On April 1 I began my first Camp NaNoWriMo adventure. It all started with an email. I was confused. A camp? I can’t go to a camp in the middle of April! I have a job! I have learners to facilitate and all that junk. Oh, I see. It’s a virtual camp. Cool.
That’s kind of how the conversation went in my head. So, I looked into it and here I am. I’m a first year participant in Camp NaNoWriMo for the entire month of April. At this point, if I’m on schedule, I’ll be a little over 8,000 words into my novel. So, here is a little sampling of what I have been working on. This is from part one of the Jayne novel that is still lacking a title.
When school finally ended and Jayne made her way to the courtyard, she felt an immediate sense of relief when she saw Hallie, Jessica, Tim, and August standing underneath the tree, which really isn’t the right word because the tree was so small that they were standing next to it.
“You weren’t kidding when you said that you guys met at the smallest tree. Why is it so tiny?” Jayne asked the group at large, pointing to the much larger trees surrounding them.
“There used to be a bigger oak tree here, but when they remodeled the school it was in the way,” Hallie started.
Jessica interrupted her, saying, “We all were devastated. I came to school the day they knocked it down and stood in front of it. I tried, I tried.” She shook her head in time to the comments.
“You didn’t try that hard. As soon as they came at you with the chainsaw you ran like a girl,” Tim laughed when he said it, his ears seeming bigger when he smiled.
Jayne looked at the ground for signs of the old life, but couldn’t find any. “They covered all the evidence with sod. They even dug up the majority of the root ball,” August said, sneaking up behind her.
“A moment of silence for our old tree, who will be missed forever,” said Blue. Jayne didn’t know if Blue was serious or not, but a glance around told her that Blue definitely was serious. Tim, Hallie, Jessica, and August all stood, heads bowed in the direction of the new, smaller tree. Jayne decided to follow suit.
The moment of silence was cut short when a voice, deep and menacing, said, “August. We need to talk.”
Jayne looked up and saw Raegan. His hair shined blue in the sun and his skin was so pale it was almost transparent. His eyes were even more striking in the sunlight.
“I know, I know. I’ll be able to in a little bit,” August said, never once taking his eyes off of the tree.
“I don’t have time to wait. You know what I want. Why won’t you just go home?” he asked. August looked around. It was almost as if everyone else was frozen in time. No one glanced around or made eye-contact. Jayne stood still, waiting for August’s lead.
“You know I’m not going home right now,” he replied.
“You know you have to. You don’t have a choice. Meet me at the lot tonight. We’ll finish this.” Then he was gone, like he had disappeared. Like he had never been there in the first place. Jayne looked around. Everyone else was moving again, acting like nothing strange had just happened. Blue was inspecting her streak, Jessica was defending her choice to run from the chainsaws, Tim looked enthralled by Jessica’s story, and August was looking straight at Jayne.
He walked up to her and looked into her eyes. He looked unnerved, like he was figuring something out that he didn’t understand. “You saw that, didn’t you?” he asked her. His voice had an edge, and Jayne thought about lying, but decided against it.
“Yes,” was all she said.
August looked around trying to figure out his thoughts. He looked like he was struggling to put it all together. He pulled on one of the random red brown curls that rested on his forehead. Jayne just stared at him, waiting on him to figure out whatever it was he was figuring out. She didn’t see her mom pull up to pick her up, and she looked around when she heard her name.
“Listen,” she said, grabbing August by his sleeve. “I have to go. Where is the lot? Where are you meeting Raegan? And what did he mean by ‘go home’? You’re going home now.”
He looked as if she had confirmed something for him. Maybe he didn’t believe that she actually heard what they were saying. “Where the haunted house is,” he responded, before turning and walking off. His shoulders were weighing him down, the size of his worries bigger than anyone could realize.