Chapter 1 — The Start of a Strange Summer
Outside Memphis, TN – The Airport
Randy Tanner’s POV
I can already tell that this is going to be a real shitty summer. How could Dad do this to me? This is my last official summer to goof off before I have to head off to college and become some mindless legal lackey. Instead of getting to goof off and have a good time with my summer, I’m stuck going to some damn summer camp in Florida.
What in the hell is wrong with him? Doesn’t he understand what he’s done to me? I can’t believe he fucked me over this way! He went and screwed me over in the worst way it seems. Instead of having a great time with my friends and shit, he got me a job at some damn camp with kids for the summer. What in the hell do I look like, looking after kids all fucking day long? I’m almost eighteen years old; I should be having a good time with people my own age, not dealing with kids at a damn camp. This summer already blows!
When I told my friends what Dad had done, they all agreed with me. Father or not, I should say fuck it and not go. He has some damn fucking nerve to do this to me. Who gave him the damn right to sign me up for some damn job and not tell me?
Since Mom remarried and moved out to Orlando, he’s been a real asshole. I can’t help it that he lost the woman he loves to someone else. Since he found out about what happened with her and his legal aid assistant, he’s been doing some real sneaky ass shit. If he keeps this up, he’s going to lose me, just like he lost her. It’ll serve his ass right. That’ll teach him for trying to control every single aspect of everyone’s life around him.
“Damn him,” I said aloud as I looked around, to see that a few of the security guards were eyeing me.
I’m currently at the airport against my wishes. I’m waiting for my plane to be called, to take me to the job I don’t want. I would’ve jetted already and been gone away from here, but as luck had it, Dad told the security guys around here that I’m not to leave the airport for any reason. Those damn guys have been watching me like I’m a thief, trying to shoplift.
Why did I have to end up having a dad that’s a damn judge? Go figure there. In five hours, I’ll probably be knee deep in kids, goody-goody stuff and what not when I arrive at this place called Camp Henderson somewhere in Florida.
In Marathon, FL – The Carlson Residence – Nicky Carlson’s Bedroom
Nicky Carlson’s POV
Yes! I’m totally stoked right now and I can hardly contain myself. It’s almost the start of summer and things are finally looking up for me. I hoped upon hope and it seems all of my wishes have come true, well almost all of them.
I’m going back to Camp Henderson this year and I’m going to be a senior counselor this summer. Wow, I can’t believe it finally happened. Being a senior counselor is the best thing ever. I’ve been waiting for the opportunity for I don’t know how long and now I’m going to get my chance to show the kids and the camp directors what I am capable of. That’s going to look good on my resume in the long run. I’m just so proud of myself right now. I guess all of my hard work the previous summers actually paid off and the camp directors were impressed enough to invite me back for another summer. They invited me back and I aim to please.
This is my final shot this summer. I’ll be heading off to college in the fall and I intend on making this summer my greatest yet. I’ve been waiting for the school year to be over, just so I could go to camp. When I got the letter a few weeks back, I read those gracious words that set the mood for the rest of the summer. I will be a SENIOR CAMP COUNSELOR. Yes! I’ve been on cloud nine since I got that letter and read those words.
To say the least, my happiness almost faded once I showed the letter to my parents. Mom was very happy that I would get the chance to have more responsibility with the kids, but Dad wasn’t all that thrilled. Shocked, I asked Dad what was up and from his point of view, I should be doing something a little bit more constructive and productive with my summer instead of going to a camp. Since I’m going to college to be a psychiatrist, I thought working with troubled kids would be a good start for me, but he doesn’t see things that way. Dad thinks I should find a job somewhere, interning or making a wage, rather than working with kids. As if, I’m going to camp baby.
Since I’m already set to go, I’m just sitting here, waiting for my little brother Aaron to be ready. Since this is my last summer to actually play around with, I thought it would be nice to spend it with him at camp. Seeing my way of thinking, Mom quickly signed the papers to send Aaron along with me. With two less children in the house for the summer, I’m sure her days and nights would be somewhat peaceful. All I have to do is wait for him to finish packing his things. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say he doesn’t want to go to camp, depending on the way he’s dragging his feet.
Bahia Honda, FL – Camp Henderson – Camp Director’s Office
“Good morning Dr. Richards,” William James, one of the camp director’s spoke as Dr. Kevin Richards walked into the office.
“Good morning Mr. James, you don’t have to be so formal, you can just call me Kevin,” Kevin spoke with a smile as the two men shook hands.
