" What are you beaming about?" Asked Gerald. Arnold snapped out of it. He saw Gerald and Sid sitting on his bed looking at him and smiling.
" Yeah, you've got this goofy look on your face." Said Sid. Arnold propped himself up onto his elbows and looked over at Fox.
" I'll uh...I'll tell you later." He said slyly. Gerald rolled his eyes and smiled.
" Whatever man." He said. Suddenly Curly burst into the the cabin.
" Guys! You'll NEVER guess what I just heard the girls over at The Windermere telling the girls at Meriweather!" He shouted. Everyone looked up.
" Curly. What the heck are you doing over at The Windermere?" Asked Arnold.
" I wasn't! I just over heard the girls." Answered Curly.
" Well, tell us what you heard." Said Gerald. " Well, I just heard that-" Started Curly grinning gleefully, Then he looked over at Fox.
" Oh. I'll tell you later." He said. Everyone groaned. " Aw come on Curly, just tell us!" Said Arnold.
" Come to my bunk after Fox falls asleep." Whsipered Curly looking over his shoulder to make sure Fox wasn't listening. " I'll tell you then." Just then loud singing filled the air. Loud, obnoxis singing. Everyone cringed.
" What IS that?!" Yelled Harold covering his ears.
" I'm going to go find out." Said Arnold. He got up and left the cabin. Just as he reached the cabin ring, a girl scout troop came marching up singing. They saw him and stopped; staring at him.
" What the heck are you doing!" He exclaimed. The girl scouts stared at him silently like a snake waiting to ill. A few girls from Meriweather walked up behind him along with Hunter's Lodge.
" Well?" Said Arnold folding his arms across his chest. The girls continued staring at him silently.
" Yeah you little shrimps!" Yelled Helga walking up beside him. More girls from Meriweather and Windermere joined in along with the rest of The Windigo.
" We're singing." Said a blonde girl emerging from the girl scouts. " Got a problem with it?" She added bitterly.
" Yeah! You're driving us crazy geek bait!" Said Helga walking forwards. Arnold and the crowd stepped back.
" This IS a girl scout camp." Snapped the blonde girl. She and Helga were face to face.
" Yeah and your "girl scout" camp is being used by us you little twit." Snapped back Helga. SHe and the girl glared at eachother.
" Besides, you're out of your area. The South Side's your's bucko." Hissed Helga.
" We'll just see about that missy. Come on girls, lets go back to OUR side." Said the girl and the girl scouts marched away singing even louder. Everyone headed back to their cabins except Arnold and Helga. She stood there glaring at the girl scouts as the disappeared down the hill.
" Lousy good for nothing little shrimps." She mumbled as she turned around.
" I'm amazed Helga." Said Arnold. Helga stood and stared at him for a minute.
" What about Arnoldo?" She asked harshly.
" You made them go away." He answered. She smiled slightly. " Yeah well, I made them sing even louder." She said.
" Well goodnight Helga." Said Arnold and smiled. Helga melted.
" Night football head." SHe shot back and they both walked away.
By the time he had reached the bunks, everyone was all ready for bed. He quickly changed and sat down on his bunk trying not to look at the piano. Finally Sid shut off the lights. Everyone sat anxiously waiting for a sign that Fox was asleep
" Well." Whisped Sid finally. " He hasn't moved yet."
" We can't take any chances." Said Gerald getting up. The moon cast shadows of the trees on the floor and Gerald walked silently over to Fox.
" Hey Fox." He whispered into Foxes ear. " Theres Taja." Fox let out a huge snore and turned over.
" Okay he's asleep." Said Gerald standing back up and trying not to laugh. He looked over at Arnold, who was glaring, and smiled." Sorry about that Arnold." He said.
" Come on over." Said Curly turning on a flash light. Everyone but Fox, Jonothon and Rex congregated around Curly's bed.
" Alright Curly." whsipered Gerald. " Spill it." Curly turned his flashlight over towards Rex, Fox and Jonothon then back to him.
" Well." He started, " I was walking by The Windermere, when I heard Taja talking to Nikki, Lila, Rhonda, Pheobe and some of the girls from Meriweather."
" What did she say?" asked Harold. Everyone shushed him.
" Anyway." Continued Curly, " I snuck over to hear more. Get this" Taja told them that while she was out on the lake, Fox came out and started hitting on her."
" As usual." said Sid.
" Anyways, she got really mad and-" Said Curly bursting into muffled laughter. " She CAPSIZED hsi boat causing him to fall in the water!" Everyone snickered.
" Oh man! I'd pay to see Fox being capsized!" snickered Gerald.
" Wait theres more." said Curly leaning in more. " I also heard that she kissed someone on the shore line, but I didn't hear who." Arnold backed away a little.
" Taja kissed someone? Oh man, who ever it was sure is lucky." said Sid " She is REALLY REALLY pretty."
" Yeah." said Stinky, Curly and Eugene. Arnold made a small noise in his throat and blushed slightly. Everyone turned and looked at him.
" Arnold?" asked Eugene. " Where WERE you all evening?" Arnold blushed even more.
