She looked at the white and gray cinders at the bottom of the fire and she watched as the flames drew them up and let them float softly down over the campers.
"Cim on ev'rybody, someone's gorra know one story!" the Camp Leader for the Young Persons Writers' Guild poked the fire with a long supple branch, the leaves on the end twigs twisted and burnt as the branch prodded at the burning embers.
"I know a good story," She looked up at the shocked faces of her fellow young writers. She hadn't spoken a word yet at camp. "It's a bit of a scary story. Hope you guys ain't scared of them."
She sat up straighter and started. The leaves rustled behind the group.
Jack was an ordinary boy before he went to camp, jus' an ordinary kid who liked football and playing tricks on his lil'sister. But as I said, that was before he went to camp.
His parents gave him a bag of stuff, games and treats for the usual mischief ordinary boys got up to on camp nights. There were bottles of cola for the spin the bottle games and sweets galore for the midnight feasts.
It was on one of those mignight raids, that this story happens and Jack, no-longer stayed, an ordinary boy.
"This story is real booooorrrrrring - when does the action start?" one of the younger campers was slouching in a bored way and his face diplayed a very 'I'm Bored' expression."
"Shaaad-up an' list'n if ya wanna get ta the action."
"Quiet ev'rybody and let her finish." the Camplleader shushed everyone and the story comtinued.
Jack and the other boys at the camp were all crowded round the dead pile of ash which was the fire just hours before. The Camp leaders were sleeping in the tents only a few minutes away. The girls had just joined in and the boys were reluctant to give them any of their treats.
"I know," Said Jack, "If you wanna have sweets, you gatta play spin tha bottle wiv' us."
The girls giggled and agreed. The ash in the stone circle was pushed away and the glass bottle sat in the middle. The first boy touched then flicked the bottle.
The bottle stopped at one girl, she was pretty, but who was she? No -one knew and no-one cared.
"Well, well, I guess you're first on the bottle, Truth or Dare?"
"Dare." Her voice was darker tan the midnight air and much colder.
"This is a stoooopid lurve story, I wanna tell mine. It's well cooler and less girly."
"Shaaaad-up, I was act'yully list'nin. Whaad happ'nd nex'?"
I'll carry on...
"I dare you to Kiss the boy you think is cutest."
A resounding 'ewwww' came from the other girls but the strange girl carried on with an unfaltering stare toward the boys, almost as if sorting the weaker ones out.
"You" she finally said, pointing to one of the boys in his pyjamas. He looked at her a puckered up.
She leaned forward and planted a kiss on him.
He looked so pale afterward.
The first boy spun the bottled again. It landed once more on the strange girl.
"Truth or Dare?"
"Dare. And this time, give me something challenging."
"Kiss the ugliest."
"Easy" another 'ewww' came from the general direction of the other girls.
The strange girl pondered again, finally just pointing to the boy.
He puckered up.
He too went a ghastly pale.
The two pale boys left the group, complaining of illness, dodgy barbeque food, anything to go away.
The first boy spun the bottle once more.
It landed on the girl again.
"Dare. Something more challenging."
"Nah - ya gatta do a truth naa, it's inna rules."
"Fine then, what do you want to know?" The remaining boys, Jack and one other huddled together with the small group of girls. What did they want to know? What is she scared of, or what is she here for? something that could make her not want to answer. It was finally agreed.
"Whadda you find scary?"
"Nothing, Is that the question?"
"Yea, but ya gatta tella troof, that's inna rules."
"I was telling the truth."
"Not even spiders."
"I have two pet snakes and I feed them spiders, bugs, worms and other dead things."
"That's gross." one of the girls was heard to say.
"Is it mornig or am I blind?"
"Oh, well, ya gatta be 'fraid a sumpfink, anyfink. errr, ya know like ghosts."
"Why would I be afraid of ghosts, what have they done to me?" She was starting to scare them.
The game carried on in the night until the girl had told them who she fancied whan she was littler, what was the grossest thing she had done, licked a mossy rock and kissed the first boy.
The girls left the clearing and the first boy went away too.
The girl and Jack were left alone with the bottle.
"Go on, spin it."
"Well you might as well ask me truth or dare, it's been me all night."
"Spin it, it could be me."
"Fine then." She spun the bottle and it landed on her.
"What do you want me to do, kiss you like I did the others?"
"Tell me whaad ya doin'ere, ya aren't 'ere forra camp are ya? Ya here jus ta be 'ere, aren't ya?"
"Yes I guess so."
The girl disappeared before Jacks eyes and it was morning.
He pulled the damp leaves off his sleepy face and got up.
It was cold.
His friends were all around him, what were they doing?
"Hey, whaad time isit? It looks like it's waaay past archery."
No-one heard him.
Jack was an ordinary boy, like football and tricks.
He stayed at camp.
"That wasn't that good whaad 'app'nd?"
"He was dead."
"Ya didn't saay 'ow 'e died, it wooda been better if ya'd done that, made it scary."
"It's my turn naa, I'll tell a good'un"
She looked at the floating cinders and felt herself disappear into the background again.