Chapter Nine: A Disappearance and a Challenge
Later that night at campfire…
"I still don't think that it was a good idea to challenge your brother like you did Ellie." Stated Claire.
"Oh come on Claire, you can't blame Ellie for doing that, Aaron and Curtis have been boasting about winning the scavenger hunt to practically everyone around camp, it's about time that someone other than me decided to step up to the challenge." Interjected Jessie.
"It's not the scavenger hunt that I'm worried about Jessie, it's the disproving ghosts part of the challenge that I'm worried about." Explained Claire.
"Claire you're not going to throw that nonbeliever's curse at me again are you?" Asked Ellie in a half annoyed tone of voice.
"Well there's that and there's the fact that everyone who had tried to prove that the Greensley ghost legends was either killed by a curse or they mysteriously disappeared." Explained Claire as she nervously bit her lower lip.
"Claire you worry to much, don't worry I'll be careful, I promise." Promised Ellie as she Claire and Jessie found an open log that was in front of a log that Oz, Crissy, and Serena were sitting on.
"Uh where did Aiyana go? Wasn't she just with you guys?" Asked Jessie as she realized that Aiyana was no longer with Serena and Crissy.
"Lana took her back to the cabins, she said she was feeling sick." Replied Crissy.
"Jueez, I hope it isn't anything contagious." Replied Jessie.
"Oh you don't have to worry about that, it's probably an upset stomach or food poisoning from something that she ate." Informed Crissy.
"I sure hope she feels better." Said Claire in a sympathetic tone of voice.
"Me too." Agreed Ellie.
After Ellie said this "spy" Malloy's voice resounded through the microphone as everyone managed to get settled in for campfire.
"I'm pleased to announce that there have been no further instances of thefts from Greensley Castle Estates and other areas just outside of Camp Greens Lake grounds, as you all know tomorrow night is the night that we are all invited to Earl Greensley's castle estates for an overnight either in Marcine's Cabin or Earl Greensley's castle, in order to make it to Earl Greensley's castle one will have to pass a few challenges along the way, challenges that have been set up in the haunted hedge maze area this year, more details will be discussed tomorrow, now without further delay here's Rex with tonight's campfire story." Informed "Spy" Malloy as she stepped aside from the microphone and allowed "tell- tale" Rex to start his story.
"Last night you all heard about the curse of Dead man's swamp, the curse that Earl Greensley's favorite servant put in the waters that surround the abandoned fishing dock, but what was worse was the curse that "one eyed" Earl put on another servant named Marcine Warren, a curse that was only meant for his son Lucas and Marcine but instead ended up cursing him and his wife Bonnie as well." Started "tell-tale" Rex.
"This one again." Mumbled Claire under her breath as she recognized the story that "tell-tale" Rex was telling.
"What's the matter Claire are you scared?" Asked Curtis in a mocking tone of voice from a log that he was sharing with Aaron and Lynn who were sitting next to the log that Jessie, Claire, and Ellie were sharing.
"No just annoyed." Replied Claire as she tried not to sound as aggravated as she was feeling.
"If you're so annoyed Claire then why don't you just leave?" Asked Curtis.
"Because if I can learn to deal with you then I can also learn to tolerate "tell-tale" Rex's stories." Retorted Claire with a soft sigh as she returned her attention to "tell-tale" Rex as he started to tell his story.
"Marcine Warren was the youngest servant that was employed at Greensley Estates, she was twenty five years old and to the twenty eight year old Lucas Greensley she was the most beautiful women that he had ever seen."
"Oh brother not this sickening love story again, why doesn't he just get to the part of the story that talks about the curse and skip the whole love story introduction." Commented Curtis as he rolled his eyes in annoyance.
"He'll get to it momentarily Curtis, now please be quiet." Requested Claire as she calmly got Curtis to settle back down again so that "tell-tale" Rex could continue with his story.
"Lucas knew that his father would never allow him to marry someone from the lower class like Marcine, but Lucas didn't care, he was head over heels in love with Marcine and he didn't care what class she was from, as soon as "one eyed" Earl discovered that Lucas was in love with Marcine he threatened that Marcine would lose her job if they chose not to keep away from each other, he stated that as long as Lucas lived in his castle that he could never have contact with Marcine again."
"Realizing the loophole in "one eyed" Earl's demand Lucas made a log cabin just outside the borderlines of Greensley estates, a log cabin that he chose to move in with Marcine, it's the same log cabin that still stands just outside of Earl Greensley estates today."