“Good, I like that,” William stated as he sat down behind the desk. “Are you ready to get things started around here?”
“I’m ready as I’ll ever be,” Kevin replied as William noticed the twinkle in the man’s eyes. “I got my office set up, the first aid kits are all stocked up in each of the cabins and I even set up some emergency stations in different places around the camp.”
“Great,” William said as he looked through some papers on his desk. “The camp counselors will be arriving today. So keep your eyes open for them. Among them, my nephew JT will be here, he’ll be a senior counselor this summer.”
“Okay,” Kevin replied as he looked at William strangely. “Has he been here before?”
“Yes he has,” William replied as he looked at Kevin. “He was here a few years ago as a camper. I think that was before your time here.”
“Oh, well he should know his way…” Kevin spoke as William held up his hand, interrupting him.
“I brought JT up because he—he’s somewhat special,” William stated as he looked down.
“He’s somewhat special?” Kevin spoke, repeating the man’s words as he watched him strangely.
“Let’s just say that he won’t be like the other counselors around,” William stated as Kevin just sat there, his expression non-changing. “JT is partially paralyzed and he walks with crutches sometimes. One of the reasons he’s going to be here is because the camp got some new sponsors and along with those sponsors, came more funding. This year the camp will be accepting special needs children.”
“Ah,” Kevin replied with a smile. “So, does he have any experience working as a counselor? Has he worked with kids in the past?”
“Yes, he’s worked as a counselor before and he works with special needs kids. He’s one of the reasons our sponsors have made so many donations to the camp. When he’s not working at the camp, he works as a physical therapist and he’s an actual counselor at a upscale private school,” William explained as Kevi’s mouth dropped open. “With a little bit of coaxing, I was able to get him to agree to come here this summer.”
“So, who else will be counselors this summer? Will Nicky Carlson be returning?” Kevin asked as Wiliam looked over at him with a strange expression on his face.
“There are three senior counselors and six junior counselors this summer,” Wililam answered. “As I said, JT will be a senior counselor, along with Nicky Carlson and Joseph Fatori.”
“Nice, I’m sure he’ll do a great job with the campers,” Kevin stated as Wiliam looked at him again.
“This summer Nicky will be bringing his little brother with him,” William stated as Kevin looked at him strangely.
“That’s cool of him. He talks so highly of the little guy,” Kevin stated as he cross his right leg over the left one.
“The junior counselors for the summer consist of your cousin Tommy Little, Christina Arliss, Jamie Batt and Howard Donaldson from last summer and then we’ll have some new faces. Randy Tanner and Anastasia Morgandorfer…” William spoke as Kevin held up his hand, interrupting him.
“Who is Randy Tanner?” Kevin asked.
“I’ll go ahead and tell you that he’s a spoiled brat, the son of a judge, that’s been sentenced by his father to come here to work,” William stated as Kevin raised an eye at him. “No, he’s not a criminal, that I know of, but it seems his father wants him to take some responsibility for his life.”
“So, his father sending him here to a camp is going to help him do that?” Kevin asked.
“Maybe, who knows,” William stated as he flipped a page on his clipboard. “I see that Tommy wants to use his time here as credit towards his school internship. Is he trying to following in his cousin’s footsteps?”
“Tommy’s going into sports medicine,” Kevin replied as he accepted the paper that William handed him and then read through the names. “He says he wants to be a trainer for the NFL or the NBA.”
“I say good luck,” William said with a smile. “Here’s a list of the updated campers. Their initial files should already be in your office.”
“Thank you sir,” Kevin said with a smile as he got up. “Is there anything else I need to know for this summer?”
“A piece of advice, when interacting with JT, please try not to make a big deal of his—his condition. Don’t make a fuss over him. He seems to take offense when people worry or try to help him. If he doesn’t ask for help, let him be.”
“I’ll be sure to keep that in mind,” Kevin replied as he stood up, shook William’s hand and then walked towards the door. “Have a great day sir”
“You too Kevin,” William spoke with a smile as he got up and then walked towards the door also, leaving
Later that Evening — The Senior Counselors’ Cabin
“Well look what the dogs dragged in,” Joey Fatori spoke as Nicky Carlson walked through the door, shook his hand and then gave him a hug. “How did your school year go?”
“I graduated with honors man. I’m officially an adult now,” Nicky said with a smile. “This is going to be my best summer yet.”
“Rock on man,” Joey said as he patted Nicky’s back as he threw his things down on the bed. “So who’s the other counselor?”
