I sat here in one of the tents that we had set up while we got here for the camp Josephine and her friends had organized. We were many; impossible for me to count now, but we filled a long bus that we had chartered for the sole aim of conveying us to the campsite. It wasn’t a single gender kind of camping that would involve just the girls or the guys (was there even fun in a single gender kind of camping?). The guys were here, so were the girls—though the girls doubled the number of guys present—and it made it a colorful and beautiful ambiance of different faces beaming with contented joy and happiness.
It was the first time we were attempting to go camping. Heck, we had never thought of camping since we had been adults and when Josephine hinted on the idea during our preparation for the summer vacation, we jumped on it and gave her thumbs up and today we were here experiencing what it felt like camping for the first time in an isolated place far from the city that we had been used to.
The campsite was deep in the heart of the woods, safe, quiet, serene and colorful. We were alone, and there was a natural lake few distances away from where we had set up our tents. The cooling effects of the gentle wind that momentarily breezed past us were what we needed for the summer camping. There were some girls and guys in the lake with their bikinis for the girls and shorts for the guys, swimming and playing the water games between themselves. I could see from the smile and laughter etched up on their respective faces that they were indeed enjoying the camp and having fun.
But I was here, curled up in the tent alone, reading a book that was boring. Others were playing around in the camp, smiling, giggling, screaming, laughing and some were even moaning softly. I believed some were making out close to the tent I was in, and their soft moans, the laughter and all of their activities seemed to distort my reading and made me lose focus on the book.
I was never an extrovert, I was always referred to as a nerd with the spectacles and weird outfit and looks. I had no fashion sense; I just put on whatever I felt I was comfortable in. I was the kind of student you would never see without a book, and if you ever thought of looking for me, the library had the best odds. Yeah, a bibliophile was the right word to refer me as. I loved books, I loved reading, and I go everywhere with a copy of a book.
So as the camping wore on with their different fun activities which I wasn’t partaking in any, I regretted agreeing to be part of the camp. But it was Jane that persuaded me to come. She said it would be fun and it was high time I stopped being an introvert, a nerd, and started mingling with people, especially the opposite gender (she wanted me to use this avenue to attract Jim to me; to have us talking to each other).
Yeah, I was crushing on Jim for a few months now, and she knew about it and had continually persuaded me to talk to him about it or attract him to me, but I had been nervous and shy about it all. However, right now, with the thought of him that had seeped into my mind now, I felt a particular urge and boldness to talk to him. But one thing kept ringing aloud like a bell in my mind making my heartbeat to increase, and that thing was; what if he was busy with some other girl or girls? There was only one way to find out.
I shut the boring book, pulled my tired body out of the tent and stretched. Amongst the rest campers, I was the odd one. I had spectacles and wore a long-sleeved top that covered all parts of my body and hands, safe for my fingers. A loose brown skirt that stopped at my knees covered my lower body with a pair of brown boots covering my feet. I saw Jane and Merlin talking and laughing. I strode to them and enquired from her if she had seen Jim.
“I think I saw him walk that way,” she whispered to me and pointed further into the woods.
“Oh, thank you,” I murmured and left her.
“Be sure to hit it this time!” she called out behind me.
I didn’t respond; I kept on moving further into the woods in search of Jim. The day morphed into the night while I searched for him leaving the full moon to illuminate the woods.
I heard a moan, more like a grunt and halted trying to figure out where it had come from. I kept on moving, towards the direction of the sound; the sound was closer now.
There were shrubs before me now which restricted me from seeing who was at the other side of the shrub groaning. Was it Jim? What could he be doing alone here moaning, grunting and groaning? Something was fishy; something wasn’t just right, and I needed to find out.
I lifted the stems of the shrubs aside, parting them a bit for a view of what was there. I was ready to see what was on the other side but I wasn’t ready for the shock that would hit me. When I had a clearer view of what it was that was moaning, grunting and groaning, my heart froze, my body went rigid with shock and fear.
“Jim?!” I screamed.
It turned to me, but what I saw wasn’t Jim. It had the face of Jim partly but with wolfish features; fierce and hairy face, mouth ajar with spittle dripping down the sides of its mouth. Long sturdy and hairy limbs with sharp claws, broader and hairier chest and stronger torso.
It growled on seeing me, I ran. It chased me tearing the floor filled with rustled leaves while I screamed for help.