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Cruel Summer

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It all started when my parents got super paranoid about all of the serial killers in the world. Since they were super well versed when it came to that sort of thing (my uncle worked as a police officer and investigated all sorts of murders from serial killers), they immediately had our home go into complete lockdown with my uncle's assistance. I then was given pepper spray and a whistle to alert people by them, which I had to carry with me EVERYWHERE from my college to the gym where I took my aerobics classes. 

It was kind of annoying with my parents trying to control whatever I did, but I kept my cool and just did what they said, even if it made me more distant from them. I just wanted to have my own life without them breathing down my neck...

Let's take it from the top, shall we? My name is Celestina Wilson, but PLEASE call me Cellie instead. I'm twenty two years old, I have brown eyes and black hair, and I'm currently studying Dramatic Arts at Santa Monica College. Anyways, enough about me, let's talk about the summer that changed my life...

After stepping out of the shower when my aerobics class was done, I got dressed in my usual black clothes and leather jacket with buttons on it. I was just about to put my leather cap when I was interrupted by Montana, one of the other girls (outside of the new one) that was in the class with me. She was accompanied by the new girl that recently joined the class and I just waved at her.

"Cellie, I guess you haven't met the new girl, huh?" she asked me. 

"Uh, yeah." I said with a nod before holding out my hand to her. "My name's Celestina, but call me Cellie. Everyone here does..." 

"I'm Brooke, it's really nice to meet you. I came down here to study veterinary medicine over at Santa Monica College." the new girl said. 

"No way! I go there too! I'm studying Dramatic Arts!" I said with a gasp. 

Montana laughed at us and said, "You two are getting awfully friendly with each other. Come on, Brooke, let's have Cellie and I introduce you to the others..." 

I followed after Montana and Brooke to where the guys were waiting. Honestly, I thought Xavier, Chet, and Ray were pretty cool guys, even if they could be a little too much at times. 

"It's great to see that your parents decided to let you out, Cellie!" Xavier said, grinning at me. 

"Yeah, yeah, I know. They're even more of a pain now that school's been out for the summer." I said with a sarcastic laugh. 

"Remind me again what your parents do as a job?" Ray asked me. 

"They're English teachers." I said while watching Xavier dance a bit to the music on the radio. 

"Anyways, everyone, this is Brooke. Brooke, you already met both me and Cellie, but that's Ray, that's Xavier, and that's Chet." Montana said as she pointed out each person. 

"Hey, what's up?" Chet asked. 

I smiled while we all took the time to get to know Brooke a little more until a news story came up on the radio describing the Night Stalker's latest murder. With a groan, Xavier turned off the radio and thought for a moment before smiling right at us.

"Oh hell no, I know that look!" Chet said, rolling his eyes. 

"I got the perfect plan, guys! Because of all of this Night Stalker crap going on lately, I've decided to take a job as a camp counselor at the newly opened Camp Redwood to get away from it." Xavier said. "All six of us are going to get jobs up there for the summer!" 

"That sounds like fun." Ray said. 

Montana nodded and said, "Hell yeah! Several weeks of hanging out AND we get paid for it? Sign me up." 

"As long as I can work out these guns and the rest of my awesome body, I'll be happy." Chet said before flexing. 

I shook my head at him. 

"I would do ANYTHING to get away from my parents..." I said with sigh. 

However, Brooke was the only one who didn't say anything in response. 

"What about you, Brooke? You coming with us?" Xavier asked her. 

She shook her head and said, "Sorry, guys, I can't. I don't want to miss out on my summer courses..." 

I looked over my group after checking the time, knowing that my parents were probably going to lose their minds if I wasn't home on time. 

"Well, duty calls. See you guys tomorrow for an epic summer." I said before leaving. 

When I got home, I immediately started packing for my trip with hopes that my parents wouldn't notice. I was about to shut my suitcase when speak of the devil, they both walked in. You could say I took after both with my eye color from mom and my hair color from dad. 

"Are you going somewhere, Celestina?" Dad asked me when he saw the suitcase. 

"Uh, yeah, dad. The guys from my aerobics class invited me to spend the summer with them at this camp that they'll be counseling at." I said. 

Immediately, Mom went into panic mode and asked me, "But what about The Night Stalker? He's still out there killing people and I don't want you and your friends to be next!"

I groaned at both of them. 

"It's only for a few weeks and besides, it's outside of LA, which is out of his bounds. There's NO way he'll go outside of his main hunting grounds or whatever." I said, shaking my head. 

My parents looked like they were both seconds from freaking out. How typical...

"You can go, but we come with you and your Uncle Rob joins us to provide extra security to the camp." Mom said to me. 

I felt like I was going to pass out when I heard that: what did I get myself into? 

"It'll be tons of fun!" Dad said with a grin. "You love Uncle Rob!" 

It's true that I was Uncle Rob's favorite niece (well, his only niece) and he was pretty cool, but I had a bad feeling that he and my parents would cramp my style in front of my five friends. 

"" I said, laughing. 

The car ride there wasn't fun since my parents wouldn't stop going on and on about their own camp experiences as I just tried to concentrate on listening to my mixtape from my Walkman. 

