Chapter Seven: School Camp.

“Sammy, get in the canoe.”

“C'mon Sammy, it'll be fun!:”
“Sammy please, you got to at least
Sammy stood well away from the lake
where Daniel and TJ were trying to coax him into the water and into
the canoe. Ever since the car accident that had taken Tammys voice,
Sammy had been terrified of water, especially big bodies of water
such as pools, lakes and the ocean. The car (driven by their erratic
uncle) had gone speeding into Lake Pleasantville. Thankfully, the
car had landed in shallow water, but it was still enough to cover the
car. Tammy had slept through the whole thing, but Sammy remembered
everything, from the water flooding into the car to the people who
had rescued them.
“Sam, come on, you have to face your
fear sometime.” Daniel tried.
“No.” Sammy sat down firmly on the
dry grass. “You can't make me!”
“Come on, we'll get a canoe with
Petunia.” TJ sighed.
Tammy grabbed Belles hand.
“Of course you can come with Charlie
and I!” Belle grinned at her.
They picked out a pair of canoes and
headed down to the lake. It was a beautiful day at Camp Tall
Parakeet on the Silver Coast, great for some fun out on the water.
The school had arrived at the camp the day before, and the scholars
were looking forward to a week of fun and sun!
“It's ON!” Daniel cried, splashing
water at Tammy, Belle and Charlie. Tammy steadied her paddle, then
swept it through the water, sending a considerable amount over
Daniel, Petunia and TJ.
“Who knew the littlest of us was the
strongest!” Belle laughed.
“You gotta watch that one, she's a
fierce little tiger!” Petunia splashed at her.
The friends were having a good time,
even Sammy cheered from the safety of the shore. Of course, it
wasn't to last.
Sunny and Daryl had also come to camp.
Since the day at the tip, the Jones siblings had found it harder to
pick on Belle and Charlie, owing to the fact that they now had the
numbers behind them to defend themselves. However, the Jones
siblings still took advantage of every chance they could get to make
the lives of the seven friends miserable.
The two Jones siblings had a canoe to
themselves, and were watching the frivolity from afar. They saw
Belle and Charlies canoe swing away from the other canoe, trying to
put some distance between them so they could launch another attack.
“Start paddling.” Daryl grinned at
Sunny. Sunny simply grimaced, nodded, and began to paddle. She had
grown into a tall, determined, beautiful teenager, although she still
had a tiny scar under her eye.
The pair made a beeline towards Tammy,
Belle and Charlie. The two canoes crashed and the three friends were
sent flying into the water.
“TAMMY!” Petunia cried, reaching
over to grab her best friend. Tammy held on to the side of the canoe
and glared at the Jones siblings, who were laughing hysterically.
Suddenly, the pair were launched into the water – Belle and Charlie
had swum underneath the siblings canoe and overturned it!
The friends all roared with laughter.
Belle swam over to their overturned canoe, planning to right it and
get back in, when she felt something grab her foot. Without warning
she was back under the water, struggling to get back to the surface
and fill her lungs with air. Whatever had her was dragging her down
as far as it could. She saw a shadow move up past her, pushing her
back down into the depths of the water before surfacing.
She struggled as fast as she could to
get back to the surface, her lungs burning. The light of day seemed
so far away!
Something grabbed her hand, and pulled
her up into the air. She spluttered and gasped for air, holding on
to Charlie who had pulled her out. Daryl was wearing a smirk, and
Sunny was trying to get back into her canoe.
She looked up at Daniel, TJ and
Petunia. Together, the seven friends headed back to the shore. Sammy
hugged his sister the moment they were on dry ground, then suddenly
he hugged Belle too.
“That was mean what they did.” He
said. “I saw Daryl duck you.”
“I know. It wasn't very nice.”
Belle hugged him back. They all made their way back to the camp to
dry off and lick their wounds.