"Furious that Lucas decided to disobey and then marry Marcine "one eyed" Earl fired Marcine, about a week later "one eyed" Earl and Lucas Greensley's big argument "one eyed" Earl brought a cursed dagger to Lucas and Marcine's cabin as a peace offering."
"Having no idea that the dagger was cursed with a rare type of poison that would cause any open wound to be poisoned both Marcine and Lucas Greensley accepted this dagger, a dagger that both Lucas and Marcine had mysteriously got cut just enough to absorb the poison that would cause their wounds to never stop bleeding, it was this curse that brought their untimely deaths, a curse that became as Lucas Greensley's bloodshed dagger curse, a curse that would curse anyone who had direct skin contact with the dagger." Concluded "tell-tale" Rex as he finally brought his story to a close.
During "tell-tale" Rex's story Ellie could feel the gash on her finger prickle slightly in remembrance of having contact with Lucas Greensley's cursed bloodshed dagger. A curse that after Bonnie Greensley's ax was discovered in the bus tire seemed to be what started all of the unfortunate accidents that had been happening around Ellie at Camp Greens Lake.
"Get real Ellie, there's no way that Lucas Greensley's bloodshed dagger cursed you, it's just a Camp Greens Lake superstition, the dagger isn't really cursed, that's impossible… it's the old poison in the dagger that caused Marcine Warren and Lucas Greensley's untimely death, not the dagger, it just couldn't be the dagger that was cursed." Thought Ellie silently to herself.
"Ellie, hey Ellie! Snap out of it! Are you alright?" Asked Claire as the sound of Claire's voice brought Ellie's troubled thoughts back to reality.
"I think so… I mean of course I am." Replied Ellie in a half distracted tone of voice.
"Don't worry about Lucas Greensley's bloodshed dagger curse, it only curses the person that held it for the amount of time that they held it, and the amount of time that you had direct skin contact with it, well it wasn't enough to curse you… anyways we better go and join the others the last thing that we want to do is to be stranded out here alone in the dark." Reassured Claire as she politely changed the subject.
"Right the others, that's head back." Agreed Ellie as she turned on her flashlight and shook herself out of the half distracted state of mind that she had been in.
Ellie and Claire continued to quietly make their way back to their cabins until they arrived at the end of the swinging maiden bridge where they met up with Lynn and Jessie just as Serena stormed off shouting something at Jessie.
"Fine no believe Serena, next time Serena no help, next time Serena just see Jessie disappear like others!" Shouted Serena as she took off to head back to the cabins before Jessie had the chance to respond to her.
"Uh do we even want to know what happened?" Asked Claire in a slightly concerned tone of voice.
"Oh Serena just nearly pushed me off the swinging maiden bridge, I can't believe she did that just to try to prove that her stupid ghost stories were true." Grumbled Jessie.
"Jessie if you don't mind me saying, I don't think that Serena was lying to you when she said that she didn't try to push you off of the bridge." Interjected Lynn politely.
"What? Oh come on Lynn, Don't tell me that you believe that a ghost tried to push me off the bridge too?" Asked Jessie in an annoyed tone of voice.
"I don't believe that it was a ghost, but I know that it couldn't have been Serena." Explained Lynn.
"Lynn besides you she was the only one there, if it wasn't her then who else could it of been?" Asked Jessie as she tried not to lose her temper.
"I believe that's a question that neither one of us really wants an answer for Jessie… Look Serena was to far away from you to have pushed you off of the bridge, unless Serena was an extremely fast runner then it's not likely that she tried to push you off of the bridge." Explained Lynn.
"I hate to interrupt but we better head back up to the cabins before we unintentionally break curfew." Warned Claire.
"Whatever." Grumbled Jessie as she started to head back to the cabin area without waiting for Claire, Ellie, or Lynn.
"First Kate, now Jessie, Serena sure seems to be getting into a lot of arguments with people lately at camp, if she doesn't stop those ghost stories of hers then she won't have any friends at Camp Greens Lake at all." Commented Ellie.
"I'm not sure what happened between Kate and Serena but from what I saw happen between her and Jessie it seemed to be a result from a misunderstanding." Explained Lynn as she Claire, and Ellie started to head back to their cabins together.
"Misunderstandings… well around Serena that does seem to happen a lot." Commented Claire.
"It's interesting how a simple misunderstanding can cause someone to jump to wrongful conclusions about someone, something that I can definitely relate to." Replied Lynn.
"That must mean that you notice how strange some people act when they are around you when they discovered that you are "spy"-ur Tai's niece." Explained Claire as she realized what Lynn was talking about.
