Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction
Prompt 1 Week 1Prompt: It is the middle of the night and you are a counselor for a camp of about 30 kids. The kids' tent collapses in the middle of the night. What happens and how do you deal with it? (Source: 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, Pg. 93 #797)
June 27, 0200
"What--who's there?! What are you doing? What do you want?" I had just been woken up by a twelve year old camper named Andrew at ("What time is it?" He said, "Two") two o'clock in the morning! What is he thinking? I was just dreaming about getting to go home and get away from these annoying rats that I signed up to spend three weeks of my summer with.
Then he said, "My tent fell down. Josh, Chase and Nick are at the tent trying to get everything out before it gets soaked." It had been pouring rain for three hours, so I knew I couldn't just tell them to suck it up and sleep under stars. These tents collapse all the time; if the camp would actually buy new tents every now and then they wouldn't collapse so often. The tents they had were eight year old A-frame tents, filled with holes and foul smells. The staff tried to avoid them at all costs.
I decided to go evaluate the damage. "Alright, let's take a look at your tent." If it was too bad to fix I could let them in the dining hall to sleep for the night. He said, "By the way, my tent's in Campsite Three, at the far side of camp." That meant it was half a mile away, and the rain would make it seem even longer. I just sighed an continued on my way.
After about fifteen minutes, we arrived at Campsite Three to see four tents in seemingly decent condition and one tent that was, basically, destroyed. The poles had snapped in at least 4 different places, and half of the canvas was missing.
Andrew cried, "Where are the others? They said they would get my gear in another tent too! They just saved their gear and left mine scattered!" I figured the others had gotten their gear and hopped in a tent with someone else for the night, and I knew that fixing the tent was hopeless, so I helped Andrew pack up his stuff and began to head back toward the main camp, where I unlocked the dining hall for Andrew and went to my own tent.
June 27, 0700
I woke up the bugle call, as usual, and dressed and headed for the dining hall for breakfast. I was particularly hungry because of my middle of the night adventure. But when I arrived, I realized, to my dismay, that there was no food being served. On the contrary, everyone was sitting an talking while the executive leaders of the camp discuss some topic intensely and in hushed voices in a corner.
I saw my friend Sean and asked him, "Hey man, what's going on?" Sean said, as if in shock, "Didn't you know? There are three kids missing and one dead! They were all tent partners in Campsite Three. I think their names were Chase, Nick and Josh. What's even more odd is that the fourth tent partner, Andrew, was found dead here in the dining hall kitchen. He was frozen to death in the freezer. He had been in there for about four and a half hours."
I realized that was the exact time I had been there and let him in. Had I led him to his doom? I turned pale and grew clammy and began sweating profusely. I had to admit that I had been there, but if I did it would automatically make me a prime suspect, and probably the only suspect.
To be continued next Monday...
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