"Gen, c'mon, would you slow down?" Dustin practically screamed from the backseat. "I think I'm gonna hurl!"
I shifted into four-wheel-drive and the bounce that followed as I headed over the rough terrain didn't affect me. I rolled my eyes at Dustin, ignoring that he couldn't see it. He was just tired and grumpy because he was on the phone all last night with Carlos talking about how awesome seeing the Camp Crystal Lake killer was going to be. And apparently, the killer's name was Jason something-or-other. I hadn't really been listening to his chatter that morning, as I was loading the van up. "What's wrong with you, huh? I thought boys your age like gross things. And there are fewer things more disgusting than your own puke."
From my rear-view, I could see him being tossed up as I went over another rock, probably pulverizing the poor stone. "You wanna clean it up, Gen?"
"... Good point, I guess." I eased my foot off the gas a little, slowing down from seventy to fifty-five. "I just like having no boundaries, now that we're outside city limits."
"Well, cool it off a little, Fast and Furious."
"I am, I am. Hey, what's Jez barkin' about back there?"
"Your maniacal driving."
My brother was the only nine-year-old I knew who could properly use the word "maniacal" in a sentence. I just giggled. "Bat outta hell, Dusty, bat outta hell."
Finally I could see a gate in the distance. As I got closer, I could see the faded paint on the arch which read "Camp Crystal Lake". I turned around and gave Dustin a grin before barreling through the open gate. "We are here, baby! Camp Crystal Lake, CCL, Camp Blood, home of Jason Whatever-His-Last-Name-Is-If-He-Even-Has-One!"
"I think Carlos said it's Voorhees," Dustin answered matter-of-factly, leaning forward. "Jason Voorhees, the Camp Crystal Lake killer!"
"You sound so happy to be saying 'killer'," I mumbled, turning the wheel and scanning for a suitable place to park while simultaneously trying not to run into any cabins or Camp Crystal Lake killers. I did a double-take and shot my angry eyes at Dustin. "And where the hell is your seatbelt?"
"Until the van has made a complete stop! If you don't start listening to me, I will turn around, drive home, and you will never get to meet Jason van Hess!"
"Voorhees!" Dustin stuck his tongue out at me from the back. "It's Voorhees! Get it right, Gen! You wanna insult him?"
"Holy muffin-tops, Dusty, I already insulted him by bringing you within the walls of his camp!"
"Camps don't have walls, dummy!"
I slammed on the brakes. "You wanna leave Crystal Lake empty-handed, boy?"
"No way, Gen! I want Jason's autograph!"
"Then you stop givin' me that lip or it's gonna be fat!"
"Just park, Gen!"
"Don't sass me!"
"I'll stop sassing you when you park the car!"
I lifted off the brakes and yanked the clutch into reverse. "How many times we gotta go over this, Dusty?" I twisted in my seat, draping my arm over the headrest so I could see to back up. "Do not call my baby a car! Hellfire is a van, and you better be pretty damn grateful because she dragged your sorry ass all the way down here. Now, apologize to her."
"Dustin. Q. Whysong. Apologize. To. Hellfire."
"Fine, fine." Dustin touched one of the cupholders near his seat. "Sorry, Hellfire."
"See, now that's the kind of nice attitude you need. She forgives you."
"Good, your clunker of a van likes me. My life is super special awesome. Park and let's get this party rollin' on the river."
"It's not Camp Crystal River," I muttered, driving toward the trees. "Camp Crystal Lake, doofus."
"Don't call me a doofus, Pizzaface!"
"Shut the hell up! It was one zit-"
"The size of a volcano and/or Hoboken!"
"-And it cleared up in time for senior pictures!"
"You could still see where Kim popped it for you."
I put my vehicle in park and leaned against the steering wheel, conjuring up an image of my blonde, brown-eyed best friend. "Aw hell, Dusty, I miss Kim. Why did she have to be pretty and smart? If she was an idiot she wouldn't be studying in Paris."
"Yeah, and you wouldn't be getting fancy French perfume from her."
"Well, there's that perk. But I wanna talk to her."
"Hey," Dustin called, rolling off his seat and pushing his door open. "Did you know French perfume is actually toilet water?"
"It's the literal translation! Don't kill me!"
He watched from the shadows as the vehicle pulled in, tried to park, turned around, and at last settled, parking in front of the trees. His grip on the machete tightened as he saw the door to the van slide open. Why did more bad people insist on coming here? Out of the back part climbed a little boy, with dirty blonde hair that fell to his shoulders, dressed in a T-shirt and shorts. He ran around to the back of the vehicle, shouting at someone else. "Gen! C'mon, hurry up, Gen!"
From the front of the car, a young woman climbed out. She had brownish hair, but one piece was a different color, and she was also dressed in shorts but instead of a T-shirt, she wore a white tank top. She ran around to where the boy was, smacked him on the head, and opened the trunk. "Give me two seconds, Dusty," she scolded, pulling a big red cooler from the trunk. "Okay, why don't we sit by the lake and have some lunch? Then we'll pick a cabin. And for God's sake, let poor Jezebel out, will you?"
"Okay, okay!" With that, the kid climbed into the trunk, then emerged soon after with a crate for carrying animals. When he opened it, a large yellow dog bounded out and knocked him to the ground before licking his face. "J-Jez, c'mon! Kn-Knock it off!"
"Okay!" The girl walked over and took the dog by its red collar, and pulled her off of the boy. She knelt down and began rubbing the animal's face, nuzzling her nose against the dog's muzzle. "Who's a good girl? Who's a good girl?"
The dog barked and then began panting.
"That's right, you!" She stood up, clipping a leash onto the dog's collar. "And good girls don't attack little brothers, do they? I thought not."
"Come on, Gen!" the boy cried, tugging on the girl's shirt. "When are we going to go looking for Jason? I don't wanna wait another second!"
"Dusty, we're gonna be up here for a whole week." The girl was dragging the cooler along while simultaneously leading the dog over to the lake. "There'll be plenty of time for you to talk to Jason and find out... whatever it is you wanna find out."
"How he's lived so long, if his mom lives nearby, what his favorite color is, his favorite way of killing bad people-"
"Dusty, listen to me. We. Are. Going. To. Be. Here. For. A. Week. I have no doubt we'll run into the guy some time or another. Now get my sketchbook, will you? I forgot it. It's in the back."
"Come on, I want to draw the lake."
He just watched the two for a while. They sat at the edge of the lake, eating whatever they'd brought. Once the girl had finished she began to draw, glancing up at the lake every so often. Once the boy had finished, he proceeded to throw his shirt at the girl and dive into the lake... yes, she yelled at him for that.
He glanced down at his weapon, and lowered it a bit. It was just the two of them and their dog, nobody else. The girl looked like an adult, and the kid was just... well, a kid. Harmless unless he got his hands on sugar. And neither of them seemed to be doing anything... bad. The girl had an interest in the camp, and the boy had an interest in...
Me? he thought, genuinely confused. No one had ever admired him before. The only person he knew liked him was his mother - and family had to like you no matter what.
... Maybe, just maybe... they weren't bad. Maybe he wouldn't have to kill them.