Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Camp Martyr Island

Starring Brad Pitt
Co-starring Kathy Bates

It was a large, sprawling island smack in the middle of the Caribbean. White sandy beaches lined the shore while the island itself towered tall with dormant volcanoes and mountain-like structures.

There were many man-made structures dotting the island. Every mile or so was a sturdy wooden cabin with a wide front porch stretching out towards the beaches. Inside the cabin were ten white rope hammocks hung from the ceiling, along with two private rooms on both sides, and a large bathroom with five curtained showers.

I was 14 years old. My best friend, Flare, lived in the cabin with me and eight other girls of varying ages. We had two camp counselors, one of whom was Kathy Bates. The other counselor was a thin, pinched woman who was mostly ambivalent towards us. The counselors slept in the two private rooms while the rest of sacked out on the surprisingly comfortable hammocks.

Except for the counselors, everyone on the island was an orphan. Our parents had been Christians who were martyred for their faith. In many cases, such as Flare’s, parents had been killed directly in front of their children to send the message that Christianity would not be tolerated under the new World Order.

All of the martyrs’ children were sent to this “camp,” far away from civilization, to be reshaped and reformed before reentering society. Children were kept on the island until they turned 22. If they renounced Christianity and endorsed the new World Order, they were allowed back in the world. If they didn’t, they were sent away, off the island, presumably to die.

There were over 5,000 children on the island. The children were divided into four teams, Blue, Green, Yellow, and Red. Your team was your family - unquestioning loyalty and blind following was encouraged.

Teams competed in two main challenges every two weeks. There was a scholastic challenge and a physical challenge. Winning either competition provided the entire team with extra rations and a traveling trophy.

Life on the island was very regimented. Every child, teen, and young adult had 10 hours of chores, interspersed with 5 hours of school. There was also a “chapel,” where we listened to messages from the new World Order four times a week. There were assigned times to eat, one “free” hour, and time to study/train for the team competitions.

Chores included food service, cleaning, laundry, ground maintenance, and hard labor. Each hour was actually only 50 minutes, at the end of which a loud bell would sound, allowing everyone ten minutes to get across the island for their next assignment.

For each girls’ cabin, there was a brother boys’ cabin. Our brother cabin had the requisite 10 boys, including Raymond, Chase, and Jonathan. Their counselor was Brad Pitt, and another man who I can’t recall.

Brad made the boys call him “Mr. Brad.” He was always driving the boys to work hard and win one of the competitions. When they didn’t excel, he would beat them with a bat he kept for just that purpose.

We were on the Green team. I was on the scholastic team with a specialty in Spelling/English, along with Amy (Math), Jonathan (Science), and Raymond (New History).

Flare was a fantastic swimmer, so she was on the physical team. Chase was also on the physical team as a sprinter.

Our scholastic team played through the rest of the Green cabins. We defeated Yellow, Blue, and then Red. We were champions!

But it wasn’t good enough for Mr. Brad who berated us at every turn, beating the boys for “resting on their laurels.”

Eventually, we hatched a plan to knock him off his soap box, but it backfired, causing him to come down even harder on us.

One of the girls in our cabin, Julie, was almost 22. She had decided to take the pledge to the New Order, and told us to “leave it to her.” She talked to her boyfriend, Oberto, on Red (scandalous crossing color lines like that!).

Oberto, also on the verge of 22, hid in the boys’ darkened cabin and knocked Mr. Brad unconscious, forcing him to be taken to a hospital off the island.

The next day, both Oberto and Julie took the pledge and where shipped off to rejoin society.
The rest of us went on with life on the island.

Some notes:
The girls from my cabin were Flare, Amy, Lacey, Julie, and Raza. There must have been four other girls, but I can’t recall them.

I only remember three “brothers,” even though there must have been ten.

Almost all of us spent our free hour on the beach. It was truly beautiful. The scholastic teams would joke that it was “unfair” since we studied in school rooms, and the athletic team got to practice along the beach.

We all wore sleeveless white T-shirts and khaki shorts. It was the only clothing available on the island.

Mr. Brad was truly nasty. He would get unreasonably angry all the time. Everyone was afraid of him. Even Kathy Bates.


MommaHarms said...

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Sun-Kissed Savages said...

You are enjoying these ultra-vivid dreams?? I'm sorry, but I would FREAK out. Just reading it sends shivers down my spine. It must be a writer thing...we crafty chics can't tolerate so much thrilling action.