The boats rocked lightly at the camps dock. They tossed and turned; some even broke free of the dock and floated slowly down the lake. The wind carelessly blew the freshly stacked oars and lifejackets to the ground. Someone at the camp would have to fix that, but not at the moment. The staff members of Camp Glingal still lay soundly in their beds. It was only four-thirty in the morning and would have been counted as a day like any other. But, in fact, this was not a day like every other. Today was ‘final preparation’ day for the councilors. Starting tomorrow parents driving trucks, mini-vans, and cars would be dropping their children off for a summer of adventure, fun, and memories that the campers would never forget. The camp director, Kisha Blanchard tossed and turned in her twin-sized bed. She enjoyed her job immensely but the day before ‘thunder in the Glin’ (as the fellow staffers called it) made her very nervous. Finally, at around five, she pulled herself out of bed and stretched. She walked across the room and pulled out a pair of work jeans and a t-shirt from the closet. She put them on and sat back on her bed to put her shoes and socks on. Her crimson painted toenails were beginning to chip and she let out a sigh. She stood up and walked out of the room and entered into the staff bathroom.
She looked at herself in the mirror and pulled back her auburn hair into a poorly constructed bun. Her simple brown eyes danced in the mirror as it looked over Kisha’s face for any problems. She saw the usual cuts and scrapes from working at the camp. Since there seemed nothing out of the ordinary, she left the bathroom and walked down the hallway. She paused as she walked through one of the sitting rooms. Jack Thompson sat on one of the couches reading the morning paper. He looked up when she paused in the sitting room. Jack had always been a wonderful friend to Kisha and she was excited when he decided to work as a camp councilor. He joined the staff of Camp Glingal four years ago and he was always a favourite among the campers. Kisha had met Jack on a trip to England with two other camp staff members. They met him on the Tube and afterwards the four of them decided to get some lunch together. After that a great friendship blossomed and a year later he came to the States to visit Kisha. After a bit of coaxing he finally decided to work at the camp in the summer time. Jack always gave off the grandfatherly aura and staff and campers alike always went to him in a time of need. Kisha was definitely glad she hired him. She couldn't have asked for a better councilor.
“Good morning Kisha,” he said smiling. “How did you fare last night?”
Kisha smiled back and shrugged.
“Pre-‘thunder in the Glin’ worries I guess,” she replied. “How about you?”
“Oh I slept like a dead man on the bottom of the lake,” he said with a smile. He turned the page on his paper.
“Care for a cup of tea with me?” he asked.
She shook her head no.
“Sorry, I need to finish some things,” she replied.
He frowned. “No tea? How about some Kippers? A chip butty? Fish and Chips? You can’t say no to that, can you?” he asked.
Kisha sighed and nodded.
“Actually today I can. I’m in no mood for food. I’m afraid I’ll puke it up,” she said.
Jack nodded. “Yes, I understand you. Pavement pizza is of the devilishly nasty sort. Are you heading into town today?”
“Yes, I need to get some more batteries, tomato sauce, and potatoes. I also need to pick up my laptop and Jamie’s digital camera. Do you need anything while I’m in town?”
Jack thought about it for a moment before nodding.
“If you could please pick me up some brown bread, Aubergine, Coriander, a couple faggots, some flake, a bottle of HP sauce, and a couple herrings please. I want to make kippers tomorrow,” Jack answered.
Kisha rolled her eyes.
“Thank God I finally figured out what half of that stuff means. It is most embarrassing walking into a grocery store and asking for faggots and some flake. I swear Jack, learn American English. Last year you scared half the campers.”
Jack shrugged and raised the paper eye-level.
“All in a days work dearest chuck,” he said with a laugh.
“Don’t ever call me that again,” Kisha warned as she made her way outside.
She could hear Jack laughing inside the sitting room and then she could smell the sweet cherry sent of his pipe. She quickly spun around on her heals.
“No smoking during the camp season!” she shouted.
“I wouldn’t think of it, dearest chuck,” came the response.
Kisha let out an angry yell as she walked down the path to her truck. Before climbing into the bid old red Ford, she looked at the camp. The grounds of the camp looked absolutely serene. The two three-storey camper dorms sat darkened and void of life. The camper dorms held fifty rooms in each dorm with four people living in each room. Each floor had around sixteen rooms and for a six-week stay these rooms looked pretty nice. Each room had four twin-sized beds, two walk in closets, four dressers, four desks, and a sink and mirror with running water. Each floor had a bathroom for the boys and girls (separately of course) with four stalls and six showers. Each floor also had a living room and each dorm had a game room on the main floor. The living room had a few couches, a television, and a computer. The game room had an air hockey table, a pool table, darts, and a video arcade type set-up. Pretty soon the entire dorm section of the camp would be alive with life, but not at the moment. It was dark and it looked downright spooky.
That will change tomorrow. She thought.
The councilor dorm still had lots of darkened windows meaning that half of the staff still lay soundly in their beds. She glanced over at the beach and watched two boats float down the lake. She rolled her eyes.
