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By: Deborah Lawrence’s 1st period ELAR PreAP class - 8th grade, Uvalde

“Yay! Another great summer at Camp Stooge! Right guys?” Cory retorted bitterly to his two close friends, Caleb and Levi. “Yeah, it seems so, Curly.” Levi sarcastically sneered back. “Hey, you got no right to be the bitter one; you’re the reason why we’re in this remake place of the Yellow House, not us . . .had you not convinced us to wreak havoc on Mr. O’Conner’s Chevy ‘cause you SWORE that he was holding some kid hostage in it, for crying out loud! What you saw was his over-sized duffel bag full of equipment for his students! Geez, you can be so . . . !” Levi was cut off by the sound of uncontrollable giggles behind them. They all swiveled around to see a girl about their age, 15, trying her best to stifle her laughter, but miserably failing. They all tugged at their bags, embarrassed they were overheard. “So,” Cory cleared his throat, “are you new to the camp?” he finished, obviously trying to pretend nothing had happened. The girl’s laughter abruptly cut off, “No,” she quickly chirped, “but neither are you.” she replied after a short pause and giggled. With that she skirted around them keeping her distance and yelled over her shoulder, “My name is Annabel, by the way, but you guys can call me Anna.” and slipped into cabin six . . . their cabin. The boys groaned in unison. It hadn’t turned out that bad after all. There they were, two weeks later, comfortably talking as the best of friends. Anna had been coming to Camp Stooge since she was thirteen because her parents had thought it was the only way to get her off their hands for a bit she had bitterly explained. When she looked up her eyes were full of tears, not of sadness but of pure rage. When she was like this no one could speak to her straight. It was at these times that she seemed to be of a different time. She’d curse at the wind, the sky, anything, and say, “With the sorrow I have, I could just drown in it.” with a mad glint in her eyes. Although she was a truly good person, she’d jeer at even the slightest sound of a counselor’s name, Renold Winston, even though as the weeks and days passed, she never once had to encounter him. She never gave her reason. When they would eat dinner at the tables, some of the campers they knew would sit with them, and the boys would try to introduce them to Anna, but they’d always seem to look straight through her and ask them if it was some kind of joke. She’d sheepishly smile at them and mouth the words, “It’s okay. Seriously.” before they could protest. Just when the guys thought things were weird, they got worse. Ana had started taking midnight strolls. Every night at exactly twelve o’clock , she’d get out of bed and stride into the pitch black forest with not even a flashlight at hand. They wouldn’t see her until morning came around. She’d show no sign that she had gone or even show that she’d come back. The closer it got to August, the stranger things got. One time they tried to follow her but as they neared her, being as sneaky as the darkness itself, she turned all the way around, and sneered, “Stalking people when you have no business? How shameful!” The wind slapped her hair back as if on cue, and she seemed to glow pale white. That was the last time they messed with her. The next day they were strolling through the camp Hall of Fame while Anna stayed in the cabin. They laughed at the occasional kid that was caught off guard and making a fool of himself. They were in the middle of gasping-for-air laughter when Levi instantly stopped and stared at a picture from 1953 as if he was staring death itself in the face. He paled and whispered, “Is that Ana?” Caleb rolled his eyes and half laughed, “Hah man, she’s too old to be our Anna!” “Yeah, she’d be an old woman if . . .” Cory cut short as he looked at the name of the girl that looked exactly like Anna, “Annabel Winslow, 15 years old, that’s definitely her!” Levi managed to croak. “Come on guys . . .maybe . . . “Hey Mr. Tanner, do you know who this girl is?” Mr. Tanner turned and walked over. “Yup. Name’s Annabel Winslow . . . she died on her last day of camp actually”, he concluded as if it was obvious. “W-well, how did she die?” Levi finally asked. Mr. Tanner cleared his throat at the touch question and grunted quickly, “She was uh . . . she was drowned in the lake, actually on this day, July 22, sixty years ago.” The boys all shared an unsettled glance with each other. “Drowned? By whom?” Cory questioned nervously. Renold Winston emerged looking as pale as a ghost with a sinister look on his face. “I did it.”

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