Lumberjack Camp

Submitted into Contest #143 in response to: Set your story in the woods or on a campground. ... view prompt

13 comments

Teens & Young Adult Funny

“Welcome to Lumberjack camp!”

I groaned as I hopped off the bus. I was welcomed by the hot sun beating down on my acne-covered face.

“Oh! Don’t groan! The Lumberjackful activities haven't started yet. I’m Huck Bunyun, the camp director.”

“Lumberjackful?” I repeated quietly.

“Yes, my young lad! There's more Lumberjackful activities than you can shake a stick at!”

I was surprised he heard me.

“Now, put on your hardy Lumberjack smile, Young… uh…?”

“Mike.”

“Right. Young Mike, come with me.”

Why did my parents sign me up for this camp? I followed Huck.

“This is the tree-chopping area where you’ll learn how to chop down trees.” Huck pointed to the woods.

“Gee, exciting,” I muttered and pulled my phone out.

Then, without any warning, he grabbed it from me.

“Hey!” I exclaimed as he threw it on the paved road. He then lifted his big, black boot up and stomped it. “No cell phones!” he shouted, then got right in my face. “BLAAAAAAAAGH!”

I jumped back, my heart racing. “OK! No cell phones!... Jeez!”

He smiled. “Good, good.” He looked up at the rest of us. “And that goes for all of you!”

Turning around, I saw most of the campers’ irises showed too much white. “Good, good! Now that we have an understanding, let's move on!” He turned around and continued walking with the group.

I looked down. Man, dude slaughtered my phone! And I haven’t finished paying it off!!

“Come on, move, people!”

Groaning, I continued on with the group.

We passed a red cabin, then a purple one. Huck made a sharp right. ”Here's your cabin!”

“It's pink!” I said.

“Yeah, what's wrong with pink?” He crossed his arms.

“Nothing. It looks nice.”

He smiled. “Great! Go in. Unpack your stuff!”

I carried my suitcase to the door and opened it. The smell of pinewood entered my nose as I gasped. “Where are the beds?” The room was empty, not a speck of dust anywhere.

“Beds are made from trees, right?”

“Yeah?”

He handed me his axe. “Make your bed.”

“Hold on, I gotta, cut down a tree and make my bed from it?”

Huck laughed, “You're smart. I like you!”

“But I haven’t cut down a single tree in my life.”

“I have!” I looked back to see a boy who wore baggy pants.

“Great! You can show him how!” Huck said.

“But—"

“Don’t worry. It’s easy.”

I sighed and followed him out into the woods.

“Oh, by the way, my name is Blake.” He looked at me with mysterious green eyes. He had dirty blond hair that came down to his neck.

“Cool, I’m Mike.”

“I know. I heard you introduce yourself to Huck.”

“Oh yeah.”

“Now, first thing you gotta do is pick the right tree," Blake said.

“Right tree? They look the same!”

”To you, maybe, but I have a little friend,” he said and cupped his hands over his mouth. ZEEEEZAAAAAWWWW! ZEEEEEEEZAAAAWWWW!” his voice echoed throughout.

“What are you—”

The trees rustled. “ZEEEEEEEEZAAAAAWWWW ZEEEEEEEEZAAAAAWWWW!” a low cry copied him.

“Uh, Blake?” My heart pounded in my chest as I wondered what he was doing.

Then, a yellow beast jumped out. It had a crocodile-like head with a very round body.

I screamed as it stared at us through its purple beady eyes like we were two juicy slabs of beef.

Blake covered my mouth. “Shhh! Its OK... he’s nice.”

The creature wiped the drool from its mouth with its brown hand.

I looked at Blake.

He uncovered my mouth. “This is Marv. I found him three weeks ago when I was cutting down trees.

“You've been to this camp before?”

“This is my second session this summer.”

“Huh?”

“Lumberjack Camp is all summer long.”

“Why? Who would wanna go to a camp for lumberjacks?”

Blake shrugged. “Parents who are sick of their kids?”

I laughed. “Yeah, my parents said this camp will teach me useful skills… like when will I ever cut down a tree? I spend most of my day playing Counter Strike on Steam!”

“Yeah!”

“Back to reality, there's a mutant crocodile thing looking at us!”

“Don’t worry, he's nice.”

“Dude! Are you mental?! Look at it! That’s a killing machine!”

“No, really, he’s nice.”

“How do you know?”

“When I first saw Marv, I was scared like you; thought he was gonna kill and eat me. But he sniffed my face, made this cooing noise then made a heart with his hands… you had to be there to fully understand… anyway, I just knew Marv was cool… and I’ve been coming out here to feed and play with him every day.”

“You feed him and play with him?”

“Yeah.”

“I don’t think that's a good idea.”

“Why not?”

“You don’t know what that thing is and there's probably more out here.”

