As the boys settled down for the night, a story was told, a story that would forever change their lives. “63 years ago, In this very cabin at The INYC Boys Camp of North-Western Michigan, a light shone from a point by the lake. It could be seen out of one of the windows of the cabin.” Slowly, one by one, the boys drifted into something that wasn’t quite sleeping, and wasn’t quite a coma. It was somewhere in between. They were in a cabin. They were lying in their beds. A distant light shone from a point by the lake. The light appeared to be swinging as if it were a flashlight held in the hand of a person. No one could tell if it was coming closer, further, or just staying put. The hatch rattled above a boy in the upper bunk. He lay wide awake looking up at the hatch.
Just then, something banged, and all the boys sat up, terrified. “Whoops, ha” one boy said, “my bug spray fell out of my bed”. The boy under the hatch looked out the window and saw the light illuminating the shadow of a tree near the lake, then it moved illuminating tree by tree. The hatch rattled again. “Gratis?” he whispered to the boy in the bottom bunk under him. “Yes?” Said the boy. “Oh, nothing, just making sure you were there”.
None of the boys noticed the small fire that had been lit in the woods near the cabin. It burned, as the silhouette of a person moved slowly around the fire, casting shadows on the far wall of the cabin. The shadows continued all night, dancing around, and casting strange light on the occupants of the cabin.
The next morning, the boys woke up to the sound of Britney, one of the counselors, yelling at them, for starting a fire in the night. “YOU AREN'T SUPPOSED TO LEAVE YOUR CABIN UNLESS YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM! AND WHERE DID YOU EVEN GET MATCHES? THEY ARE ALL IN THE DINING ROOM! PLEASE STEP FORWARD IF YOU TOOK PART IN THE CREATION OF THIS FIRE! NOW!” No one did. They all kept quiet. “There was a fire?” one small boy said. “WHAT!?? DON’T TRY TO ACT LIKE YOU DON’T KNOW!” Britney motioned at the window, and everyone looked “That fire was started by one of you, and I know it.’’ All of the boys looked out the window, at the patch of blackened ground. The smoke rising in the air. The flashlight that lay next to the fire…
Everyone was looking around accusingly at everyone else. Camp security had come, and they were looking around the fire, picking up dry leaves, and poking the fire with sticks. “If you built this fire or you know someone who did, please come tell me at any point during the day” said britney.
The day was a slow one, all of the counselors were eavesdropping on the kids’ conversations to see if they were talking about the fire. The boys went on a nature hike after they were done with breakfast, then went to their cabins to get books. They sat in the shade of trees by the lake, and read until lunch. Tomato soup and grilled cheese was served. The boys ate, then went to the basketball court for free time, some of the boys had a game of basketball, some read, some talked with their friends, and some people played tag.
Later on in the afternoon, the boys went to the lake, and got into row boats, canoes, and kayaks. They went around the lake for a while, then came back to shore, and changed into their swimsuits. They rode out in a motor boat to the diving block, and one by one, dove in, and started swimming around.
At night, The boys ate dinner, then went to the campfire, and heard ghost stories, and roasted marshmallows to make s’mores. The lake shimmered a pale orange color, as the last rays of sun sunk below the horizon. The counselors led them in campfire songs. Their voices carried over the lake, to the cabins, and back to them.
The boys went back to their cains, led by a counselor with a flashlight. When they got near the cabin, they noticed the lights were on. “What did I say about leaving the lights on,’’ said the counselor. The boys walked up the muddy path to the cabin, and entered their cabin, “Remember, lights out by 9:00, I’m coming to check,” said the counselor. The boys played groundies in the dark, then hide and seek tag in the dark, then turned the lights back on, and read. At 9:00 someone turned the lights out, and shortly after, the counselor came in to make sure they were asleep.
Once in a while, someone would fart, and that would make everyone who was awake laugh, which would make everyone else wake up. Once everyone was asleep, a fire was lit, it sprang up out of the ground, and enveloped bushes. Again, the silhouette of a figure danced around the fire, making arm motions, and chanting.
When the first pink light appeared near the horizon, the fire was extinguished, and the figure ran into the brush. When the boys woke up, they immediately noticed the black smoke rising in the air next to their cabin, and everyone was excitedly talking to one another.
Britney came in and yelled at them again about the same stuff as the day before. Camp security was poking around the fire again, and again throughout the day the counselors were listening in on the conversations.
Breakfast consisted of hash browns, pancakes, bacon, and orange juice. After breakfast, the boys went to in the woods to do some physical activities. A counselor led them in push-ups, sit-ups, planks, jumping jacks, and tag. The boys went to read in the field next to the lake, and sat in hammocks, chairs, and layed in the grass.
Next, they played capture the flag in a large field that was in the back of the cabin. The boys swam in the lake, then had lunch. For lunch, they had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, with Kool-Aid.
After lunch, they went in boats in the lake, and swam again after that. They had free time, then played mini-golf. They played a game where they divide into two groups, and each group makes a skit. The counselors judged them.
For dinner, they had cooked fish, lasagna, and pickles. Most people didn’t like the meal. After dinner, they went to the campfire, and heard more stories, ate more s’mores, and sang more songs. They went to their cabin, and again, the lights were on. The boys played more games, read, then went to sleep.
Again, a fire was lit, again there was chanting, but this time, a strange man came into the cabin. Silhouetted by the lights and the fire. He wore ripped jeans, a heavy bomber jacket, and was bald. The strange man came in silently, picked up a boy from his bed, where he lay, a blank expression on his face. He lifted the boy silently out the door, to the fire.
He lay the boy down next to the fire, and slowly, the boy woke, staring up at the man, silent. The man pulled out a knife, taking his aim, and going in “1, 2, 3,”. And then it happened. Suddenly. The boy. The blackened body. His life taken by the man.