Also by the Author:
Project Integrate Series:
Ashes to Ashes
A World Without Angels
The Hairy Tail Series
Cinderella is Evil
Killing Snow White
Dark Eyes: Cursed
Copyright © 2013 Jamie Campbell
Jamie Campbell asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author.
“Given the millions of billions of Earth-like planets, life elsewhere in the Universe without a doubt, does exist. In the vastness of the Universe we are not alone.”
- Albert Einstein
It was burst-out-of-my-seat exciting to enter the gates of Camp Soho. The slow drive to the parking lot seemed eternally long, way too long to keep me contained. The moment we pulled up, I was out that door.
“Remember what we told you,” Mom started, for the hundredth time. “You need to be careful, keep on your toes, and remember the rules.”
“The project doesn’t stop just because you’re at summer camp,” Dad added.
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes and just nodded instead. “I remember the rules, and the project, and everything you’ve already lectured me about. I’ll be fine.”
Mom and Dad both enveloped me in a hug. I couldn’t believe how worried they were about leaving me. It was my first time away from them, but still, I was sixteen years old – they had to let go eventually.
“I’m seriously going to be okay,” I tried to reassure them again. “And I have a tracker in my shoulder. If I get lost, you’ll find me. You can’t get rid of me that easily.”
They gave me one last sad look before climbing into the car again. I made myself stand there and wave them off, despite how much I was dying to find my cabin.
The second they were out of sight, I was on my way. According to the map the counselor gave me, my new home for the next four weeks was the third cabin on the right. I practically ran there.
My best friend Lola was already sitting on her bunk inside. I threw my bag on the bed nearest her’s and plunked down on the mattress. “This is awesome.”
“It’s just camp,” Lola replied with her usual disinterest. Even though she was playing it down, I knew she had to be excited about the next four weeks. Who wouldn’t be excited about being away from home and in the great outdoors?
“But it’s camp with no parents.”
I earned a smile for my comment. “Are you on a sugar rush or something? It really is just camp.”
It wasn’t Lola’s first summer camp, surprisingly. For the past three years, I had to put up with the long weeks without her. No matter how much I begged my parents, they would never let me come before. Lola’s parents, on the other hand, were more than happy to ship her off.
I put away my clothes as the rest of our cabin buddies joined us. There were four bunks in the room, each containing two beds. I hadn’t planned on sharing such a small space with seven other girls but I wasn’t going to let it faze me. We were at camp, it was going to be fantastic. Nothing was going to ruin it for me.
“Amery, switch with me,” Sarah said, placing her bag on my bed.
“You don’t want the top bunk?” I asked.
She shook her head. “No, I don’t want to have to climb up there all the time. I want the bottom bunk.”
I clenched my jaw before taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. I was there first, I didn’t want the top bunk, I shouldn’t have to switch. But telling her no and making her upset was against the rules. Like my parents hadn’t drilled that into me a thousand times.
I forced a smile, hoping it looked more genuine than it felt. “Okay, let’s switch.” I picked up my pillow and threw it on the top bunk as she settled into the bottom one.
I had to keep reminding myself it was just a bed, nothing to get annoyed about. It would be fun sleeping on the top bunk, right? I didn’t have any brothers or sisters so I’d never slept in a bunk bed before. It was an adventure, that’s all.
A bell started tinkling somewhere outside. I looked toward Lola for some guidance. “It’s meeting time,” she sighed. All the girls started to file out, I tagged along at the back.
The campers were assembling in a circled area in the middle of the grounds. There were about fifty of us in total, although more and more were joining the group. On a small platform in the middle stood the counselors, identified by their bright red Camp Soho t-shirts. They waited patiently until everyone settled down.
“Welcome to Camp Soho where you’re going to have the time of your lives,” the male counselor started. I guessed he was in his early twenties, cute too. There really was something to this camp thing.
He started reeling through the ground rules and the program of events. I stopped listening the moment my eyes fell on one person. The only person who could ruin my entire summer, the only person who threatened to make the whole camp the opposite of awesome. Across the circle was Lochie Mercury, the most annoying, arrogant, and full of himself guy in our school.
