Night of Our Lives

March 24, 2008
By Sara Ingels, Fresno, CA

The music of the dance blared through the cafeteria doors, the bass pounding as our little group stood by the railing outside.

"So any of you have a guess yet?" said Fish, a camp councilor that was in charge of the cabin we were paired up with for the activities during the week.
"I really don't know…" I say scratching my head. I wasn't really paying attention much to the riddle but more to the clock above the double doors of the cafeteria. Almost seven. I glance over to my little Asian friend Kelly who is also turning to look. She gives the nod. It's time.
"Lily…I'm cold, can you come to get sweatshirts with Kelly and me?" I say shivering, pleading to my councilor in training. Pefectly rehearsed, perfectly excecuted.
"Sure thing," she says smiling.

The three of us hike away, walking across the volleyball court and over the baseball diamond to the girl's cabins on the far side. In the dark, we dive into the bushes and make our way to the craft shack were Lily had hidden the streamers and toilet paper.
"Sara, go grab my gray sweater would you? It's on my bunk," Lily whispers, unwrapping the plastic around the streamers, careful not to make a sound.

I nod and run into the darkness, careful to avoid roots and rocks sticking out on the dirt road between the girls' tan cabins. Our cabin was the second to last one on the small stretch of path but before then, there was a smaller path leading down to the bathrooms. Along side the bathroom was another path lined by granite rocks leading up to the older girl's cabins. I follow it, careful not to make a sound. I hardly breathed.

When I finally reached the end of the small path, shrouded by darkness, I saw a light coming from a cabin. My cabin. This was strange because all of the other girls were at the dance, and I knew they were flirting with the other boys. Well, most of the other boys. Then I see them. Kodis, about 5 foot 7 with his shoulder length black hair and his accomplis, a shorter guy named Jacob with short cut brown curls that pass by the large window. They were TPing our cabin.

I snuck up the stairs, careful not to make the 3rd step creak and throw open the door poking my head into the cabin.

"Gotcha," I said smiling.

Their shocked faces full of terror slowly turn to relief when they see it's just me, the blonde anti-social archery godess.

"Wait…is this Peachy's cabin?" asks Kodis, looking around for some form of evidence. His friend tore down the two strands of toilet paper on the bedposts.

"Er, no. They're the next one over," I point to the left where 3 bikinis are drying off the railing of the porch next door.
"Oh, um, sorry," Kodis and his friend edge around me and run out the door. I follow them as far as the porch leaning over the railing. Kodis stands below the porch looking up. If it wasn't in these dire circumstances, I would have started quoting Juliet.
"Hey, you wanna help? TPing the older girls I mean?" he looks like he's pleading but with a smile.
"I just came to grab sweatshirts…" I said trailing off. Better keep to original story, you never know.
"Oh, but we're cool right? You won't snitch or anything, right?" he asks slighty worried.
"Yeah, sure,"
His face lights up. "Great. Thanks, um, Anomaly," he says calling me by my camp name. They run up the cabin's stairs and I hear them yelling and throwing the toilet paper all over the place.

I turn back to grab the sweatshirt, putting up my own hood. I run back to tell Kelly and Lily what happened. They listen intently and smile when they heard we weren't the only ones out tonight on a prank. A crack comes from below the high porch of the craft shack and we immediately get quite and listen. Down below us we see Kodis and his friend heading back toward the boys cabin. We hardly breathe until they're gone.

Taking the same way the boys did, through the darker part of the wood we sneak over to the boy's side. I had a roll of toilet paper in my large hoodie pocket. Lily had the streamers and Kelly had the other roll of toilet paper.

The lights had a part of the path to the boy's cabins lit up and all of which were directly next to the cafeteria where the shadows of the loud dance danced in front of us. We ran in the shadows until we reached the path, hidden behind the bushes and tried to figure out which cabins we're going to hit. The main plan was to hit Bear's and Fish's cabins but not knowing which was which, we hoped for a lucky hit. We say nothing but motion our hands when it's safe to go.

Sneaking behind the brown cabins, we tried to stay as close as possible to the buildings so as not to make shadows. There were only rocks and then a steep slope downward into the canyon. We moved slowly and Kelly and I turned the corner and immedietly bolted under a staircase to one of the cabins. A councilor in training was patrolling the front of the cabins with a flashlight and we stayed hidden until he left.

Lily saw that there were lights on in the cabin above us so she went around, as a councilor, to check on whoever is inside. It turns out there was a little boy crying there but Lily made him realize he'd have more fun out with the other kids than sitting inside the cabin. Apparently that cabin wasn't on our hit list. We snuck on, trying to find the right cabin.

