A Chapter by Imara

Todd, Max, Austin and Rachel go camping. Surprised, they find Keres there adventure beings with swimming...


For another two weeks she popped in and out of my life the neighborhood stray cat. Sometimes she would be gone for days, other times I would spend days with her. Sometimes we would have sex, other times she would tease me endlessly. Once we were naked, making out when she just stopped, smiled and then walked out with her sweater and necklace.

“Do you have your phone? You’re taking Lacey.” My mom said. My beautiful mom. Thick dreads pulled back into a ponytail all black except a strand or two which had gone gray, a long circle face. A tired young face, worried now because of my camping trip with Austin and Max. Max’s girlfriend Rachel was also coming but she didn’t know that.

“Mom, I don’t need Lacey, it’s not like we’re going into some uncharted land. We’re going to a camping ground.”

“You’re taking Lacey.” She commanded her brown eyes growing narrow and serious.

“Fine.” I checked the time, it was only 9:00 and it was still bright outside. When school started it would be pitch dark by this time, but that horrible time was so far away.

“Have you double checked everything?”

I moaned, “Yes. Mom can I go I still have to go get the food for tonight.” She gave me one final look through, then her firm, full lips pressed to my forehead. Then she pulled me close and hugged me tight. “I’ll be back in tomorrow.”

She looked at me, she knew what I was up to. She knew full and well but she had no proof so she was going to trust me. Always a Mother’s mistake. “I love you. Just be safe and no strangers and all that stuff. I’m serious Todd.”

“I know mom.” I said gently, my heart throbbing, “I love you.” I pulled away with a grin. “Come on one day I won’t have you there, when I’m grown and all.”

She laughed, “The day you leave this house is the day you become thankful for all the years in it.”

I stepped out of the door with a smile. Freedom. The sun shone brightly, with more joy than I had felt from its warming rays all summer. I drove to the store first with Lacey in the back her tail going thwap, thwap, thwap against the side of my car. Three bags of junk food and two cases of beer later Austin, Max, and Rachel sat in my car Lacey sprawled across them.

“Dude why is it taking so long to get there?” Austin shouted over all the singing going on in the back accompanied by Lacey’s barking.

I checked the GPS, “It says just another ten minutes.”

“God they’re making my ears bleed.” I laughed and joined in. “Oh God No!” He laughed but began to sing along as well. Windows rolled down our voices tumbled out into the summer air then fell flat onto the pavement.

“Yes! We’re here!” We whooped and hollered as we pulled into the the parking lot. “Aye now, you guys have to help carry this stuff.” I began to hand out the tents to them. Except Rachel, she only carried the bags of food and beer. Max took her tent.

Lacey followed loyally. “So Todd where are we going to be staying?” Max asked with a tired smile, even though we had only been walking a few feet.

“I rented a spot near the lake so we can go swimming.”

“This way right?” Austin said with a point at the signpost.

I nodded, we all chatted happily as we made our way up the trail. Bright green leaves, and brown trunks towered us. Tiny pebbles and great boulders lined the sides, birds chirped loudly alerting God himself that we were walking up the trail slowly. A deer or two paused before bolting away to gaze at us and our slow going. Small flowers and threatening bushes danced in the warm breeze.

Under the weight of our tents, which weren’t so heavy, we successfully made a ten minute walk twenty. In our defense Rachel stopped six times to take pictures. It was a bare spot of dirt, with a spot in the middle that had been used by those who came before us as a fire pit. Dramatically Max threw his tents to the ground, “You better hope those didn’t break because those are your tents.” Austin laughed.

“I don’t need a tent, I have a wonderful woman to keep me warm.” He hugged her close.

“I don’t know about you but I’m going to be in a tent.”

“What? You’d leave me out here in the cold, to be eaten by the lions and tigers and bears?”

“Oh my!” I added with smile.

“No, I expect you in my tent.” They kissed softly.

“OK! We get it, the two lovers shall share a tent.” Austin chuckled, “But I swear if there are any babies made I’m going to lose it!”

Max winked, “Don’t worry man, no babies, I brought rubbers.”

Austin gave up and rolled his eyes, “So where you say this lake is?”

I grinned, “Back down the trail.” They all groaned, “Aw c’mon guys! We’re here to enjoy the great outdoors and live out our youth to its fullest with no regrets! Trail or no trail we’re going to that lake!” No one seemed particularly inspired to go back down the dusty trail, “Five bucks to whoever beats me down there!” I took off.

That got them, footsteps pounded after me. “No fair!” Austin huffed, “You know the way!”

