"He can't possibly do it."
"What the hell?! He's doing it!" Those who were gathered around the table at breakfast witnessed an extraordinary sight. Mark, who had a heaping plate of eggs in front of him, had completely abandoned said eggs and instead decided to show the rest of the table the impressive talent he had - being highly flexible and double jointed. His arm bent the wrong way, the elbow sticking out at a revolting angle, and Mark enjoyed every expression turning from neutral to disgusted in less than a second.
"But that's not all, folks, I've been saving my best trick for last. Do you think you're ready to see such a thing?" he was grinning from ear to ear.
"Pff, and what is this grand finale?" Britney was not impressed by Mark's intriguing display. She had been trying to find a way to convince him out of his continuous performance, and was clearly at her wits end, since nothing seemed to snap the guy out of his own ego.
"This," Mark stated, rolling up his sweater sleeve and pulling his arm back, sticking his tongue out and licking his elbow. The crowd went wild, a massive cheer so loud that the Madam yelled out a deafening "Shhh!" to hush them. The group descended into a chorus of whispers, countless people ogling over Mark's incredible ability.
"Hah," Britney took a sip of her milk. "You think that's all glorious? Enjoying the spotlight as it shines down on you? What you have is simply a mess of genetics that don't know what to do with themselves. I, on the other hand, can perform much more elegant displays of talent."
"Shove off, Brit." Mark rolled his eyes. "You're show-offiness won't work on me. Besides, I've been working on the entire 'licking my elbow' thing for a while. It's not all weird genes. Though most of it is." He put a finger to his chin, smirking and returning to his eager eggs. The remaining boys around him laughed, and Britney fell silent, scoffing and returning to her pancake, which was evenly coated in syrup and whipped cream.
"Attention, attention," The recognizable voice of the Madam compelled them all to listen again. She stood before the entire camp, her voice carrying throughout the entire building. "Once we have all finished breakfast, campers will be divided as a cabin and will meet at the white cabin. The events that will take place then will be discussed when they need to be. That is all." Chatter broke out a beat after the Madam finished speaking.
"A surprise? They've never done this before..."
"Do you think it's because we're the older group?"
"No, no...well, maybe. Do you think they're just trying something new?"
"I think she's crazy..."
"It is a reason to be caught off-guard, though," Wendy speculated, playing with a hash-brown on her plate. "they've never done this before. I wonder if the Madam's actually up to something."
"What do you mean?" Nikki asked.
"I mean that it's too unlike her to try something new, especially given how long she's been running this place."
"She just seems like she wants to try a new game or something. That's normal, isn't it?"
"Not for the Madam," Wendy said gravely. "she's stuck-up, set in her ways like an old prune, not to mention she has those other staff members hanging onto her every word like their lives depend on it." She took a swig of her milk, draining the glass. "All I'm saying is to keep your back up. I don't trust her for a second."
Nikki felt her mind swarm with worry. The Madam? Untrustworthy? Maybe Wendy was just a little on edge from last night. Perhaps she just had a long history with the Madam, and had something against her. Surely they wouldn't let someone distrustful run a summer camp, right? Nikki stared down at her cereal, her appetite suddenly gone.
"Today we will be going on a sort of treasure hunt," The Madam began, everyone just having gotten gathered together at the white cabin. A few murmurs fired through the crowd. The Madam held her hand up to silence them. "Each of your cabins will have a set place to start. Eye of the Eagle, you'll start at the dining hall. Rigid Racers, you'll be here, at the white cabin..." She went on to detail the rest of the cabin's locations.
"I can't believe this. A treasure hunt? It seems awfully suspicious. I can't let this go!" Wendy muttered in Nikki's ear.
"Just wait and see how it plays out. It could be different than what you think, who knows?" she whispered back.
"I just hope you're right." Wendy seethed.
"...All cabins will find a note detailing where the next note will be. Keep doing such until you find the last note, which will say where the treasure is hidden. Have fun." The Madam smiled as she finished her speech, and all the cabins scrambled to find each other, setting off at a run to their destination. Wendy glanced worriedly at Nikki.
"To hell we go," Wendy gulped.
To find what you seek you must first be sure,
Where can you find the perfect cure?
"Well, this is easy." Ellie said after reading the note that was stapled to the door of the dining hall. "It's the First-Aid Station, right? The word 'cure' makes that evident."
"Are you sure?" Zoe pondered. "It could be something deeper than that, don't you think? We're the older group, remember. It shouldn't be that easy."
"As much as I hate to admit it, it seems that the easy way is the right way this time around," Wendy said.
"Honestly, that much was clear from the start." Britney held her head up high. "Such a simple riddle should be taken as such. Let us go."