We turned the corner to another boys cabin but are ambushed. In a streak of black, two shapes jumped at me and Kelly, pulling us against the wall, clamping hands over our mouths. My heart skips a few beats realizing its Kodis and his accomplis.

In hushed whispers we understood they're on a TPing roll as well. With a silent agreement, we decided not to get Frog's cabin after all with the help from Kodis and Jacob to find Bear's cabin. Holding our breath in the dark, Kodis and Jacob shoo away some younger kids trying to get back to their cabins. We were lucky to have them as guides; otherwise we'd have been lost for sure. They showed us to Bear's cabin and we snuck in the back door. In haste, we decorated quickly. Kodis jumps onto a bunk in the center of the room, taking down the single light bulb. The cabin is a double and we open the door to go into the next room, decorating that one as well as the first.

A flashlight beams in through the window. We all freeze, breath coming up short. My heartbeat was way off normal in pure terror. We were going to get caught.

Kelly and I hide in the 2nd room while Kodis and Jacob enter where the flashlight is beaming. It's a friend, another councilor in training, our other savior. Hushed voices fill the room.

"Shush, duck down. People might see you," said Beaver, very annoyed. "I can get you out but you need to follow me and do exactly as I say,"

We all nod in agreement in the darkness. Beaver leads the way, telling the boys on the stairs they need to get back to the dance. We ran. There were multiple boys walking around, tired of the dance and trying to get ready for bed. Beaver goes again telling them to leave. After doing so he runs back to us and pushes us down the steep cliff, till we're caught in the underbrush. All six of us sit there, grabbing onto the bushes as not to slip down further. Lucky enough for me, my bush had thorns.

"Ditch the toilet paper here and run back down to the girl's cabin area, can you guys do that?" Beaver says, holding the flashlight as if it was his last possession.
"Yeah," Kelly said, her jaw set.

Lily, Kelly and I dash in the darkness, between trees and running till we get to the bathrooms. Breathing hard from the thin air and laughing we take it all in about what we had just accomplished. We had become completely invisible for one night and taken over the boys side on a thrill of adrenaline.

We freshened up; getting all the evidence we were out tonight out of our hair and clothes. All of us were sweaty to the maximum but had to pretend to be shivering, wiping off all the sweat and breathing slowly till our faces turned back to the normal coloration.

Getting back to the dance was the easiest part. We made up an alibi; we couldn't find the sweatshirts and had been looking for them the entire time, but then got into a pillow fight which had caused us to get very sweaty. I hate lying but we had to tie up the loose ends to our story.

The dance ended and all of the other girls run up to Kelly and I, talking our ears off, which they never did the entire week. While walking up the volleyball courts, I catch Kodis' eye as he hit the teatherball and we exchange a knowing glace. I gave him a thumbs up and he smirked, going back to his game against himself.

We got back to the cabin and immediately they asked about the excursion with a mllion quesitons.

"What happened?"
"Did you find them?"
"Did you get caught?"
"Did you see anything gross…?"

Kelly and I tried to answer the questions as best we could but it took almost 15 minutes to tell the whole story.

Later that night, there was a knock at our door while we were getting ready to go to sleep. One of the head nurses/councilors wanted us to go see the camp director. This was a horrid thing, because he wasn't a stranger to me. The camp director, Sweet Pea, saw my dad more than my mom did while they worked at the same psych hospital and were very close friends at that time. My dad knew him as Jeff and told him to keep an eye out for me.

It was the walk of shame, walking to the director's office in pajamas. Lily, Kelly and I had to wait outside while Kodis and Jacob finished. They walked out, each with a blue paper. Later we found out if they were found in the girl's cabin area again, they would be kicked out of the camp for good. Instantly I felt bad for them. They helped us out, they get the worst end of the punishment.

We get inside and Kelly and I barely say a word. Lily explains why were there and we agree with her statement. Apparently, the cabins we TPed had footprints all over the beds and the boys were afraid to go into the room since it had no light. Lily told them we just put the paper up, nothing else.

It was quick and painless but we got off easy, with a warning. My heart still beats quickly when I think of the stares of disapproving eyes in the room of judgment.

The next day Kelly and I got together with Jacob and Kodis, discussing what could have gone better and what had happened to them. In the older girl's cabin, they had put a clown piñata in the high corner of the room and had put fake bugs inside each sleeping bag. Also, they had completely TPed some younger boy's cabin. After hearing that, their punishment didn't seem too harsh at all.

Kelly and I didn't stick out during our time there, and it made it easier for us to disappear. Invisiblity does have it's quirks though. It gave us the night of our lives.

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