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.


7. Saturday, October 7, 2017


​The killer stopped by Moose Woods. ​She saw the rangers were leaving now. She felt a thrill of the rush as they left; they were too engrossed in the dead man than to him. The campgrounds was a place in Montana that was in the travel guide. She heard the wailing sirens; she watched them leave with the paramedics. It was secured by brown rope. She looked at the groups of cars...and vans. After the death of the hunter, everything resumed as normal. She knew that a female killer would go under the radar. She gripped her black gloves on her hands. She let her short, brown hair be cut a day ago by her hairdresser; she let her hazel eyes focus on the rugged mountains. Then she headed to the tents...and waited for the perfect time to strike.


Frances was recovering from her ordeal. She didn't want to believe in bad things that happened to her. Mavis, Bryan, Tracie, Mike, Jennifer, and Anne, were her friends; they were all survivors. And now, as she heard on the Internet that Moose Woods was now open for business, she frowned. She'd had read up on the death of the hunter; she was certain that the savage wildlife would shatter everyone's nerves; she was reading ​A long history of Montana​ by Fletcher Roberts, Jr., a local historian. She didn't know whether she would go back to the eerie campgrounds; she wasn't supposed to care about evil in the mountains. In short, she was looking forward to a break from camps; she took her time writing a short story about Montana's black bears called ​The Moose Woods Mystery​. She wasn't sure anyone would read it. She knew what it meant to begin as a young writer. In her mind, going back to Moose Woods would be cathartic for her. She remembered what she needed to do. Frances gripped her I-phone...and begun to dial her friends before they said: "No", to her.


Mavis hated the fact that her parents wouldn't let her go to Moose Woods. "​The campgrounds are full of killer bears​", they said to their daughter. She also told them about the killers there, too. Suddenly her I-phone rang. She smiled when she saw Frances's name.

"Frances, long time...".

"Moose Woods is open for business. So, I'm calling everyone so that we can continue our vacation...uninterrupted".


"Yes", Frances told her.

"Then I'm in".

"Great. I'll let everyone know if they want to go". Mavis frowned. 

"Fine!", Mavis said. 

"I have my van driver's licence", Frances said.

"Really", Mavis said.

"Yes, once I'm eighteen, I can drive a car".

"Great. I'll come by your house now. See you soon, Frances. Good bye!".

"Good bye, Mavis".

And she pressed the END CALL button.


When everyone had said: "Yes", they walked to Frances's house. She opened the front door. She hugged everyone. 

"Let's go!".

And, as the small group of teenagers headed to the van, Frances spoke. "Put your seat belts on". Then, as the doors closed, she drove towards Moose Woods to resume the vacation.


The killer heard the sound of cars zooming towards Moose Woods. She gripped the butcher knife in her right hand; she felt her heart beating, as she watched several campers setting up tents. She gazed at the rugged mountains. When she saw Old Peter sipping coffee. She moved stealthily towards him. Old Peter screamed. Then, as he dropped his mug in his cold, right, hand, his body thudded to the muddy ground...and he died before he could call 9-1-1, and asked for help.


Frances gazed at the campgrounds. 

She looked at the tents. 

"We're here!", she said confidently. Tracie nodded, She gazed at the dark woods. She shivered. Bryan and Anne held onto their hands, as they headed outside; they were keen to resume their romance, as Mike, Jennifer, and Mavis, took off their seatbelts...and headed to the cold lake. 


Margaret Reach Thomas glanced at the woods. 

She saw the empty campfire. She wore a black T-shirt, blue jeans, a black belt, brown socks, and black shoes on her feet; she was wearing a cheap black watch on her right hand. The morning sun glowed in the sky. It was warm; it was nearly winter in two months. Suddenly she heard the sound of footsteps. She turned around; she smiled as she saw Zac Role. 

"I thought you'd be here, Zac".

"I was at the campgrounds last night". He smiled at her. His short, blonde hair was messy. His blue eyes focused on the tents, as he opened one of them. 

"We can stay overnight in here:, Zac said.

