5. Camp Emera
I lead Shera to the river. "So what's my name?" she asks suddenly. "Shera Emily Odell," I reply. "And I'm sixteen?" "Correct." "What's YOUR name?" "Emily Shera Odell," I say with a tinkling laugh. We sit beside the riverbank and I pull our stock out of the rock pile. Her eyes widen at the bounty. "Relax," I say. "I stole it from the Royal Farms up the road." Shera gasps. "You STOLE?" "I really had no choice. No money. It was that or starve," I say simply, plucking at the orange flesh. Shera takes a gigantic bite of orange, skin and all. She spits it out in disgust. "That's not how you eat an orange," I say with a giggle. "It's sweet and soft inside, you have to eat that part." Shera giggles too, and then we're both laughing, clutching our stomachs and rolling on the ground. "Laughter - is - contagious," Shera catches her breath long enough to say. We set ourselves upright and continue eating. I look in the river. You'd expect me to be red from laughing - any human would be. But my skin remains the color of the clouds. "So what is this place? It's gorgeous," Shera asks. It is gorgeous. Sunny, blue skies with fluffy white clouds. Waving green grass and crystal water. "It's camp for now," I reply. "What camp is it?" Shera's eyes light up, intrigued. "It isn't a real camp. Just where I live." "Well, you can make it a camp! What are you gonna call your master camp, Miss Emily?" "Camp Emily." I have no creative mind whatsoever. Shera is good for me, because she's happy and delicate, positive and creative about everything. "I want it to be Camp Emera." "What the heck is Emera?" I ask. "Emily and Shera combined," she says so sweetly and innocently that I can't help but smile. "Camp Emera," I groan, stretching out in the grass with a Diet Mountain Dew. "The horrible thing is that it sticks." Shera laughs, grabs the Diet Mountain Dew, and takes a gulp. I forgot to get cups for the two-liter bottles. After we eat, I find a paper bag floating around and grab it. I carve Camp Emera in it with my fingernail and stake it into the ground with a rock.