According to Camp Green Lake, if you take a bad-boy and make him dig holes all day, it will make him a good boy. So, what would it do to a girl? Toughen her up? Turn her into a boy? Nothing? Seeing as the place is an all-boys facility, they don't have to answer that particular question. I suppose I'll have to answer it myself.
Call me Alan, I guess.
When you think about how you determine if someone is male or female, it's quite silly really. First, we look to hair length; short? Probably a boy. Next, we look to the chest and body. Do we see breasts or curves? No? Okay, this is looking like a boy now. Okay, last test, what does this person sound like? Low and hoarse? Yes? Now we know this person is a boy. I currently have all of these characteristics and now the outside world all assumes I am male.
You're probably confused, I would be. My name isn't Alan. I am Alania, called Lainey, the three-minute younger twin sister of Alan Walker. Although we are unidentical, if you chop of my hair and flatten my chest we could pass for the Walker twin brothers. Lucky me, I guess.
So why am I here, in Camp Green Lake, and not Mr. Alan Walker? I'll get to that later. Maybe. I really do want to tell you my story. But I don't think you're ready for that whole 'traumatic back story' yet. But while I'm laying out the basics, I'll hit you with some more vital information. One; Alan and I have one other sibling, an older sister named Suzanne, called Suzy. She's twenty-six, and our legal guardian. As to where my parents are, that ties in with the backstory so just stay tuned and you'll find out.
We live in Midland, Texas in a pretty nice house bought with Suzy's inheritance from my rich grandparents who both died before Alan and I were born. Suzy got kind of loaded when she was only three; lucky her. Suzy spends her days painting, Alan plays with puppies at the animal shelter, and I did drugs and trespassed. Can you tell who the disappointing child is yet?
Anyways, let us to return to the here and now. I am on a school bus that is full of dust and heat blasting through a dessert with no speed limit. The windows stick so no matter how hard I try, I can't get a single one down and I'm forced to suffocate in my yellow prison. The only source of circulation is up by the driver who has a nice little mini fan blowing in his face. I tried sitting behind him to maybe steal some of his air, but he just readjusted it to only blow on him. Ass-face.
There is one other passenger; a sheriff with a shotgun. As I sit here, handcuffed mind you, I ponder why exactly they decided they needed a man with a shot gun to guard me, as if I'm going to run away or attack someone. It worries me slightly. Are the boys at this camp violent? I'm nervous, but I have no smokes out here. I decided to try chewing gum to occupy my mouth and hope it'll help me through eighteen cigarette-less months. I reach for piece.
The sheriff jolts and aims his gun at me when I stick my hand in my bag. I whip my hands up, pack of gum in hand.
"Dude, chill!" I shout. I relax as he lowers the gun, and I get a little sassy. "If I offer ya a piece, will ya not shoot me?"
He mutters something and spits on the floor of the bus. I'll take that as a now. I pop in a piece of minty freshness as I glance at the windows behind him, hoping to see at least something, but all I see is dirt and more holes than I can count. The packet about Camp Green Lake said something about minor physical labor to help build character. As I see the numerous and deep holes, I wonder if that's what they mean by 'minor' physical labor.
My suspicions are confirmed as I begin to see the dust flying up from smaller holes. Heads covered thick with dirt pop up to find the source of the noise, as the bus appears to be the only moving object in miles. They stare at the bus as it drives by. I know they probably can't see me because it's moving so quickly, but I sink down anyways. I already feel threatened. Buildings appear in the distance, and I know the camp is close. We pull into the main camp which consisted of several tents and a couple buildings. We park in center of it all, and the guard pulls me out the bus. The driver follows as well.
There's a few 'campers' wandering around. They wear orange jumpsuits, carry shovels, and they're all incredibly dirty. They stare at me as I exit the bus. Do they stare because I'm new? Or can they see through my fake persona and know Lainey lies underneath? Are they really staring or am I just being self-conscious? I say nothing as I'm led inside.
The first thing I notice is the beautiful sensation of air conditioning. It is ruined almost immediately by a puff of smoke hits my face. Boy, do I crave a smoke. The guard made me spit out my gum before I entered the building, so I have nothing to distract me from my urge. I look up and see a man with a tight face sitting at a desk. He holds a cigarette between his fingers and stares at me.
"You must be Alan." He says as if he's been waiting for me. "I am Mr. Sir. When you talk to me, you will address me as Mr. Sir when you speak to me, do you understand?"
"Yeah." I respond, taken off guard by his name. Clearly it isn't his birth name; it must be something hilariously embarrassing for him to change it to something as stupid as Mr. Sir.
"Yeah,who?" Mr. Sir says angrily.
"Yes, Mr. Sir." I spit out, rather annoyed. He sits quiet for a moment and takes another drag from his cigarette.
"Are you thirsty, Alan?"
"Yes, Mr. Sir."