"Yeah those conclusions, people think that just because I'm related to "spy" Malloy that I'm going to turn them in, but what they need to realize is that the only person that I'm going to turn in is the person that is responsible for all of the unexplained accidents that have been happening at Camp Greens Lake, accidents that if you ask me don't seem to be happening by accident." Replied Lynn in a determined tone of voice.
"I plan on exposing whoever it is too, if I can expose whoever it is then I can burst that supernatural bubble that Aaron seems to be expanding at camp." Stated Ellie.
"If your thinking of taking Aaron down then you must be thinking of taking Curtis down as well, if that's the case then I'm in too, it's about time someone put an end to all of the chaos that has been happening at Camp Greens Lake." Agreed Claire as she realized what Ellie was planning to do.
"Chaos at Camp Greens Lake, now what would be giving you that sort of an idea?" Asked Lynn in a playful and sarcastic tone of voice.
"Everything." Concluded both Claire and Ellie in unison.
In response to this happening Claire, Ellie, and Lynn let out a short and relieved laugh. Something that indicated that in spite of all the chaos that had been happening at Camp Greens Lake that there were still some ways to have fun as well.
The following morning at the long range archery range…
Ellie and Aaron's cabin groups lead by Shelly and Jonas again had managed to arrive safely and on time to the long range archery range. A place where they were meant by "jittery" Gen. The last head tribesperson that they had expected to have an archery range.
"G-g-good mourning haunted captivators, p-p-please gather round so that we can go over the rules." Instructed "jittery" Gen.
"Figures "jittery" gen would be our instructor again, hopefully this year she won't end up breaking anything like she did last year." Murmured Jessie so that it was just loud enough for a couple people around her to hear.
"R-r-rule one, s-s-siece fire while any living person or creature is in the archery range, r-r-rule two, n-n-no shooting outside of the long range archery area, a-a-and rule three, a-a-all equipment is to be returned immediately after the archery range session from where one originally got it from." Instructed "jittery' Gen.
"F-f-form four lines, t-t-then we can get things started."
After "jittery" Gen finished instructing this all of the haunting captivators in Aaron and Ellie's cabin groups made four unorderly lines. Unorderly lines that both Jonas and Shelly had to reorganize.
"Check this shot out!" commented Curtis as he stepped up to shoot at the target board that was in front of the archery range station that he was planted in front of.
After focusing for a moment on the target board Curtis sent an arrow soaring towards the target board which landed on the second outer yellow circle near the inside of the target.
"You call that a shot! Try beating this one!" Called out Jessie as she stepped up to her archery target and shot off an arrow that just barely missed the inside of the black bulls eye and of the target and ended up landing on the first yellow center ring.
"Whoa, that was close Nelson." Commented Oz as he set up a shot at his station which landed on the outer white circle of the archery target. A mark that strayed far away from the others.
"Dude I sure hope you didn't mean for that mark to miss-whoa-" Commented Aaron as he struggled to get the bow and arrow that Curtis gave him to shoot. Something that when Aaron took his shot caused Aaron's arrow to hit the lower wooden post of the archery board.
Glad that Aaron's overconfidence had managed to do him in Ellie lined up to take her shot. A shot which landed her arrow just a few centimeters above Jessie's arrow.
"Whoa Ellie you almost took out Jessie's" Commented Todd as he lined up to take his shot which missed the yellow rings of the target board and landed on the inner red target ring instead.
"Green who was that to." Challenged Curtis.
"Hey it beat Oz's didn't it." Responded Todd in a playful tone of voice.
After Todd finished saying this Aiyana shyly walked up to her archery station. Then with trembling hands she nervously picked up an arrow and received the bow that she needed to use from Oz.
"Whoa, are you alright?" Asked Oz in a concerned tone of voice.
"Uh-huh." Replied Aiyana as she nervously bit her lip.
Silently everyone watched Aiyana load her bow with her arrow then she pulled back on the bow and with trembling hands she released the arrow. As the arrow was released from Aiyana's bow it curved away from the target and veered off into the woods.
"T-t-that was the last arrow, n-n-now everyone siece firing until all of the arrows have been retrieved by their archers." Instructed "jittery" Gen.
Curtis, Aaron, Claire,Ellie, Jessie, Todd, and Aiyana immediately headed out into the archery range to retrieve their arrows and everyone returned to their assigned archery station except for Aiyana who seemed to have disappeared as she went searching for her arrow in the woods.
"Do any of you guys have any idea how far Aiyana's arrow went?"Asked Crissy in a concerned tone of voice as she realized that Aiyana still hadn't returned.
