The Crimson Summer - The Donny Chapters (unedited)
I always intended to release these chapters but I was just never sure when it would be best. Well, I can't think of anytime better than Friday the 13th to debut some chapters that really pained me to cut from the final novel. Anyone that has read the published book and the very early draft on this website may have noticed that there is a character missing. Donny. Well he's been found!
Originally he was set up to be a red herring, but after the story evolved, I felt that his role in the story had become convoluted and unnecessary. While it wasn't the easiest choice, and you should be able to tell why, I knew that things needed to get going a little bit faster. So I simply deleted the Donny chapters. I always had the intention of putting them online but they also weren't put through the ringer editing-wise.
Now just because these chapters are "deleted" that doesn't mean that I simply deleted the character; he still exists in the world of Camp Watanka and is still mentioned by characters, even if not by name. This is really just giving a little more meat to the world of Watanka (and there may be an extra kill in there too-Shhh!!) so I truly hope you enjoy.
PS. You can tell by the numbering below as to where the chapters fall chronologically within the novel. So feel free to plug these chapters in while you're reading to get context.
Chapter 4.5: “Donny”
Is this bitch serious? Donny thought to himself, gritting his teeth as the woman up front droned on and on. The overexcited lady, who repeatedly introduced herself as Carol—reaching fifteen times by Donny's last count—stood at the front of Donny's line spouting off nonsense. The amount of positive affirmations and peppy spirit was making Donny almost vomit. This was unlike anything he had ever experienced.
How can anyone be this happy? This shit is not healthy. I think her face is about to explode into rainbows and sunshine.
The more she went on, the more Donny started to cringe, feeling more and more embarrassed for her. Her upbeat and fake demeanor sent him to the verge of insanity as he stood in line, clenching his teeth, trying not to make his usual scene. It seemed like every little thing she did was something to get on his nerves; from her overly high voice to how she treated the campers like children.
I can't screw things up on the first day. Of the first hour. Of the first fucking minute.
Carol looked around, trying to make as much eye contact as possible and providing the grandest of gestures. It all got on Donny’s nerves. Every facial tick, every high inflection in her voice, the way she flung her hair to the side with every point she tried to make. He already had enough of a problem dealing with overly-friendly counselors and guardians over the years that the instant someone presented themselves in such a happy-go-lucky demeanor, his hate for them blew through the roof. Carol was no exception as she pressed all of his buttons. Even if he hadn’t developed such a hatred, he was sure it would have sprung up naturally. Although, campers’ annoyance with Carol was clearly nothing new, with an abundance of eye rolls and so much talking that it was made clear no one really respected her, especially not the veterans.
But still, it didn't help Donny take it any better. His luck had hit an all-time low with this assignment into the crazy group. It wasn't long before he had vivid day dreams of the cruel pranks he would pull on Carol, just to get her to break and leave. He had to stop himself. He needed to be good, Donny thought. Be a good boy.
"Okay, we need to get a start on forming those lifelong bonds all of you are craving . . . no? You just don't know it yet. Trust me, at the end of all this, you'll be amazed how far we've all come in a month." Carol beamed with excitement.
The other campers in the group looked normal enough. There were a set of twin girls, a fat ginger boy, a few preppy kids, two nerdy boys with Nintendo shirts, a girl with too much cleavage—or maybe just the right amount, Donny decided—and then a gangbanger looking kid, covered in tattoos. Was this where they put the delinquents?
Donny looked over at the other groups, wishing that he were with them instead. One of the counselors, Louie, looked like fun and didn't appear to be someone that liked to follow a schedule at all. He was busy showing his campers some kind of magic trick that ended in a resounding "Awh gross!" That group would have been good for Donny. Any group but his own.
The group directly next to theirs was headed by some handsome guy that Donny didn't catch the name of. All the girls in his group were swooning over him though. His tank top showed off his ripped physique, an easy ‘in’ with any girl that age. They seemed to be laughing at just about everything he was saying, but he didn’t look like he was funny. Or trying hard at all. In fact, they all just seemed to swoon over him naturally without him doing much of anything. Maybe he could teach me a thing or two.
"Earth to Donny. Think we can have a minute of your time there, darling?" Carol had apparently been tried to get his attention for a while; all of the other campers were looking at him.
"Sorry, I was—" Before Donny could even finish, Carol was already back into what she was saying.
