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Sunnywoods Summer Camp for Troubled Youth

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Your name is Dave Strider, and this is probably the worst car ride you’ve ever been on.

You’re on your way to camp Sunnywoods,-or at least the bus stop to Sunnywoods,- a conversion camp all the way in the middle of jackass nowhere, also known as Boring, Oregon. Then it's another bazillion hours on a loud stuffy bus to a summer camp where you'll spend all 90-something days of summer.

You’d rather spend another 300,000 days in this car ride if it meant avoiding that camp.

“Hey” Your brother pauses and spares a glance towards you, before looking back at the road “Buck up buddy, you might finally make some new friends there. And besides, if you don’t you always have Jake to hang out with,” he said, a soft smile on his face.

You scoff at his futile attempt to lighten the mood and turn your headphones up, waiting for this torturous car ride to be over.

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You’re woken up from your groggy car nap by a quick shove to your shoulder and the sound of your brother’s voice apologizing about something. You sit up and pull your hood tighter over your head, shoving the disconnected cord of your string headphones down the front of your hoodie.

“Come on little man, or you’re gonna have to walk to camp yourself” Your brother jokes, followed by a hearty chuckle “Yeah, yeah, I’m coming dude” you mutter under your breath as you get out of the front passenger seat and pull up your black jeans.
You notice your bro putting your bag on the bus as you clutch your carry-on for dear life and walk over to a group of 11 other teens. “Okay, now that everyone’s here! Welcome to the best summer of your life at camp Sunnywood!” The tall lady at the front of the group announces. A small wave of worried mutters washes over the group as you push and shove your way through, trying to find the only person here that you can trust.

Finally, you spot the neat hair and tanned skin near the front of the group, next to a familiar pink mop of curls and clutching the hand of a stranger, who you can barely see past the wall of tangled hair filled with stray flowers. You run up to Jake before you can think, grabbing his shoulder like he’s a safe haven and clutching onto him like he’s the only thing letting you breathe.

“Oh, hiya chap! We haven't seen you since two Christmases ago!” he exclaims, turning towards you with a bright cheeky smile on his face. You take in what he looks like now. He hasn't changed much-besides his clothes of course-he has a few cord necklaces hanging around his neck, wearing a dark grey tank top and brown shorts that barely reach his knees. Looking further down you take note of his brown knee-high boots, and the tips of his white socks poking out from underneath them. Directing your attention back up to his face you notice that his glasses are now thinner framed and have changed colour to a vibrant emerald green.

You look over to his side to see “Rox?” you say, dumbfounded. Roxy stares at you for a few seconds before crushing you in a hug “EEE, I haven't seen you in forever Davey! Rose told me you’d be here,” they squeal, practically picking you up off the ground. “Please don’t call me that,” You utter, still trying to catch your breath as Roxy puts you back down.

“Now, if everyone is done chattering. My son Kankri will be going around and giving everyone a coloured ribbon and a name tag with your name written on it.” She gestures towards a tall kid with soft-looking chestnut skin and crisp white hair, wearing a red turtleneck. In one hand, he’s holding an assortment of pink and blue ribbons, and in the other a small drawstring bag. He gets to you first since you're technically at the very front, handing you a blue ribbon and a small rectangular pin, which you clip onto your shirt absentmindedly.

Right as you’re about to get on the bus you feel someone standing behind you and spin around instantly. You look up at your brother’s face, vacant of emotion, and before you can do anything he kisses you on the cheek and grabs your phone from your hand. “Don’t die while I’m not looking” “Jeez, love you too bro,” you hiss under your breath sarcastically and go to join Jake on the bus.