Title: Summer Camp
Summary: Danista goes to summer camp for the first time and discovers the secret hidden by the camp lifeguard, Spooky.
Danista looked around at the milling crowd of people all around her. Were all these kids going to Arrowhead? That was the name of the camp she was going to. It meant that for the first time in her life she was going to be away from her family for two whole weeks by herself. She jumped at the sound of her mother's voice.
"Come on, Danista. Let's go see which bus you'll be riding," she said.
"OK," said Danista, taking in the scene through wide-open eyes. She picked up her suitcase and sleeping bag, then ran to catch up to where her mom was talking to a lady holding a clipboard.
Excitedly, Danista chittered, "Which bus is mine?"
The lady turned to her and said, "Well, let's see. I'll need your name and your unit."
She looked at the bright green tags that the people at Girl Scout Council had sent her. "My name's Danista and I'm in the green one."
"OK, Danista. You get to be in Tahoma, and you'll be riding Bus #1. Is this your first time at camp?"
"If you'll follow me then, I'll show you where you can put your stuff during the bus ride."
The lady, who's name (or actually her camp name) turned out to be Skychild, led them to the first bus, where she showed them the compartments for the campers' luggage. After that, Danista said good-bye to her mom and eagerly jumped onto the bus.
Wow! The bus was huge! The seats were big and soft, and what was this? She giggled when she realized that the door at the back of the bus actually led to a bathroom. The giggles turned to laughter as she tried to picture someone using the bathroom while the bus was going down the road.
"What are you laughing about?"
She turned to see a little girl about her own age timidly watching her. "Hi. My name's Danista. What's yours?"
"Elaine. What unit are you in?"
"Cool! Me too! Hey, I was planning on sitting up front. You want to sit with me?"
They went to the front of the bus and sat down just as everyone else was getting on. Danista decided to take a nap on the way to camp.
Closing her eyes, she didn't notice the man who got on and took a seat across the aisle.
Danista woke up to find the bus had stopped. To her left was a small lake, a flagpole, and some canoes. In front was a converted barn with a sign that said "Corn Crib." To her right and behind her were some trails and a whole bunch of trees. She got off the bus and was pointed towards a crowd of girls surrounding two councilors and a large green wagon. The councilors took them on a short hike to their unit. Danista and the others were assigned cabins. Danista was in a cabin with Elaine and two other girls, Sara and Liz.
Later that evening was campfire. Everyone was having fun doing skits and singing, when a hushed silence fell over the group. Trying to see what everyone was looking at, Danista saw a glowing figure coming down the trail. It was...a person? The luminescent man walked right into the fire, then stopped. She saw his eyes lock on to her. He began to move his lips, but the only sounds she heard was the wind in the trees, the crackle of the fire, one of the younger girls quietly whimpering in fear, and, above her, a low, faint hum. Looking up, she saw nothing but black sky. When she returned her eyes to the fire, the man was gone, and suddenly so was the hum. The councilors quickly rounded up their campers and led them back to the cabins to go to sleep.
At breakfast the next morning, everyone was talking about the previous night's events. Danista and her friends overheard speculations about everything from practical joke to mass hallucination to space aliens. Danista suspected the first one, the practical joke. Especially since the guy had looked just like the lifeguard they had met the day before during their swim test.
A week later
Making their way down the steep trail to the pool, the girls of Tahoma noticed a glow coming from behind the dark fence. Danista peered through a crack between the slats, her gasp calling Elaine to do the same thing. The same man who had visited the fire was now floating, not in, but ABOVE the pool! And the glow was coming from a large disk under the water. Elaine whispered, "That's the guy from the bus!"
Danista, usually cool, calm, and collected, passed out.
"Mulder, mushrooms aren't medication. They taste good on hamburgers, but they don't raise the dead."