"Doesn't matter, you're here now. Now, this is one of my favorite parts of the first day of camp so you better listen up. Just kidding, you'll be on the edge of your seats regardless. Now, I need you to turn to the person next to you because you're gonna need a partner."
Donny turned to his left but that person had already turned to the person to their left. Turning to his right, he was also met with someone's back. This hadn't worked out at all. Looking around the group, he spotted a girl across without a partner so he walked over to her.
"Now, you're going to be playing my favorite name game. You're going to ask for your partner’s name, then try and find an identifying feature on their face that associates with that name. I'll give you an example. My name is . . .” Carol paused and waited for the campers to say her name back to her but she received no response. They just stood there, awkwardly waiting for her to continue, which took longer than it should have. "Okay, it's Carol, FYI. You're gonna have to be a little more vocal than that, millennials. So for Carol what I do is go to my ears. See, the outer part looks like a C, then the inner part looks like a lower case A. See that? Pretty cool, right?"
Carol ran her finger along her ear, trying to demonstrate her point but Donny couldn't help but just shake his head. This was the stupidest name game he had ever been a part of. Although, upon thinking about it, Donny wasn't sure exactly how many he'd participated in. This was still bottom of the heap.
"So with C and with A, I can immediately associate that with Carol," Carol said.
This is so fucking stupid, Donny thought, clearly sharing the same wavelength as the other campers shaking their heads.
"Some of you still look a little confused, which is fine, there are just so many examples for this that you'll get it in no time. Now I need a volunteer," Carol said. No hands raised and eyes tried to avoid contact with Carol's. At least no one else here is stupid enough to encourage her, Donny thought but right on cue, one of the twins raised her hand.
"Yes! Thank you, Alice—err, I mean—thank you ma'am. What is your name?" Carol asked, acting like she didn't know Alice.
"Uh… it's Alice," Alice answered the obvious.
"See, this is an easy one for me. Alice just happens to share the same cheekbones as Mr. head honcho over there," Carol said, pointing over at Al, who was on his way back to the main office, cussing about something. She still looked at him with eyes of endearment. "So, seeing those cheekbones makes me think Al, and then I can just go from there. Everyone get it?"
Yeah, we get that this is the stupidest name game in the history of stupid name games. The girl he was partnered with shared his annoyance with a snort.
"This is the dumbest thing ever," she said under her breath, rolling her eyes. Maybe this group won't be so bad.
The girl was dirty blonde with a cute button nose and small green eyes. Donny couldn’t count the number of freckles that adorned her face but there were a lot. It all added up to one cute bundle and Donny knew he’d do anything to get to know her better. This was just the beginning.
"Okay, if you need any assistance, I'll be going around to groups. Try and get it quick because when we go through it as a group, you'll be expected to remember everyone not just your own partner. So get to it," Carol practically shouted.
Donny turned to his partner and gave her a half smile, which she returned. He felt like he’d already won half the battle.
"Samantha," she said, giving him her name and Donny did the same.
"We don't really have to do this, do we? I mean, this has to be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done." Donny was relieved to see her crack up and lean in closely.
"I heard one of the twins say crazy lady over there always goes to every group, so we better do what psycho says," she whispered. They both looked over at Carol, who was with another group, telling them just how much the girl looked like a cat, something the girl clearly hated.
"So let's see… Samantha… Samantha…" Donny repeated the name to himself, looking at her face. She had very big blue eyes, with some kind of makeup on around them. Donny wasn't sure, makeup was the furthest from his specialty. Something that goes with eyes. Sam-eye-tha?
"You're thinking of Sam-eye-tha aren't you?" she said as if reading his mind.
"What? No, of course not. Don't be stupid. That’s stupid. I would come up with something so much more creative than that. Like, award-worthy creative," Donny said unconvincingly. His eyes moved down past her nose, it was small and arched upright. Reminded Donny of some girl he knew back at school. He wondered if that girl—
"Got anything there, Donboy?" Samantha interrupted his trained of thought.
"Hey, it's harder than it looks to come up with this. It's not like you—"
"Your name is Donny and you're wearing a purple shirt . . . do I really have to spell it out?" said Samantha. Donny wasn't sure if she was teasing him or not.
"I take it you mean…" Before Donny could even finish, Samantha was belting out the ninja turtles theme.
