Just as Cody was settling into his sleeping bag again, he heard the crying. He stopped and tried to look through the side of the tent, but he could see nothing but darkness. He clutched the edge of the sleeping bag and shivered. There seemed to be a sudden chill in the air. Listening harder, Cody decided that it was a girl crying, but it didn’t sound like Connie or Luna.
His thoughts tumbled and Luke’s ghost story came back to him. Was it the girl who drowned in the lake? Cody gasped and scrambled into his sleeping bag. He pulled it up over his head and lay there listening to his rushed breathing. What was that sound? Something scratching the side of the tent…trying to get in…trying to get to him?
‘Luke? Wake up,’ Cody said quietly.
Wiggling out of the sleeping bag, he poked his cousin and said his name again.
‘What?’ Luke muttered.
‘There something outside…’ Cody trailed off.
‘It’s nothing. The wind, a raccoon. Go back to sleep.’
But I think it’s her! The shadow girl,’ Cody hissed.
He heard Luke scrambling around then the torch came on. The light beam shone along the side of the tent, before moving upwards as Luke rolled over. Cody shut his eyes as the light hit him.
‘I don’t see anything. Maybe it was Connie or Luna?’ Luke suggested.
Cody shook his head, ‘I went out before and checked. It’s not them, it doesn’t sound like them either.’
‘Then it’s the wind.’
Cody sighed, ‘I really don’t think it is.’
‘Whatever,’ Luke said and turned off the torch.
Cody blinked fast, trying to get use to the darkness once more. He heard Luke turn over and the torch clattering against something. Luke mumbled something and his sleeping bag shifted nosily. Cody rolled over too and focused on the shadows settling back along the side of the tent.
Finally, silence crept back in, but Cody couldn’t hear anything. The crying had stopped. Shutting his eyes, he tried to get back to sleep, but he just couldn’t. He felt wide awake and his mind was too busy thinking about the ghost story. Really hoping Luke was right, Cody rolled over again. His sleeping bag rustled loudly and Cody pulled it up, wrapping it around him.
He listened to Luke’s steady breathing, but quickly grew bored. Realizing he was thirsty, Cody slipped out his sleeping bag and crawled to the first of the tent. His head felt for the zip and once the metal was against his fingers he stopped. Swallowing and telling himself that nothing was out there, Cody unzipped the tent and scrambled out.
The cold night air, hit him fully and Cody’s skin pricked with goosebumps. Fighting away the shivering, Cody hurried up to the porch and pushed the back door. The creaking wood give easily and he walked into the cabin. Thankfully, his parents had left a lamp on in the living room and in the kitchen beyond the spotlights.
Heading over, he got some water and drink it in the kitchen. Feeling better, he washed the glass and left it on the side. Going back into the living room, he stopped and looked up the stairs. It would be so nice to go up and into the bedroom Luke and he were sharing. He pictured getting into the soft bed and snuggling down. He’d feel safe, but come morning what would he say?
I had a nightmare? he thought.
He pulled a face, but then Luke was going to get in trouble again and the whole idea of this camping vacation was for Luke and his sister to escape their splitting up parents. Cody shook his head and went back outside. As he went down the steps of the porch, he saw an odd shadow shimmering close to the end of the lake just behind the tents.
To be Continued…