"...and then, my cabinmate, Bucky, found the biggest pinecone ever! Honey, you should've seen the size of it!" Dad said. 

"I bet! This sounds way better than the story about how me and Rob were almost attacked by squirrels because he thought it would be a good idea to raid their home." Mom said, laughing. "He thought that they were going to infect the entire campground with rabies, so he thought that planning this raid was a good idea." 

I rolled my eyes and asked, "You're both ridiculous, you know that?" 

I could've been with my friends talking about life or some shit, screaming out the lyrics of songs on the radio with the windows down, and cracking open some beer bottles...but here I was listening to my parents' embarrassing stories and I couldn't go back to change it. Summer was practically ruined!

"Did I tell you about how Rob and Becky Fern got stuck kissing because they locked braces?" Mom asked.

Dad shook his head and said, "No, but now I'm curious to hear about it..." 

I groaned as mom went on and on about what happened to Uncle Rob. I looked out the window at the passing trees, which seemed to go on for hours and hours as we drove. It was completely endless! I just put my head back on my seat, deciding to take a nap for the rest of the ride.

"CELESTINA, WE'RE HERE!" Mom said, which made me jump. 

"What the hell, mom?!" I asked as I got out of the car with them. 

Nearby, a police car was parked and there was Uncle Rob observing the area before he saw us and ran up to me. He hadn't changed a bit with his unusually pale skin, his messy brown hair, goatee, and hazel-grey eyes while also wearing eyeliner (I don't think that was part of the regulations, but according to mom, he was always a rebel).

"Hey there, kiddo!" he said while ruffling my hair. "Did you miss me?" 

"Not one bit, Uncle Rob." I said sarcastically. 

He turned to my parents and said, "And it's great to see you and Paul again, Amy." 

Before they could speak up, we were approached by a blonde woman with glasses. 

"I take you two are the new cabin supervisors and your daughter is a counselor for this year?" she asked. 

We nodded. 

"And I'm here for security reasons!" Uncle Rob said. 

The woman raised her eyebrow at us before saying, "My name is Margaret Booth and I'm the camp director of Camp Redwood. Please, follow me." 

She led us towards the camp as I looked around at the trees. I ignored her ramblings about the rules and her incredibly strict beliefs (as well as meeting people like the cook, the nurse, and the activities director) before I noticed a guy a bit older than me preparing to light a cigarette. I looked away immediately when he saw me, continuing on with the tour. Soon enough, we were joined by my friends, so I broke apart from my family to spend time with them. 

"Hey, guys! It's great to see you!" I said before noticing Brooke. "Oh, did you decide to come along?" 

"Yeah, it...wasn't safe back in LA. Maybe this will be for the better." she said while looking away for a moment. 

Xavier suddenly pulled the rest of us into a hug and said, "Well, that's tubular! We FINALLY get to have the summer to ourselves." 

I wanted to mention how unlikely that was with my parents and Uncle Rob around, but I didn't want to spoil the fun of spending time with my friends. We just explored together and chatted. 

"Did you see that guy in black smoking? Do you think he's a counselor like us?" Montana asked. 

"Yeah, I mean, doesn't he know that he could burn down this whole forest?" Ray said. 

Chet grinned and asked, "Where can I start chopping wood?" 

I laughed before they started telling me their crazy story about how they ran over a hiker and dragged him to camp to get medical attention, which was surprising and eventful compared to my drive over. 

"Are you guys going to just stand around or move your asses?" a voice asked us. 

We turned and saw the guy from earlier taking the cigarette out of his mouth: he had floppy brown hair and the darkest brown eyes I've ever seen. To say that he left me speechless was a total understatement.

"Well, hello there, cutie!" Montana said with a grin. "My name's Montana!" 

How typical...she was always the friendly and flirty type when it came to meeting new people.

"Greetings and salutations, gang. I'm Spencer, Spencer Dean." he said. 

Soon, we all introduced ourselves to Spencer until I was the only one left. I watched him hold out his hand for me to shake, which made me jump a bit. 

"Oh! Um, I'm Celestina, but call me Cellie." I said, shaking it. 

"What a lovely name..." he said with a slight smirk. "Well, it was great meeting you guys, but I'm heading towards the lake to take a smoke. See you at the campfire."

I took a deep breath once he was gone, noticing that Xavier was smirking at me. 

"Ooooh, Cellie's got a crush..." Xavier said in a singsong voice. 

I glared at him. 

"Come on, Xavier! We just met him!" Ray said, groaning.

Brooke nodded and said, "Ray's right. After all, you can't fall in love with a guy you just met." 

I covered my face in embarrassment. Why did I have to have such crazy friends? 

"Whatever, guys. Let's just get a move on..." Chet said while he rolled his eyes. 

With that, we continued to explore the camp, but I had a feeling that someone was watching us...

We sat around the campfire that night with Spencer and the nurse, Rita. Rita seemed pretty nice, but I was too busy ducking away every time I noticed that Spencer was staring right at me or winking in my direction. It didn't help that both Montana and Xavier were smirking at me whenever they noticed what I was doing. Thank god for Ray and Brooke to keep them both in line while Chet just didn't care. 