"That's good. I was concerned you wouldn't meet me here", Margaret told her boyfriend. Zac laughed. He was seventeen; Margaret was also seventeen. They'd had been together for three years since they had first come to the campgrounds. "The other campers are coming here soon. After the flood, the rangers re-opened the camp. Thank God for that", Zac informed her. Margaret looked around. She saw Frances and her friends swimming; she wondered whether she should swim in the cold. 

"Zac, can we swim in the lake? There's some teenagers around Moose Woods. They could be having a great time here", she asked him,

"Ah, sure!", Zac answered her.

And both of them waved at Frances, as she smiled at them.


"I'm Frances. This is Tracie, Bryan, Mavis, Jennifer, and Anne. We were at Moose Woods before, but there was a killer on the loose. He was killed in a fight with me. We had to leave because of the flood. Montana doesn't have much floods you know, unless it makes the local news. Or is on YouTube. Anyway, let's set up the raging campfire tonight to have dinner", she said.

And she they all got out of the lake...and were dressed in the tents.


The killer watched the group of campers. She saw Frances. In her mind she knew that the other killer had died because of her; she knew that he had failed. She was cold. ​I need to get warm clothes​, she thought to herself; she entered a orange tent. She was dressed in a red shirt, black jeans, a brown belt, brown socks, and black boots on her feet. 

She placed her sharp knife in her right hand...and planned the campers' deaths.


Anne stared at the mountains. 

"It's beautiful", Bryan nodded, He hugged her. Then, as they kissed, they looked at the clothes on the ground. Anne smiled. "It's freezing in October". He laughed. 

"I know that. Besides, I brought a new red shirt for camping". Anne nodded. 

"And I got a blue shirt, too". 

"I hope that all of us can have a good time in Montana during the winter". Bryan smiled. He was about to say something when he heard the sound of growling coming from Moose Woods.

"Bears", Anne said.

"Let's get in the tent. Hopefully they'll go away", Bryan said.

And she nodded.


Tracie shivered. 

"I hate the cold", she complained. She was thinking that her dream of camping would be fun. Now she saw Margaret and Zac holding hands. She sighed. There were no boys around. She was about to head to the dark woods when she heard the sound of footsteps. As she turned her back, the killer raised the knife low...and attacked her before she could scream.


Mavis stared at the woods. She watched the campers having fun. She saw Bryan and Anne happy. Before she could do anything, she saw Tracie's prone body. She yelled in horror. Then, as she was about to tell everyone, the killer attacked her as well. And she died in Moose Woods in the freezing morning.


"Where's Tracie and Mavis?", Frances asked her friends.

"Maybe they're in the lake; maybe they're hiking in the woods", Zac answered. Margaret nodded. She shook her head; she wondered whether she would do anything to help them if they were in trouble. The rangers were doing their best to ward off the dangerous wildlife. Margaret shook her head. "Dad's a hunter, you know. I can use a rifle to shoot bears", she answered. 

"But you haven't got the rifle here?", Zac asked her,

"No, I forgot it", Margaret answered him.

And she sighed.


Jennifer walked across the lake. She was free to go exploring by herself, Suddenly she noticed her friends enjoying themselves; she saw a girl who would fight back if a killer was on the loose. She glanced at the orange tent; she saw a rifle lying on the soft, muddy, ground. She gripped the weapon in her right hand. As she heard the sound of bears growling, she looked around. Suddenly a huge eighteen foot black bear headed towards her. Its sharp claws slashed at her face. Jennifer fired three times at the beast. It fell downward. And, as it fell to her feet. Once she knew it was dead, she saw the campers looking shocked. 

"Call the rangers...and the police", Frances said.

And she nodded, as she dialled 9-1-1...and waited for them to arrive.


Ranger Thomas W. Carters, II, stared at the campers. 

"We have had a lot of black bear attacks lately. And all of them are dangerous. Now, what about the two girl campers who were killed?", he asked them.

"Who were killed?".

"Tracie and Mavis. That's their names I got from Frances"., he said. Frances shook her head. Someone killed them; someone who was at the campgrounds. She shook her head. Ranger Thomas was shivering from the cold; Frances was on the verge of tears.

"It looks like our vacation has been cut short again".

And she shook her head, and they all headed back to town in their the killer watched them from afar.


Page 7.


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