(Note that the author was 14 years old when she wrote this story.)
Journey, Part 1:
Do ever think something is good, when in reality it's not? In the early summer of 2012 my best friend Mercedes and I went on a school camping trip, but it turned out our lives were on the line. My name is Mila Martinique Woods and I am a 14-year-old African American Girl. Born on April 25, 1991 and raised by Shauna and Anthony Woods. Mercedes Lashunda Perry is 14 too and Jonquil and Vern Perry raised Her as a strong African American girl.
We have been friends since we were two years old. Her and I roll together tight like a rope twined together. We are always the two talk people walking down the hall. We go to Ocean High school, a 95% white school with snooty rich people and 5 black students total. We both hate it with all our guts. It’s the kind of school where if you have money you get over but if you don’t have money you're on your own. The snooty black kids always call Her Chocolate and me Carmel. We just ignore them and walk away. I mean they are just a bunch of losers anyway. One thing Mercedes and me do well is being our self.
The situation about camp came up during our study time in the library during 8th period, a week before school was out. Mercedes and I always sat in the dark side of the library, where all the old poetry books were kept. As I was going over my summer plans Mercedes began to talk.
“So, are you going on the school Nature Trip?”
Then she slyly answered, “You know… the trip with Ms. Henderson. The one Sunday, that lasts for two weeks. The forms are due Friday, which is tomorrow. Oh yeah, I get my new microchip for my computer tomorrow too! Please don’t tell me you didn’t know about the trip? I’m going and I want you to be there with me.
I thought for a couple of minutes to my self. Do I really wanna be out in some trifling woods with a bunch of people I don’t know? Heck no! I’d rather be on my bed with my laptop and going through school records. I hate to admit, but I love hacking. Not serious stuff like credit cards (did that once and almost got caught), but just minor things. I guess I get it from my dad. He used to hack back in the day, but then stopped when I turned eleven. He doesn’t know I have a photographic memory and watched everything he did. That’s why I’m such a genius hacker. My computer name is Night Wire, 'cause you’d never know that I had hacked something because my trace is invisible like objects in a dark room.
Mercedes is so smart. She can’t do things I do, such as hacking, creating viruses, and short video games, but she is engineering smart. She is working on a new robot (still in baby stage) and is waiting for some more parts. Truth be known, her parents are filthy rich. She doesn’t like to brag or show off about it, so she dresses down. Usually some khakis and a collar shirt are her specialty, along with her Chuck Taylors.
I then thought of an answer to Mercedes’ previous question.
“Well… of course I’m going, I just need to go get the form and pay Her. As long as I can bring my laptop, I’ll be alright.”
“Great! Thanks so much Mila, I will see you tomorrow.” Then Mercedes rushed out the library to go to her locker. The bell had just rung, and I knew Ms. Henderson wouldn’t be staying after school long. So I sprinted all the way to the third floor Biology classroom.
Journey, Part 2:
Ms. Henderson was just about to lock Her door, when I shouted Her name.
“Ms. Henderson! Wait, I need to talk to you about the trip.” Ms. Henderson was a big fat white lady. Size 23, with long brunette hair. I don’t think she really likes me, but that’s probably cause I never participate in her class.
“Um…what do you want Mila?” She seemed very annoyed.
“I want to go on the trip. I can have the form and money to you by tomorrow. Please let me go, sorry it’s such a late notice.”
“Well it is late, but I guess it’s good to see you interested in nature, so okay! You can give me the form and money tomorrow. You know it cost eighty dollars? Do you have that type of money?
Gosh, she acts like I’m some poor black girl.
“Oh, I got the money! It’s at home. Well look at the time, I have to go. Bye Ms. Henderson.
I couldn’t wait till that conversation was over. I just don’t like her. She doesn’t understand me like my parents and Mercedes do. Well, I better get packing!
The next day, Friday, I paid Ms. Henderson and gave her the permission slip and stuff. Mercedes was so excited. I really don’t know why Mercedes is so smart, she just is. I’m the cool, sly, hacker one and she’s the smart fashion chick. I don’t dress geeky or cool. My style is arty. I usually wear my long, straight, red hair down. I prefer wearing Capri’s and a cute shirt from Target.
As we walked home from school Mercedes and I started talking about the trip.
