Miss Winters yell shattered the campers morning, who were happily having breakfast. That lady sure could scream, thought Sandora. Niky wondered whether she wasn't related to miss Banshee after all. Everyone had been summoned to the spot where Miss Winter had screamed. On the school bus window, scrawled in red paint were the words: ABOMINATION! DISGRACE!
'Who did this?' Miss Winter shouted.
'It was you wasn't it?' She pointed an accusing finger at Rosechan.
'No miss, I would never do a thing like that!'
'Don't lie to me, young lady! It had to be you! Those were the exact same words I used about your art.'
'Yes miss, but why would I write them?'
'Simple: revenge. You couldn't accept my criticism, so you thought you would get me back.'
'It wasn't me!' protested Rosechan.
'Well, we are going to have to search your tent,' Miss Winter replied. Everyone went to Rosechan's tent. She showed them inside her bag and clothes.
'That doesnt prove anything, missy. You could have gotten....What's that?!' cried miss Winter, noticing Slappy near the entrance. She came closer and noticed the red paint on Slappy's hands and shoes.
'So!You thought you could smear paint all over your dummy so that it would look like his doing. Well, you dont fool me!' Miss winter shouted in Rosechan's face.
'Since one of you has decided to act so immaturely, we are going back to school this instant, and you will all go back to class.' Groans of disappointment filled the air.
'Silence! Not another word!' screamed Miss Winter. 'And because of this,the art department will forfeit any further camping trips for a year, maybe two.'
'What?!' cried Trishy.
'Thats not fair! This has nothing to do with us,' a dance student complained.
'You can protest all you like. I want everybody to get ready and be on the bus in half an hour.' Rosechan was suddenly very unpopular.
'This is all your fault!'
'Thanks a lot, Rose,' someone else said.
'I'm so sorry guys,' was all Rosechan could say. The only people not to turn against her were Alicechan, Niky and Sandora.
'Poor Rosechan!' said Alicechan, sadly.
'I'm so sorry guys, because of me you too have to forfeit,' said Rosechan, nearly in tears.
'It's ok Rosechan, we know it wasnt you,' Sandora said assuringly. Niky nodded. They went back to their tent to get their stuff ready.
'Rose?' She turned to see Miss Court standing next to her. 'I know miss Winter was too harsh on your work, and I didn't agree with her at all, but don't you think this is too much? She is the head of arts and how well you do depends on her.'
'I'm so sorry miss, I don't know what came over me.' There was no use trying to explain that it was Slappy. She didn't want Miss Court thinking she was crazy too. Only Niky and Sandora knew the truth, and that was enough for her. 'I guess that means my art will now be excluded from the gallery,' she said sadly.
'No, your art will stay, it has nothing to do with what happened. But you should really think hard about what you've done, and maybe write an apology to miss winter?'
'Yes, I will do that.'
'And never do something like this again.' Then she called everyone onto the bus.
All was quiet on the trip back. Rosechan sat silent and red-faced. She had another reason to feel bad- she had been unable to say goodbye to Boomer, who had been at training that morning. She was sad to think she would never see him again. She dozed off when:
'Hey Slave,' whispered Slappy from behind her head rest. 'Im starving here, get me some woodchips!'
'Huh? No way! I don't have any and we cant stop now.' But she spoke to soon, because suddenly the driver said:
'Hey everybody, it seems we have a breakdown and will have to stop at the nearest gas station.' They reached the gas station, surrounded by a huge forest in the middle of nowhere.
'Ok everyone, we will make a short break, so anybody who needs to buy something or use the bathroom, please do so now,' Miss Court advised. 'Be back in 10 mins.'
Some got off, while others stayed in their seats reading, calling their parents, having a snack or sleeping. Rosechan and her friends were about to get off too when Slappy said 'Ok Slave, now is your chance to get me some woodchips.'
'I said no, Slappy! We havent much time and we need to use the bathroom!' Rosechan shouted.
'Silence!' Yelled Slappy getting angry. 'You 4 will listen to me now!' he faced all four girls and they suddenly started to feel strange. 'Yes, master Slappy,' they all said in unison.
'Thats better!' grinned Slappy, satisfied. 'Now, follow me!' Then making sure there was nobody around, he quietly led the girls off the bus. The girls did not protest, but followed quietly.
They followed him deeper and deeper into the dark forest, when Slappy stopped them and said:
'Now you, Rosechan, get me some woodchips! You, Niky, go with her! The others stay here with me where I can keep and eye on you, and dont even think about escaping!'
