The First Night
By the time they entered the dirt road at Camp Willow Whisp, it was already dusk. The camp was set far back in the emense Ravenwood Forest and was set around Windwalker Lake, the largest and deepest lake in the state. The foliage was beautiful; vibrant scarlets, golds and firey oranges surrounded the road as the bus drove further on. Arnold sat silently watching the scenery. There was something eerie about the forest.
" It must be my imagination." He thought to himself.
Finally they stopped. Everyone got off the bus and stood in the parking lot. Arnold and Gerald watched as the other three buses began to empty. The woods surrounding the parking lot were even creepier then the road way with the bare trees that drowned the sky and the thick underbrush. Arnold shuddered and looked back over to the crowd.
" Oh no." Moaned Gerald. " What?" Asked Arnold.
" I forgot Fox was going to be here." Answered Gerald. A tall walked off one of the buses. He had blonde hair and cold grey eyes. He was Jordan Fox. A rich snooty trumpetist. He walked over to Rex Smite Higgins and a boy named Jonothon Draco. All three of them attended P.S 117. As Fox walked by, all the girls swooned. Arnold and Gerald moved further into the crowd. Fox and Arnold didn't like eachother. Fox disliked Arnold because Arnold was the first chair trumpetist insted of him and Arnold didn't like Fox becuase Fox always insulted him and was always hitting on Taja. Like he was right now. He was showing off infront of her and trying to grab her attention. Fox wasn't the only one who was staring at Taja, a group of boys from P.S 116 kept glancing over at her. Taja wasn't much taller then Arnold. She had long layered light brown hair the flowed as she walked, long eye lashes and deep emerald green eyes. She looked over at Arnold and smiled. He forgot how creepy the forest was.
Everyone began walking down a long path to a beautiful big lodge made of wood with a statue of a wolf and bear in the front. They walked inside and sat down on the floor. The inside was huge with giant windows all around and high ceilings. Some windows faced the woods, the others faced a lake. Arnold moved over towards Helga, Gerald and Taja. There was a long stage with a microphone on it and a fire place way in the back with beautiful hand carved designs all around. A banner across the ceiling read
" CAMP WILLOW WHISP WELCOME YOUTH ORCHESTRA>"
" 'Eet makes you feel special dosn't 'eet." Taja whispered to Arnold and he smiled. Miss Zoltowsky stood on the stage accompained by eight other people. She took the microphone.
" Before we all seperate to our cabins, I'd like you to meet some of the staff."
A few unenthusiastic claps arose. A man walked up to the microphone. He was very tall and thin. He had dark brown hair and golden eyes. Very handsome indeed.
" Hello and welcome to Camp Willow Whisp." He said in a deep rhaspy voice. " I'm Bradly Martinez but you can just call me Mr. Martinez or Brad. I run the activities for the camp. The place is your dinning hall..it's called Willow Whisp Hall...Not very creative."
A few chuckles arose.
"Breakfast is served at eight but feel free to come when ever you want. Lunch is served at twelve and dinner is at seven. Your practice area is the band shell right next to the tent grounds called Sniper's Overlook right overlooking Windwalker Lake. There's an activity center, game field, pool...which is not open right now....and Whitepine Overlook, one of the many trademarks at Camp Willow Whisp aside from the three hundred year old Willow on the shoreline of the North Side. Don't worry there are maps EVERYWHERE so you won't get lost. Feel free to go out onto the lake but I warn you. The South Side is being used by the girl scouts right now and they're pretty stingy." He cracked into a grin.
" I suggest you bring your insterment with you and use it as a weapon." Everyone burst into laughter.
" I like this guy!" Said Gerald to Arnold. Everyone quieted down.
" Now." Said Martinez turning to the other seven people.
" This is Anne. She's one of the many members of the kitchen staff. This is Mike, he's the councellor for the South Side. This is Hayley, she's with the East Side. This is James, he's the West Side and these three are Brian, Michelle and Jo. They work where ever they're needed. I'm also the councellor for the North Side. Now if you'll all meet me infront of the Activity Center, I'll tell you where you all wilk be staying. Miss Zoltowsky has divided you all in the avaliable cabins."
Everyone got up and left Willow Whisp Hall. The sky began to lose color and the half moon broke through. Everyone crowded infront of the small building. Miss Zoltowsky and Martinez were in the front. The woods were even creepier now.
"Quiet, quiet everyone." Said Mizz Zoltowsky.
" Now sleeping arrangements. Since the South Side is already inhabited by the tribe called Girl Scout, you will all be divided into the West, North and East sides." Said Mr. Martinez. Gerald looked over at Arnold.
" See? What'd I tell you." He said smiling.
" There are four cabins in each area. All of them are named so don't worry about mix ups. Each cabin sleeps ten. Now when I say your name, go to your councellor and remember: Hayley is East, James is West and I'm North." He added then started reading off names.
" Man I hope we're together." Whispered Gerald to Arnold. Arnold very distractedky nodded his head and looked towards the darkening forest.
" Johansson- North. Jordan Fox- North." Read Mr.Martinez, Gerald rolled his eyes and groaned. " Great. Just who I need."