"Don't you guys think it's weird that you seven were hired with no prior experience?" Rita asked us. 

My friends and I shrugged while Spencer pulled out a cigarette and prepared to light it. 

"Well, we were just trying to get away from the killing sprees in LA." I said as I gestured to my friends. "What exactly is so wrong about that?" 

"Yeah, we're just here to chill." Montana said. 

Rita looked at all of us like were insane as Spencer just spent time tossing his lighter up and catching it while it fell back down. 

"Anybody that knows anything about Camp Redwood doesn't want to be here. Are any of you familiar with the Mr. Jingles murders?" she asked us. 

Xavier, Chet, Montana, and Ray shook their heads while I looked over at Brooke and Spencer. 

"Mr. Jingles? That has to be the DUMBEST damn name for a killer I've ever heard!" Chet said with a laugh. 

"Uh, I don't think I've heard of him." Ray said, shaking his head. "Who is he exactly?" 

Xavier and Montana looked at each other for a moment before laughing with Chet. 

"Oh my god, Chet is actually right! That IS a dumb name!" Montana said, wiping some tears from her eyes. 

Xavier stopped laughing and said, "I've heard dumber in my film career..." 

Suddenly, I found myself locking eyes with Spencer after watching how my friends reacted. My face went completely red when he winked and smiled at me. Why did he have to be so attractive?

"I think I read about it...I believe that it happened fourteen years ago or something like that." Brooke said. 

Spencer took his cigarette out of a moment and said, "I might've gotten word of it, hell, I wasn't even in this state at the time!" 

Okay, now that was interesting...I knew that I HAD to learn more about him after this story was over. 

"My uncle mentioned it as one of the first cases he ever worked on." I said, looking over at my parents who were talking with Uncle Rob. 

Rita then told us the whole story about these murders and I remembered that it was like how Uncle Rob explained it to me: he was a veteran during the Vietnam War who cut off the ears of his victims as trophies and killed at least ten people. 

She was in the middle of telling us when Margaret interrupted. 

"Actually, there were only nine victims. I was presumed dead since I lost my ear, but I survived and became the star witness at Richter's trial." she said before glaring at us. "DON'T mention this story to anyone else...and Mr. Dean, put that cigarette out this instance!" 

Spencer rolled his eyes before throwing the cigarette into the campfire.

"There. Happy?" he asked. 

Margaret nodded while leaving us be. After a moment of awkward silence, Brooke stood up. 

"I'm just going to check on the hiker we accidentally ran over." she said, running towards the infirmary. 

I stepped away from my friends, walking up to Spencer. 

"Hey..." I said as I felt my nerves nearly explode. 

"Hey yourself. You're Cellie, right?" Spencer asked me. 

I nodded.

"Yeah, and you're Spencer." 

He looked back at my friends before turning to me. 

"Let's just ditch them. Come on, I've got something to show you." 

With that, he gestured me to follow him, which I did. I went after him behind the cabins and watched him jump on top of a crate that was sitting back there (for some reason) before holding his hand out to me. 

"You're not scared of heights, are you?" Spencer asked me. 

I blinked several times to get it through my head before saying, "No, of course not! I'm not scared of anything!" 

Immediately, I grabbed his hand and he helped me up onto the roof from the crate. My jaw almost dropped when I saw the view from up here, which looked over the camp grounds and the lake nearby. I took a seat next to Spencer who leaned back against the roof. 

"Back when I was a kid during summer camp somewhere else, I would climb to the top of the cabin roof and just stare up at the sky when it felt like everything was closing in on me." 

I sort of related to that comment since I would do the aerobics class where I met my friends or go act in the college auditorium whenever I wanted to get away. 

"You mentioned that you weren't in the state during those murders. Care to explain about that?" 

Spencer lit up a cigarette and said to me, “After my mom died, my dad basically buried himself in his work, so we moved across the country because of it.” 

"Oh...I'm so sorry about your loss." I said. 

He shrugged before breathing out some smoke. 

"Hey, it's cool. Besides, it was years ago...anyways, looking at the stars keeps me sane." 

I moved slightly closer to him as he gestured up at the sky. 

"At least you have something nice to look at. Honestly, they're beautiful..."

Spencer moved his bangs back once I said that, but I was unaware that he was looking at me. 

"Hey, isn't that one of your friends down there?" he asked, gazing down below us. 

I peered over the side of the roof and saw Montana talking to the activities director while they went towards the lake. 

" is. If they're out past curfew, both Ms. Booth and my Uncle Rob are going to kill them." I said while watching. 

Spencer kept watching them while I looked up at the skies. 

"It's looking like it'll rain any minute. You want to head back inside, Spence? Oh, are you okay if I call you that?" 

He turned his attention from the lake to me and shrugged in response. I felt my heart jump when we looked at each other for a brief moment, panicking on what I should do or say. 

"Yeah, I'm cool with it. As for the sky? Meh, I think it's just a little cloudy, so we'll be fine."

I found myself moving slightly closer to him before looking back up at the sky.