My house was engulfed in flames, bright orange red flames that ended in black smock and then disappearing into the clear sky. I, Lucy Carter, on the other hand sat with my mom in the back of an ambulance covered in ashes. The firefighter arrived after more than half of my house had turned to ashes leaving me with zero hope that it could ever be restored to its original glory. Meanwhile my mother, the great Suzy Carter tried her best to show her shock and fell sadden about the whole incident.
“Looks like it was a gas
leak from one of the pipes, when was the last time you had the gas lines
checked?” one of the firefighters came to use to explain the situation.
“Last week, but the guy who
came looked super sketchy. He was looking here and there and asked so many
personal questions that I had to ask him to leave without a proper maintenance
check. I was going to call someone this week but…” tears left my mother’s eyes
as she tried to explain an event that never happened. I never understood how
she did it, lied to everyone’s face, made herself look like the victim and then
got away with everything.
I’m not saying she’s a bad
person apart from her recent arsenal (our house), insurance fraud (she will
soon commit) and some unrelated random incidents, she’s pretty normal.
“Honey, I’m sending you to
your aunt. You can work for her this summer while I take care of insurance and
a place for us” my mother announced as the ambulance dropped us off at the
nearest (and cheapest as my mother insisted) hotel.
“Mama, I’m not going to
work at a camp, it’s not fun and the fire wasn’t my fault either” the last part
I said in a whisper while also rolling my eyes at her.
“I don’t care, I’ve set it
up and you’re leaving tomorrow. No questions, no arguments” she always gets the
last word, even though I’m the responsible one.
The next day as mama said I
was shipped out to black lake for my summer job as a councilor looking after
campers a year or two younger than me.
“Lucy, welcome to camp
black lake. Suzy told me you would be with me like a month ago. I didn’t
believe her but… You’ve grown up gorgeous…” Aunt Ry (short for Rylee) gave me
the tightest hug before continuing “Have your hair always been red and when did
you stop wearing glasses, forget it you’re prettier without them.” This went on
for hours before she explained to me my duties and gave me a camp to the camp
grounds. She handed me another few papers, one of which I think she didn’t
intend to because it said “Underground
short cuts” but it wasn’t going
to return it, it could come in handy.
My whole day went by
uneventfully, since today’s work didn’t include watching over the campers. But
after curfew that changed, some of the campers snuck out and I only know that
because I was out of bed myself, not for the same reason they were out smoking
and I was out finding internet signals. Was I going to stop them, no, was I
going to report them, never, was I going to walk away staring at them but not
saying anything to make them think I will tell someone, definitely. I’m forced
to be here, that doesn’t mean I have to follow rules. So that’s what I did, the
look on their faces was priceless.
Next week or so I followed
the routine but the thing is I never saw those campers again, it was strange so
I went to aunt Ry.
“Hey, just wanted to ask
about some campers, I saw them about a week or two ago and now I don’t see
them” I’m trying to explain also while not mentioning about them smoking but
aunt looks as clueless as always.
“I’m not sure but I think
some campers did go home”
“They can do that?”
“This camp isn’t forced.
They sign up and then they can leave whenever, they just have to sign the
Weird explanation but I
“And Lucy, it’s your turn
to walk the grounds after curfew today but be in bed after”
“Ok Aunt Ry”
The day goes by and night
comes and I’m out walking the grounds, it isn’t as creepy as it sounds. I start
from the first cabin since they’re all labeled. It's easy to find my way back,
I walk checking the doors of each cabin and windows and the sides. This I knew
would take me ages but a duty is a duty so I walked from cable to cable until I
came to the late cabin, cabin 55. Unlike other cabins this one was completely
empty since the door was open and I would have left it like that if it wasn’t
for the trapdoor. I had barely noticed it; it wasn’t open as much as left ajar.
Empty cabin, trapdoor, and
the middle of the night and then it hits me. One of the documents Aunt Ry
handed me said “Underground
shortcuts” so it was natural that
I would check it, it would be irresponsible of me if I didn’t. I pulled open
the trapdoor and surprisingly there was a ladder for me to take down into
darkness. I climbed down and headed the only way I could see after I turned on
my flashlight. Then began the journey that lasted longer than I thought because
I walked and walked and walked and walked, you get the point I walked plenty
before I stumbled upon a small cave like place. There were boxes upon boxes
stacked and as I got closer to the middle I heard voices.
“Have you loaded the boxes
on the truck?” The voice was familiar and more authoritative than usual.
“Yes, Ma’am” came the
I stepped forward, I’m an
idiot to do that, my feet moved on their own and seconds later I stood a few
feet away from the aunt I thought was the sweetest nicest human in the world
but turned out to be selling drugs.
“Lucy, how did you get
here” she didn’t look worried at all instead she seemed glad and unbothered.
“You sell drugs”
“No… no. Yes. It’s
complicated. I smuggle them and then send them all over the country. That
wasn’t complicated but that’s the short version of what I do.”
“It’s in our DNA, I smuggle
drugs, your mom commits fraud as you know, your dad was an embezzler, your
grandparents from our side are scammers, and somewhere along the lines your
great great great grandparents took part in genocide then became professional
“What?” my brain had
stopped functioning at this point.
“Don’t worry you’ll soon
realize what crime fascinates you and then you’ll be right on track but you can
also experiment with what you like, murder, fraud, kidnapping, blackmailing,
manslaughter and there are more.”
“Stop. I’m not like you or
mom, I… I don’t want to commit crimes even for fun and I won’t let you either”
my eyes got blurry with all the tears but I managed to run towards the way I
“You won’t make it far like
your father…” her voice echoed, “he decided he had had enough and wanted to
stop his criminal activities and take responsibility for his crime. What a
She stopped talking when
someone grabbed me by the legs and I tripped. I was brought back to her.
“Did you I had your father
killed in prison because he defied our family and I’ll do the same to you if
you defy this family now” she was smiling while she told me what really
happened to my father. Something inside of me snapped, the image of my normal
family broke. I ran towards my aunt to fight her for taking my dad away from me
but she dodged and I slammed into the table.
“Poor Lucy” she mocked me
and made faces at me.
I looked around to use
something, to do something and then my eyes landed on a lighter and a perfume.
It was the one that contained the most alcohol. I knew I wouldn’t be able to
hurt her but I could burn her drugs. I got up slowly grabbing both the perfume
and the lighter. I ran again, this time spraying perfume and igniting it with
the lighter. By the time they caught me again the boxes were on fire, her
employees ran for the escape but I remained in the fire.
“Lucy” I could hear her
echoes but the smoke had made me dizzy and I had passed out.
Sometime later when I
regained consciousness, aunt Ry was hugging me and wrapping me in a blanket.
“Lucy I knew you were like
us, you have the gene even if it took so long to show.”
“Arsenal, burning my
shipment was probably a bit too much but I forgive you since you found your
calling. Let’s get back. I need to call Suzy and tell her, she would be so
I didn’t know what she was
capable of after today, I knew if I defied her now she would flip again so I
went along until I could get out of this place safely. Going to mom wasn’t an
option either but I had to stay somewhat obedient until I could escape this