I’m so bored. – Sarah
If the Chef catches us passing notes during morning announcements again, we’re gonna get in a lot of trouble. – Marie
He won’t get us in trouble! He’ll just glare before taking them again. You excited for riding horses today? – Sarah
Not really. That creepy Palomino keeps following me. It’s scary. – Marie
Just ignore him! He’s just a wild horse. He’ll wander off when he gets bored. I call dibs on Onyx. – Sarah
What if Michael wants Onyx? – Marie
Don’t be stupid. Michael always picks Patch. And why would I care what horse Michael wants to pick anyway? – Sarah
Sarah you’re not fooling anyone. – Marie
* * *
I think I like Michael. Really like him. – Sarah
Took you long enough. Whatcha gonna do about it? – Marie
I dunno. Probably just pretend I don’t. Michael’s nice, but he’s also nice as a friend. – Sarah
He is. You should totally hold hands with him at the bonfire on Saturday though. – Marie
Ugh, I might skip. Who cares about the Wild’s God anyway? – Sarah
Don’t be like that! I think I actually heard the whispers last time. – Marie
You did not. The Wild’s God isn’t real. – Sarah
I mean, the Brams seem to think so, and so does Chef. – Marie
Girls, note passing during night announcements isn’t allowed. – Unknown Handwriting that’s quite large and blocky, not either Sarah’s or Marie’s.
Well. That was embarrassing. At least Chef didn’t confiscate our notes this time.- Sarah.
* * *
I think I saw a Lost Camper. – Sarah
What???? Is this why you were late to getting back to the cabin tonight? – Marie
Yeah, Michael asked to see me by the bathrooms after light’s out. But on the way back, I heard someone calling my name and I turned… It looked like a Lost Camper at least. A really pale and soaking wet kid wearing a camp shirt. I ran as fast as I could back, luckily the door wasn’t locked or I would be in trouble. – Sarah
You’re not supposed to look back at them. – Marie
I’m fine, Marie. I promise. Nothing bad happens by just looking. – Sarah
So you didn’t kiss Michael? – Marie
Go to sleep or I’m hurling a pillow at your face. – Sarah
* * *
That stupid palomino followed me nearly back to camp this time. I feel sick. – Marie
Ignore him! He’s being a dumb horse. – Sarah
I told Ms. Triggs and she seems pretty mad. She’s gonna go out riding with Domino to chase him away, or at least try. I hope she doesn’t shoot the poor thing. He doesn’t seem mean. – Marie
Of course he doesn’t. But rules say don’t touch the wild palominos. – Sarah
I know the rules Sarah. – Marie
Sorry. I’m gonna go to sleep. – Sarah
* * *
Did you see that thing on the hike today? – Marie
I. Don’t know. I’m gonna pretend I didn’t though. – Sarah
Sarah! It was the Wild’s God! I’m sure it was! – Marie
It was just a stupid tree swaying in the wind. – Sarah
Trees don’t walk. Except in movies. I swore it had a face too. And Domino didn’t spook so it wasn’t something evil. And the Wild’s God isn’t evil. – Marie
Marie, don’t be silly. The Wild’s God is just something the Brams made up to make the camp seem special. Listen, I don’t wanna talk about this. Can we just talk about something else? – Sarah
Please don’t skip the bonfire this Saturday. – Marie
* * *
I’m going to skip the bonfire. – Sarah
Why? Couples hold hands around there all the time! You could be a real couple with Michael. – Marie
Michael thinks the whole ceremony about the Wild’s God is a bunch of crap. So we’re skipping and going to take a walk around the lake. – Sarah
Are you crazy!? What about the marsh? – Marie
What about it? We’re not gonna go near it, it’s gross and smells terrible. And we’re not crazy, we just want to be alone. – Sarah
You’re making a mistake. I’ll tell the Chef if I don’t see you. – Marie
If you tell the Chef, I’ll never talk to you again. Ever. Leave me alone, and don’t even think about sitting near me during arts and crafts. – Sarah
* * *
(Here I found a letter folded up several times and pretty crumpled up. It definitely isn’t from me or even directed to me, but I have no idea how it’s in my things.)
My name is Marie. I have a best friend named Sarah. She’s going to try to skip the bonfire on Saturday night to go hang out with Michael. She doesn’t want me to tell anyone, but I’m scared for her. She could get hurt. I know she saw a Lost Camper following her last week, and I’m scared it’ll find her again. Please try to stop her from going. I know she’ll never talk to me again, but I need to make sure she doesn’t get hurt.
* * *
I’m really sorry about what happened. I know you’re probably still sleeping after what happened, but I need to make sure you know I’m sorry.
You were right. I was being stupid. Michael was just so brave, and I want to be brave too. I wanted to impress him. And because of that, I’m never going to see him again.
The Lost Campers. Michael thought one of them was his friend. That was the one I saw after meeting Michael at the bathrooms. They’re evil. They smell like a wet, moldy basement. They started singing the camp song and chased us into the woods. I almost ran into the marsh when you saved me. You stuck a foot in instead though… you had like three leeches stuck to you, I’m so sorry. That must’ve really hurt.
Michael’s still missing. The Brams and some of the counselors have been searching nonstop, but I don’t think they’ll ever find him. He’s one of the Lost Campers now.
I’m so sorry. I should’ve believed you. Because I was stupid, you got hurt, and Michael’s gone forever. I know you’ll probably be going home after you feel a little better. I don’t blame you if you hate me.
Please don’t hate me.
The Wild’s God spoke to me during my dream.
You need to open your ears to him or Michael’s going to lead you to join the Lost.
I will be going home. And I’ll miss you lots. But I’ll see you next year, and we’ll pick up right where we left off.
I don’t hate you. You are and always will be my best friend.