“I don’t know, I just got here. I think it’s his first time here,” Nicky spoke as Joey turned and looked at him strangely.
“He’s a first timer and he’s going to be a senior counselor,” Joey said as Nicky shrugged his shoulders. “He must have an ‘in’ with the big boss man or something.”
“Maybe, who knows man,” Nicky said as he walked over to a bed and then sat down. “I brought Aaron here with me this time. He’s over in the newbie cottage, getting to know the guys there.”
“That’s a good thing man,” Joey said with a smile. “I’m sure you’re helping your mom out lots. That only leaves the three girls there in the house with her, right?”
“No, four,” Nicky replied with a frown.
“Four? Your mom have a baby or something?” Joey asked, looking at Nicky strangely again.
“No, she didn’t have another baby,” Nicky responded, looking down at the floor. “I just hope they don’t turn the house into a war zone over the summer.”
“Why would it turn into a war zone?” Joey asked, moving over to Nicky as he took a seat next to him on the bed.
“This hasn’t been a good year for us so far. We all found out that Dad had some infidelity issues. Dad had an affair with another woman and he fathered a child a few years ago. That woman died after Christmas and now we have a new sister named Emma. Leslie and Barbara are the only two that are trying to like her; all Angie does is fight with her since they are similar in ages,” Nicky explained as Joey’s mouth dropped open.
“So how does Aaron feel about her?” Joey asked as the door to the room opened and a rather tall and skinny black man entered the room on crutches. “Hey guy, do you need some help?”
“I got it,” the man replied in a cold tone as he walked over to the other bed in the room, tossing his bag down on the bed and then he sat down. “Hi, I’m John, but you may call me JT.”
“Ah, hi there JT,” Nicky greeted as he got up and walked over to the other man, extending his hand as did Joey. “I’m Nicky Carlson and this is Joe, Joey Fatori.”
“Nice to meet the both of you,” JT replied as he shook both of their hands and then let his crutches fall to the floor. “Has the doctor been by yet?”
“No, not yet. Do you need something? Are you okay?” Joey asked as JT glared at him.
“I’m totally fine. I just wanted to know if he’s been by so I could talk with him about a few of the campers,” JT replied as he hastily grabbed at his crutches, got up from the bed and then walked towards the door as he looked back at the two men. “I’ll see you guys later on.”
“Rude much,” Nicky said as Joey frowned and then looked down, averting his eyes.
The Junior Counselors’ Cabin
“How are things going with you Tommy? Are Aunt Jackie and Uncle Harold doing okay?” Kevin asked as he sat down next to Tommy on his bed. “How is Harry doing these days, now that he’s a free man?”
“Mom and Dad are doing okay and Harry’s decided to enlist in the army,” Tommy replied as Kevin’s eyes widened.
“He enlisted into the army? Is he crazy?” Kevin asked as he shook his head. “He must be looking for some kind of punishment.”
“You know Harry,” Tommy said as he shook his head. “Dad tried to tell him that being out and pride in the open like that wasn’t a good thing, especially in the military.”
“What made him do it?” Kevin asked with a frown.
“He said he wanted to show them and the world that he was just like any other man,” Tommy responded with a frown as he shook his head. “We all know he’s like everyone else, but I think something’s going to happen to him. You can’t be in the military and be the one-man gay pride day parade while you serve.”
“We’ll just have to pray that nothing bad happens to him,” Kevin said as he patted Tommy’s hand. “Being out in the military isn’t a good thing, especially in these trying times.”
“I know Kevin, I don’t want anything to happen to him,” Tommy said as he hugged Kevin as the door to the room opened as a young woman walked into the room.
“Am I interrupting something?” The young woman asked as she looked at the two men as they embraced one another.
“No you’re not,” Kevin said with weak smile. “You must be Anastasia.”
“Right you are,” the young woman said as she extended her hand to Kevin. “But you may call me Ana.”
“Alright Ana, welcome to Camp Henderson,” Kevin replied as Tommy shook her hand also.
“I’m Tommy Little, I’m his cousin,” Tommy spoke, motioning with his head at Kevin.
“Ah that’s cool,” Ana said with a smile. “I just came to meet the doctor to introduce myself. You two can carry on.”
“Ah no worries, I think we’re done,” Tommy said as he wiped at his eyes.
“Well we’re expecting four more,” Kevin said as he looked at Tommy. “We’re waiting for Randy, Jamie Howard and Christina. Once they get here, then we can start the counselors’ meeting.”
