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Crimson Summer - Chapter Eight

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Getting corralled into the cabin she'd be spending the next month in wasn't exactly a pleasant experience for Sally but she made do. It was a madhouse the moment all the girls walked in and realized all the beds varied drastically in quality. All at once they sprinted, trying to find a bed that wouldn't squeak or leave lumps in their backs. Sally stood near the rear, not really caring much about which bed she got. She just wanted her stuff. They had taken it earlier and Sally didn't like the idea of it being handled without her permission. Her counselor Marion stood at the back, laughing at the sight of the girls going crazy over the beds.
"Hold up," said Marion, raising her hands to get everyone's attention, "Your stuff has been placed at the assigned bed. Yeah. So, Nancy, you can get off Alice's bed any day now."
        Sally looked over at the twins, seeing the brunette dressed in pink jump off the bed, pouting as she did. She wasn't too happy about losing her prime spot.
"Why the hell are we assigned beds? This is stupid," the pink-wearing Belar twin said. 
"Alice is right, we've never been assigned beds before. This is dumb," the green-wearing Belar twin said, as if she had to affirm her sister's statement.
"Did you not see what just happened?" said Marion sternly.
"You could have avoided that by telling us before we got into the cabin and just assumed," snapped Alice.
"And miss out on you pouting like someone half your age? Never. It's too adorable," Marion said, smiling wide.
"You suck," said Nancy. This seemed more like usual procedure between them rather than any animosity, or at least from what Sally could tell.
"No, I just really like seeing your sister pout since it's just so gosh darn cute. But since she's not a big baby, I just have to settle for you," Marion said, acting like she was going to pinch Nancy's cheeks.
"I really hate you sometimes," Nancy said through gritted teeth.
"Oh I know you do. And again, it's adorable," said Marion, hugging Nancy. What an odd relationship, Sally thought as she found the bed that housed her luggage.
Sally had packed light for the month, with simple short and shirt combo's for every day. The website said they had free laundry so she was going to be sure to take advantage of that.
Liz's bed was next to her own, a fact Sally was happy about. Liz seemed like a cool girl from what she had gathered. Plus she was friendly with that cute boy Chase. Sally had been waiting for a moment to spark up conversation with her but Liz hadn't really left Marion's side. Now was perfect.
"So I take it you've been coming here a while?" Sally asked Liz.
"Oh yeah. Years and years. Camp veteran. All that jazz. No worries, not a suck-up though. Marion is just really cool. Total hippie," said Liz like a she was in severe need of some Ritalin.
Sally looked over at Marion who was helping one of the girls flip her mattress, revealing a nasty stain on the other side and ultimately leaving it as it was. She certainly looked like she'd be fun to hang out with but still, she was the head counselor. Sally had her doubts. Just as she had doubts about the laundry after seeing just how much Liz had packed.
"How's the laundry here?" Sally asked.
"You're kidding right?" said Liz, laughing as she did.
"That's not a good sign," said Sally, already regretting not packing more.  She could practically hear her mother saying 'I told you so.'
"Unless you enjoy having your clothes come out dirtier than when they went in. Because then you'll be in heaven," Liz joked.
"Great . . ." Sally wasn't sure what she was going to do once she ran out of clothes, but she quickly decided that would be a problem for future Sally to sort out.
"Okay ladies, I'm leaving you to it. My cabin is right next door so if you need anything go there. If I'm not there, Carol will be and she will be more than happy to answer every question you may have . . . and probably some that you didn't even ask. All the lights go off at 11pm. No exceptions. Except if there's a cute boy just dying to get in your pants. Kidding. The entire camp is on a timer and errrthang shuts off at 11 outside of the main office. You're gonna need all the beauty sleep you can get. Depending on who your counselor is, you may be in for a super fun day or a super . . . not so fun day. Good night my sweet princesses," Marion said, closing the door behind her. Sally could see what Liz was talking about; Marion was pretty great.