". . . Heroes in a half-shell. TURTLE POWER! Come on, man. This can't be the first time you're hearing this.” Samantha was right, it certainly wasn't. Donny had heard this many times throughout his childhood. He had even once made a few friends based solely on the fact the three other boys were named Mikey, Leo, and Ralph, which they figured was close enough. It ended fairly quickly once they found out he never really watched the Ninja Turtles. He found cartoons were dull, which was apparently a big no-no and Jefferson-Lincoln Elementary.
"The comparison or the awkward rendition?" Donny joked.
"I would assume both," she said, almost flirting. At least, that's what Donny got from it. Maybe she's just friendly. He hoped it was more.
"Okay well maybe I can just—"
"How's it coming along, campers?" Carol asked out of nowhere. She had somehow snuck up on them. Donny just nodded his head and smiled.
"I think we've got it all. He's Donny. Like the ninja turtle," Samantha said, somehow cuter this time. Donny questioned whether he even wanted to answer Carol’s question, but before he could even naturally follow Samantha, Carol was butting in. She was already asking a question.
"And how about you, Donny? What did you come up with for Samantha here?"
He’d had enough of her. The dollish smile, the high pitched voice, everything. She could go ask one of the other groups, because he wasn’t having it. "Nothing. Her name's Samantha. I got it."
"Well how else is everyone supposed to know that her name is Samantha?" Carol asked with the same chipperness, but a little pushier.
"Hey everyone," Donny said loudly so the others in the group would hear. "This is Samantha. I'm Donny. It’s very nice to meet you."
"Okay, okay, thank you very much Mr. Jones," Carol said. She raised her hands in the air, motioning everyone to settle down, even though the outburst had only come from Donny. "But that doesn't really help them associate anything. You're a big smart guy. I'm sure you can think of something. Give it a try."
"No," Donny said defiantly.
"I'm sorry, what was that?" Carol asked.
"I guarantee you that they'll know our names before they know anyone else's," said Donny, motioning to the others in the group, who just looked on, amused by the situation. They'll know them because you're making this into such a fucking big deal, Donny thought, the anger boiling inside him.
"I highly doubt that," said Carol who rolled her eyes at the notion. She just refused to be wrong.
Donny wasn’t going to take it; he was going to stand his ground if he wanted something. He wasn’t going to bend to her just because she was an adult. He was going to stand up for what he thought and he thought the whole thing was stupid.
"I said, no. I don't need to play your stupid memory games. I know her name. It's Samantha you dumb fucking cunt.”
This wouldn't be the first time that Donny was sent to an office for punishment and it wasn’t likely to be his last either.
Chapter 17.5: “Donny”
Donny stood in the cabin in absolute terror. His mind was flooded with a thousand thoughts, each more terrified than the last. His would-be tormentor sat on his own bed. Staring up at him. Mocking him. How this small piece of cloth could ever be categorized as swim trunks, Donny would never know. These may have been fashionable trunks back in the 60's but it was social suicide to wear them now.
Maybe that was Carol's plan. Maybe she wanted to make Donny a pariah so that ousting him was easy. God knows every other adult had a problem with him, it couldn't be too difficult to turn the rest of the campers against him too. It wasn't like Donny had a choice though. After his second blowup with Carol, telling her he didn't bring any swim trunks because he "doesn't fuck swim", the pot just seemed to be stirred further. This didn't seem to sit well with her and it resulted in another trip to the office. Al was nice enough the first time but now that Carol was in charge, it felt more like dealing with an SS officer. It's not like Donny wanted to be here. He wasn't trying to be a problem. Something about Carol just didn't rub him the right way and she always seemed to push all his buttons. Reminded him of his mom.
So when he was faced with the decision to either put on the uncomfortably short camp swim trunks or to be sent back to the juvenile home, he took on the embarrassing situation with teeth gritted. Sliding the trunks on, he had no idea how on earth he was going to handle being in them all day long. Showing off his skinny legs was the least of his worries. He was just concerned about the boners.
Donny was at the age where erections were a daily, hourly, hell sometimes minutely concern. He wasn't sure when they'd pop and for how long, so like any reasonable teenage boy, he left boxers behind for briefs to contain them. These white trunks were going to be leaving nothing to the imagination. And doing the usual 'stick-up-into-the-waistband' routine wasn't going to work in these either. I'm destined for embarrassment.
As much as he had been looking forward to finally getting to see Sam in a bikini, all that prior excitement had turned to dread. Now he'd have to fill his mind with baseball and card games, anything to keep his mind off whatever body god bestowed her. Stupid Al. Ruining everything.