" I think I know." said Gerald smiling. " Err...d..donw by the lake." said Arnold blushing like crazy. Everyone's mouth dropped open.
" She-" said Stinky. " Kissed YOU?" asked Sid. Arnold nodded.
" Where?" asked Curly
" Why?" asked Sid. " I uh...mean that in a good way.' He quickly added.
" I knew you were up to somthing when you came back up here beaming." said Gerald smiling. Arnold smiled even more.
" She kissed me ont he cheek. No idea why. Sje just hugged me, then kissed me, and walked back up here." He answered.
" She hugged you too?" asked Eugene in awe. " Uh huh." answered Arnold in a sigh.
" Wow." said Harold. Then everyone was silent. A gental breezed rustled the leaves on the ground and the wind chimes softly chimmed in the distance.
" You know, why do they have wind chimes in the middle of the forest?" asked Eugene. Arnold swallowed hard.
" You heat them too?" He asked. Everyone nodded.
" Actually, I think they sound pretty." said Sid. Arnold sorta agreed. They DID sound peaceful right now. Everyone wa silent again and Curly shut off his flashlight. The only light in the cabin was the moon. It was all quiet except for the chimes and leaves. Suddenly the silence was pierced by a high blood curdling scream from outside causing everyone to jump. Arnold's heart was racing.
" W-what was that?" He asked
" I have no idea." said Gerald.
" Maybe it was a ghost!" cried Stinky trembeling. Arnold walked over to the window behind his bunk and looked outside. Everything was silver due to the moon and the stars in the cabin ring's clearing gleamed. He looked over at the cabins. Meriweather seemed okay, and so did Hunter's Lodge. Then a flash of light caught his eye and he looked over at Windermere. A light flipped on.
" Well do you see anything?" Harold asked cowardly.
" Yeah."said Arnold not taking his eyes off the window. Everyone began shaking.
" W..w..what d..do you..s.see?" asked Stinky to scared to speak.
" The light just went on at The Windermere." Said Arnold. Suddenly he saw Helga and Pheobe walk outside looking very pale. He walked back to Curlys bunk.
" Come on. Somthing's wrong over there." He said.
" Oh no. I aint going out there." said Stinky.
" Yeah, no way." said Sid
" Not happening." said Gerald
" Umm...no thanks Arnold." said Eugene.
" No even I'm stupid enough to go out there!" cried Curly.
" Mommy!" said Harold. Arnold sighed and looked over at Fox, wondering how he could be so soundly asleep.
" Come on guys, please?" He asked. Everyone was silent again.
" Oh alright fine." said Gerald standing up. " Okay..." said Sid joining in.
" Fine." said Curly. Eugene Stinky and Harold stayed sitting down.
" Watch out for the boogie man." snickered Sid as they walked towards the door.
" Shut up or I'll pound you!" whispered Harold loudly as Arnold and the group stepped outside. It was bitter and quiet outside. Everything was still and it was very beautiful. He saw Helga and waslked up behind her.
" Helga! Whats wrong?" He asked. She sheriked and turned around causing everyone to jump.
" AUGH!!! DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN!!!" She yelled. Her eyes were red and watery like she had been crying. Pheobe walked over.
" Good evening boys." She said softly. Both of them were in their night clothes.
" Whats wrong?" Arnod whispered to her. She motioned him to follow her. They walked over to the side of HUnter's Lodge.
" Helga's really scared." She said.
" Why?" He asked. The leaves blew across the frozen ground and the moon beamed brighter.
" Well," said Pheobe sitting on a stump. " Nikki, Lila, Helga and I were all talking to Rhonda at her bunk. Then we heard Taja stirring. She stopped and we continued talking. Then we heard her start again. This time talking. She was saying " don't go..No please don't go." and " It's not safe." Well, we thought she was just talking her sleep, then she shot straight up, staring ahead at the wall, not moving an inch. She startled us so much that Helga screamed and almost fainted. She was really dizzy and so we came out here and she started crying out of fear."
Arnold looked back at Helga. Never before had he seen her cry. He and Pheobe walked back. Just before anyone could say anything, Rhonda burst out as white as a ghost.
" What's wrong?" asked Pheobe.
" It's Taja..She's getting worse." Cried Rhonda. She and Helga bolted into the cabin. Pheobe sighed and looked back at the boys.
" Come on guys. We're going to need all the help we can get." She said. She and the boys walked in. The inside was almost identical to The Windigo, but a bit smaller. Arnold, Gerald, Sid and Curly stood at the door.
" Go on Arnold." whsipered Sid. Arnold nodded and walked up the cabin. All the girls were wide awake sitting up looking at Taja. She was ghostly pale and clammy. SHe was sitting straight up and breathing heavily, with wide eyes filled with tears.
" 'Eet..'eet cannot be." She whispered. Arnold sat down next to her.
" No." She whispered again. It was silent. Curly, Gerald and Sid walked in.
" Taja." He whispered. She slowly turned and looked at him. He almost backed away. She looked awful, like she had seen the devil himself.
" W..Whats wrong?" He asked her softly. The chimes grew louder and the room began to cool.