“Sounds good to me,” Ana said as the door swung open as a tall, slender young man staggered into the room with his bags as he fell to the floor. “Whoa man, are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” the young man slurred his words as he pushed the bags to the floor and then got up. “Is this where the counselors are supposed to be?”
“Yeah it is,” Kevin replied as he eyed the young man closely. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
“I said I was fine,” the young man replied.
“Who might you be?” Tommy asked as he backed away from the young man quickly as he fanned his hand in front of his face, trying to push the stench of alcohol away.
“I’m Randy Tanner,” the young man replied as he burped loudly as Ana stepped back, turned around and quickly fanned her hand in front of her face, turning up her nose.
“I think you might need to go get a shower before we get started,” Kevin suggested as he took Randy by the hand and attempted to lead him out of the room, but was met with resistance.
“Get your hands off of me man, I don’t need any help finding the bathroom,” the young man said as he snatched his hand away from Kevin.
“Oh my God, is it just me or is that guy drunk?” Tommy asked as he looked down the hall and then back at Ana.
“I totally think he’s drunk,” Ana replied with a frown. “What a terrible way to arrive for your first day of work.”
“It’s just a terrible way to arrive at all, regardless if it’s for work or not,” Tommy said with a frown.
“You have a point,” Ana said with a sigh as she shook her head.
Down the Hall — The Bathroom
“What in the hell do you think you’re doing? Get your hands off of me man!” Randy Tanner screamed as Kevin escorted him into the bathroom. “Stop it man! What the hell are you trying to do?”
“I’m checking to see if you’re wasted,” Kevin replied in an even tone. “You have all the physical signs of being intoxicated. I’m going to see if you actually are.”
“Fuck off man!” Randy snapped as Kevin covered his mouth with his hand as Randy’s muffled screams and obscenities could still be heard.
“Got it,” Kevin said as he pressed the button, waiting for the little device to show him the results of Randy’s blood alcohol count. “Woo wee, you’re way drunk. That means you’re getting into the shower so you can sober up. I’m not going to have you working with these kids in your current condition.”
“I’m not doing anything! Get your damn hands off of me!” Randy yelled as he took a punch at Kevin but missed, tripping and then falling to the floor.
“See, if you were sober, you wouldn’t have missed,” Kevin said with a smirk as the door opened as Nicky and Joey stood there, watching the two men intently.
“What’s going on here Kevin?” Nick asked as he looked at the new guy and them back to Kevin. “We could hear the screaming clear across the camp.”
“Oh nothing really, he just has a small problem that can be easily solved, if he’d just go with the flow and get into the shower,” Kevin said with a sigh.
“I’m not just some freak that’s going to give you a damn free show! If you want to see my goodies, I’ll have to charge you damn it!” Randy snapped as Nicky looked at Kevin and then looked down at the floor.
“I can care less about what you have to show. I’m a doctor and I’ve seen it all before,” Kevin said as Joey took the initiative and helped him to get Randy into one of the shower stalls.
“Get your fucking hands off of me!” Randy screamed out at the top of his lungs. “Stop it! You’re raping me!”
“Nobody’s raping you,” Kevin said as he got Randy’s shoes and socks off.
“Stop it!” Randy screamed out again as he struggled to get free of Kevin and Joey. “The both of you are perverts! Nothing but perverts I say! Perverts!”
“Call us what you want Randy,” Kevin said as he got Randy’s shirt over his head and off of his body. “Nicky, come over here and help us out, get the water on. Nicky!”
Snapping out of his trance, Nicky rushed over to where the three men were. Snaking his body between Kevin and the shower wall, Nicky turned the water on in the stall. Averting his eyes, Nicky moved away as Kevin smiled as he and Joey moved Randy under the water, drenching the young man as he stopped his struggles. Coughing and sputtering a bit, Randy pushed Joey backwards as he looked at Kevin.
“I hate you and you,” Randy said as he glared at Kevin.
“I know you do,” Kevin replied as he reached behind Randy and then shut the water off. “We’re going to dry off. You stay in here and cool off. When I come back in here, I would like for you to tell me why in God’s name you decided to come here of all places, intoxicated the way you were.”
“Fuck you,” Randy responded, flipping Kevin the bird as Joey shook his head and then moved out of the stall, leaving him and Nicky alone.
“Are you okay?” Nicky asked as he looked at Randy.
“What’s it to you?” Randy asked, glaring at Nicky.