"Well get used to it, you're gonna be thirsty for the next eighteen months." Mr. Sir laughs as he pulls out three cans of soda from a little fridge behind him. He hands one to the sheriff, one to the driver, and cracks one open for himself and chugs it. My throat burns, the heat from the bus did dehydrate me. I dare not ask for anything to drink though, clearly Mr. Sir is an ass that won't give me any. I decided I must seek an ally out in other places.
Mr. Sir dismisses the driver and guard as he leads me to a small building behind his little cabin. It's full of orange jumpsuits, t-shirts, boots, and other supplies. Snatching my backpack out of my hands, he shifts through it and examines everything in there. He sees a comb, some boxers, a pack of paper, and a pen. I'm thankful when he doesn't check the little secret area that I tore in the bottom. Inside I slipped a year's supply of birth control, and as many tampons as I could stuff for the other eight months. I know I'll run out near the end, but I'll worry about that when the time comes.
Nodding, he tosses the bag back to me and heads over the shelves full of supplies. He throws two orange jumpsuits, a white t-shirt, black boots, a hat with a rag like thing attached the back, and a canteen at my feet.
"Change." He demands. Shit. It was easy to wrap down my chest, and simple enough to hide my minorly feminine figure behind baggy shapeless clothes, but if I removed any of it my true gender would be obvious. I begin to panic. Just as I'm about to ask if I could change privately, someone calls out, saying it's an emergency. He waddles out with an odd limp as I change as quickly as I can. I am dressed in the jumpsuit when he returns, sticking a gun back into his pocket.
"Yella-spotted lizard." I have never heard of such a thing. Is he messing with me or are there lizards out here you need a gun to handle? I panic again a little, what have I gotten myself into?
"Yes, Mr. Sir." I keep my voice low and husky, trying my best to imitate my brother. He then explains how to wear my two sets of clothes and explains laundry. All I can think of is how I can't send my chest wrap to the washer and how bad it's going to end up smelling.
"Let me show you around." When we step outside, Mr. Sir drops his cigarette to the ground without stepping on it. There was nothing flammable anyways; not a single blade of grass. It is so damn barren there aren't even tumbleweeds. The dirt on the ground was so tightly packed it felt like walking on cement. "There's the showers, the rec room," He points to each. "The warden's cabin. The number one rule of Camp Green Lake, don't upset the Warden." His warning was sincere. "Ah, Pendaski! I've been doin' your job for you, showing this kid around."
A small man approaches with a big friendly smile, the first one I've seen for days.
"Thank you! It gives me more time to introduce Alan into his tent mates!" The one called Pendaski pipes as Mr. Sir bitterly staggers off pulling another cigarette out. I know this dude is supposed to probably be friendly and mentoring, but the second he opens his mouth he gives out some serious creep vibes.
"Come on, now. You'll be assigned to Tent D. You see all these tents? Each has seven boys. And you'll be the seventh boy in your tent!" He says this with too much enthusiasm. This statement is incorrect; I will be the first girl. Not that it's funny or matters.
We step inside the tent, which contains six boys. The all stare up at me with curious and invasive eyes. I mentally try to shield myself. I am a boy, I am a boy, I am a boy...
"Hello boys! This is your new tent mate, Alan!" They just stare at me. "This is Rex-"
"It's X-Ray." The darkest boy with dirt covered glasses interrupts, but Mr. Pendaski ignores him. I notice how he stands; with his chest sticking out and his shoulder back. A prideful stance; I copy him.
"Armpit." The biggest one says. With a name like that, I can assume he was the one I smelled when we first enter the tent. I can't wait to share a small tent with him.
"Zigzag." He has a huge mane of frizzy, wild, blonde hair and large blue eyes.
"Haystack." He's very young, and has skin that reminds me of sandpaper.
"Barf Bag." The skinniest one blurts.
"You and your nicknames. And that's Zero." This boy, unlike the others, didn't try to correct Mr. Pendaski. He was small like Haystack, but he seemed much softer. He lay in his cot silently and stared up, as if nothing was going on around him. I didn't know whether his name was actually Zero or he was just the only boy Mr. P called by his nickname, but I didn't say anything.
Mr. Pendaski pointed at the cleanest looking cot and told me it would be mine. Mr. P leads me to empty crates stacked on top another and shoves my bag inside the empty one. He tells me what time I'll be waking up tomorrow: 5:30 in the damn morning. Great. He leaves after telling me dinner will be soon.
"So-Alan, what'd you get busted for?" Barf Bag asks.
"A few things." I keep my voice low and husky. "Trespassing, weed, booze, you know."
"Sucks that you got caught." Haystack laughs.
I shrug. Technically, I didn't get caught. I did commit the crime; I will guarantee you that. It just wasn't me who got caught.
"It does, usually I'm a master of escapes." I respond, sitting down on the stiff cot. They ask for more details. I soon launch into stories of all my master escapes over the years. I jumped out windows, slid down banisters, and slipped through the arms of cops trying to catch me. Zig Zag shows me a magazine he has about animals. There's an article that's titled "Squids; The Masters of Escapes".