"Not that far, I wonder what staking Aiyana so long, that's not like her." Replied Claire in a concerned tone of voice.
"D-d-don't tell me that she wondered into the woods, i-i-it's not good to go into the woods alone, i-i-it's not good at all." Stated "jittery" Gen in a nervous tone of voice.
"Gen that's not over react, I'll go and check in the woods for her if you'd like me to, that way you and Jonas can stay her and keep things going." Suggested Shelly.
"S-s-sure that would be fine, b-b-be careful." Agreed "jittery" Gen.
After "jittery" Gen had agreed to let Shelly go to search for Aiyana a loud thud followed by the sound of snapping twigs could be heard. Then the sound of Aiyana's startled scream. A scream that indicated that something was wrong.
"O-o-oh no, n-n-not again." Murmured "jittery" Gen.
"Gen don't start, I'll go see what happened." Replied Shelly as she calmly and quickly descended into the woods to see if she could find Aiyana.
After Shelly disappeared into the woods a strange thick fog started to billow out from behind her. A fog that seemed to come and disappear from out of nowhere.
"O-o-oh no, n-n-not this year, c-c-come on everyone get behind me." Instructed "jittery" Gen as she signaled for everyone to get behind her inside of the long range archery station.
Quickly everyone obeyed what "jittery" Gen instructed and they gathered behind her just as what looked like a shadow hovered just behind a tree a couple feet away from the archery range.
"Wicked." Murmured Aaron as he quietly got out his handheld cam corder and started to record what everyone was seeing.
"Aaron this is hardly the time for that." Scolded Ellie.
"It's the perfect time, now sush, you're going to ruin it." Retorted Aaron as he intentionally ignored Ellie.
"Gen what's going on yo?" Asked Jonas in a concerned tone of voice.
"I-I-I'm not sure." Replied "jittery" Gen.
"L-l-look whoever you are go away, y-y-you don't belong here, g-g-go away, g-g-go away from where you came, t-t-this is private property, p-p-property that belongs to Camp Greens Lake!"
The shadowy mass hovered for a moment then with a bright white flash of light and smoke it disappeared along with all of the fog that had gathered.
"Was that a ghost or something yo?" Asked Jonas in a concerned tone of voice.
"I-I-I don't know, t-t-that's never happened before." Explained "jittery" Gen.
"A-a-anyways, i-i-if everyone's okay that's continue the morning activity, I-I-I'm sure that Shelly will be back shortly." added "jittery" Gen as she managed to get everyone to reline themselves and then start up their archery stations again.
About an hour and a half later…
It was the end of the mourning long range archery session when Shelly finally managed to reappear at the long range archery station. Something that considering that Aiyana wasn't with her indicated that Shelly hadn't found Aiyana either.
"Sorry mate, but I only found her stray arrow and this beaded bracelet." Reported Shelly as she handed "jittery" Gen the arrow that Aiyana had shot along with one of Aiyana's beaded bracelets.
"Shelly no find Aiyana, please tell Serena it not so, say it not so." Said Serena in a half stunned and half disappointed tone of voice.
"Sorry… but we'll keep looking." Replied Shelly.
"W-w-we'll do more than that, w-w-we'll find her, o-o-one way or another we will find her, I-I-I'm not losing another haunting captivator." Stated "jittery" Gen in a determined tone of voice.
By the determined look on "jittery" Gen's face everyone could tell that she wasn't going to give up until she found Aiyana. This meant that "jittery" Gen was going to keep searching for Aiyana no matter what happened.
Later on that afternoon at lunch…
All of the haunting captivators from Ellie and Aaron's cabin groups had gathered at their usual table. As Ellie sat and stared at the empty seat that Aiyana usually sat at she began to feel slightly guilty and awkward. Something that caused Ellie to nervously start babbling.
"Aiyana was so quiet, and considerate, I can't believe that she disappeared like she did, As frustrating as it is that she disappeared what's even more frustrating is that we have no idea who caused Aiyana to disappear, nobody deserves to disappear like Aiyana did, nobody does."
"My Aunt Tai said that people have disappeared from Camp Greens Lake before, until now I just thought it was just one of those camp stories that people made up." Commented Lynn.
"It just doesn't make any sense, I've heard of people disappearing from Camp Greens Lake, but there was never any actual concrete proof like physical evidence to prove that people actually have disappeared, as a matter of fact I think that Aiyana has to be the first haunting captivator who's actually disappeared so close to actual Camp Greens Lake grounds." informed Crissy.