“I’m just trying to…” Nicky spoke as Randy shook his head, interrupting Nicky.
“You’re not better than they are,” Randy said as he pointed his finger at Nicky. “You were only trying to get a damn free show of the new piece of meat on the block at this damn freak show.”
“I was doing no such thing,” Nicky replied, his voice trembling as he shook his head and then looked down at the floor.
“Yeah whatever, your voice says otherwise man,” Randy said as he moved out of the stall and grabbed a towel out of one of the other stalls. “I heard that pervert call you Nicky. I hope that’s not your name. That sounds more like a girl’s name.”
“My name is Nickolas, but my friends call me Nicky,” Nick replied as he glared at Randy, but averted his eyes quickly. “Everyone has nicknames, I’m sure you have one. Randy isn’t all that manly.”
“It’s more manly than a damn Nicky,” Randy said as he shook his head, continuing to dry his body. “My name is Justin, but everyone calls me Randy.”
“If your name is Justin, why do people call you Randy? Is that your middle name or something?” Nicky asked.
“Yeah it is,” Randy answered as he dried his hair with one hand as he sifted through his set clothes with the other. “Are you perverts going to get me some dry clothes or what?”
“Why you gotta call people perverts?” Nicky asked, frowning in Justin’s direction. “You’re the one that came to a camp for kids, drunk off your backside.”
“I wouldn’t have been drunk, if my father hadn’t made me come to this damn dump in the first place,” Randy said as he wrapped the towel around his waist and then wrong the water from his shirt. “You guys better hope nothing in my wallet is ruined.”
“Are you making threats Mr. Tanner?” Kevin asked as he walked back into the bathroom. “Nicky, why don’t you go get ready for the meeting.”
“Yes sir,” Nicky responded as he turned around and then walked out of the room.
“Ooooh, so you’re trying to get me alone now. Are you going to make another move on me now that we’re by ourselves?” Randy asked, watching Kevin closely. “That’s what you perverts do. You corner a guy in a bathroom and then you try to take advantage of him.”
“No one’s trying to do anything to you Randy or should I call you Justin?” Kevin asked, moving around in front of Randy.
“Call me whatever you want,” Randy said as he crossed his arms across his chest. “I won’t be here long.”
“On the contrary, that’s where you’re wrong,” Kevin said with a smirk. “Your father called and warned me about you.”
“Oh really,” Randy said as he leaned against the shower stall wall. “What did dear old dad tell you about me?”
“He said that you’ll do any and everything to get out of doing what you’re supposed to do. I’m not going to let you get out of anything here. I’ve been put in charge of you while you’re here,” Kevin stated with a sly smile on his face. “So Randy, when you fuck up, you fuck it up for everyone else.”
“Not my deal,” Randy stated as he shook his head.
“Oh it’s your deal Randy. I’m sure the other guys around here don’t want to be constantly in trouble because of your actions,” Kevin stated as Randy stood up straight and then shook his head.
“Do what you want, that’s between you and them,” Randy said as he turned his back to Kevin.
“No Randy, that’s between you and them. When you act out or whatever it is you call it, I’m just going to punish all the junior staff members. I’m sure they’ll get you to cooperate,” Kevin said with a smile. “Your father told me to use whatever methods necessary to get you to do your job. He said you getting fired from here isn’t an option, so I suggest you get used to being here. To be on the safe side for you, you shouldn’t do anything to get fired from here. You’re not going to get a free pass. As your father put it, if you get fired from here, you don’t get to go home, you’re going straight to jail.”
“What!” Randy screamed out as he turned back around to face Kevin. “He—he can’t do that!”
“Well apparently he can,” Kevin said as he crossed his arms across his chest. “Is he really a superior court judge?”
“Yeah,” Randy replied as he looked down.
“Well then I’m sure you know he knows people to do what he wants,” Kevin said with a frown.
“That—that’s not fucking fair. I’m his kid, not some damn bum on the damn street,” Randy said as he turned away from Kevin.
“Have you ever acted like his kid and not some bum off the street?” Kevin asked, stepping closer to Randy.
“It doesn’t really matter,” Randy said as he moved away from Kevin, turning his back to him. “I—I need some dry clothes man.”
“Here,” Kevin said as he handed Randy the camp issue shorts and shirt. “Put those on and then join me and the others down in the mess hall.
“Whatever,” Randy said as he walked away from Kevin with a sad expression on his face as he went down to another stall to dress.
To Be Continued…