" Helga...umm..Nico...Nicolette and Ta..Ta...uh how do you pronounce that?" Asked Martinez still reading. Taja sighed and smiled slightly.
" Ta-ja-lee." She answered. " 'Eet 'ees French." Martinez smiled and nodded.
" Okay....Helga,Nicolette and TAJAlee Pataki- North. Rhonda Wellington Lloyd- North." He contiuned on. " And finally, Arnold..uh..looks like you forgot to put your last name down." Read Martinez smiling. Arnold blushed slightly.
" Sorry it's-" He started then was interuppted.
" I know what your last name is now GET GOING!" snapped Zoltowsky. Arnold discreatly made a face to her as he walksed over to Martinez and the other North bounds. Once everyone was settled, they made their ways down the long twisting path of Windjammer trail.
" The four cabins are named: Meriweather, Hunter's Lodge, The Windigo and The Windermere. Meriweather and Windermere are the girls cabins, the other two are the boys." Said Martinez as they walked up towards the North Side. " Arnold, Gerald, Hordan, Rex, Jonothon, Eugene, Curly, Stinky, Sid, and Harold, you'll all be in The Windigo. The rest of you boys will be in Hunter's Lodge. Helga, Lila, Pheobe, Rhonda, Nadine, Nicolette, Tajalee, Katrinka, Jeannie and Ally, you'll be our Windermeres. The rest of the girls will be our Meriweathers." He added. The North Side was the farthest away and the furthest into the woods. The trees began to thicken and the path began to darken. Finally they stopped. There were the four cabins. Hunter, Meriweather, The Windigo and Windermere. The Windigo was the furthest into the woods accompained by Windermere and Meriweather was the closest. Arnold swallowed hard and walked towards The Windigo. The tree's began to sway in the light breeze and made a low woody creaking noise. He stood on the staires and looked up. If it wasn't haunted, it sure was creepy. It looked older then the other three cabins and the wood ws twice as dark. He slowly walked up the creaking steps. He held his breath and walked in.
There was a little room with a dor way to the bunks. The room had a lamp and two couches. Arnold walked into the bunk area. It was big. It looked more inviting then the outside did. It was brightly lit and the wood was a little lighter but it too had a creepy look. Dust and cob webs everywhere.
" Hey Arnold! I saved you a bunk next to me!" Called Gerald from the back of the room. Arnold set his stuff on the floor and sat down on the bed. There was a window behind each bed. He looked out to the cabin ring clearing where he could see every cabin. He watched as the people ran all around the cabins. Stinky and Sid came in then everyone else joined in. Harold, Sid, Arnold, Gerald,and Eugene were all on the left side while Rex, Jonothon, Stinky, Curly and Fox were on the right side. Everyone began setting up their bunks. Arnold looked over at the right corner and gasped. His heart sank and his stomach did a sickening jump. In the corner, there was an old piano. It looked like an old fashioned player piano minus the self playing part. It was so dusty it looked white and was covered with cob webs. On the very top was elaboratly carved metal and the keys were yellow. Arnold looked at the middle and almost yelped with fright. The part that opened for tuning was shut with a rusty padlock. Gerald looked over at Arnold.
" Arnold! Whats wrong?" He said almost panicking. Arnold shaakily pointed at the piano.
" Oh I didn't notice that." Gerald said. " What?" asked Sid. Gerald pointed at the piano. Everyone turned and looked. Fox looked over at the scared look on Arnolds face and smirked.
" What's wrong Arnold? That bad ol piano scary?" He said tauntingly. Martinez snuck in unnoticed.
" it IS a rather creepy piano." He chimed in making everyone jump.
" You scared us!" Snaped Fox.
" That's what you get for making fun of someone kid." sneered Martinez. Arnold and Gerald smiled.
" Why's it padlocked?" asked Sid.
" Not sure. It's been here forever. Only one person as ever played it I'v been told." Answered Martinez hsi face twisting into a grin.
" Why?" asked Arnold.
" I'v been told that a girl who once stayed here played it and was killed." Answered Martinez.
" What? How can you just DIE playing a piano! What Rubish!" Laughed Fox. His two side kicks snickering.
" The kid just went crazy. She was found dead here in the cabin. Some say she haunts this cabin, some say she's all over the North Side. I don't know. I just wouldn't play that thing unless you wanted to find out." Said Martinez. He smiled and turned around.
" Good night boys. Pleasent dreams." He added then walked out the door. The entire cabin burst into laughter. All except Arnold who kept his eyes on the piano.
" Oh man! Oh man! That's gotta be THE LAMEST story ever!" cried Gerald inbetween laughs.
" Yeah totally made up! Who would believe a story about a haunted piano!" laughed Curly. Fox looked over at Arnold and grinned.
" I think Arnold here does." He jeered. Arnold glared at him then looked back at the piano. It had to be the creepiest thing he had ever seen.
" I'll be right back." He said heading towards the door.
" Okay and watch out for piano girl!" jeered Fox. He and his posse breaking out into laughter. Gerald rolled his eyes.