The twins had begun arguing at the other side of the cabin, still annoyed that they didn't have the beds that they wanted. Sally was quickly reminded of why she always got along more with boys than with girls. The shrill voices and pompous demeanor made her crave something more down to earth. These girls were absolutely crazy.
"Fine, bitch. Can't wait to see what this cabin looks like with Alice colored paint. Wonder how crimson it'll be? Think it'll be more like a movie theater or more like an opera house?" said Nancy, angrily. 
"Oh please, like I'd miss out on camping to get deflowered by one of the boys from this camp," Alice shot back. What on earth was she talking about? Sally thought, looking over at the other girls, trying to gauge if she was the only one left in the dark. 
"What are you talking about?" said Samantha, as if she were reading Sally's mind.
"Oooh! I want to tell it!" Alice shouted.
"You? You can't tell a story to save your life. Liz is so much better," said Nancy who then leaned in towards her sister, "Don’t you remember that girl? What was her name? Sandy? Betty? -- I don't know, doesn't matter -- She got her parents to come pick her up the next day all because of Liz's story. Fucking genius. That girl was a bitch anyway."
"Bullshit," said Brenda, a stout Mexican girl with an attitude.
Liz cracked her fingers, drawing all of the attention towards her.
"Didn't you notice how . . . off Al seemed once that guy mentioned '91? See, this was before Al was even running the place. He was just another counselor. His dad, Abe, was still holding onto the family business. Didn't think that Al was mature enough to run it yet," said Liz.
"How could you possibly know that?" asked Brenda, not believing a word coming out of Liz's mouth.
"Are you going to let her tell the fucking story?" the Belar twins sounded off in unison. Brenda sat back, rolling her eyes yet still silent, part of her wanting to hear more of the story.
"As I was saying, Abe was still holding firmly onto the family business and Al was a counselor -- not even head counselor, mind you -- and that didn't sit well with Al. Not one bit. So much so that he can hardly even take it anymore and Al decides that he's going to go down by the lake on the last day of camp and end it all. Shoot his own brains out with his dad's .22. He had the suicide note written and everything. Stole the gun out of his father's desk; even cleaned it to make sure it wouldn't jam. He did everything he needed to prepare, now with only one final step remaining. But all of that changed with a single blood curdling scream. It interrupted him just moments before pulling the trigger. His first reaction was to protect the campers so he ran to the cabins, stumbling and falling as he did; Al was never the most agile. Once he came to the cabin, he couldn't figure out what was wrong. It looked as quiet as ever. Everyone was out camping for the final night and the cabins were empty. Or so he thought.
"A shadow moved across one of the cabins and he went to investigate. He wasn't prepared for what he'd see upon opening that cabin's door. The entire room was covered in blood. Two campers lay dead, bits and pieces of them all over the room. The sight was too much to handle and Al fainted. Right there in the doorway. They say this is the only thing that saved his life. For there was another person in that cabin. The one that killed the two campers. When Al awoke, all he saw were police sirens and some disembodied voice telling him his father was dead."
"Wait, are you trying to say that Abe fucked one of the campers?" interrupted Mary-Ann, the girl with too much cleavage.
"What? No! What the hell is the matter with you? Let me finish the story. You see, the killer passed up on killing Al because it wasn't necessary --"
"Wait, who's the killer, did we already get to that part of the story?" Samantha blurted out.
"Okay, maybe I need to describe how storytelling works to you folks but sometimes leaving out certain details and then revealing them at another time is to greaten the effect," Liz tried to calmly explain.
"I just thought you forgot . . ." Samantha said with an edge.
"Holy fuck," Liz said to herself, then turned to Alice, "Go right ahead."
Before Alice can even get a word out, her sister's hand was to Alice's lips, keeping her quiet, and urging Liz to finish the story. Sally agreed, along with most of the other girls. Liz was much more of a natural storyteller than the girl who just earlier told of the awkward time she got fingered in the back of her grand-parents car.
"Okay, are we done? Can I do this," said Liz, looking at the others for any objections, "Okay then, where was I? Oh yeah, so this had just been a fit of -- god dammit. You know what?" Liz had enough of the whispering and eye rolling from Samantha and Mary-Ann. Thank god too, because Sally just about had enough of them too. 
"Fuck it, the killer was a camper who caught his girlfriend having sex with another one of the campers. Boom!" Liz said, annoyed at having to rush through her story but satisfied by the widespread disappointment.
"Awww," the Belar twins echoed each other's sentiments.
"Shut up, you two have heard this story a million times," Brenda spat back. So much for her not caring about the story.
"Doesn't mean we can't appreciate it," the girls said together. It was odd just how in sync these two were. Sally had never been around twins and, while these girls certainly were an odd example, they seemed to fit every stereotype she knew growing up.
"Wait, so how did Al's dad die?" asked Brenda, on the absolute edge of her bed.
"He took an axe to the face when he went to investigate a strange noise."  Liz commanded the room with every word she spoke.
"You'd think running a summer camp, he'd be a little more up on his horror movie clichés," Nancy said.
"You'd think so but how many times have you investigated an odd noise, just to find nothing there. Well what if something was there? Hell even if you were smart enough to bring a bat, would it really make that much of a difference? An axe wielding psychopath is still an axe wielding psychopath."
It scared Sally just how right Liz was. In that situation there wasn't much anyone could do. Would a gun have helped? What about the gun Al had taken from his father? Would Abe have had that had it not been for his son. Sally could vividly remember the times she heard a strange noise while babysitting and immediately took care of it. How vulnerable was she being without even realizing it. She suddenly felt a little more sympathy for the idiots in horror movies.
"Was it in the main office? Is that why that big window's broken?" asked Samantha.
"No, you can thank 'Wild Thing' over there for that," Alice said, pointing at her sister.
"You should have caught that ball," Nancy said.
"You should have thrown it better."
"Okay wonder twins, deactivate," Liz settled them down, "Like Alice said, the window wasn't from that. No, this happened at the house."
"The house?  What house?" Sally asked. She hadn't really thought about other houses being around the lake, she had just assumed the camp owned the entire area.
"Just because we're told not to venture off into the woods, doesn't mean that area doesn't exist, dumbass," Alice said and Sally's eyes went to the floor.
"The house is where the Shepards used to live. Al grew up there actually. But he hasn't stepped foot in it since. He absolutely refuses to. That's why there's all those 'Trespassers will be shot' signs on the west side of camp."
"Not like it works though. You remember that sick party the boys threw in there last summer?" said Nancy.
"Yeah, and I remember you getting boned in the upstairs bathroom by Darren Matthews.  Uck," Alice gagged.
"Whatever. He was sweet."
"So is that it?" Brenda asked, "Is that all the resolution we're getting."
"They cleaned everything up. Al took over the camp. We're here now. End of story. It's not a real complex one," Liz said and glanced down at her watch.
"Thanks for the wisdom," said Mary-Ann, rolling her eyes.
"You want real wisdom?" Liz asked, tucking her bottom half into the covers, "Just try not to bring any boys back here. Best wisdom I can give you." 
"Thanks for the parental advice, mom," said Mary-Ann, clearly not taking to the advice since this seemed to interfere with her plans to hook up with every cute boy in the camp. At least that's what Sally assumed based on how much she put her boobs on display.
"Hey I'm just looking out for you. No one wants to lose their v card in the cabin where a double homicide happened. Okay. G'night!" Liz said abruptly.
What was she talking about? The campers were . . . murdered here? In this cabin?

        Before Sally even had time to ask, the lights turned off, leaving the room in pitch black. She had one thought on her mind: When could she go and investigate the house?


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