I haven’t gotten any new prompts today so I went and grabbed one from one of my favorite writing blogs, Write World, so that as I finish some laundry I could stay bust and get my writing in for the day.
Prompt: “This wasn’t in the pamphlet.”
This wasn’t in thr pamphlet. Shane would know, she had read that thing front to back and back to front and all the fine print she could. Leaving or losing someone on the tour in the woods was not part of the “nature adventure hike” Harley had signed her up for.
“It will be good for you. Stretch your legs, see the scenery, make friends, get the most out of your time here at camp.” she had heard her cabin leader say all while shaking her head from side to side as fast as she could manage without activating her vertigo. Horrifically her mom had agreed and when Shane had called her to complain to her and so somehow she wound up promising to go so she didn’t disappoint her mom…again.
But again, being left behind in the middle of this god forsaken forest was not on the camp pamphlet she found at the main cabin about planned activities offered. How she got separated Shane will never know because just 30 seconds ago she was trailing so close behind a group of girls, who were actually friends and actually signed up for this, she was nearly in their backpacks. Then some strange noise caught her attention and as she turned to find the source she tripped over a stick. Nobody stopped to help her because she had yet to make those promised friends and so she was in fact as invisible as she felt.
Looking around again she tried to find any sort of well worn path, one that could lead her to the others or at least back to the camp. It was pointless because nothing looked familiar, not that her head facing down nearly the entire time had helped, she couldn’t give anyone a clue as to where she was.
Defeat was a rather common feeling and while it was still way to scary it was almost comforting to Shane. Finding an overturned tree nearby she sat down and began to just try and calm down. It was he middle of the morning and the pamphlet had said there are two designated hiking times every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and that meant the later afternoon group would be by some time later so worse case scenario Shane waits here for a few hours.
It was a solution but not one Shane particularly loved. She wanted out of these woods and as soon as possible. Why did her parents think camp on the other side of the state was a good idea? A good way for Shane to do for three weeks while they went on some sort of cruise she couldn’t do because of just how sea sick she got. This was horrible. A bad idea from top to bottom that Shane would not let them forget for a long time.
Something like 45 minutes pass and the entire time Shane just runs through every meditation she knows and does what she considers to be a good job at not completely losing her wits. But when the sound of quick and hard foot steps crack through the silence she let’s out a small squeak.
Her whole body stiffens and her nails begin to dig into the meat of her thighs as she grips them. The sound seems to be coming from the direction she is facing and it calms her just enough to know that it won’t be any sort of sneak attack. Eventually the sound is all but on top of Shane and she can start to see flashes of a mint green jacket bobbing and weaving with the tread of the forest floor.
Long chestnut hair whips from side to side from the high ponytail it’s owner wears. Shane feels much less worried about stranger danger than she did just second ago and she almost feels a little bit saved. As the girl makes her way closer the buds become a parent in her ears and Shane knows that she will have to yell or pssoibly throw herself in front of his person to be noticed. And as she is considering the second option the girl looks up and catches sight of Shane, she quickly removes the headphones and slows her pace to a walk before giving Shane a wave.
“You lost?” she is barely even breathing hard and Shane makes a mental note to be jealous before nodding still not sure she can trust the person. “Did you come out here on your own or with the morning group hike?”
Shane must give a really confused look, because how did this person know about the morning group, so the girl raises her hand and points to the lanyard on Shane’s chest. “Camp Shirehamp right?”
Feeling like even more of an idiot Shane look down and plays a little with the string that holds her camp ID. “Yeah, yes.” she says in a rush, “I was wih the morning group, against my will, and somehow I got myself separated and left behind.”
The girl laughs a soft laugh and makes a few more strides in Shane’s direction with her hand extended, “Don’t feel too bad you are far from the first. I’m Harriet, a counselor at the camp.”
Shane has not seen her around but it’s only been three days and admittedly Shane checked out after day one and has paid very little attention. Reaching out to shake Harriet’s hand though feels like a good choice so Shane does so before falling back into a silence. Which doesn’t take Harriet long to fill, “Okay so, I take it you’d probably like to get back to camp and not the place you feel abandoned?”
“That would be fantatsic.” Shane says with as much sencerity as she can find in her still mostly freaked out and anxious brain. Harriet laughs again and then points over Shane’s shoulder and leads the way she seems to know by heart. They fall into a mostly easy rythym of walking snd talking. Getting lost in the stupid woods wasn’t in that pamphlet but making friends been so Shane wouldn’t count today as a total loss.