“That’s the point! Follow me.” Lacey ran by my side barely breaking a sweat.

I made the five minutes sprint there huffing to see a ball of blazing hair, and yellow cat eye contacts greeted me. Leaning up against a tree with a grin, “I beat you, where’s my money?”

Everyone lit up upon seeing her, each for our own reasons. Rachel left her boyfriend in the back and hugged her. “I didn’t know that you were going to be here. Todd why didn’t you tell me?”

I chuckled, “You act like I knew she was going to be here.”

She and Austin embraced briefly, “Glad to see you’re back in town.”

“Yea I just got in.” She glanced at my dog who was giving her the evil eyes. “Decided to take a walk out here and I overheard you. You guys are so loud that the whole town can hear you.”

“If the people the next town over can’t hear us then we’re not loud enough.” I shouted.

She just laughed, “So where’s my money?”

“You weren’t part of the race, so you don’t get it.” I felt her hand wrap around me, she was so warm, but she hit me with such force we ending up falling. But the falling didn’t end with the dusty hard ground, but the warm lake water.

I struggled to make my way to the surface of the water, she held me under for a second, using me to push herself up. I gasped, sweet oxygen. Nothing is better. “S**t.”

“Sorry, you OK?” Her cat sliced eyes examined me and she smiled gently.

“The waters fine guys come on in!”

They stripped down to their bathing suits and joined us in the deep, cool water. Fishermen gave us little glares, some shouted words but who cared? We were laughing too loudly to hear them anyways.

Night fell quicker than we wanted and mosquitos came and forced us out of the water sooner rather than later. The sky blazed colors of one thousand blues and pinks. “We should probably get the fire going.”

“It’s still warm out and there still light.” Austin said poking the at the ground with a stick, body soaking from the water.

“Oh God you smell.” Keres coughed as Austin hugged her. “Get off of me.”

Of course this only made him hug her tighter, “Embrace the stretch Keres, embrace it!”

“Bask in the smell of nature!” Rachel giggled  hugging her as well.

“The smell of youth.”  Max and I tackled everyone hugging, tumbling into the dirt we laughed. Romping around, sticks and leaves and I’m sure a few bugs stuck to our body the lake water acting like glue.  Rachels blond hair was slowly turning brown, her blue eyes sparkling with joy. It was easy to see why Max loved her so much. I hoped they got married someday, they were made for each other.

A breeze passed as we calmed down, “Alright.” I smiled, “I’ll go get some firewood. You guys set up for dinner.”

“I’ll help you.”

“Thanks Austin. You’re the only person of use here.”

“Hey, we’re making dinner, unless you don’t want to eat.” Keres said gliding past me with Rachel.

“Don’t even act like that’s so hard to do.” Austin chuckled.

“Fine, looks like you’re not getting a burger.” Rachel stuck out her tongue.

“Whatever. I’ll make my own.”He huffed with a smile.

We walked deep into the woods, picking up logs and sticks as we went. “Aye stop hitting me with sticks.”

“Then stop poking me.” I replied.

“Don’t start this crap with me man.”

“Well I’m starting it.” We fenced a little until our weapons broke.

“Man, Keres huh.” I looked at up at him, his eyes wandered the woods searching,“Where do you think she gets those contacts?”

“I don’t know, she got some of them in California. I know that.”

“For the school year I thinking of getting some for the school year. Freak some of the Freshmen out. Like those cat eye one.” A mischievous smile crept onto his face. “Todd this halloween we are so going to scare the s**t out of everyone.”

I laughed, “Yea, you know how everyone goes to the school? We could get some that glow in the dark and dude they’re going to s**t bricks.”

“We are getting those contacts. You think they’d let us wear those smiley face ones in school?”

“Nah because then they can’t tell if someone been smoking weed in the bathrooms again.”

We laughed, “I’m glad we met Keres, she’s pretty cool.”

“Do you have a crush on her?”

“Nah man, she’s just a friend. A hot friend, but a friend.” He smiled, “I still have my mind on Angeline. This year I’m going to ask her out.”

“You said that last year.”

“Well this year I mean it, we’re going to be seniors. What do I have to lose I mean if she rejects me and I suffer from horrible embarrassment for the rest of the year, who cares? I’ll be gone soon anyways and never see this place again.”

“And if she says yes.” I smiled, his cheeks glowing slightly.

“If she says yes, pinch me to make sure that I’m awake.”

I laughed and headed back to camp, wood branches uncomfortably pinching and poking my arms and torso. Stars were starting to peek out from behind the curved moon and puffy clouds. The once emerald leaves shaded darker and darker until they were black.