The group climbed up a small hill to the main office, where the First-Aid Station was planted directly beside it. Sure enough, there was another mysterious note with a hastily scrawled message upon it.
Don't give up yet!
The next note lies where we all first met.
"First met?" Ann blinked. "What kind of stupid place is that?" An idea popped into Nikki's head.
"Maybe at the sign-in station?"
"But isn't that right by the dining hall?" Wendy objected.
"Was it? I thought it was near the sign when we came in." Nikki scratched her head.
"Let's try by the sign, then, since we've already been to the dining hall.
Sure enough, when the group of panting girls ran all the way to the sign where a triumphant 'Camp Wakaman' was displayed, a small note with only one line greeted them.
Go to your cabin to collect the true treasure.
"What? Already? This seems a little rushed, don't you think?" Even Britney was expressing her concern.
"Maybe the treasure is another game," Nikki suggested dully.
"God, I hope not." Wendy prayed.
The girls stood in front of their cabin, all anticipating what could possibly be inside.
"Maybe it'll be a pie to the face," Kaedyn pondered. "actually, that might not be so bad."
"I can't have a foolish prank ruin my hair!" Britney exclaimed. "I worked on this all morning!"
"It could be a chest inside there," Nikki offered.
"But with what inside it?" Zoe inquired.
"Maybe another pie," Kaedyn grinned.
"Let's stop bickering and just find out already!" Ann charged through the door, much to everyone's surprise. There was nothing but silence after that, which wasn't exactly helpful.
"Do you think she's dead?" Zoe whispered.
"I'm not dead, you idiot!" Came Ann's voice from inside the cabin. "But I really expected something more climactic."
"What do you mean?" peeped Jenna.
"Come in and find out for yourselves," she said bluntly. They all walked in, and felt the anticipation that had been building in their chest slowly sink like the Titanic. The only treasure that awaited them was-
"Nothing," Wendy said weakly. "Nothing has changed." Indeed, their cabin was exactly the way they had left it, untidy with clothes and belongings strewn in such a chaos that everyone knew where everything was. It was a messy sort of system, but it worked. Nevertheless, the girls and Nikki were disappointed to find that not a thrown pair of underwear was out of place.
"What is this?" Ann exclaimed, gesturing to the entire cabin. "Some sort of ruse? Do they think we're fucking stupid?!"
"Ann, chill out, I'm sure there was just some sort of mix-up, or..." Nikki tried to come up with a solution, but nothing could pop itself in her mind.
"There's no goddamn mix-up, they planned this all!"
"But why?" Britney said quietly. "Why would they have us run around the camp a couple times just to have us rendezvous back to our cabins? It just doesn't make sense!" As the girls puzzled themselves around this mystery, they all jumped, Britney letting out a shrill screech as the cabin door slammed behind them all. Wendy braced herself, getting into a fighting stance. Britney quivered in her spot. Ann looked like she was ready to punch someone in the face, Zoe was startled and searching for a culprit, Jenna shook in her spot, Kaedyn got a chill up her spine. Ellie was frozen, looking neither fearful or ready to fight. Nikki felt her heart jump into her throat, and scanned the room wildly to find the devilish delinquent.
"This isn't funny, Mark!" Britney called into the deadly quiet cabin, her voice shaking madly. "Cut it out!"
"I don't think this is a prank, Britney," Even Wendy sounded scared. Before any of them could react, the sound of a gas being sprayed into the cabin filled their ears. The girls looked at each other with expressions of terror. Britney began to cough, and soon the cough spread to all of them. Wendy yelled, bashing her arms on the door with all the strength she could muster, which was actually quite a lot, considering she dented the door. But it would not break free. The handle was locked, it couldn't be opened. Ann resorted to trying to break the windows, but somehow they would not break.
"What the hell?! Aren't windows supposed to be made of glass?!" Her rage got the best of her, and she beat on the windows with a childish force. Jenna began to hyperventilate, sinking to the ground below as she fell unconscious.
"Oh my God, Jenna! Hey, wake up, it's going to be alright...Jenna? Jenna?!" Nikki panicked, rushing to her side and shaking her wildly. Looking back, Nikki watched in horror as Wendy and Ann's attempts to break out were slowly getting the better of them. Their attacks were weakening, and Ann was the first to fall. Wendy struggled, giving Nikki a last glance, in which her eyes were only filled with fear, the revelation of the fact that they would not escape finally sinking into her. Kaedyn was already down. Ellie was, too, along with Zoe, whom she was hanging onto for dear life. The last ones left were Britney and herself. Nikki felt her world shifting back and forth, back and forth. Her world was spinning, there was no way she could keep fighting to stay awake...
Nikki fell to the cold ground, unconscious with the struggle gone from her face.ns 22.214.171.124da2