" 'Se 'ees gone." She said shakily. " 'Se 'ees gone!" She said even louder. An eerie silence hung in the air as the room turned deathly cold. Everyone began shivering.
" Wh-who is." asked Arnold.
" 'Se..." said Taja then burst into tears and flung herself into Arnolds arms. Everyone jumped.
" 'Se 'ees gone, 'se 'ees dead!" She sobbed. The chimes grew louder and the whispering began faintly. Arnold saw tears streaking Helga and Nikki's faces. He hugged Taja.
" I told 'er to stay away! 'Zat 'eet was not safe!" She said in between sob. " 'Eet's my fault. 'Eets my fault." She cried. SHe sounded so helpless that everyone began to tear up a little. Even Arnold felt as if he were about to. The whispering grew and deepened, and the chimes were so loud, they sounded like they were just outside the cabin.
" Who died?" asked Arnold. Taja didn't answer.
" 'Eets my fault. I tried to tell 'er to stay away. 'Eet wasn't safe." Arnold held her closer and looked over at Gerald who had a petrified look on his face. The whispering was so low and unbearably loud that it shook the windows.
" Oh that noise! That noise! It's awful!" cried Sid. Everyone looked at him like he was crazy.
" They're just wind chimes!" said Gerald.
" No that whispering! Oh it's terrible!" cried Sid covering his ears.
" I don't hear and whispering." said Curly and Gerald. Everyone was terrified and Taja wept more. Suddenly Arnold looked outside and sat there wide eyed, not moving. A huge black shadow outside was circling the cabin. Everyone looked at him then outside.
" I don't seen anything." said Gerald. Everyone agreed except for Sid.
" IT'S TRYING TO GET IN!!!" He screamed. Suddenly Taja jumped up onto her bed.
" STOP 'EET! STOP 'EET! I DIDN"T MEAN TO!! "EET WAS AN ACCIDENT!!!" She screeched then doubled over sobbing madly.
" Oh...my God." Whispered Rhonda. Arnold held Taja against him.
" Shhhhh." He said gentally. The shadow disappeared and so did the whispering. The chimes still sounded. She began to calm down.
" It's going to be alright Taj. It was just a dream." He said soothingly. She tok a deep breath and stopped crying. Everyone relaxed and the air was no longer cold.
" I'm here Taj. You'll be alright. Nothing is going to happen." he said. The wind chimes died down. SHe looked up at him. He face was tear streaked and still a little pale.
" You promise?" She asked and sighed.
" I promise." said Arnold and smiled warmly. She sat up and sighed then looked at everyone.
" Why are you all awake?" She asked.
" You scared us half to death!!!" exclaimed Helga.
" Are you okay?" asked Nikki
" I 'zink so. I just 'ad 'zis awful dream." answered Taja yawning. Arnold stood up and Taja layed down again. All the girls went back to their bunks and layed down all talking cheerfully at once. Gerald, Curly and Sid all walked to the front door. Arnold kneeled down by taja's bed.
" You feeling better?" He asked. She nodded.
" Yeah." She said then said somthing out loud to Nikki in French. Nikki giggled and ran over to the oher girls.
" Night Taj." He said. The girls giggled.
" Good night Arnold." She said and smiled. Arnold joined the other three at the door. Just as they were about to leave, Pheobe, Nikki and Helga ran over.
" May we talk to you for a moment Arnold?" asked Pheobe. Arnold looked back at the guys.
" I'll meet you back at the cabin k?" He said.
" Alright. See ya in a few." Said Gerald.
" Bye." said Sid and they left. Arnold turned to the girls.
" Thank you for calming her down." said Pheobe.
" Yeah. You smaked some sense back into her." said Helga
" But we can't help but wonder. What was wrong with her? I mean thats not how you normally act with nightmares." Added Pheobe. Arnold glanced over at Taja.
" I'm not sure. I'v seen people act like that with night terrors but not as out of control as she was. I suggest you keep an eye on her for the rest of the night. If it happens again, come get me. I don't care how late it is, just get me." He said. Pheobe, Nikki and Helga nodded.
" 'Zank you again Arnold and good night." said Nikki.
" See you guys tomo-uh-I mean in a couple hours." said Arnold with a smile and walked outside. Everything was silver and a frosty silence hung in the air. He ran back to The Windigo. He entered the bunk area and found everyone but Gerald and Sid asleep. He slid under his covers and faced Gerald.
" So what did they want?" asked Gerald.
" Just thanked me and asked what was wrong." answered Arnold.
" What was! That girl was totally freaked!" exclaimed Sid.
" Night terror I assume." said Arnold. Fox left out a gigantic snore.
" Jeez!" said Sid. " Someone go over there and make sure his nose is still there."
" Oh Heaven forbid he looses his " oh so good looks." said Gerald sarcastically.
" Well good night you two." said Gerald settling down and closing his eyes.
" Night." said Sid turning over.
" Good night." said Arnold and turned to the window. He looked out at The Windermere again. the lights were still on but insted of a blood curdling scream, laughter filled the cabin. Arnold layed back down and sighed contently then fell asleep.