Donny finally succumbed, slipping the swim trunks on and putting everything on display in the process. He was alone in the cabin but even then, he felt uncomfortable with how much he was showing. The trunks were too tight and could help identify his religion if examined close enough. This was the last thing he wanted to deal with.
The cat-calls started the moment Donny walked out of the cabin and started towards the lake. He still had a shirt on, and a towel covered up the goods, but everyone could still get a pretty good look at the suit, or lack-there-of. Uncomfortable didn't begin to describe it. Everything was so bright that he had to shield his eyes, also able to shield his embarrassment. Getting to the lake, it just became brighter and brighter. He never wanted his eyes to adjust to the light.
Eventually they did and an angelic voice rang out.
"Get on over here, stud."
Samantha was laying out on a towel, leaned up on one elbow as she waved over to him. Her red bikini matched the red lipstick she also wore. Red lipstick? Oh you are so in, Donny thought, confident in his chances with her.
"You have no idea how embarrassing this is right now," he said, looking around like a scared puppy.
"I think I have an idea."
"Oh yeah, I forgot that time they put you in some swimsuit from the 1950's that hadn't been washed in thirty years. Yeah, that must have been pretty rough for you." Donny took a seat next to her, but still didn't lay the towel down, using it to shield himself from prying eyes.
"You totally did it to yourself. I bet had you answered like a regular person and not a bad boy you probably could have gotten some trunks from another guy. You just pissed off the wrong person," she said, looking in the direction of Carol, who had taken up in the sole lifeguard stand. She had clearly been in the water recently because her hair was wet and dripping. She looked like a wet rat.
"She was asking for it. She didn’t have to call me out on it like that." Donny glared at Carol, who sat up there with a big smile on her face. She even wore a stupid one piece. Someone should probably let her know what year it is.
"She asked you if you could go put on your trunks. That's what people do when swimming is on the agenda."
"Yeah, well she didn't have to do it in front of everybody. It was embarrassing," Donny exclaimed, realizing how stupid he sounded.
"You certainly made the right decision then," said Samantha, laying back down on her towel and closing her eyes, soaking up the sun’s rays.
Was this how it'd be all summer? Was he just going to be dealing with the wrath of Carol until finally she'd kick him out? Dammit Donny why can't you just behave?
"You think you can get my lower back. I think I missed it."
The words had come to Donny in a foreign tongue at first, until his brain was finally able to decipher what she said.
"Like . . . Lotion?"
"No, I left that body part back in my cabin -- yes, the lotion, silly," she giggled.
"Yeah, I can do that. Of course. My specialty." Donny couldn't have been more nervous. He hadn't even gotten to second base yet and was constantly worried he'd have a stereotypical "early finish."
He touched her soft skin and . . . Nothing happened. No electricity. His hand was just touching skin, nothing more or less. It didn't mean anything special, it didn't do much of anything. He chuckled to himself that he even thought it was going to be some insane boner inducer. Then it hit.
It took rubbing on her smooth skin for an extended period for another part is his body to catch up, and extend as well. As soon as he noticed it, he thought it was too late. He practically felt his erection resting on her back. It'd only be worse once it went full mast and became more noticeable in his trunks. He needed to act fast.
"Okay, looks good," said Donny, quickly rolling off of her and onto his stomach.
Samantha said thanks and started up with some story about this time on vacation but Donny was a million miles away, trying to think of anything that would make him less aroused and hearing about her bikini time wasn't going to help any. Baseball. They bounced around in his head as he searched for anything to get his mind off it.
"…I couldn't believe that he had done it but you know? He totally did it. So that was really cool."
"Oh yeah, I'm sure. Sounds awesome."
“Yeah, it was really cool to—oh my god. Sarah, you are not even doing that.” Samantha must have been talking about the girl on the boy’s shoulders off in the shallow end of the lake because she ran off to them, forgetting she was in the middle of a story.
He sat there for a moment, debating whether or not to go in the lake but he quickly washed away that notion. Before he knew it, it was gone and he was fast asleep.
Donny couldn't have been out more than ten minutes when the whistles and screaming started. He didn't know what was happening at first, just that campers from all around were gathering towards the beach and Carol was no longer up in the lifeguard stand. It didn't take a genius to figure out what had happened. He started to worry when he noticed that Samantha was no longer lying next to him.