He looked my way as I glared at him. His face beamed into a smile and I quickly looked away. My face burned a little at being caught staring. I didn’t want to be on Lochie’s radar and I had just firmly put myself there.
Lola leaned in. “What’s up?”
She stood on her tiptoes and scanned the faces. “I didn’t think this would be his thing.”
“Neither did I. Does he usually go to camp?”
Lola shrugged. “Not to Camp Soho.”
“He probably only came to annoy me,” I moaned. Apparently Lola thought that was hilarious as she burst into a round of giggles. My misery was entirely my own.
I tried to tune back into the counselor and block Lochie out. Yet every time my eyes wandered his way, he was staring back at me. I resisted the urge to poke my tongue out at him.
“He’s hot, huh?” Ella, one of my cabin mates elbowed me in the ribs and nodded toward Lochie. It was embarrassing to know I had been caught looking at him.
“He’s anything but hot,” I replied.
“Who are you talking about?” Sarah said, peering through the crowd.
“Lochie Mercury,” Ella whispered. “How lucky are we to get him for a full four weeks?”
“I call dibs,” Taylor chimed in, standing on my other side.
“You can’t call dibs on a person,” Sarah explained. “I say we let him decide.”
“Nope, I’m still calling dibs.”
“If anyone can call dibs, it’s Amery,” Lola butted in. “She saw him here first. Finders keepers.”
All the girls looked at me. I put my hands up, surrendering. “I don’t want him, trust me. I am definitely not calling dibs.” I gave Lola a thanks very much look, wishing she had kept her mouth shut.
For some reason, Lola thought Lochie and I were perfect for each other. I had no idea where she got that thought, but she had been harping on about it for years now. I, on the other hand, considered b
“Okay, settle into your rooms and we’ll meet back here in one hour for our first night celebratory dinner,” the cute counselor finished. I hoped he didn’t say anything important that I should have listened to.
The crowd disbursed. My cabin mates and I started wandering back to our room. Considering I had earlier unpacked, I didn’t have anything to do. I decided to go for a walk instead and familiarize myself with my new home for the next few weeks.
My parents had trained me to know you always needed to be familiar with your surroundings. If anything were to happen, it would make you stronger if it came to a fight. You could take the agents out of the FBI, but you couldn’t take the FBI out of the agents. Living with two ex-Special Agents was not an easy feat.
The camp was huge, rows and rows of cabins were dotted throughout the woods. The main building consisted of a big activities room and a dining hall. Delicious smells were already escaping from the kitchen, dinner could not come soon enough according to my stomach.
Counselors had almost finished setting up for the first night celebrations. Beside the main lake, a campfire was burning, filling my nose with a mixture of smoke and pine needles. It was just like I imagined camp would be, I wasn’t going to let Lochie Mercury ruin it for me.
The hour passed quickly and the campfire circle started to fill with kids. I waited until Lola arrived and we grabbed a burger each. Taking a seat on the wooden log, we ate with the others. I didn’t see Lochie anywhere, making me feel better.
When it grew dark and the only light came from the fire and moonlight, the counselors started a round of scary stories. I listened intently, most of the stories I hadn’t heard before. With each one, Lola rolled her eyes and declared it decidedly not scary.
Unfortunately, they were some of the scariest stories I had ever heard. Especially the one with the zombies and brain-eating bats. There were probably bats in the woods, they probably came out at night and flew into the cabins. Or got you on the path on the way there.
The speaking torch was passed around, everyone telling a story. Some were long and some short, most were terrifying. The torch was handed to me and I panicked. I had been so caught up in the stories I hadn’t even considered having one of my own ready.
I tried to hand it to Lola but a voice stopped me. “You can’t pass it along unless you tell a story.” I inwardly groaned when I realized the voice belonged to Lochie. Where had he snuck in from?
The counselors nodded in agreement. “Come on, Amery, don’t be shy.”
I only had one story that might be considered scary. At least, I thought it was terrifying. I held the flashlight up to my chin like I’d seen the others doing and took a deep breath.
Ignite by Jamie Campbell / Fantasy / Romance & Love have rating 3.2 out of 5 / Based on19 votes