By the firelight everyones faces turned bright, and were tinted soft orange. The heat jumped from the base of the flames warming and drying our damp bodies. Three hot dogs rotated in the top of the fire, the other mine’s and Rachels slowly crisped near the bottom. A beer rested by all but Austins side, who even though we weren’t going to leave the campsite, wasn’t drinking to be safe. One by one we pulled out and placed the line of meat into the bun and covered it in our various choice condiments. I gave Lacey some of the raw dogs, she was being spoiled rotten.

“You know what this calls for?” We all looked up at Rachel’s dark smile, made even more dramatic by the flickering light and the fireflies blinked in and out of existence behind her. “Scary stories! Who wants to go first?”

I was out, I never had a good story to tell but clearly the two love birds had planned on this and Max started speaking. “You know a few years back when my mom was little, “ Her voice was low and chilling. We leaned it trying to to spill our food and drink, “There was a mass murder right here in this town. Bodies littered the downtown, blood spilling out. . Anyways the police came, horrified by what they saw, stabs and bullets in all of them. As they investigated they came across a certain wall and written in bright, bloody letter was the number ‘7734’ officer took a picture of it  and by accident looked at it upside down. It read ‘hell’. He died of a heart attack there. Worst is the letters wouldn’t wash off the building wall. It was so red, so they painted the store red so that they the stains wouldn’t stand out and scare people away. The numbers are still there and if you take a picture of the wall the numbers will show up and if you look at them upside down you’ll have a heart attack, just like that officer, and die.”

I stopped myself from shivering a little and laughed, “Great story, but I think that would have been in the news.”

“They kept it out of the news so that  tourists wouldn’t be afraid.” Rachel said with a sly smile.

“What tourists?” Austin laughed with me.

She rolled her eyes and took a sip of beer, “You know it was scary.” Max grinned, “You just don’t want to look like a punk.”

“You’re face is scarier than that story.”

“I have a story.” Keres said,  her eyes glowing by the fire. But it wasn’t the contacts, it was a ring of honey gold around them, her flaming hair was now black at the roots. Her freckled face showered in light from the flames. Max and I ended our battle to face her. She looked down at the dusty, dirt floor that surrounded the fire shyly. “This story has been told in my family since the beginning of time. Once a long, long time ago. Back before the white man came and my people were proud and strong. We roamed the land hunting and gathering happy life with one another. There lived a girl, translated her name would mean Little Gift. Little Gift lived with her family in the tribe, healing others, teaching children and praying. Her soon to be husband was a man she loved and had grown up with his name was One Who Is Strong In Body And Mind.”

Her voice was deep, tumbling out not to us but to the world. Her head was now up, still not looking at us but at the stars. I cast a glance over my shoulder then returned to her cat eyes, “Little Gift was very happy until one day she came home and found One Who Is Strong In Body And Mind with another woman. Hatred grew in Little Gifts heart until one night she entered the other woman's tent, over come with envious rage, determined to hurt her. She attacked the s**t with a knife and bit her.” Her voice became loud full of rage, “She ate the w***e, slowly while the evil other woman screamed out. Drank her blood and munched on her face and skin. All that One Who Is Strong In Body And Mind touched, would be hers.” The evil curled smile faded as she paused, looked away from the stars into our eyes. Her glowing ever brighter by the second, as the shadows danced around her face. I gave another glance out the corner of my eye as I heard some twigs snap. “Soon the curse of eating a person's flesh took over, she became a terrible monster a Windigo. Her claws longer and sharper than spears, skin tight and grey, silver hair, glowing yellow eyes. She could see for miles in the dark of night, run faster than anything on the land, and her strength only grew with her consumption.  Her hunger never ended, she ate her whole family all but her sister who was not there, married to a man in another tribe. She went south, consumed an entire civilization, growing ever bigger and bigger, her hunger unsatisfied.” She stared longingly into the blaze and I looked over my shoulder again, more twigs snapping, even Lacey peeked her head up and growled. Not into the darkness of the trees but into the opposite end of the fire, Keres. “One day the Windego vanished, some say she ran out of food to eat and starved but I know what really happened. She did run out of food, so like a bear she hibernated. Sleeping, laying in wait until she can feast again, her envy eating everything insight longing to be everything she eats. Maybe tonight she will wake up?”

Lacey barked causing us all to jump. “Shut up.” I hissed. Max and Rachel held each other.

Austin held a brave smile, “That wasn’t scary. Some made up creature.”

