“I don’t think I want to stay here,” I told Cathy. “Maybe Mom and Dad can come and pick us up before it gets dark.”
“That’s a good idea,” Keisha said. “I think everyone at camp should go home. It’s not safe here now that you made the ghost angry.”
A plum woman with shiny black hair rushed over to us. “You must be Marie Jane and Cathy Olsen, right?”
“That’s us!” Cathy answered.
“I’m Ellie, your counselor,” the woman said.
“Come on, let me show you where you’ll be living this week.”
Ellie led us into the cabin directly across from the playground. Keisha followed us.
“We thought we were in Cabin Seven. We went there first by istake,” Cathy told her.
Ellie shook her head. “Sandy has the worst handwriting. No wonder you got confused,” she said. “Well, better late than never. Welcometo Cabin One!”
She pointed to a girl with light blond hair. “That’s Brittany.” Brittany grinned at us and I could see that her teeth were coveredin purple braces.
“And you already know Keisha,” Ellie said. “That bunk bed over by the window is ree,” she continued. “And your trunks are already here. They’re right over by the bed.”
I didn’t want a bunk. I didn’t want to sleep here. I wanted to go home!
“I want to call my parents, I blurted out.
“Is something wrong?” Ellie asked.
“Cathy and I went into Cabin Seven. We didn’t know we weren’t supposed to. Now the ghost is angry and it’s going to come after us!” I explained in a rush. “I want to go home.”
Brittany started to giggle.
Ellie shook her head. “You have nothing to worry about, Marie Jane,” she told me. “Cabin Seven isn’t haunted. There is no ghost. That’s just a story we tell around the campfire.”
Cathy nudged me. “I told you there was no ghost, Marie Jane.”
“If cabin seven isn’t haunted, then why doesn’t anyone ever go in there?” Keisha demanded.
“Do you want to know the real reason everyone is afraid to go into cabin seven?” Ellie asked.
I nodded. I had to know.
“Skunks!” Ellie announced. “A family of skunks lives under cabin seven. We tried everything, but we couldn’t get them to move. That’s why we don’t use that cabin anymore!”
Cathy smiled. “I knew there was a logical explanation,” she said.
I shook my head. “We went inside,” I said. “We saw the ghost’s nightgown and slippers and even her teddy bear.”
“I’ll tell you a secret,” Ellie said. “The counselors put those things into cabin seven. All the campers love the story of the Camp Big Bear ghost. So we decided to make it seem even more real just for fun.”
“That makes sense,” Cathy said.
“Good. I have to run over to the main building for a minute,” Ellie told us. “Why don’t you get settled, then I’ll come back and fill all of you in on everything you need to know about Camp Big Bear.” She hurried out of the cabin and shut the door behind her.
“See Marie Jane? We have nothing to worry about,” Cathy said. “The worst thing skunks could do to us is make us smell really bad!”
“You don’t believe that stupid story about the stupid skunks, do you?” Keisha demanded.
“The camp probably makes all the counselors tell that story or everyone would leave!”
Brittany pushed her white blond hair away from her face. “I’m totally confused.”
“Forget everything Ellie just told you,” Keisha said. “Cabin seven is haunted. Whenever anyone goes into that cabin, the ghost gets angry.”
Keisha leaned close to Brittany. “I hope the ghost leaves us alone when it comes after them.” Keisha pointed to us.
I felt my heart give a hard thud in my chest.
“Only babies believe in ghosts,” Brittany answered.
“Yeah,” Cathy agreed.
Keisha croseed her arms over her chest and glared at everyone. “That’s what you think now,” she said. “Wait until the cookout tonight. Wait until you hear Sandy tell the story of the ghost in cabin seven.”