"So the rumors are true, somebody actually disappeared from your cabin group?" Asked a short blond haired girl who happened to be passing by on her way to her lunchroom table.
"It's not really something we like to talk about, and I'm sure that somebody will find Aiyana soon." Interjected Claire as she politely got the short blond haired girl to leave and return to her table.
"At least I hope they do." Added Claire as soon as she was sure that the short blond haired girl was out of earshot.
"What if nobody find Aiyana, what if Greensley spirits to angry at nonbelievers?" Asked Serena in a concerned tone of voice.
"Oh Serena don't start that-" Started Jessie.
"-Do no call Serena superstitious!" interrupted Serena.
"Alright, jueez Serena calm down." Replied Jessie.
"Calm down! Aiyana is missing and Jessie tell Serena calm down! Serena calm down when nonbeliever curse is broken." Responded Serena as she calmly recomposed herself so that she wouldn't lose her temper.
"Curse's aside that's just try to stick together, and avoid straying off of the trails, for we can't help to find Aiyana if we end up disappearing like she did." Informed Claire.
"If we want to help find Aiyana then we're going to need physical evidence like Crissy mentioned." Explained Lynn.
"Then we'll just have to find a way to get some without disappearing like Aiyana ourselves." Replied Claire.
"You know Claire it's like funny how people seem to disappear when they are like around you." Accused Kate as she hinted that Claire might have been the one responsible for all the disappearances.
"Kate if you are trying to pick a fight this is hardly the time." Replied Claire as she politely refrained from losing her temper.
"I'm not like trying to start anything Claire, I'm just like suggesting that it's interesting that you should happen to be around Aiyana right before she disappeared just like you were with "love bug" Luna and "slick" Rick before they like disappeared."
"Kate that was just a coincidence."
"Coincidence or like no coincidence Claire, I'd like hate to be the one responsible for like all of the supposive accidents that have been happening." Warned Kate.
"Accidents that we can stop if we can gather up enough evidence to figure out who is responsible for all of the accidents." Informed Ellie as she intentionally interrupted Kate and Claire to keep them from having an argument with each other.
"Accidents that oddly seem to be happening around the same places that are mentioned in "tell-tale" Rex's nightly stories... Duh I should have seen it before, that's how it happened, up until Aiyana's disappearances all of the accidents or disappearances seem to coincide with the stories." Explained Claire.
"Wow Claire I didn't realize that before, if the accident happen in the places that "tell-tale" Rex is telling in his stories then the next accident will be staged at either Earl Greensley's Estates or at the "chicken coop"-ur Marcine's cabin, if the accidents follow the stories then I bet that somebody is going to stage another accident there." Commented Jessie as she caught onto what Claire was explaining.
"As if, that's not like jump to conclusions." Replied Kate.
"I'm not saying that it will happen Kate, I'm just saying that it's a possibility that somebody on an opposing scavenger team might try to stage another accident." Retorted Jessie.
"If they do then hopefully they will get themselves caught, that way nobody has to get hurt with all of the ridiculous accidents that have been going on, hopefully then the best scavenger team will win." Suggested Lynn.
"Are you guys talking about the scavenger hunt teams, for if you are guess which cabin team you're going to be against again?" Asked Curtis who happened to be passing by Ellie's cabins table with Aaron just a few feet behind him.
"We already know that we're going to be against your team Curtis." Replied Claire.
"We also agreed that we're going to kick your butt." Added Jessie.
"Oh I remember out challenge, but keep in mind that it all depends on whoever the first two members out of the haunted hedge maze are, after all whoever is paired on their team might be able to get clues for the scavenger hunt before anyone else has the chance to, something that may the best person win." Challenged Curtis as he and Aaron quickly walked back to their table which put an end to the conversation that they were having,.
"Great now we have yet another challenge to met up to." Stated Claire in a falsely enthusiastic tone of voice.
"Oh come on Claire it's just a game, besides if we happen to be the first people that are inside of Earl Greensley's castle then we might be able to keep any unexpected accidents from happening, accidents that someone who would come in later might be responsible for." Reminded Ellie.
"Oh that challenge, that one I'll gladly accept." Stated Claire and she and Ellie agreed to team up with each other to keep whoever was responsible for all of the supposive accidents from having another opportunity to attack.
Camp Greens Lake
Chapter Ten: The Haunted Hedge Maze
Later on that afternoon after dinner…
Ellie and the rest of the haunting captivators gathered in their colored cabin groups and paired themselves in pairs so that they could head through the haunted hedge maze together. Something that didn't take Ellie or Claire long to decide to be paired with each other.