“So?”

“So, it could be dangerous! You should be careful!”

“I will, Mom.” Blake rolled his eyes.

“No, I’m being serious! Ever seen a mama bear defend her cubs?”

“Yeah, she'll kill whoever messes with them.”

“So, don’t you think we'd better am-scray before Marv's relatives come?”

I heard Huck call out, “Are you showing him how to cut trees down?”

“Yes, he's coming along great!” Blake shouted.

“Great! Supper’s in ten.”

“OK, we'll be there!” Blake exclaimed then looked at me.

“Maybe we should show Marv to Huck,” I said.

“What? No way!”

“He could turn him into the Wildlife Preservation.”

“And let them perform tests on him?”

“I’m just saying…”

“We're not telling anyone, OK?”

“OK.”

“Come on, let’s go.”

“Wait, what about the tree-cutting lesson?”

“You just whack the stupid tree with an axe till it comes falling down and you yell, timber!”

“Does Marv help?”

“No.”

“But you said you had a little friend that helps.”

“No, I didn’t I said I had a little friend.”

“Yeah, that helps you cut down trees.”

“No, you misunderstood.”

“Then, what does he do?”


The mess hall was smaller than I imagined. It was made out of wood. Images of rugged lumberjacks were painted on the yellow and pink walls. Five long tables were crammed together separated by attached stools. They took up most of the area.

I followed the other campers to the kitchen opening.

“Good morning, lumberjack in training! My name is Helga.” The plump lady smiled showing off her perfectly white teeth. “You must be hungry!”

“Well, yeah!” I said, grabbing a tray.

“Don’t fret, my buttermilk pancakes will fill you up! Don'tcha know?!” she said, scooped up two fluffy ones with metal tongs, and placed them in my tray.

“Thank you.”

“You betcha! And if you want another helping, you know where I am!” She winked.

“OK, I'll remember that.”

“Haven a good day?? Ya hear?”

“You too!” I said and carried my tray over to the table by the window and sat down. I looked at everyone as I picked my knife up. Chattering filled the room. Kids shouted and goofed around. My eyes happen to stop on a curly-haired boy sticking straws up his nose. That’s gross, dude! I thought. Others were banging on another table.

I took a bite of my pancakes. The sweet flavor of maple syrup flooded my mouth as I chewed. I swallowed and said, “These are some fine pancakes!” I took another bite. “Mmmmmmm!” I closed my eyes and focused on the maple flavor. It was so good! Better than my grandma's, and she is an awesome cook! Talk about a sugar rush; it was like someone put new batteries in me. Maybe I’ll go chop some trees after breakfast! I smiled and took another bite.

“Hey everyone! Join in for a song!” Huck’s voice boomed. I looked up as he stood up on the table, reached into his plaid shirt pocket and pulled a harmonica out. He blew a high E. “OHHHHHH, a lumberjack’s work is never done!”

“A lumberjack's work is never done!” the kids sang along.

“We lumberjacks like to cut down trees. It makes us strong and diligent as we chop all day and build all night because…”

“A lumberjack’s work is never done!”

“That's right!”

“A lumberjack's work is never done!” I sang along.

“No distractions for us, no time to play, because a lumberjack likes it that way. We build our houses wood by wood, because hard work makes us strong. We get splinters on our noses, but never on our toes, because....”

“A lumberjack’s work is never done! A lumberjack’s work is never done!.. Oh, a lumberjack’s work is never dooooonne!”

Everyone cheered.

Well, that was entertaining.

 “A lumberjack's work is never done, buddy.” a kid with large muscles said as he passed me. He patted my shoulder.

“OK?” I said.

That was weird. I looked back as he tossed his tray in the recycling bin. I shrugged, turning back to my breakfast.

I snarfed the rest of my pancakes down, then went outside. I took a deep breath. The sweet smell of pine trees welcomed my nostrils as I walked down the rocky road. The warm afternoon sun beamed down on my body, it felt so nice! I started whistling the camp song as I continued strolling.

“’Sup.”

“Ahm, Blake… my fine lad, I’m going to chop some lumber now.”

“Huh?”

“Didn’t you hear me?”

“Why are you talking like that.”

“What? This is the way I always talk, silly boy!”

“No, dude, you're acting weird.”

“I’m just excited as a jackrabbit to go chop trees down!”

“Huh? Jackrabbit?”

“Yes, my lad!”

He shook his head like he didn’t believe what I was saying. “Now, you're enthusiastic about this camp?”

“Yep

“Are you feeling alright?”

“Of course.”

“OK then…”

“Come on, young lad! Let's chop! You know what they say, a lumberjack’s work is never done!”

He followed me into the woods

“Ah, I spot a tree in need of cutting down.”

“But, you don’t have an axe.

“Of course, I have an axe, silly boy!”