'Yes master Slappy,' Rosechan and Niky replied. They walked off, in search of woodchips, leaving Slappy and the other 2. They walked and walked, looking for woodchips, but were unable to find any. It was quiet in the forest, the only sound coming from the birds tweeting and the rustling leaves.
'How about this?' Niky said, finding a large piece of bark.
'That won't do,' Rosechan frowned. 'He will complain about it being too big. You know how fussy he is.' They were surrounded by tall trees, only a tiny bit of light from the outside world shining through their branches. There were no woodchips to be seen. The girls continued, when suddenly both of them tripped. Niky fell on top of Rosechan.
'Sorry Rosechan,' Niky said.
'Thats ok Niky,' Rosechan replied underneath her. Niky got up and Rosechan rubbed her eyes.
'Hey, whats going on? Niky? Where are we?'
'What are we doing in the forest? And why have we got this?' Niky wondered.
'Hey Slaves!!' Slappy's voice rang out across the forest. Slappy...Rosechan groaned. This had to be his doing. They suddenly remembered they were on the bus back home from camp and they had stopped on the way. The two girls tried to find their way back.
'Oh man, I think we're lost!' groaned Rosechan. It started to get dark and rain-clouds filled the once clear sky.
'Hey Slaves! What do you mean by leaving me?' The girls turned to see Slappy with Sandora and Alicechan, still in a trance.
'Eek!' shrieked the girls.
'You should be grateful I found you two!' Slappy said, rolling his green eyes. Now, you were out searching for my meal, were you not?' Rosechan understood why they were carrying the bark.
'Sure Slappy, here,' Rosechan threw the bark at Slappy.
'What, are you crazy? I cant eat this!' Slappy complained.
'Why not?' Its the same thing as woodchips really,' Rosechan shrugged.
'Anyway, it was the best we could do, there are no woodchips,' Niky explained.
'Then you're just going to have to turn this into woodchips, won't you?'
'What? You're kidding arent you?'
'Wait, I've got a penknife,' Sandora said just then. She started cutting down the bark into smaller pieces. Slappy frowned, but even he knew it would have to do.
'Niky, I have an idea how to get them out of their trance,' Rosechan whispered. Niky understood, then both of them went up behind Sandora and Alicechan and gave them a hard push, so they fell on their fronts.
'Whoa!' cried both girls. 'What just happened?' they were out of the trance.
'Sorry guys, it was for your own good,' Rosechan said.
'Hey, he is busy eating, now is our chance to go back,' Niky whispered and they all followed her quietly. She looked at her watch- 3 hours had passed! The bus would have already left.
Unfortunately, try as they might, they couldn't find their way out. Alicechan had a little pocket torch.
'Oh no, this is a dead end!' cried Rosechan.
'Hey Slaves! How dare you escape and leave me stranded in the forest?' Slappy jumped out at her just then, the light of the torch making his wooden face all the more eerie.
'Please master Slappy, we have to go back! Its late and the bus has left already!' cried Sandora.
'Hahaha! That was my plan all along. To get you away from the bus and everyone else and have you all to myself, hahaha!!' He laughed evilly.
'Slappy, this isnt the time for jokes! We dont want to get into trouble again,' Rosechan cried in desperation.
'We are not staying here all night!' Niky protested.
'Oh yes you are, and you'd better do as I say! I know my way around and if I so decide, you will never leave this place!' Slappy explained.
'Ok Slappy, what are you going to do to us, now you have us at your mercy?' Alicechan sighed.
'This!' He grabbed Sandora by the shoulders and a toxic green gas oozed out in her face.
'No!!' cried Rosechan and jumped in front of Sandora, grabbing Slappy. She was about to knock him to the ground when she felt the ground under her feet give way.
'Aaargh!' all of them, including Slappy screamed as they fell down what they thoughy was a ravine. They landed in a heap on top of each other, with Rosechan landing on Slappy.
'Get off me! You're squashing me, Slave!' Slappy's shouts could be heard, muffled by Rosechan's chest.
'Everyone ok?' Rosechan asked, unable to get up.
'I cant get up,' came Niky's muffled voice, who was on Sandora's back and underneath Alicechan. Alicechan got off and helped Niky. Then Sandora got off Rosechan. They realised they were in a pit, which wasnt too deep. They could probably get out climbing the sides.
'Hey, whats that?' said Alicechan, looking up. Somebody was above the pit, shining a torch in their faces. Who could possibly know where to find them, this forest was huge.
'Aaaaargh!' screamed the girls as they tried to shield their eyes from the light.