To the Beat of the Drum

“But mom, I don’t want to go to summer camp this summer,” Shawn complained to his mother “its going to be really boring and none of my friends are going”. Shawn’s mother was making him go to summer camp and he had no interest in going. He wanted to stay at home and hang out with his friends. “Now Shawn, you know that that’s not true.” Shawn’s mother replied with her hands on her hip “You know that Ian Hunter is going to the same camp as you are…I thought he was your best friend?” Shawn knew why his mother was sending him away; she was sending away because he had a stealing problem. “Hunter is my best friend, but the only reason you’re sending me away because you think I steal a lot.” said Shawn. His mom gave him a dull yet serious face and said “Shawn, you stole over a thousand dollars from your own aunt and took the last three dollars your grandfather gave your father before he died, I KNOW you have a stealing problem.”

The next week, Shawn and Ian were on the bus toward Drummers Lake Summer Camp. The trip there was a long and tiring one, and Shawn loathed every minute of it. Hunter tried his best to cheer him up, but failed miserably. “Come on dude, cheer up. This might actually be pretty cool,” Hunter started “At least you won’t have to sit at home watching Barney with your two little sisters. Besides none of the guys are going to be in the neighborhood this summer.” Shawn wasn’t paying attention to Hunter, he was listening to his iPod. He figured that if he could drown out his lame time at camp, he just might live. As the bus rolled into the camp, it started to rain. ‘Oh great,’ Shawn thought ‘now it decides to rain. Butt hole, weather.’

The next few days were terrible for Shawn; he tried his hardest to stay clear of all the camp activities but failed in his attempts. Although he noticed that Hunter was having a very good time. He won at all the activities and, in recognition of those achievements, he was awarded the golden tom-tom. The only thing Shawn liked doing at the camp was fencing, he was really good at fencing. His father tried to train him to fence for the past three years, but eventually Shawn had enough and told his dad that he didn’t want to train anymore. He thought this summer couldn’t get any worse, until it was announced that they were going to take a camping trip into the Drummers forest.

An hour into the walk to the camp site; the wind began to pick up and an eerie mist began to fall around the campers. An ominous storm cloud began to form around the forest and a chill ran through everyone’s spine. “Man Hunter, it’s really creepy out here. Maybe we shouldn’t be out here, it looks like its going to rain.” said Shawn. “Yeah and maybe we’ll run into Freddy Kruger, look man don’t sweat it. These people know what their doing, right?” Said Hunter, with a satisfied look on his face. Suddenly a streak of lightning shoot across the sky and rain began to pour heavily. Shawn looked at Hunter with a vengeful look on his face. Hunter merely smiled and said” …but I’ve been wrong before.”

While everyone had fallen asleep, Shawn and Hunter decided to do a little exploring of their own. They had decided to go to the lake and swim, but as all things happen, their plan did not go as intended. On their way to the lake, Shawn spotted a small object buried in the ground. When he dug it up he found it was a tiny drum, a small tom-tom. “Wow, dude, Hunter, come look at this, it’s a drum!’ cried Shawn. Hunter ran to Shawn as fast as he could, thinking there was something wrong. “Dude what happened?!? Are you okay?” said Hunter. Shawn laughed at Hunter. He thought his fear was hilarious. “No man. I found this cool ass drum. Look!” Shawn gave the drum to Hunter to examine. “Hey, I know what this is from;” started Hunter “this is one of those old civil war drums. Let’s leave it here, man. It’s not ours.” “Are you crazy, Hunter?” replied Shawn “this could be worth a fortune. Let’s take it back home with us.” Hunter gave Shawn a worried look and said “dude, this is part of the reason you’re here at this camp, you keep stealing…” Before Hunter could finish, Shawn started to play the drum.

The forest became a dead place. The sound of crickets and frogs seemed to have died away. The wind disappeared. The forest became very dark. Shawn banged on the drums to a rhythmic tune. He played faster and faster and faster until he couldn’t stop. It began to frighten him. “Dude stop playing the drum, we’re going to get caught out here.” pleaded Hunter. Shawn began to scream and thrash around. No matter how hard he tried, his hands kept playing the drum “Man help me, I can’t stop! I can’t stop!” screamed Shawn. All of a sudden, they both began to hear the sound of hooves hitting the ground. “Hunter, help me get out of here… Hunter…HUNTER!!!” Shawn watched in horror as a man riding a black horse sliced Hunter clean in two with an old civil war sword. Finally the drum released him from its grip and Shawn broke into a sprint, but the horseman was too fast for him. He out ran Shawn, stood in front of him and drew his sword. The horseman had no eyeballs, only dries blood that covered the insides of his eye sockets. He wore an old and dirty civil war uniform. He was obviously on the confederate’s side. Shawn stood paralyzed at his spot as the solider came closer. “What do you want?” asked Shawn nervously. The solider stopped walking and pointed at the drum Shawn had in his hand. Shawn realized that he still had the drum in his hand. Then the solider spoke in a very southern accent “Give me my drum, boy. Or there will be hell to pay.” Shawn knew what he had to do, but he didn’t want to. He knew that the drum was worth a lot of money that he could pay back. “No, I won’t. I found this drum first. Why don’t you crawl back into the grave you came from?” The solider became enraged and shouted in fury. He thrust his sword at Shawn, but Shawn was too quick for him. He evaded the sword before it could pierce his body. He ran back to the camp and retrieved a fencing sword from the activities bag.

The solider was right behind him, sword at the ready. Shawn placed the drum under a tree and faced the solider ready for a fight. The two clashed for hours, swapping blows and slashes. Shawn had put up a good fight, but the solider was better. He knocked the sword and Shawn onto the floor and put the tip of his sword at Shawn’s throat, ready for the kill. As the sword came down to end his life; Shawn rolled out of the way, grabbed the drum and threw it at the solider. Just as the drum hit the soldier’s chest, he disappeared into ashes along with the drum.

Shawn returned home the following day. They never found the body of Ian Hunter until he miraculously showed up at his house a few months after the incident without a single scratch. His parents were relived to see him. The government thought it would be best if the camp was shut down, for national security reasons. Shawn was told not to tell anyone about the incident along with his parent and the parents of Ian Hunter.





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