"There are so many ways into the maze, I sure hope that we don't get lost." Said Ellie in a slightly nervous tone of voice.
"Don't worry, as long as we stick together then we don't have to worry about that, the trick is to know where you have been on your way through the maze, that way you don't end up walking endlessly in circles." Explained Claire.
"Claire means keep your eye on the trail markers, they mark the way like "spy" Malloy instructed, keep track of them and you don't have to worry about getting lost." Explained Crissy who was behind Ellie and Claire with Jessie right behind her.
"I'll be happy if we all make it through without mauling each other over like you and a group of haunting captivators did last year Jessie." Stated Claire in an annoyed tone of voice.
"What I was just having a little fun Claire, besides you still beat me anyways." Reminded Jessie.
"I just want to make sure that we beat Aaron and Curtis, that way they don't try to prank us or something if they end up getting into Earl Greensley's castle before us." Explained Claire.
"Afraid of a little competition?" Asked Curtis in a challenging tone of voice as he and Aaron met up with Ellie and Claire by pushing their way up the line that had been formed.
"Don't start Curtis." Murmured Claire.
"Dude save it for the hedge maze… whoa hey what was that?" Asked Aaron as he pulled out his camcorder and then pointed with his free hand straight down the hedge maze.
"There's nothing there Aaron, don't tell me that you're hallucinating already." Commented Eliie as she unsuccessfully tried not to sound as annoyed as she was feeling.
"Ellie I'm not joking I saw something." Explained Aaron in a tone of voice that indicated that he was being serious.
"Aaron it probably was just your imagination, for once would you please let it go." Plead Ellie as she tried her best not to lose her temper.
"No way Ellie, when they signal us to start through the hedge maze, I'm going to find out what it was." Retorted Aaron.
"Aaron-" Started Ellie but she was cut short as "Spy" Malloy blasted the horn on her air horn and interrupted everyone.
"Now haunting captivators you know the rules, there are red and blue markers marking the trails, follow them and you won't get lost! Find the two skeleton keys and then return to the finish line of the end of the hedge maze! Now go and have fun!" Hollered "spy" Malloy as she signaled that it was time to start the contest.
"Forget that contest I'm going to see what that strange mist was." Commented Aaron as he took off running down the hedge maze.
"Oh no you don't! Not this time!" Hollered Ellie as she took off after Aaron abandoning Claire just like Aaron had abandoned Curtis.
Ellie continued to chase after Aaron until she lost sight of him through an unexpected and
"Aaron! You're not supposed to wonder off alone! Aaron!" hollered Ellie as she took off after Aaron in an attempt to keep him out of trouble.
As much as Ellie hated having to chase after her brother what she really hated was being in the hedge maze alone. Something that considering that she was new to Camp Greens Lake wasn't such a good idea.
Determined to keep moving Ellie took a right turn and then another right turn until she arrived at a large black iron gate that was standing just behind the strange fog. A gate that was swinging back and forth as if it had just been opened.
"Aaron? Aaron are you here?!" Called out Ellie as she started to wonder inside of the gate.
Ellie had just taken a few steps inside of the gate when a strange black shadow darted across the path in front of her. A black shadow that Ellie knew definitely wasn't Aaron.
"Look whoever you are just leave me alone, I don't know who you think you are, but I'm not going to let you take me like the others! You hear me! Just leave me alone!" Hollered Ellie as she could feel her heart starting to beat faster inside of her chest.
After Ellie finished saying this the strange dark shadow stopped unexpectantly in the middle of the pathway that it was trying to dart across, and it stood silently waiting almost motionlessly as it glanced back over its shoulder and looked straight at Ellie. Not knowing what to do Ellie began to shake slightly as she stood frozen with fear. All that Ellie could do was to silently hope that the dark shadow would go away.
"Help us, free us all." Murmured the dark shadow in a tone of voice that was just barely above a whisper.
"Us? You mean there's more of you?" asked Ellie in a half frightened and half surprised tone of voice.
"Danger lays ahead, help free us friend." Plead the dark shadow once again in a voice that was barely above a whisper.
"What? Me? How can I help?" Asked Ellie in a confused tone of voice as she started to make her way towards the dark shadow.
Realizing that Ellie was moving towards it the dark shadow darted across the pathway and disappeared just as the sound of loud scream could be heard from a pathway that was only a couple of feet away from Ellie. A scream that sounded like it belonged to Serena.
"Serena?! Is that you?!" Called out Ellie as she shook off the encounter that had with the dark shadow so that she could concentrate on searching for Serena.