" See ya in a few man." He said
Arnold walked down the steps and stood in the middle of the cabin ring. Just the land around The Windigo was quiet and creepy. Everything around him was forest. He shuddered again and stood by the side of Windermere. A slight breeze picked up again and the trees made a low creaky moise again. The air smelled like a camp fire. It was quiet. He thought he could hear a bunch of wind chimes in the distance. Taja quiely walked up behind him.
" 'Ello Arnold." She said softly. He was so startled that Taja jumped herself.
" Oh Taja! Hi! You scared me there!" Said Arnold breathlessly.
" Sorry. I'm a leetle jumpy too." She said. " Moisour Martinez came in and told us a story about 'zee 'Norz Side."
" Same here. He told us about our cabin. This girl died after she played the piano in our cabin." Said Arnold softly. The breeze picked up
" 'Zer 'ees a piano in your cabin?" Asked Taja.
" Yeah. It's a really creepy one too. It's all musty and has a padlock on the top." Answered Arnold. Taja shuddered.
" 'Zat 'ees creepy!" She said pulling her jacket together. " 'Ee told us about 'zis kid who 'aunts 'zee 'ole area. 'Zat would be creepy if 'eet was 'zee same kid 'ee told you about." Then they were both silent.
" You.....don't 'zink?" She asked softly moving closer to him.
" I REALLY hope not." Said Arnold. Then they were silent again. " That's an odd name- Windigo." He said looking back at the cabin.
" Oh a Windigo 'ees 'zis very evil demon of 'zee woods." Said Taja. Arnold's heart jumped.
" Oh THAT'S encouraging." he laughed nervously.
" I know. A Windermere 'ees a banshee. I wonder why our cabins are named like 'zis." Said Taja shivering.
" Probably to scare us. Hunter and Meriweather sound fine. Said Arnold.
" Yeah." Said Taja shivering even more. The bitter wind picked up again stinging Arnold's eyes.
" You cold?" He asked.
" Yeah. And a leetle nervous." Shivered Taja.
" Here." Said Arnold taking his coat off and wrapping it around Taja.
" Bu arn't you cold?" She asked.
" Not really." Arnold answered blushing like crazy. Taja smiled warmly causing him to go weak at the knees.
" Merci." She said politly. Suddenly Fox walked outside and spotted Taja.
" Oh no." She said. " 'Ere comes 'zee mindless wonder. I better go before 'ee offends me." Arnold smiled.
" Alright. Goodnight Taj." He said softly.
" Bon sior." She said softly then ran back inside Windermere. Fox came up to Arnold and glared.
" Where'd she go?" He asked. Arnold grinned.
" SHe saw you coming and hightailed it." He replied slyly. Fox glared even more.
" Yeah like she would be able to resist me." He said " Atleast I'M not afraid of a stupid piano." Arnold didn't reply and walked back to the cabin. As he walked up the steps, he was certain he could hear wind chimes. He quickly walked back inside the warm cabin. He walked past Stinky and Sid who were playing Old Maid on the floor and sat down on his bunk. Gerald looked up from his book and smiled.
" Where'd wonder boy go?" He asked.
" Off to find Taja." said Arnold quicky glancing at the piano from the corner of his eye.
" And uh..where's you coat?" Asked Gerald. Arnold blushed and smiled.
" Taja has it." He answered. Fox burst in and glared at Arnold.
" Still afraid of that dumb piano?" He asked in a mocking tone. Just as Arnold was about to reply, everything paused and briefly turned cold then went back to normal.
" What's wrong? Cat got your tounge?" Fox asked. Arnold glared. Sid and Stinky stood up.
" I don't know about you guys, but I'm going to go get ready for bed." Yawned Curly. Everyone mumbled an agreement. Arnold changed into his night clothes and slipped under his covers. Everyone laid down and Gerald contiued reading. Arnold laid on his back and stared at the ceiling. Everything was quiet except for the wind in the trees and the occasional shout from outside.
" Mind if I turn out the lights?" Asked Eugene.
" Go ahead bu as Arnold first. He may want a night light so the ghost won't get him." Snickered Fox.
" Shut up Fox." Said Anrold turning on his side. Eugene shut off the lights and Arnold closed his eyes.
He woke up later on. Everyone esle was quietly sleeping. All around the cabin he heard an inaudiable whispering. He swallowed hard and snuggled down under the covers more. The wind blew harder and the trees creaked. the whole cabin was slightly howling and wind chimes sounded even louder then he heard them before. Suddenly he heard a soft note being played on the piano. He shot straight up and looked at the piano horror stricken. The was a dark black shadow surrounding the piano. It played softly again. This time breaking out into a sad eerie song. Arnold's face went numb and his heart beat faster and faster. he started trembeling paralyzed with fear. The piano played on. The whole room turned deathly cold and he opened his mouth to yell but nothing came out. He huddled in a ball against the window and continued treambling not understading why no one else was waking up. The piano stopped playing and the black shadow silently moved past Arnold towards the front of the cabin. The temperature went back to normal and the whispering and chimes stopped. He sat there shivering for a while then slid back under the covers wide awake. He didn't sleep the rest of the night
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