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Well I've worked through a side splitting headache to get this part written down before I forgot it. I've hopefully improved a little since the last passage that I posted, and, as always, please let me know if you see something that either looks wrong or even sounds interesting and/or cool. I really appreciate the opinions and advice.

The group had packed up their things and began the short hike back to their campsite. “Have you ever seen something that felt so real, but wasn’t sure if it was?” Ben asked Madison, who was at the back of the group. Madison looked at him for a moment as they walked.
“There’s been a time that I’ve seen something that I knew was real and wished it wasn’t, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen something that wasn’t real and thought it was,” she replied after a moment of thinking. “Why?”
“Before I came into the water, I swear that I saw something in these trees,” Ben stated, looking around him. Even though he had convinced himself it wasn’t real, he was still sceptical.
“What did you see?” Madison asked.
“Eyes.”
“Eyes?”
”Eyes.” Ben answered.
“Creepy,” Madison said as she too looked around. “What did they look like?” she asked.
“They didn’t really have a distinct look, they were just there. I didn’t see what colour they were or anything,” Ben answered with a sigh. I can’t believe you actually think it was real! He thought to himself.
“Creepy,” Madison repeated. “I wonder if they were real,” she said.
Everyone tossed their belongings into their tents when they arrived back at the campsite before they helped prepare dinner, not that there was much to do. Blaine stood in front of the BBQ, flipping the burgers while talking with Cindi, who finally got his attention long enough to say something.
After eating and cleaning up the site, the group gathered what they might need for a three hour show and headed in the direction of the amphitheatre. The group had been divided already into small groups. It was obvious that Cindi wasn’t going to leave Blaine’s side and Blaine and John were always hanging out, Evan and Sharon were always holding hands and now that Eddie and Kristen had become close friends, they stuck together as well. Ben took his Mother’s advice and was getting to know Madison better. They arrived at the amphitheatre at exactly seven o’clock as Mr. Cartell had wanted and what he had said was true: Little to nobody was present. A few of the benches were occupied, but there was still enough room to fit close to a hundred more campers.
As the sky darkened and the bugs dominated the sky, more and more campers poured into the amphitheatre and soon all the available seats were occupied and many campers were left standing, just as Mr. Cartell had said. The crowd was occupied with their own conversations that none of them noticed a young lady walk across the stage and light a small campfire. She moved around the stage, making sure that everything was in order before clearing her throat loudly to get the crowds attention. “Good evening everyone!” she exclaimed into the microphone around her head. She was wearing a pair of black pants, but it was too dark to tell if they were jeans or not, a beige long sleeved shirt that held a series of pins just below the collar. “How’s everyone doing?” she asked.
“Good!” hollered every kid under the age of ten, or at least it sounded like they were.
“Well that’s awesome!” she replied, pacing back and forth across the stage. “Welcome to the Pinery’s annual Rum and Spirits, where we dive into the past and follow several different characters on their journey through the Pinery before it was a Provincial Park,” She said, “but there are a few things we need to get in order before we can travel back in time, so while we wait, why don’t you guys ask me any questions you’ve got about something you’ve seen or done here in the park?” she suggested. A few people stuck their hands in the air and waited to be picked.
After about fifteen minutes of Q&A’s, the young lady who had introduced herself as Kim stopped accepting questions and began the show. “This year we’ve got a special show for you guys, not only are we going to travel back in time and look at the parks history, but we’re going to take a look at a section of our history that we haven’t shared with anyone before. Are you ready?” she asked.
“Yeah!” shouted the crowd.
“Oh, I thought you guys were ready! If you really want to get going, you’ve got to be louder than that! Now, are you ready!?” she shouted. The crowd erupted again. “That’s what I’m talking about! Alright, I’m going to hand you over to my good friend, Dr. Leighton,” she stated as a man stood amongst the crowd of people and made his way toward the stage. He was wearing the usual Doctor attire: a white lab coat with black pants.
“I take it you’re all itching to get going, huh? You sure did make a racket, so, without further ado, lets travel back in time,” Dr. Leighton said once he was on stage and facing the crowd. The wall behind him lit up with several different colours, creating what scientists believed was what you’d see during a time travel. When the seizure inducing colours vanished the wall displayed a picture of an old log house with several trees and bushes scattered across the lawn. “Sorry about the bumpy ride everyone, we’re still working on perfecting our time travel skills, but at least we all got here in one piece, right?” he asked, looking over the crowd, pretending to check to make sure that no one was missing limbs. “What you see here in front of you is the home of our first guest,” Leighton stated, turning to face the picture behind him, “He was one of the first people to claim this land as his home. His name was Carson Frost and he was a farmer.”