Standing up, he walked over through the massive crowd of people, trying to catch any glimpse of her blonde hair. It seemed as though he saw everything but that, with all the kids from the camp seemingly converging on the beach to get a look at all the drama.
He made his way up through the crowd, trying to spot Samantha to make sure she was safe. He saw her towards the water, talking to someone. He tried to reach her but lost her again amongst all the commotion. The sea of people made it impossible. He stepped away from everyone, trying to see if he could spot her from afar but it was more like playing a game of "Where Is Waldo?" with a colorblind man.
"Hey dipshit, quit being a creeper." Alice and Nancy had apparently taken notice of his staring at the crowd as they lay out on their towels, the latter shouting out.
"Have you seen Samantha?" He got straight to the point, not even wanting to acknowledge the attitude.
"I think I saw her over at the archery but I don't know. That could have been some other blonde bimbo." It was like Alice thought she was saying something nice but the words never matched up and all that came out was venom.
"Just because she dyes her hair doesn't make her some whore." Donny tried standing up for her.
There was no use though, the twins had made up their mind and this was how they were going to be acting today. And he had better things to do. At least now he had some idea of where to look.
They must have gotten the drowned kid up and around because the crowd behind him started to disperse and go back to what they were doing before. Donny continued on, hoping he could get over to the range before the others could catch up. Maybe he could get a few smooches in with her. She did let him put sunscreen on her.
He rounded the corner of the hail bails—all set up behind the targets to prevent wild shots—with all the hope in the world. Everything came crashing down as he got a full view of the range and all it had to offer. Samantha was at the farther end, her tongue down the throat of some guy—Donny thought his name was Lucas.
What was she doing? More importantly how could she do this? She had been showing interest in Donny the entire summer, always by his side or trying to find him so that they could talk about something. Had she actually not been? Had he been reading this wrong the entire time. Did she not even care about him? Was he just another stepping stone on her way to some other guy?
Donny couldn't stand it any longer and rushed out towards the edge of the treeline and disappeared. He passed by tree after tree, deeper and deeper into the forest. He didn't want anyone to be around for what he was about to do.
“How could you do this?” Donny sobbed, walking out onto the range. He startled Samantha and Lucas, who quickly buttoned up and turned to him.
“What the fuck do you want, bro?” asked Lucas, tightening his fists.
“I’m not talking to you…asshole!” he turned to Samantha. “How could you do this to me?”
The look of confusion that covered Samantha’s face was one that would haunt him for the rest of his life. He didn’t even need any words to escape her mouth because her face had said more than enough. She wasn’t interested in him and had no intention of going out with him. He had just seen what he wanted. He was just a fool.
He had already begun imagining how they would manage their long distance relationship—something that would have become more manageable once they were out of high school. It was all going to be so perfect. How could she even do this to him? Was she even thinking?
Donny knew what the problem. It was that guy. That stupid no good piece of shit was taking advantage of her. She just didn't know what was happening and was confused. That's it. She couldn't have done this to him. All those words. Those long conversations. She couldn't have just been leading him on. She wouldn't do that. Donny stared at Lucas, wanting more than anything to just punch him in the face. Maybe by knocking him out, then Samantha would realize the error in her ways. Standing there, he just couldn’t take anymore and stormed off into the forest, needing to get away from the newly minted lovebirds.
By the time Donny finally stopped, he didn't recognize any of the forest around him. Usually he could hear the lake or the sound of campers in the distance but not here. He had come from the house, which meant he was already pretty deep into foreign territory. He should have been paying closer attention when he first set off. But that wasn’t his fault, he was seeing red and just needed to focus on his breathing.
In the distance, the branches seemed to move, but Donny couldn't decide if it was just his eyes playing tricks on him or not. It wouldn't be the first time he had had misinterpreted something right in front of him.
God, you’re so stupid!
He was over coming up with excuses for her. She probably was just being nice to him and didn't mean to lead him on. She was probably just looking for a friend. Which is what he should have been looking for too. He should have just assumed she wasn't into him. Why would she be? She was beautiful and probably had her choice of guy back home. Hell, she probably even had a boyfriend back there.
He should have known better.
But how could he have known? She seemed into him or at least showed all the signs of it. How could he have gotten it so wrong? She had to have led him on. There was nothing else that made sense. If she was into him, she would have chased after him. Instead he was alone in the woods, without a soul in sight.
Behind him, a twig snapped and the world went black.