She knew that one of the other councilors would see them floating and would grab them. Her gaze turned to the freshly combed beach. The buddy board had the tags of all the campers sitting next to their room assignments. Pretty soon all those tags would be on the part of the board labeled, ‘in the water’. Next to the beach sat the big campfire set-up. It had taken over a week to move all the firewood they would need for the weekly campfires with the campers. Jack, and another councilor by the name of Erik, fixed up all the benches that were made of tree logs. This weeks campfire was already set up and ready to go.
Next to the campfire stood the two-storey garage and infirmary, the garage held a ping-pong table, an air hockey table, and a foosball table. It also held various objects for sports and miscellaneous games. The infirmary upstairs always had at least one camper in it for a bloody nose or sprained finger. This year Kisha prayed for no broken legs. She already told Erik that there would be no game called, ‘climb up the rafters behind the stage like the opera ghost from The Phantom of the Opera’. That already proved disastrous.
Next to the garage and infirmary sat the great field. It was where the camp games were played. It was big enough to play a regulation game of American football. Many games of European football, field hockey, American football, lacrosse, and rugby were played here.
Across the great field was the lake. During the six weeks it looked absolutely picturesque, but every other day of the year it looked dark and dingy. The staff would arrive at the camp four weeks early to clean it. The lake had no outlet for water to leave and the water always gave off a blackish colour, for this Kisha dubbed it Lake Nūrnen after the sea in Mordor with the same characteristics. But this was also where the camp got its name. Adjacent to the lake, on a green platform, surrounded by flowers of all shapes and colours stood a tree that looked to be made of gold. Kisha had asked one of the old councilors who used to work at the camp in its first year to make it. She thought it would look pretty next to the lake. After it was made, Mike, a camper in the first year, said it reminded him of Glingal. Kisha had asked him what that meant and he said that it was an artificial tree in the book The Silmarillion by Tolkien. He explained to her that it was a tree made by Turgon fashioned out of gold that was supposed to resemble Laurelin, one of the two trees of Valinor. Kisha rather liked the name of the tree and then decided that the camp would be called Camp Glingal after it. Every start and finish of camp the campers would all gather around the tree and Kisha would tell the story about the tree.
On the far side of the camp sat the final five buildings of the camp. They were the kitchen, the dining hall, the arts and crafts building, the Great Hall and the theatre. The kitchen and dining hall had to be separated because of the fact that there were three hundred and fifty campers and one hundred staff members. If the kitchen and dining hall were in the same building then the building would have been way too big, also they liked watching the campers have to get up and walk out of the dining hall to get their food. The arts and crafts building was a two-storey building that held all of the materials needed for projects. It was also a popular hang out place for the teenagers during their free time. The other favourite hang out place was the theatre. Twenty of the councilors were in charge of having a group of students put on a play for everyone. The group of students was voluntary and any one could join in on the play, but it did take up every free minute so most did not want to do it. They did enjoy watching it though. The final building, the Great Hall, was used the most at camp. This building could hold all three hundred and fifty campers plus the one hundred staff with room to spare. This is where Kisha gave out the orders for the day’s activities and where the entire camp met daily.
Kisha took one last good look at the quiet landscape and smiled sadly.
“This is the last peaceful day of the summer,” she thought as she went into her truck.
She didn't know how right she was.
Jack was still reading the paper when Tammy Vertneuf, Jodie Ducklehide, Matt Gibson, and Jan Seche walked into the sitting room.
“Good morning!” Jack said cheerfully.
Tammy gave a distant nod, Jodie smiled slightly, Matt seemed as if he was in another world and Jan didn't even acknowledge his greeting.
“Why so glum my American friends?” Jack asked as he set the paper down and took another puff on his pipe.
“Today’s ‘thunder in the Glin’ day,” Jodie said sadly as if Jack had no idea what the day was.
“It’s just so depressing,” added Jan.
“No more peaceful mornings,” Tammy said with a sigh.
“We go through this every summer. Bleeding hell, the day before the children leave you’ll be depressed about that too,” Jack said.
“Yeah, I’m sure that’ll happen,” he said.
“It always does,” Jack agreed. “Now, who would like to join me for some kippers with curry?”
The four made a grimacing face and backed off.
“I’m content with a cup of coffee. Thanks anyway,” Jan said. She already had a foot out the door. She did not want to eat kippers with curry.
“Bah to coffee,” Jack said taking a puff off the pipe.
“We’ll be in the mess hall if you need us or if the other councilors want to join us,” Matt said.
“Oh all right,” Jack said. “Cheerio!”
Tammy smiled, “Cheerio my good mate.”
