The Campgrounds A novel

Frances Gorman enjoys the outdoors. When she, and her friends, head to Moose Woods, they expect a lot of wildlife in the area. But, as they make camp, a killer in on the loose intent on mayhem, and placing the teenagers in grave peril.

The new Young Adult horror novel by Robert Helliger.


3. In the evening


​The afternoon sun fell down into the rugged, Montana mountains. ​Frances surveyed the orange coloured woods; the eerie feeling of impending horror, was still in her mind. The killer's dark, frightening, eyes still haunted her; the eyes was cold...and distant. It was an intelligent ​presence was now snuffed out by recent death. Frances didn't know the killer had died; the killer, who had murdered six people over the last three years or so in Montana, was a psychotic man whose idea of fun was to eradicate teenagers at the campgrounds. She sensed doom in the sharp mountains, where its wonderful peaks loomed like seeing God in Heaven; she could see the light of God's hands loom over her, as if letting her know that she was going to be saved from if she was the only girl who was looked after, when the nightmare of the killer's presence chilled her blood. And then she knew that Mavis, Tracie, Bryan, and Mike, were still alive, as the evening arrived at Moose Woods. ​Satan's plan of death had ended; Satan's spell of horror was like a hellish world of terror. ​Frances stared at the police officers. She felt her head swim; she felt, (but not sensed), the shallowness of life was unnerving to her. ​If you think someone's coming for you, Frances, kill off the enemy...and you'll be the one who wins the battle​, Frank said to his daughter when she turned eleven. She watched her mother kiss her when she was alive. "​Be strong, Frances; be strong for me...and Dad​", she said. "​Yes, mom!​", she thought to herself. And then she saw a knife near the tent. It was old. Written on the left-side were the words: ​Moose Woods​-1952. ​Mark Helper-Owner.​ She had read about Mark Helper. After World War II ended in April of 1945, Helper headed to Montana to live as a recluse in the mountains. He lived in solitude. Over time, Helper's mind shattered. He was thirty-five when he died of a heart attack. No one knew he had existed until Old Peter, (before he was called that), saw his friend dead when he was visiting him. In the end, Mark Helper's death was the final straw for Old Peter's life. Afterwards, the lumberjack also withdrew from society, (unless someone wanted to search for him that is); Old Peter was working on chopping wood with an axe; he brought the wood to his home near Moose Woods, (where moose and elks roamed the mountains); where death came knocking sometimes, delivering bitter news from town that campers were attacked by black bears as well, and the rangers would tell the Sheriff that the campgrounds were to be closed for a week or two. Frances gripped the strange knife in her right hand; she saw Mike gazed at her. "That's a weird knife", he said. She gazed at the tents; the biting coldness of Moose Woods fractured her nervous system. Then, afterwards, Frances spoke to her friends. "If there's more killers on the loose, we have to be prepared for anything. And I do mean anything​", she told them. "But there could be more...", Mike said. And then they saw police officers arriving with Ranger Cole Coombs. "Are you all here for the evening?", he asked her. "We're here for a week camping, Sir. I'm Frances. And this is Mike, Tracie, Bryan, and Mavis. I did fight off a killer who's now dead, I think. We heard the sound of sirens; I...", she was speaking too fast. "I see. Well, the woods are off-limits Frances. I'd advise you all that you must leave here tomorrow. It's your safety I want to check up on. Montana is beautiful, but is dangerous at night", Ranger Coombs said. He adjusted his tan brown hat. His short, blonde hair was covered in sunscreen; his hazel eyes gleamed in the sun, as darkness fell on Moose Woods. "We haven't done anything wrong". Tracie said. She sighed; she didn't want anyone know of her distant mood swings when trouble happened to her. Her parents, Norm and Ivy, were scout members as teenagers back in 1981, when they were thirteen. They were married in the cold winter of 1987, when they were nineteen. She looked away. "It looks like you all are good kids. Moose Woods has dangerous wildlife. It's my job to enforce the law when the animals go mad. Or that campers go crazy", Ranger Coombs said. "What do you mean by 'go crazy', Ranger Coombs?", Bryan asked. He didn't want to think that mad people would be at Moose Woods. Back in 1905, Shelton Y. Oliver, then twenty-two, hiked towards the Montana mountains to Moose Woods. He suffered a breakdown when he was attacked by a black bear. He was cut up pretty bad by the sharp wounds to his left thigh. He screamed for help. But when no one helped him, he died from severe blood loss. After his early death, the Montana Wildlife Association was formed in January of 1906. And President William H. Taft decided to make the state better protected. He ordered rangers to go there; he was concerned about the attacks by bears, elks, or moose, hence the name. In short, Montana was secured for the better. And, over a century later, in October of 2017, the 21st century has begun to see visitors to the area to go camping, swim in the lake, and enjoy telling horror stories by the campfire, as is the American tradition". Frances gripped the knife in her right hand. "If there's any black bears in the area, can you deal with it?", Frances asked him. "Yes", Ranger Coombs answered her. And, as he headed back through the woods, Frances said: "Let's have dinner". And everyone nodded.

Page 3.

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