Soon, they were hard at the table
tennis. Belle and Charlie lost every game they played, including the
one they played against each other.
“That…that…” Daniel looked
“That is REALLY bad.” Sammy filled
“At least we're trying, right?”
Charlie asked. Everyone groaned.
They heard some noise outside. Belle
poked her head out of the door. “Everyone's heading back now,
we'll have to go to assembly soon.”
“Ah well.” TJ yawned.
The group headed out and followed the
crowd back to the cabins. Along the way, they saw something that
would change things forever.
“Daryl, cut it out!” Sunny cried as
Daryl flicked her with a towel behind some bushes. His moronic
friends laughed.
“Don't be mean Daryl, stop picking on
me Daryl.” Daryl mimed his sister cruelly. “You wouldn't even
duck that unwanted bastard!”
“We'd already gotten her and her
stupid boyfriend, why make things worse?” Sunny argued.
“I'm not your boyfriend.” Charlie
looked at Belle indignantly. Belle looked back, just as peeved.
“You've always been soft. I remember
that stupid kitten you got upset at me about.” Daryl sneered.
“Meow…” Belle whispered, turning
back to the argument.
“Anyway at least I'm not like you.
YOU actually hate her!” Daryl laughed.
Sunny growled. Belle looked at her
from behind the bushes in horror. Sunny looked towards her feet. It
wasn't hate. It was a million times worse.
“You can't even deny it.” Daryl
shoved her to the ground. “You're just as unwanted as her – you
weren't even meant to be born. Mum and Dad wanted another boy too.”
“Daryl is REALLY mean!” Petunia
Belle wanted to be happy. She wanted
to revel in Sunnys pain. She wanted to walk away and leave the
scene. But something stopped her.
A Masters never holds back.
It was wrong what
Daryl was doing to his sister. Belle couldn't stand back and watch
it happen.
She bolted out of
the bushes and slapped Daryl hard.
sister may be a cow, but she didn't do anything to you!” Belle
Charlie ran out beside her. Petunia and Tammy ran to help up Sunny
(who shook them off) and Daniel, TJ and Sammy stood with Charlie.
pathetic.” Daryl sneered. “Two unwanted children.”
IS wanted thank you!” TJ fumed.
should see how much her father loves her!” Daniel added.
she's our friend!” Charlie finished.
Daryl walked off, his friends in tow.
you okay?” Belle asked, turning to Sunny.
Sunny was blind
with rage. This girl, this stupid little girl who had been dumped on
her fathers doorstep as a baby with pneumonia and on the brink of
death, this stupid little girl whose father would do ANYTHING for
her, this stupid little girl who had best friends and an uncle and a
grandfather and now she'd really ticked off her older brother and she
had no right to do that and she had no right to care and…
you DARE speak to me!” Sunny thundered. She knew she was crying,
but she was beyond caring. “You don't know ANYTHING!”
She shoved Tammy
and Petunia to the ground in anger.
what's going on?” Petunia asked.
shut up!” Sunny roared. She glared at Belle.
have everything. A father who loves you, an uncle and a grandfather
who would die for you, a friend who you've had for life, MORE friends
who think the world of you! Why did YOU get that?! You weren't
meant to be born either! I bet you never have to be silent around
the house because you're a disturbance, or have to do all the chores
because you're one mouth too many!” Sunny was beyond anything at
that point. She ran off, crying.
The friends stood
there in shock, all of them troubled by what had just happened.
on earth does she mean, 'not meant to be born'?” Belle looked
me.” Daniel said. “But I think we've figured out why she's so
mean to you.”
Daryl too.” Charlie said bitterly. Belle thought of something.
you ever noticed that Sunny always has a cut or a bruise somewhere on
her?” She asked.
The others looked
at each other.
know, I think you're right.” Petunia said slowly.
really wonder what goes on in that Jones household.” Charlie said.
The old bell on top
of the camp hall rang out, and the seven friends made their way over
for the assembly.

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