Just then a couple walked on from the right of the stage. The male was dressed in overalls with a plaid long sleeved shirt and the female was dressed in a long white dress. “Hello there, stranger,” greeted the male who obviously was Carson. He stared at Leighton for a brief moment before eyeing Kim and then turned to the girl in the white dress which was assumed to be Mrs. Frost, his wife. “You sure dress mighty funny,” Carson stated with a chuckle, “The names Carson, this here is my wife, April.”
“It’s nice to meet you, my name is Dr. Leighton and this is my friend, Kim,” Leighton replied, “is this house yours?” he asked, looking past the couple at the log cabin displayed on the wall behind them.
“It sure is!” Carson replied with a chuckle as he held his hand out in front of him. “Pleasure to meet you Dr. Leighton and Kim!” The two couples shook hands and conversed a bit before they continued with the main plot of their show. “We’ve been living here for a couple months now and have never seen something like this before,” Carson began, “One morning, me and April were out in the field harvesting the crops, getting them ready to be shipped into town, when we were confronted by this black cloud.”
“At first we ignored it and continued to move through the field, but it followed us everywhere we went!” April exclaimed.
“What did it look like?” Leighton asked, intrigued with a finger tapping against his chin.
“It didn’t look like anything more than a cloud of smoke. When it didn’t seem to go away, we followed it until we had completely left our field. Whatever it was had come from deep within the forest to reach us,” Carson replied.
“When it finally stopped moving we found ourselves in a strange part of the forest we hadn’t been to before. It was quite frightening, actually,” April continued, “Out from behind the trees came more of them and now they had eyes, which frightened us even more.”
“Did they talk?” Kim asked.
“We didn’t hear them form any words, no, but they made sounds,” Carson replied.
“What kind of sounds?” Leighton asked.
“Sounded almost like they were crying, but in different tones. Their own language, maybe; we sure couldn’t tell what they were saying,” April responded. “They returned to our fields at least three times a week, I reckon, but they didn’t touch or harm anything, they just sat there, crying out to one another.”
“Did you hear a cry?” Madison quietly asked Ben, ignoring the presentation.
“No, but their description is pretty accurate to what I saw,” Ben answered, his eyes focused on the actors on the stage, listening for anything that might be useful. A black figure stepped onto the stage and the conversation between the actors was interrupted by a light cry. All four actors turned to face the figure as it cried out, but only Carson and April took action.
“Don’t worry! They’re friends!” Carson insisted as he connected hands with April and formed a red-rover line to block the figure from Leighton and Kim. The figure cried again and moved a couple steps closer, but Carson and April didn’t budge.
“I thought you said you couldn’t understand them?” Leighton asked as he watched the figure inch its way across the stage.
“We can’t, but after spending so much time with them, we managed to understand what they want, but not what they’re saying,” Carson replied, keeping his focus on the black figure. The figure turned and looked out into the crowd and for the first time since the time travel part, made the audience feel like they were part of the exploration team. Carson looked to the crowd as well before returning his gaze to the figure which cried out again. “Its okay, they aren’t going to hurt you!” he shouted at the figure, which got its attention.
Ben stared at the figure in shock, completely oblivious to Madison who was trying to get his attention. “Is that what it looked like?” she kept asking him until he finally noticed her.
“Yes, exactly what it looked like,” Ben answered. He turned his attention back to the actors, but Madison wouldn’t let him indulge himself in the story again. Now she was really interested in what he saw.
“I wonder what they are,” she stated, scooting closer to him so he could hear her better. She heard Cindi giggle quietly on the bench behind and assumed she found it amusing that Ben was the guy she was interested in.
“According to them, they’re black clouds of something, but what I saw wasn’t a cloud at all,” Ben replied, paying no attention to Madison’s proximity.
“Maybe they weren’t exactly clouds, but that was the only thing they could think of to describe them,” Madison suggested.
“I still think calling them shadows describes their appearance pretty accurately.”

This is the picture that I was looking at while writing this passage. You can kind of see how Carson and April believed that the creature was comprised of black smoke as well as Ben's description of them looking more like shadows.

Views: 25

Comment by scribbler on October 16, 2009 at 4:18am
You've done a great job with that Andrew. Bravo! :)

This is all I'm saying. When you put a line or paragraph in italics, most assume it's a thought or flashback. I feel you don't need to add the next line. I would change this -

I can’t believe you actually think it was real! He thought to himself.

To just this -

I can’t believe I actually think it was real!
, and take out the "he thought to himself".

It's no less obvious that Ben's having the thought. The second "I" is personal preference I guess. I would use I instead of you when talking to myself in my mind, which I do far too often LOL. Could be that's just me. :)

I could visualize the stage scene very clearly. You captured that very well.
Comment by Andrew Kunz on October 16, 2009 at 4:22am
I also refer to myself as I in my head, not too sure why I decided to use you in that particular thought there, I guess it just slipped out without me noticing it, but then again I often write their thoughts like that... But thanks! It was a really amazing show as well, the actual Rum and Spirits that the Pinery put on while I was camping there a couple months back, though it had nothing to do with ghosts or anything.

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