“Y-y-your clothes!”

“What, my young lad?”

“They changed! You're wearing a plaid shirt and blue jeans.”

I looked down at my clothes. I let out a hardy chuckle.” You are correct, my friend. Dashing, huh?” Reaching back, I pulled my axe out.

“Where did you get that?”

I performed a good beastly laugh. “I do like your jokes, young lad!” I continued walking.

“What the hell is happening to you?”

“What do you mean, my dear boy?” I stopped and turned around.

“Well crap, you're a…”

“What?”

“Lumberjack!”

“Yes, my lad, I am!”’

“You’re not a lumberjack. You’re a teenager... Like me!”

Ignoring his nonsense, I spotted one. “There's a good one! Now, let's chop down that tree!” I started toward it, but he grabbed my arm. “Hey, unhand me!”

“No! Not until I figure out a way to turn you back.”

“Have you been drinking beaver water?”

“This isn’t you.”

“Quit logging around! There's trees to chop, houses to build, and even more trees to chop!”

“No! listen, I know you're still in there.”

“Maybe a good hardy rest will help.”

“No! – I gotta get help.”

“I’ll say, you're acting wonkier than a squirrel in a tree that’s being chopped down!”

“Stay right here. I’ll be back!”

“Where are you—”

He dashed off.

The camp song played in my head, so I started humming

I wish I had a wife. I'd come home from a hard day of work to the smell of pine wood and bacon.

A squirrel climbed up a tree. I scratched my bushy beard as I slung my axe around. I listened to birds chirping. I looked at the trees — the tall magnificent trees — real wood to make cabins! I couldn’t wait to start chopping them down.

Then, I heard a rustling sound. I looked at the bushes. More rustling…

“Hello is anyone there?”

I turned around as Blake ran with three other kids.

The boy was gangly with ginger hair and freckles. There was a short girl who looked like a throwback from the 80’s or 90’s with a purple blouse and yellow shorts.

And the last kid was completely bald. She looked like a rebel. She wore a red blouse with blue shorts and diamond earrings.

Seeing the other kids suddenly made me aware that I was really a kid too. Only problem was, I was six feet tall and wearing plaid.

“Mike, this is Jason, Kimberly, and Megan.”

“So, you ate the food, huh?” Jason said.

“Yes.”

“Shouldn’t have done that. That’s what turned you into a lumberjack.”

“Nobody warned me.”

“Still shouldn’t have done that.”

“Can you help me?”

“Shouldn’t have done that.”

“Dude!”

“OK, I’ll stop, but you shouldn’t have done that.”

I rolled my eyes.

“Jason, quit being a butt!” Megan said and slugged him.

“HEY! You're back!” Blake suddenly said.

“What?"

”You were acting like a crazy lumberjack! Wanting to cut down trees, saying weird crap… You still look like a lumberjack, but at least you’re acting like you.”

“I was?”

“Yeah.”

“I don't remember.”

“What do you remember about it?”

“After I ate the pancakes, I felt… happy and alive. I felt like I could do anything I wanted to do. Cut trees down, build a cabin, have a wife that made me dinner.”

“How do I change back?”

“It's OK ,” I lied. Jason was a jerk. Here I was, scared to death and dude was joking! I ought to—

“To change back, either wait two weeks for the pancakes to wear off or capture Marv.”

“What?”

“Dumbass, if you capture a ‘Marv’, it will grant you one wish,” Jason said as though it was common knowledge.

“What?” I asked, feeling insulted. What was his problem, anyway?

“You heard me.”

“Are you saying there are more of them?”

He shrugged.

Realizing it was pointless to argue, I sighed. “If I capture him, I can return to my old self?”

“Yep,” Kimberly said.

“How do I capture him?”

“Well, he likes Cheetos,” Blake replied, looking down.

“What?” Jason said.

“You fed him?” Megan said.

“Once or twice… or thrice… or force.

“You're unbelievable” Jason rolled his eyes.

“What? He looked hungry!”

“Of course he looked hungry, but junk food isn’t doing him any favors.”

I looked up.

“What's wrong? You scared?” Jason sneered.

“No.”

“Leave him alone!” Megan said.

I took a deep breath and started climbing a tree, the net in hand.

“Whatever you do, don't look down!” Jason shouted.

“STOP IT!” Kimberly said.

“Ow!” Jason exclaimed.

“You're doing great, Mike, KEEP IT UP!” Blake called out.

I got two-thirds up and stopped.

“What's wrong? Why did you stop?” Megan shouted.

“I think I’m good, right here,” I said, trying not to let my voice crack.

“What Is wrong, too chicken to climb to the top?” Jason snickered loudly and I heard him holler in pain.

“Don’t listen to him, you're fine where you are!” Kimberly shouted.

“Thanks! I’ll just wait here and try not to have a heart attack… or fall!”