"Ellie! Ow! I'm here! Reeda help you find me! Keep talking to Serena!" Requested Serena as her voice continued to resound around the hedge maze.
"Reeda! Who's-" started Ellie but Ellie was cut short as a red haired girl with brown eyes appeared behind her. A girl that Ellie assumed had to be Reeda.
"Sorry-uh it's Ellie right?" Asked Reeda as she quickly apologized for startling Ellie.
"Yeah, where's Serena?"
"She's over here." Replied Reeda as she took a sharp left turn down a left path that Serena was sitting next to a closed iron gate rubbing her shins.
"Serena what happened?" Asked Ellie in a concerned tone of voice.
"Oh no worry Ellie, Serena only slight hurt, Serena not expect gate to close by itself, strange consider that gate never close when Serena here last year." Replied Serena as she tried her best to sound more positive then she was actually feeling.
"A gate closed on you too? That's weird the same thing just happened to me." Responded Ellie.
"Serena glad everyone okay… oh almost forgot Serena want Ellie to have this, that way Ellie can choose team for scavenger hunt in Earl Greensley castle." Explained Serena as she pulled out a large brass key from her pocket. A key that looked almost exactly like the key that Ellie had found at Crock's Dock.
"Serena that isn't just any ordinary key, that's one of the skeleton keys, why are you giving it away like that-I mean don't you want to go inside of Earl Greensley's Castle?" Asked Reeda in a surprised tone of voice.
"Greensley Castle… Serena been there before, many people disappear from there, people even go missing last year when Serena explore Greensley castle, surely Claire can tell all about that, but Claire no prefer to talk about that now, and nor do Serena… that why Serena stay away from Greensley castle." Explained Serena as her voice started to break with fear slightly.
"Serena not everybody who has went into Greensley castle has disappeared, I mean Claire and Oz went there last year, and neither one of them has disappeared now have they." Stated Ellie.
"That make Claire and Oz lucky, but that not make Serena change mind." Explained Serena as she dropped the key gently into Ellie's open hand.
"Serena although I sincerely doubt that by going into Earl Greensley's Castle would cause you to disappear, it's alright that you don't go, I'm sure that some people will get disqualified, and others won't want to go into Earl Greensley's castle Estates either." Suggested Ellie in an attempt to try to make Serena feel better.
"Ellie if you're going then you will be able to pick four members to be on your team, if I can help you guys make it out of this maze then do you think that you could pick me to be on your team?" Requested Reeda.
"If you can get us out of here, then of course I will." Promised Ellie.
"Good! Then that's go!" Instructed Reeda as she excitedly took off down the hedge maze.
Not wanting to get themselves lost Ellie, and Serena followed Reeda down the hedge maze. First they made a right turn then a left. Then they almost lost Reeda on a right turn but then recovered and took a straight path and then a left turn. Then finally after passing a blue trail marker they all reached the finish line where "spy" Malloy and "Harpin'" Harold were waiting.
Ellie, Serena, and Reeda had just arrived when Aaron came bursting through. Followed by a winded Curtis. Then a few moments later Oz arrived with Jessie who was helping to carry a limping Lynn out of the hedge maze.
"I got the spare key!" Exclaimed Aaron with an excited whoop.
"You mean you stole-" Started Jessie but she was cut short as Curtis let out an excited and shrill whistle a whistle that caught Ellie by surprise and caused her to drop the key that she had been holding at "spy" Malloy's feet.
"Why it seems that we've already found both of the skeleton keys congratulations uh-" "Spy" Malloy started but then she paused as she struggled to remember Aaron and Ellie's names.
"It's Ellie Anderson." Informed Ellie.
"And her cooler brother Aaron!" Exclaimed Aaron.
"Right the scavenger hunt team captains are Ellie and Aaron Anderson! Congratulations!" Announced "Spy" Malloy with the use of her bullhorn.
"Ellie and Aaron, you two are the captains interesting." Commented Crissy as she and Todd headed out of the hedge maze opening and joined the crowd that was beginning to gather outside the exit of the haunted hedge maze,
A few moments after Crissy and Todd arrived Claire and Jessie arrived. As they both exited Claire at first looked angry but then she looked relieved as she noticed that both Ellie and Aaron had finished.
"Aaron! Ellie! Glad you both made it, next time please don't take off on us like that, you both could have gotten yourselves lost."
"Or they could have disappeared like some of the other people have." Added Jessie in a half joking tone of voice.