“So what’s the trip supposed to be about Mercedes?”
“Well, I really don’t know. All I know is we are supposed to go to a camp called, Stormy Woods Camp. We are supposed to reflect on nature and go on a 2-day hike. I’m excited! Aren’t you?” I really didn’t wanna let Mercedes down, so I said that I was very excited. Even though, I couldn’t wait for it to end.
Once we reached our houses, we said bye to each other. Mercedes actually lived next door in a huge house. She is like royalty. Actually, another one of Mercedes’ secrets is that she is an African Princess, in hiding. Some things went down in her village and her dad brought her over to America. Her mother died a couple months back, and she is now pretending to be a regular 14-year-old girl. My house next door is an okay size. We aren’t that rich, we're just middle class. Her dad and my dad are best friends. Her dad actually treats me like a daughter sometimes. My laptop actually was a birthday present from Mercedes’ dad.
Once inside I was glad to be home. It was only lunchtime (today was early release) so no one would be home until dinner. I trudged up stairs to my spacious room, decorated in blue colors. I knew no one was coming over, so I just decided to lay out on my bed and put on some shorts and a tank top with my door wide open. It’s like I dive into a different world when I lay on my bed listening to house music.
Around 8:00pm my parents went out to dinner that night (they always go out on Friday’s). So I went upstairs and packed all my stuff. I couldn’t forget my new hacking device. I don’t know what it’s called, but who cares! It hooks up to my laptop, enabling me to pick up radio frequency from far away. Pretty cool huh? Well, it took me a lot of allowance to save up for it.
After I finished packing I got sleepy. I can’t explain what happened that night, but I sort of drifted off real fast on my bed. I don’t even now how I got over to my bed. Oh well!
The next day, Saturday, whizzed by. I didn’t talk to Mercedes at all that day. I guess we were both busy, but that’s alright with me. After dinner my parents sat down with me and had a talk about the trip. My mother began.
“Hey baby, we just want to chat with you. Now the trip is early tomorrow morning and we wanted to make sure some things were clear. It would be in your best interest to stay with Mercedes all the time. Also make sure you have fun and stay with the group too. We love you very much.” They both gave me a hug and went upstairs.
The next morning Mercedes and I rode in her dad’s hover car to the school. Once we arrived, we remembered the trip was all white people. That was okay though, as long has Mercedes and I stuck together. I checked the weather that morning and there was no weather for Stormy Woods. I was beginning to wonder if Stormy Woods even existed, but I just let it go. Only 10 people showed up for the trip, that’s cool with me. We knew 5 of them really well, and actually hung out with them from time to time. Sisters Kia and Tia, Byran (really popular black guy), Antonio (He likes me, even asked me out), and Shay Thomas (cool black girl.) Okay, I guess I over exaggerate; we are not the only black kids at our school. There are maybe 200 other black kids at my school.
“Okay people’s, I know it’s early, but listen up. The weather isn’t going to get any better today, so we need to coroporate. Once we arrive, you will all go to your assigned room. Each of you will have your own room and will have electricity. I know there is a nature trip, but the weather is going to permit us to have to stay inside. Any questions?” The bus was quiet, but people were excited that we got our own rooms. I personally was shocked; I mean what kind of camp gives you your own bedroom? Mercedes always says that I over think things, but I don’t. I’m just very aware of my surroundings, that’s are why I’m a phenomenal hacker.
Ms. Henderson said it would take 4 hours to get to the camp. So we would be there by lunch (that is probably why we left at 7:30am.) strangely enough someone began to IM me an hour later.
IM Conversation Between Mila and Stranger at 7:40am:
Stranger: Hello Night Wire. You don’t know me but I know you.
Night Wire: What? Hello?
Stranger: Touch in with you later. Here is a clue for you. Arrive at the camp it will be 85 degrees, 20 minutes later it will be 35 degrees. Wear a winter! DO NOT REPLY TO THER. I WILL TALK TO YOU LATER.
I was shocked, I didn’t know who the person was. But it was strange, cause on the trip supply list it said winter coat. Something is up, and I am going to find out soon enough!
Journey, Part 3:
I was surprised at where we were. We were somewhere high up in the mountains. I saw a camp sign, but it looked like someone just got finished writing it. I was getting suspicious, so I decided to tell Mercedes.
