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RE: CAMP • by D. B. Dubuisson

To: Dad

From: Johnny

Re: Camp

Dad, camp is horrible. I hate it. The kids are mean and the counselor is crazy. Yesterday, he threw me into the lake where there’s snakes and things. Last night some kids stole my pants. The food is not for humans. Please come get me. Soooon.

Love,

Johnny

***

To: Jonathan Fullbright

From: Nathaniel Fullbright

Re: Camp

Son, I know you are finding it difficult to adjust, but you just need to be brave for me and your mother. The things you describe are normal; kids did the same things to me when I went to camp. You’ll get used to it. Just wait and see. In two weeks, you won’t want to come home.

Be strong.

Love,

Dad

***

To: Johnny

From: Mom

Re: Camp

Honey, I have tried to talk to your dad and tell him how unhappy you are at camp. He says you will get used to it there. So, baby, we can’t come up this weekend and take you home. I want you to try to get along with the other children and the counselors. Your dad and I love you so very much, and we want to see you happy. So, try to hang in there, ok?

Love,

Mom

P.S. I am mailing you a box of chocolate chip cookies. Please share them with the other children.

***

To: Dad

From: Johnny

Re: Camp

Dad, this place is killing me. Yesterday, some big boys locked me in the bathroom, which is not really a bathroom, but a metal shed where spiders sleep. It got hot in there and I threw up on my shoes and passed out. The counselor called me a weenie when I cried when I got out of there.

Please, Dad, I can’t stand it here one more day. Come get me.

Johnny

***

To: Jonathan Fullbright

From: Nathan Fullbright

Re: Camp

Jonathan, you got to calm down. I am getting calls from the camp, saying you have been to the infirmary every day claiming you are dying. You know what I have taught you about fibbing. I want you to settle down and try to enjoy yourself. I had the best time of my life when I went to camp. I know you will, too.

Love,

Dad

***

To: Julia

From: Mary

Re: Camp Tomahawk

Julia, Johnny is so unhappy at camp. He is begging for us to come and get him, but Nate won’t hear of it. Steve and Nate are friends, so maybe he could talk to him and convince him to let Johnny come home. He’ll listen to Steve. You know how police officers are. They won’t listen to their wives, but they’ll listen to each other.

M.

***

To: Mary

From: Julia

Re: Camp Tomahawk

Mary, Johnny will be ok. Our Kevin cried when he went to camp, but he soon grew to love it. He made so many friends there — some still come by and visit. It is best not to give into his pleas. You want him to be strong, don’t you? So, for that to happen, you need to be strong.

J.

***

To: Nathaniel Fullbright

From: Gregory Stone

Owner, Camp Tomahawk

Re: Jonathan Fullbright

Sgt. Fullbright: Sorry to have to send troubling news, but your son seems to be having great difficulty adjusting to life here and is not able to interact sociably with the other campers. He is often belligerent to the counselors, and has destroyed furniture, dishes, and a tv. Sir, we recommend that you speak to your son and see what can be done about his behavior, or we will have no other recourse than to send him home.

***

To: Dad

From: John

Re: Camp

Please, Dad.

***

To: Julia

From: Steve

Re: Don’t wait up

Hey, hon. Don’t wait dinner for me. Gotta go out to the camp on the lake. Big mess there. Some boys killed. Don’t know who yet or who the perpetrator is . Will call you later.


D. B. Dubuisson lives and works in New York City, teaching writing at various colleges.


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RE: CAMP • by D. B. Dubuisson, 3.4 out of 5 based on 41 ratings
Posted on December 7, 2012 in Mystery/Suspense, Stories
Tags:
  • SarahT

    Wow…

    Excellent writing, terrible twist. I wanna know what happened!

  • http://www.paulfreeman.weebly.com Paul A. Freeman

    A well put together piece.

    My main bugbear is the third but last sentence, “Some boys killed.” There must be an apostrophe or a verb missing, or perhaps the sentence was meant to continue.

    A large amount of explicit and between-the-lines information about relationships brings this piece to life.

  • SarahT

    There shouldn’t be an apostrophe. The verb is missing, but I’m sure that’s intentional.

  • http://www.paulfreeman.weebly.com Paul A. Freeman

    @ Sarah – Ah, okay! I think the impact would have been stronger with ‘A boy got killed’, keeping the number singular.

  • Wilma

    “A boy got killed” would indicate that the son writing was killed, but I suspect that the plural is to indicate that he is the killer, not the victim.

    Creepy story. Effective.

  • Roli Bhushan-Malhotra

    Loved it. Saw the end coming. Loved the open to imagination last line.

  • http://michelle-ann-king.blogspot.co.uk/ Michelle Ann King

    Eee! That started out quite funny and then took a serious turn down a dark road. Great read!

  • Shere Khan

    I actually assumed Li’l Johnny was going get killed, not be the killer, so technically I did not “see it coming.”

  • JenM

    Wow. A powerful story about bullying. I was often homesixk at camp, but nothing like this. Stories like this show just how important it is for adult to listen to kids.

  • Joanne

    Agree with JenM and Shere Khan—very powerful, and didn’t see it coming. Nicely done.

  • http://melissanott.blogspot.com Melissa Nott

    Great story. The way the text is broken up appeals to the lazy in me. Now I can’t get “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh” out of my head.

  • Sarah Crysl Akhtar

    I thought the key to the killer was when the boy finally signed himself “John.”

  • Simone

    Wow, have things changed since I went to summer camp! I was completely surprised by the ending. I did have to go back to see who Julia and Steve were … at first I thought Steve was the boy’s dad, and he was having an affair with Julia. Guess my mind meandered into the gutter.

    Interesting read, D. B. Dubuisson.

  • BUD CLAYMAN

    I thought this was good, except for the ending which was predictable if I interpreted it correctly. Th dialogue was also good and there was rising tension near the end.

  • Izzy David

    I read this story the other day, and it stuck with me enough that I had to come back and read the comments. Ha, Melissa Nott! My mother was always singing that song, haven’t thought of it in years. Good, chilling tale!

  • http://astheheroflies.wordpress.com/ Gretchen Bassier

    “Chilling” is the right word for it. Well done.

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