"Jessie that's not the least bit funny, seeing someone right before they disappear … Well it's not something that needs to be repeated considering that Aiyana has disappeared already." Stated Claire.
"Oh lighten up Claire, everyone's okay and nobody seems to have been hurt." Replied Jessie.
"Uh guess again Jessie." Interjected Crissy as she gestured towards the finish line of the hedge maze where Lyn with Oz helping to support her came limping out of the hedge maze.
"Oh good gracious Lyn what happened?!" Exclaimed "spy" Malloy in a worried tone of voice as Lana and a brown cabin trail blazer came up towards her and Lynn with a first aid kit.
"Aunt Tai it's fine, I'm fine." Insisted Lynn as she gracefully dropped from Oz's shoulder and tried to walk a couple feet only to stop and wince when her right foot hit the ground.
"You're certainly not fine." Disagreed "Spy" Malloy as Oz helped to assist Lynn so that she could sit on the ground.
"Aunt Tai it's just-whoa wait a minute." Started Lynn but then she interrupted herself as she spotted a silver fishing hook that she carefully pulled out of her shoelace.
As Lynn held out the fishing hook it looked slight rusted as if it hadn't been used in years. So rusty that it was surprising that it hadn't disinagrated when Lynn had touched it to pull it out.
"Aunt Tai is this somebody's idea of a joke or something?" Asked Lynn in a confused tone of voice as she looked up towards "spy" Malloy for advice.
"I certainly hope not, for whoever did this better hope that I don't catch them whoever they are!" Stated "Spy" Malloy in an angry tone of voice.
After saying this "Spy" Malloy's flushed slightly red with anger then after she had the chance to take a calming breath it returned to its normal color .
"Whoever is responsible for all these accidents will be stopped, especially now considering that they have managed to try to get my niece! Mark my words they will be stopped one way or another!" Exclaimed "spy" Malloy in a determined tone of voice as she allowed Lana and the other trail blazer to help Lynn as she returned to accounting for the remaining haunting captivators that had exited out of the haunted hedge maze.
"Whoa I don't think I've ever seen "spy" Malloy that mad before, I'd hate to be caught by her if I was the one who was responsible for all of the supposive accidents that have been happening." Remarked Jessie as soon as she was sure that "spy" Malloy was out of earshot.
"Whoever it is better hope that I don't catch them either, I'm so sick and tired of these supposive accidents, they keep happening and they are taking out all of the fun that Camp Greens Lake has to offer, oh when I find out who's behind all of this they're going to be in a world of trouble." Explained Ellie in an annoyed and determined tone of voice.
After Ellie said this a handful of haunting captivators finished out of the haunted hedge maze. Something that indicated that not a lot of haunting captivators had gotten themselves lost inside of the haunted hedge maze.
"Well now considering that the majority of haunting captivators have finished Ellie and Aaron feel free to choose the four other haunting scavengers that will be with you on the first stretch of the scavenger hunt through Earl Greensley's castle, a scavenger hunt that Ellie's team will be paired with Gen for the red team and Aaron's team will be paired with Ray for the blue team." Instructed "spy" Malloy.
"Four members alright, for my first member I choose Curtis." Stated Aaron as he and Curtis joined with an excited whoop.
"Uh I choose Reeda!" Called out Ellie.
"Choosing other cabin team members sis?" Inquired Aaron.
"If you want a good team member then choose me!" Plead a brown curly haired boy with big green eyes who was practically jumping up and down with excitement.
"Alright I choose Jamie, our team could definitely make use of your energy." Agreed Aaron as Jamie joined him and Curtis.
"I choose Claire next to be on my team." Requested Ellie as Claire expectedly joined her and Reeda.
"Hey Aaron I dare you to pick someone from Ellie's cabin." Whispered Curtis.
Aaron nodded his head in agreement with Curtis and then he stated the first name that came to his mind. "Jessie, I choose Jessie."
"You split up a cabin group well two can play that game, Todd I choose Todd." Stated Ellie as she blurted out the first name that came to her mind.
"Lastly I choose Oz, bet you know loads about Greensley castle." Suggested Aaron as Oz reluctantly joined Aaron and the rest of his group to form the first leg of the blue team scavenger group.
"Lots of people know about Greensley Castle Estates, especially if they know where to look for information about it." Explained Crissy in a proud tone of voice.
"Then in that case Crissy why don't you join my team." Suggested Ellie as she realized the benefits that each member of her first leg of the red scavenger team had to offer her.
"I'd be glad to join you." Agreed Crissy.
"By the way Claire isn't the only one who knows some castle short cuts, I happen to know quite a few myself.