Gwen’s eyes bolted open faster then lighting. She had actually woken up five minutes prior but seeing that her alarm clock hadn’t gone off she thought it was much earlier then what it really was. The light that streamed through the windows and the sound of fellow councilors talking in the sitting room was what made her eyes bolt open. She sat up in bed and realized that it was not six in the morning like she thought but actually eight-thirty. Her alarm clock had failed to wake her up for the third day in a row. She got out of bed and put on a pair of grubby work jeans and her black t-shirt that read: ‘A Night at the Opera World Tour 2002/2003 Blind Guardian.’ It then listed all the tour dates and places. The front of the t-shirt had a picture of Legolas, Gimli, and Gollum entering into a place called Bard’s tavern. Her friend bought her the t-shirt when they went to Montreal to see Blind Guardian. She went back to her bed and bent over to fish her black sneakers out from under the bed. She found then and then began looking for socks. She found a pair that had the Phantom’s mask from The Phantom of the Opera on them. She put them on and then put her shoes on. She put on her watch and headed out the door. She smacked herself in the head and backtracked. She closed the door this time and then went down the hallway. She didn't even bother to say good morning to Jack who was watching the news in the sitting room. The paper lay discarded next to him and his pipe lay on top of it. Jack shrugged as Gwen hurried by and wondered why she was so lively this morning. Though when he saw her t-shirt he let out an ‘ah’ and went back to watching the TV.
Gwen went to the mess hall and got a quick bite to eat. Tammy, Jodie, Matt, and Jan were in there eating scrambled eggs, toast, and bacon and drinking orange juice.
“Morning Gwen,” Tammy said politely.
Gwen nodded in response as she popped in a Toaster Strudel into the toaster. She paced back and forth while she waited for it to be done.
“My, my, you seem restless this morning,” Jodie commented.
The toaster made a popping sound and the Toaster Strudel popped up and Gwen grabbed it. She tossed it between hands as she headed out the door. They then heard her black Sedan start up and drive off.
“I wonder where she’s going this morning,” Matt commented. He took a sip of his orange juice and took a bite of his scrambled eggs.
Jan bit into her toast.
“The new Blind Guardian single comes out today. She told me last night that she’d be getting up early to head into town to buy it. I’m guessing her alarm clock didn't work again,” Jan explained.
“That makes sense,” he said taking a sip of coffee.
The sun shined high in the sky while the councilors worked on last minute changes to the camp. It was around one in the afternoon and Kisha and Gwen had not returned from town yet. The group of camp councilors sat on the big porch over-looking Lake Nūrnen. It was a rather peaceful moment and everyone wished it would last forever. But, of course, it didn't. Jack happened to look above the lake and he saw what looked like the Aurora Borealis.
“What in the devils is that?” he asked pointing to the sky.
The rest followed his gaze and they too saw the Aurora.
“It’s the Northern Lights,” Erik Pagnita replied.
“I thought that was a night time thing,” Tammy said.
“It is,” Erik replied.
“Is it coming towards us?” asked Jan.
“You know, I think it is,” he replied.
“No one ever dares to speak it’s nothing else but fantasy. It’s make believe, make believe. No one ever dares to speak it’s nothing else but fantasy but one day it all will come to life…”
Blind Guardian’s new single Fly blared through Gwen’s speakers. She looked at the lyrics before she started up the car so she could sing along with the new songs. She couldn't wait for them to tour with this CD so she could see them again. Checking their website she found out that the complete album would be in stores in September and she almost had a heart attack because she didn't think she could wait that long. The title track, Fly, had a very catchy beat and before long Gwen’s hands were beating on the steering wheel in tune with the beat.
“This is a really good single!” she said aloud as she turned off the highway and onto residential roads.
“Maybe the group will like it,” she said as she played Fly again for the tenth time.
Kisha’s big old red Ford truck pulled into two-mile dirt road that leads to Camp Glingal. On her way to camp she fiddled with the radio until she found BBC radio. Jack had bought her XM satellite radio for her car so she could hear the better British channels when she uses her truck. She passed by BBC radio because she wanted to listen to the local news. She stopped on the National Public Radio and listened for the local news. She caught the local news mid-sentence.
“…The Northern Lights appearing in broad daylight near Lake Nūrnen. I’m sure the councilors at Camp Glingal are getting a pretty sight today. The six week summer camp starts tomorrow for Camp Glingal and campers all already to begin what is sure to be an exciting summer…”
It droned on as Kisha turned the truck into the camp.
Northern Lights in broad daylight eh? I hope Jack took a picture of it. She thought.
She parked her truck in the grassy parking lot and bent down to pick up a few bags. She then sat back up and went to exit her truck. Before doing that though she spotted a person standing next to one of the many trees. She furled her eyebrows.
Who the heck is that? Campers don’t come till tomorrow and that does not look like one of my staff members. She thought. Her thoughts were interrupted by another figure walking across the grass towards her truck. Kisha squinted her eyes at the figure, who she thought she regonised.
“Legolas? No bloody way. All right someone’s going to pay for that joke. Never joke around about that,” she said in her truck.
Something told her that the coming six weeks were going to be interesting. Very interesting.
Author's Chapter Notes:
I don't own anything by Tolkien or any other references to other things (such as Blind Guardian). Enjoy!