She looked at him with a plain face her eyes flashing in the light, “It’s not made up, that’s the scary part.” She stated it plain as fact as though it were something like gravity. She held his gaze, there was a big snapping of a branch this time. We all looked at the woods, the next thing I heard was Austin screaming. That sent us all screaming and scrambling away from the fire to the safety of darkness.

Keres was rolling over laughing covering herself in more dirt, “You guys are too easy!”

Slowly we came back, “You b***h!” Rachel giggled realizing it was all a prank. “How did you do that?”

“I’ll never tell.” She winked.

Austin high fived her and admitted defeat, he towered over her. “You got me good. What’s more important though is what if I really had been in trouble you guys just left me!”

I laughed, “We would tell the police where your body was.”

“Thanks man that means a lot to me.” We laughed hugging.

“I’d tell them that you were dead in the first place.” Max said joining in. Soon we were all hugging and laughing.

“More important than all of that our beer is spilled.” Rachel laughed taking a seat. A new can was passed around to everyone but Austin, “Hey Keres, I think you need a new necklace.”

“Why, this one is fine.”

“The red is all faded on it.”

“It’s fine, I’ll paint it back on or something.”

“Her sister made it for her.” I said with a kind look at Keres. Rachel snuggled in Max’s lap, Lacey slept nervously down by my feet. Austin next to me then Keres. All of our butts hurting from the ground.

“You guys wanna play truth or dare?” Austin said with a smile.

“C’mon man that’s such a baby game.” Max laughed taking a gulp of his beverage.

“You’re just chicken.”

“Hey, let’s play manhunt.” I stood up.

“Not it.” We all stuck our fingers on our noses, sadly I was last even though it was my idea to play.

I counted the required thirty seconds maybe not at the required speed and took off. I knew they would go too far. A snap of a twig I caught Keres, who was hiding behind a tree. “Don’t expect anything from me now you d****e.”

“Ouch. I think I’ll manage, now we have to catch the rest of them.”

It was a downhill from there for those seeking to return to the fire, I would point them out and then have Keres catch them. The closest anyone got was Rachel because Max tackled Keres but I caught her.

“Damn, it’s not fair that you get to play.” Austin laughed.

“It’s even more unfair if you exclude me.” She grinned.

“One more round?”

We stayed up drinking and playing manhunt until night turned to day. In day finally we went to sleep, Max with Rachel, Austin with Keres and me. Upon waking we found that she was nowhere to be found, but she had cleaned up our bottles before leaving. We didn’t worry about her, she disappeared during the day, during the night, during conversations. Maybe I would see her tomorrow, maybe not.

© 2013 Imara

Author's Note

I hope it wasn't too long. I kind of rushed at the end. Just general thoughts :)

My Review

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Featured Review

Read this all the way through then realized there's a previous chapter. Lol... as soon as I knock out some more review requests I will read it. I'm sure you know this needs some editing but the story line is good. One suggestion is to go through and eliminate any unnecessary words. I go back and read my writing out loud to see how it flows. Books aren't much different than poetry... just lots more lines. ;-)

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


11 Years Ago

Thank you so much for the read! It's hard because people usually never read such long things! So tha.. read more

11 Years Ago

Oh I write most of my chapters before editing...then rewrite a second time and edit again. Really he.. read more

11 Years Ago

Agreed :)


Great though but can you put some spaces on long paragraphs like separate it by four?

Posted 11 Years Ago

Rhianne Ney

11 Years Ago

Oh, yeah, I know that but I can't read it properly actually

11 Years Ago

Sorry! >< I'll do that next time!
Rhianne Ney

11 Years Ago

Read this all the way through then realized there's a previous chapter. Lol... as soon as I knock out some more review requests I will read it. I'm sure you know this needs some editing but the story line is good. One suggestion is to go through and eliminate any unnecessary words. I go back and read my writing out loud to see how it flows. Books aren't much different than poetry... just lots more lines. ;-)

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


11 Years Ago

Thank you so much for the read! It's hard because people usually never read such long things! So tha.. read more

11 Years Ago

Oh I write most of my chapters before editing...then rewrite a second time and edit again. Really he.. read more

11 Years Ago

Agreed :)

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2 Reviews
Added on April 11, 2013
Last Updated on April 11, 2013
Tags: Imara, Summer to forget, summer, camping



Cranston, RI

My Name is Imara, if you couldn't already tell, I'm currently in High school and completly unsure what to do with my life. I've been to a few places in America, which I try to incorporate into my writ.. more..

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