweaty, greasy, and completely outta breath. He and his friends, Sheen and Carl, were on their way to Camp Toon when their tour bus got a flat tire.
"1 more crank and I think we're good to go," Jimmy said, pulling all his weight into the lug wrench in his hand. He pushed the tire. Nothing. So he pulled. Still nothing. "That's probably fine," he said, feeling less confident than he sounded.
His brothers stood alongside him, their arms crossed. Their bus driver, Brobot, had collapsed, exhausted, on a nearby rock.
"Can we please just wait for the tow truck?" Sheen asked, giving the tire a skeptical look. "Ultralord tried and he couldn't do it."
Jimmy struggled to get the wrench off the bolt. "That's because Brobot wasn't properly programmed," he said, huffing. "He's not trying to get to Camp Toon before Cindy."
Jimmy had met Cindy last summer at Camp Toon. At first, he had fallen in love with her voice. When he met Cindy, he hadn't even realized that she was the girl behind the voice. They'd become good friends. And at the end of camp—after much drama—they'd become boyfriend and girlfriend. They'd stayed in touch all year, and Jimmy couldn't wait to see her.
"Maybe because Brobot doesn't even know who Cindy is," Carl pointed out.
Sheen walked over, and to Jimmy's surprise, easily took the wrench off the bolt.
"Thank you," Jimmy said, relieved that they could finally be on their way again. He and the guys walked toward the front of the bus as Brobot started to lower the jack.
"It's gonna be so cool!" Jimmy said excitedly. "I've got it all planned. She's gonna come in, and I'll just be sitting there, and I'll go, 'Hey, Cindy.' She's gonna be so surprised."
Sheen looked at him. "'Hey, Cindy.' That's your big line?"
Jimmy was confident. "Trust me, everything's cool when I do it. I'm just looking forward to actually, finally, getting to spend a little time with her.
"Oh, wait!" Carl blurted out, reaching in his pocket. "I almost forgot. Here." He handed Jimmy a bolt.
"Is this from the tire?" Jimmy asked, staring at it.
"Yeah, I saw it on the ground, and I put it in my pocket so we wouldn't lose it," Carl said. "It looks kind of important."
"You don't think you could have mentioned this before?" Jimmy asked, slightly worried. He didn't know anything about auto mechanics, except for with robots, but the bolt had to have been there for a reason.
"How could I mention it before now if I didn't remember it until now?" Carl said, shrugging.
Jimmy glanced over to the tire as Brobot pulled out the jack. Everything was fine. "It's okay. One bolt's not gonna matter," Jimmy said, trying to sound convincing.
All of a sudden, the tire fell off. Then the back corner of the tour bus crashed to the ground, making a sickening thud.
"Oh, no!" Jimmy cried, staring in horror. "Please, no..."
His worst fears were realized as the entire bus tipped over. Kaboom! The band watched in shock as the bus flipped again and again, rolling down the hill. Finally, with 1 more declaring boom, it came to a stop.
"See?" Carl said, breaking the silence. "I knew the bolt was important."
Inside Cindy's cabin, the girls were busy unpacking. Pillows, sweatshirts, hair accessories—it was like a giant sleepover. Cindy reached into her bag, pulled out her well-worn songbook, and tossed it onto her bed. Last summer she'd improved her singing and dancing skills, but her main passion had been—and still was—songwriting.
"I sure hope there's something we can do at Opening Toon Tune in there," Penny said. "'Cause if not, we've got nothing."
Cindy bit her lip, feeling a bit shy about her work. "Kinda, maybe. I don't know. I just started working on something."
She flipped to a page and began to sing some lines she'd written 3 days ago. Then she stopped. "That's as far as I got," she said. "I have some more lyrics, but I haven't worked it all out yet."
Owen perched on her bed. "Maybe we could just sing that first part over and over again."
Before Cindy could respond she heard a guitar playing outside, followed by drumsticks tapping out a beat on the New and Improved Vibe Cabin wall.
"That's it!" Cindy cried, hopping up.
"Really?" Owen said, happily surprised. "Nobody ever agrees with me."
But Cindy wasn't answering Owen. Instead, she'd realized that the beat she was hearing belong to 2 of her best friends from last summer, Patrick and Domo!
She rushed outside & threw her arms around their shoulders. "I knew that was you guys!"
Cindy looked at her friends' smiling faces and grinned. It felt awesome to be back at Camp Toon, back at a place where she could live & breathe music with people who felt the same way she did.
A/N: Pretty good beginning, huh?
Gag Director: Says you! I entered a villain's camp! Throw him on a cat!
Jimmy: So far what Cindy thought was the same thing I biologically thought and it won't be a surprise!