It's been a while since I've been able to work on my Positivity Camp story. Thank you for your patience, and I hope you enjoy the latest mischief of Daniel and Wendy!
“I’ve received word about the two of you,” someone called out, their voice coming from behind us rather than from inside the building.
I must have jumped because Wendy laughed. I spun around to glare at the nurse, counselor, psychiatrist, or whoever it was who had called out to us.
“I am Counselor Emily.”
“I’m Wendy. And yes, we’re here to see the video,” Wendy said, getting right to the point.
“Before we do that, I need the two of you to come with me.” The woman with her khaki shorts and brown collared shirt said as she turned toward the camp’s main entrance and walked out.
“Should we follow?” I whispered to Wendy, but she had already started after Counselor Emily. Then I remembered her plan. Or rather, I remembered she had one and that I knew little to nothing about it. With a counselor nearby, there was no way to ask questions safely. Instead, I tried figuring out what Wendy’s last cryptic message had meant: We follow the rules from here on out.
“Well, nothing better to do,” I grumbled under my breath.
As I caught up to Wendy and Counselor Emily, the woman motioned for us to turn around. Then she pointed at the boards hanging up on the sign post outside of camp.
“I want you both to take a good long look at these words. They are to remain out here, and when you enter camp, you are to erase them from your mind. I will give you two minutes to study them.”
Two minutes felt like ages to me as I gazed at the pitiful list of words. Really, their one sign felt inadequate for all the bad words out in the world. I studied it anyway, intent on being helpful to Wendy with her scheme.
No, not and any contraction thereof, the prefix un-, less than, bad, nasty, awful, terrible, worse, hate, worthless, never, cusswords of any kind, derogatory words such as dumb, stupid, idiot, etc.
As I looked at the main board with its forbidden words, Wendy’s message clicked in my head. We could still say plenty of horrendous things if we were careful to avoid using the words on the board. My mind drifted as I wondered what would happen to the list if we started misbehaving.
Wendy chuckled as though reading my thoughts.
“Is something funny?” Counselor Emily demanded.
I tried to keep from grinning, just so I wouldn’t be called on. My mind fumbled for a response other than no.
“Yes,” Wendy said boldly. I stared at her, confused and concerned. Still, I couldn’t fault her for going with the safer answer.
“Oh? Care to share?” Counselor Emily smiled wickedly at her, but Wendy didn’t back down.
“At this time, I feel it is best to keep my response quiet.”
Counselor Emily stared at Wendy in open-mouthed bewilderment. She tried several times to formulate a comeback, but the perfect answer had her stumped. Wendy shot me a wink and a wicked smile.
I realized then that I’d been thinking about things all wrong. True, we could still say some rotten words, but we could be just as chaotic if we said things correctly, too.
“That’s all for now, I think,” Counselor Emily said, finally regaining her composure. “I do believe it’s time for you to see Nurse Pamela for the positivity video.” She didn’t wait for a response from either of us. She simply turned around and walked back into camp.
Before I could walk under the giant wooden board that separated normal society from the reality of the camp, Wendy bumped into me. “Yahoo,” she whispered as she walked past. I smiled, thinking of all the words not on their list. Wendy had been right. Maybe Positivity Camp could be fun.