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.


2. Moose Woods


​The afternoon sun ​was glaring across the eerie lake. Frances finished her swim. When she got out, she sensed she wasn't alone; she blinked her eyes. She saw the killer watching her. She screamed. The knife came downward; the wicked blade shifted to the far right. Frances ducked. She kicked the killer in the left leg with her right boot. The killer dropped the weapon into the mud. Frances gripped the knife. "​Leave us alone!​", she yelled. The killer was surprised. Then the knife came downward towards his left leg. "No!​', he shouted. And he stared at the blood that spilled from the injury. He ran painfully towards Moose Woods. He headed to his house, and knew that the plan had had failed. Frances, who was used to watching teen thrillers on cable television, knew that the cinema girls who survived in the movies, were strong, intelligent, and survived in the end. She remembered reading ​Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and Richard Matheson, when she was twelve; she knew what scared her. After the self-defence classes her father paid for his resourceful daughter after her mother's death, Frances knew how to deal with threats; she knew that not all people were nice. And now a killer was in Montana intent on murder. She huffed and puffed, as the pressure was now gone from her breaths; she knew that that evil was here. "​Hurry up! Let's call the Sheriff​", Frances said. And she walked to the tent, unzipped it with her hands, and was prepared to make sure that she, and her friends, would survive the evening.


Sheriff Sheppard R. Westwood arrived at the campgrounds. It was a searing hot afternoon. He drank a bottle of fresh water. He had short, greying hair, ocean blue eyes, and tall. He strode purposely towards the teenage campers; he headed to the tents, muddying the black boots in the process. His wedding ring glowed on the right, middle, finger. At forty-four, he was newly elected because of his arrest record. "​I want Montana to be free of crime; I will want every citizen to be living without fear​", he said during a press conference last month. He was on a two hundred thousand dollar job; he knew what it meant to feed his family. Memories of his wife, Della, who was forty-five, and their three children: Skylar, seventeen; Marcie, sixteen; and Tom, fifteen. They were eager to go to the campgrounds next year. Frances smiled at him. He got out of the Sheriff's car. Once he did so, he saw Frances was crying. "Good afternoon, kids. I hear that you've had a run-in with a killer". Frances nodded. "I'm Frances. This is Mavis, Bryan, Tracie, and Mike". The Sheriff nodded. He wrote down the teenage camper's names on a white piece of paper with a black coloured pen.  "Frances, I know your father Frank. He's a good man". Frances nodded. "We're staying a week at Moose Woods at the campgrounds. If the killer does come back, I'll kill him". She stared at him. "I'll take care of the justice in Montana". And he gripped his .38 Smith & Wesson gun in his right hand, and searched the woods.


The killer was angry. He had let the girl into his world. He was injured. She had hurt him. And now he would wait; he would let the darkness consume him before he would go back to the campgrounds to resume attacking the campers again.


Sheriff Westwood glanced at the house. He shook his head. Old Peter was a legendary lumberjack in Montana. He wasn't used to visitors. He gazed at the burning chimney. He knocked on the front door. Old Peter opened it; he watched him. "Sheriff", he said. "There's a killer on the loose. He is injured". He looked at him. "Yeah, I thought so. There's been footsteps in the mud lately. Not mine, you see. If someone's a killer on the loose, you have to take care of him". The Sheriff was about to say something when the sound of footsteps was heard. Suddenly, and without any kind of reason, the killer grabbed another knife and brought it downward towards the Sheriff's chest. He fired at him. Seconds later, the killer's body crashed to the muddy ground...and died instantly. He ran to his car. "​Becky, this is Sheriff Westwood. I've killed a murderer at Moose Woods. I've talked to some teenagers who are camping at the campgrounds. Can you send back-up? Over!​", he said. "​Yes, Sheriff. They're on the way. Over​". And, as he waited, he walked to the house...and talked to Old Peter once more.


The wailing sirens blared across Mountains. Frances heard them. "Something has happened", she said. Mike, Tracie, Bryan, and Mavis, shivered. "Maybe the killer's dead", Mavis said. They got out of the lake. Then were dressed in the tents. By four o'clock pm, they were eager to go exploring Moose Woods. Suddenly they saw yellow CRIME SCENE tape was erected at the entrance. Written in bold letters were the words: DO NOT CROSS THE LINE-MURDER SCENE. TRESPASSERS WILL  BE PROSECUTED​. "It looks like the killer's dead", Frances said. She shook her head, then she stared at the police officers. And, as they spend the night in the campgrounds, she knew that by tomorrow she would be safe...along with her friends.

Page 2.

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