The Camp/The Boy

The Camp

People are moving.

No, they aren’t moving. They’re being recruited.

I’m not sure where Lesco came from or what his beliefs are but he has a hold on my town that I can’t describe. We were all once . . . happy.

There was a young boy who lived down the street from me. He used to play happily with whatever was available to him. I remember once as I passed him he told me that he’d found the perfect stick to slay some imaginary dragon he’d created out in the forest. He was a boy on a mission. But now, now he only sat, staring across the street at a nothing he couldn’t even imagine. He didn’t speak of dragons or swords, the adventures he was going to go on. He spoke of Lesco. Only Lesco.

The Boy

Not long ago he was a true child, full of imagination and wild. I observed him as he created new worlds that only his young mind could create. I would pass him and he’d wave frantically at me to come over to see what he’d brought into the world or what he’d found on his many adventures.

My favorite was every new season he would develop a new interest in an animal or plant he’d found. He would dive into these things with such vigor and educate anyone who passed him on what he’d discovered. His greatest accomplishment was taming a squirrel he’d found injured after a storm. He’d released it back into the trees but could call it back with a quick whistle through his teeth. The squirrel would come flying through the trees as if it were suspended in air from the excitement until it finally landing on the boy’s shoulder.

I happened upon him drawing in the sand with his finger, his faithful friend perched on his shoulder, and asked him what he was creating. He looked up at me, with his head tilted.

“I’m not sure.” he responded, “What does it look like to you?”

I knelt down next to him and tried to take in all that he had sketched.

“It looks like a map.” I murmured.

“Does it?” he inquired as he added a swirl to the end of a line.

“What were you trying to make?” I asked.

“Nothing, I just started sketching what was in my head. I know that this over here is a forest . . .this . . . this is definitely a swamp.”

“Why is it a swamp?”

“There’s a frog here, frogs live in swamps. That’s where I think they’ve gone.”

“What do you mean, where you think they’ve gone?”

“I’ve been hunting for frogs and fireflies. I haven’t been able to find them. It feels like they’re disappearing. They like swamps though so I think that’s where they are.”

That was the last time I saw light in his eyes, the next day Lesco arrived. Like the fireflies it disappeared. The next time I stumbled upon him he was sitting in the middle of his map. All of the lines were disturbed, his forest and swamp erased. I sat down next to him.

“Are you making something else?”

“No, it’s all gone. There’s nothing there to build it back up.”

“Aw come on. I can still see a bit of the forest and swamp over here. You could just redraw it.”

With a quick swipe of his calf the forest and swamp were gone. He sat, motionless.

“Where’s your friend?”


“Your pet.”

“Oh… gone.”

“Did something happen?”

“My parents told me that we’re leaving soon.”

“Leaving? Where would you go.”

“Lesco says that it’s best that we all live at the camp. He’s still building it up. That’s where my dad is. He’s helping Lesco build the foundation for it.”

After that day the boy didn’t speak to me. If I passed by, he didn’t wave. If I spoke to him he would stare blankly at me.

At this point I’d heard minimal about Lesco and why he was building a camp. After seeing the boy sitting motionless in the middle of his destroyed creation, I needed to know more.


  1. Fancy2209

    I really enjoyed these, and I really was just left wanting to know more about this world and who Lesco is doing and why the camp is being done, great job!

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