“Sounds like a plan!” Megan shorted

“Ready!” Blake informed me and made the beast’s calling noise.

A minute later, I saw something run through the trees. It was a flash of yellow. It ran to them.

Megan, Kimberly, Jason, and Blake all stepped back as it dropped to all fours and sniffed the Cheeto. He ate it and moved onto the next. Blake petted it and said, “Good boy.” The beast ate a few more Cheetos then Blake yelled, “OK, now!” and ran back.

Before the creature could react, I dropped the net and it fell on the creature.

The creature let out a huge roar and thrashed around.

Blake crept to it and said, “SSHHHHH! It’s OK, Marv, we’re not gonna hurt you.” he patted the beast’s head. It made a cooing sound.

“Is everything alright now?” I called.

“Yeah, he’s calm, now.”

“OK,” My voice cracked. “I’m coming down.” I began lowering myself. “Don’t look down,” I told myself.

“Take one step at a time,” Kimberly called out.

I placed my foot on the next lower branch.

“Don't fall,” Jason snickered.

“Would you please shut up already?” Kimberly demanded.

“Yes, you’re not helping.”

My leg slipped and I fell.

When I opened my eyes, I saw Megan’s face, with wrinkled lines on her forehead. “Are you OK?”

“Yes.”

“Lucky I caught you.”

I start up, “Thank you for saving my life.”

“Hey, guys, why couldn’t we dig a trap instead?” Jason asked and Megan, Kimberly, Blake, and I groaned.

“Why now?” I asked.

“Tell him your wish.”

I looked at the creature. “Um, hi, Marv…” I said, muscles tense. “Good to see you again.”

“Oh for God’s sake, “ Megan said. “you’re a big lumberjack!"

She was right. I was six feet tall at least. My muscles were rocks.  I could tackle a bear and win!... Well, I wasn’t sure about that. But, why was I afraid? I took a deep breath I can do this! “OK, fella…” I paused and stared into his canary yellow eyes. “I wish I was back to my normal self!”

The creature let out a groan and blink three times.

A jolt of energy zapped through my body. “WOOOOOAAAAHHHH!” I felt myself shrink down quickly. It was like riding an elevator that was falling. My muscles felt as though they were deflating and fresh air refreshed my face.

Blake, Megan, Kimberly, and Jason gasped.

“What?” I asked in an unusual voice.

“You're me!” Megan exclaimed.

“What?!” I blurted out and noticed my head felt bare.

“Marv turned you into me, see?” She dug in her purse, pulled a mirror out, and held it up.

I yelped, staring at Megan’s face.

“But, I wished for Marv to turn me back to normal!”

Blake shrugged. “Who knows, wishes are weird.”

“Can I have another wish?

“I’m afraid not. One wish per person, sorry bro,” Blake said.

”Look at this way…” Megan said, rubbing my head. “We can be twin sisters now."


April 24, 2022 00:35

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13 comments

23:51 May 04, 2022

It’s definitely an interesting story and very original and imaginative. I had a hard time following who was talking at times. I’m going to read more of your stories. But, I think your stories would be better if you spent more time describing what the scenes looked like and what the characters were doing.

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Howard Halsall
01:42 May 04, 2022

Hello Charlie, That’s some story you’ve got there. I loved the idea and wondered if there might be a sequel with the same characters? Well done. I look forward to reading your future stories. Take care HH

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Charlie Murphy
02:48 May 04, 2022

Thank you. I might expand it. Can you give it a like?

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Howard Halsall
03:14 May 04, 2022

Definitely a like, for sure. HH

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Charlie Murphy
15:18 May 04, 2022

Thank you

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Cliff Mc Elrea
16:25 May 03, 2022

Once again, you have come up with a novel story. Keep up the creativity!

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Charlie Murphy
16:53 May 03, 2022

Thank you.

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Deidra Lovegren
12:17 May 02, 2022

Hilarious, Charlie! Where did you conjure up this zany imaginative plot?? :) The taking of the cell phones made me protectively grab mine... And the pancake scene was my favorite. Well done :)

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Charlie Murphy
15:46 May 02, 2022

Thank you. I read the Goosebumps camp books.

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Palak Shah
09:11 Apr 30, 2022

Nice story Charlie thanks for the recommendation :)) I love the plotline and I am intrigued by the fact that they had to make the bed from trees. Keep up the good work!

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Charlie Murphy
17:09 Apr 30, 2022

Thank you. Maybe I'll expand it

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Palak Shah
15:28 May 01, 2022

Yes you should :))

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Brooks Porter
03:01 Apr 27, 2022

Haha…. Where on earth would you come up with this stuff…. Great job Charlie. I appreciate your ability to come up with twists and turns…. I thought I was the only one to use the word wonky. I say it too often. Haha. Keep up the creativity.

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