Dumb Decisions and Camp Night Visions

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a short story I wrote in the name of practice and spontaneity. It is about a guy who is just trying to have a good time with his friends. Him and his group of friends are compensating for lost time by making dumb decisions and dares. The main character eventually has a small incident that leads into a mystical experience. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy!

Submitted: November 04, 2018

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Submitted: November 04, 2018

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So here I am again, in a dumb situation because of my dumb decisions. I'm lost, afraid, and mostly naked. I'm not intoxicated, if you don't count the rush of adrenaline filling me. I am fairly familiar with my surroundings, but it is completely dark out tonight. My only light is the luminescent waning moon in the distance.  All of this brought on by a dare and a desire to follow tradition.

My friends and I have come out here ever since I was a Sophomore in High School. We made it an annual event after our parents started giving us a bit of freedom. It has been a year since we graduated and this is our last time we will ever come back to this campground. Last year, we didn't come out due to petty drama and a few people's inability to make it. Now, we are all trying to make up for it by doing the things we never did before on this trip. One of those things included amping up every tradition we have made in the previous years. One of those traditions being outrageous dares.

These are no longer "High School" kid level dares. Now we are older and have a higher capacity for foolishness. So when we got around to this tradition, of course all hell broke loose. To add to this already bolstering flame, was alcohol, loads of it. During High School, we could not legally obtain it but this time around is different. Half of our group of nine people are of legal age. I was not one of them, so I opted out to drink. The rest of my friends, legal or not, did not follow my example. Besides my friend Thomas, who currently smelled like a Mexican cartel marijuana drug bust.

So along with my very intoxicated friends, I began a game that I would never forget. The rules were that if you say no to a dare, that you were subject to be pranked. So essentially, by even starting the game, you are agreeing to be ridiculed in one way or another. You had your cliche makeout dares and some unique ones as well. I was not impressed though, I am a champion at these dare games. I am naturally outgoing and I never stray away from a challenge. So when it became my turn, I thought I was ready for  anything.

It seemed easy enough, actually I thought it was a rather boring dare. My only objective was to strip naked as I ran into the woods. When I stripped fully naked, I was to come back and scream my favorite movie reference. This was to be done as loudly as I could bear and while flashing everyone within the dare circle. I was not only unimpressed but excited to prove my commitment to the game. So immediately, I began running and pulling off everything, starting with my shirt. Then as I was attempting to throw off my shorts, I tripped over them and fell.

This fall led me tumbling down a hill of twigs and leaves that came with me the whole way down. I hit my head on a thick root of a tree and abruptly lost consciousness. What felt like only moments after the entire experience, I had awoken covered in dirt and foliage. My vision and memory were almost too distorted to comprehend. It was so dark that it was difficult to see what was directly in front of me. I knew that if I didn't begin to walk, my chances of survival were small.

So I began my trek out into the darkness. It was humid and wet, so the ground was soft. I walked barefoot through this endless expanse of very dim lit trees and branches. My feet sinking into the mud with every other step I made. Somehow, I reached some form of path without running straight into a tree. I almost felt as if some presence was leading me into a safer area. I definitely felt like there was something watching me. Who or what it was, I was entirely unsure of. All that I knew was that whatever it was, did not make me uneasy. As a matter of fact, I had never felt more at ease.

Then, right at that very moment, something inexplicably strange happened. This huge blinding light flashed right in front of me. It disappeared almost as quickly as it came. Afterwards, everything had a sort of purple hue over it. Not knowing what to make of what I just saw, I continued to walk. I could not do anything else, I was perpetually stuck within my own body’s movement. I had no control over where I was going, nor could I stop my limbs from moving me in this direction. It was almost as if I were hypnotized.

Then I walked around this very odd tree unlike any other I had seen before. Sitting underneath the tree, was a person. I could not tell if this person was a male or female due to the angle at which I was looking at them. The tree created a natural shroud over their face, that I could not glimpse pass. This person was sitting in a slouched cross legged pose against the tree. They nearly looked as though they were apart of the tree itself. I looked down at them and before I could let out a word, they began to laugh.

The laugh was high-pitched and almost more of a dry cackle, than it was laughter. It felt as though the tree and the ground beneath them shook as their laughter grew in volume. I began to speak but before I could let out my question they said, "You are not lost, this is merely a part of your journey". Their voice was disembodied and otherworldly. I then asked, " Who are you?", apprehensive to hear their answer. They then reached one finger out and gestured to me to come closer. I obliged them, crouched down, and slowly moved my head closer to see them.

Just before I could see their face, they reached their full hand out to grab me. Suddenly, another blinding light began to come out of their hand as they reached for me. As I observed it getting closer, it started to shrink in size and look more like a normal human hand. "Wait, wait, wait!", I screamed as my eyes flew open and the medic stood there in front of me. Her eyes presumably about as wide and shocked as mine were. She quickly collected herself and exclaimed " Everything is okay, sir!".

"Please, lay back and just breathe deeply for me", she said in as calm of a voice as she could maintain. I did as she said as she began to examine me further. My head was throbbing and my body was fatigued but besides that, I felt fine. The medic then explained to me that I was very lucky to have only sustained a few scratches and bruises from my fall. Apparently, I had hit my head so hard that my friends had been searching for me for a full thirty-two hours.

Shortly after her examination, she waved some other medics and a few of my friends over. They all looked at me with bright eyes and wide smiles. They lifted me onto a stretcher and carried me to an ambulance. While in the ambulance, I asked if there was anyone else out there that they came across. According to the medic I was the only one. He went on to say "you are only one of seven people to ever be reported missing in that park at all".

Unfortunately, I never figured out who the person under the tree was. I guess I could have made it up, but it all felt so real. Also I wasn't found at the same place I fell, so I definitely was awake and moved at some point. Maybe, I will never figure out about the lights and the mysterious stranger. Upon arriving to the hospital, one of the medics said something that reminded me of the stranger’s message to me. As he was loading me, he said, "It will be a bumpy journey but it will be worth it, once we reach your destination". I simply smiled and replied, "That's okay, I'm more ready than I ever have been to take that journey".


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