“Hey Mercedes, don’t you find this weird?”
“Yeah a little, oh well.” Then she went back to talking to Byron. I know she likes him, it is so obvious. Then I threw on my Headphones and blasted the music. Two hours later we arrived.
“Okay people, hurry, hurry, hurry! Okay, it ended up being that each of you won’t have your own bedroom. The boys will be in the blue room and the girls in the red room. Go get settled, and wait until someone comes and gets you.” I don’t know why she was in a hurry, but then I remembered the IM. It has been exactly 10 minutes so far, so in 10 minutes it should start to snow. If it does, then that is weird. Once in the room, I started talking to Shay.
“Mila, you know Antonio be watching you. He likes you a lot.” I played the I ain’t pretty card.
“Nah, I ain’t that pretty. Look at me, I need to get in shape.”
“Girl whatever. You packing a size 11, but you look like a 7. You got it going!”
“Thanks a lot girl. You know, you’re pretty cool in my book. We should start hanging out more. Why don’t we hang out anyway?”
Then she answered real sweet.
“Yeah, we should.” Then she jumped up answered.
“Cool! Hey look, it’s snowing!”
She was right. Exactly 20 minutes later it was snowing.
Journey, Part 4:
Later on that night I decided to take a walk around the house. Our curfew was 9:00pm, but I was walking around at 1:00am. As I walked around, I ran into Antonio downstairs. He was standing in front of a big blue door that said, “CONTROL ROOM”.
“What’s up?” I said real quietly. Then he answered me, in a way that shocked me.
“Hey Night Wire. Do you think you can help me open this door?”
“How do you know my secret name?’
“I am Silence, your secret IM buddy.”
I then began to remember the IM conversation I had with him. He must have known what was going on. We didn’t even discuss it because someone was coming. So I quickly hacked the security pad, and got in the room.
Once in the room, there were security screens all around. They even had one of our bedrooms. I think I finally figured it out. These teachers are evil criminals, and have created a weather machine. They used this machine to snow us in, so they could kill us. Why? I really don’t know.
Antonio started talking to me.
“Mila? They have locked everyone in their room, and are going to fill it with poison gas.
“How do you know?” I asked really sly like.
“Cause these stupid idiots have it written right here on this dashboard. It is going to happen at 5:00am. We have to escape before 5:00am, that leaves us 3 three hours.
This was going to be so easy, cause the control was right here. I could just override the power, and cut everything off. The only thing was, we had no flashlights, and it was going to be hard to escape in the pitch black. But there was no other choice.
Journey, Part 5:
After I told Antonio the plan, we timed it out.
“Ready to go Mila?” He was so quiet, that’s probably why he is called Silence.
“Yep! Let me just type in the password, and…Run!”
We both ran upstairs, fast, but quiet as can be. Once inside the rooms, we woke everyone up. Told them a brief story, and went out in the hall quietly. Of course, our best exit was surround with dogs, and guards. They were on to us. So we ran back into the room, and decided to break out the window.
I then started to give instructions.
“Listen up everyone. Two at a time, climb down the rope. Once down, run for your life. Make sure you have buddies, and stick together, run to the lake, and get help from some tourists. Don’t even bother using your cell phones, they won’t work. Let’s go…now!”
Everyone was out the window, except for me and Antonio. He had to grab our laptops, and I grabbed our coats. Once down at the bottom of the rope, we put on our coats, and grabbed hands. Then, we heard dogs coming. We started to run, fast.
“Antonio, I just want to say I like you and if we make it out of here, I want to get to know you better.” I said this in a tired voice, cause I was running.
“Mila, me too! We are almost there. I see a light ahead, and the dogs are losing us.”
Once we reached the light we saw a boat, on the lake. It was a sheriff, and the FBI. We got on the boat, and road to the other side of the lake, and took a bus back home.
Journey, Part 6:
A couple days later the whole thing was on the news. Antonio and I became heroes. We were glad the whole thing was over. This even made him and I closer. I think we will be best friends forever, along with Mercedes. But I think she found a new friend of her own, a special someone named Byron.
So that was what happened last year. Who would of thought that would happen on the school trip? I can’t wait until this year’s trip! I wonder what’s in store?