My mother puts a lot of stock in dreams. She says she dreamed of me before I was born, knew the color of my eyes and hair. She named me Adrienne in her sleep, and that’s the name she gave me when I came along, blond haired and blue eyed just as she’d predicted. The night I lost my father, she dreamed a heart-monitor line went flat. But I’m not a superstitious person, or one inclined to believe in the magical or supernatural. So I’m not alarmed, or annoyed, when, the morning my stepfather and I are leaving on our trip, Mom wakes from a nightmare about what will happen to us in Siberia.
The Camp Rockaway brochure promised every kid was a rock star waiting to happen, but they never met me. We hadn’t even arrived, and I was ready to turn around and go home. My heart beat faster and faster, like the world’s worst metronome, until it froze – until I couldn’t feel or think or breathe. Then, just when it felt like nothing but a jumble of clockwork bits, it stuttered to life again.
George pulled a silver house key out of the smallest pocket of a large red backpack. Mom had sewn the key in so that it wouldn’t get lost, but the yarn wasn’t quite long enough to reach the keyhole if the bag rested on the ground. Instead, George had to steady herself awkwardly on one foot while the backpack rested on her other knee. She wiggled the key until it clicked into place.
Even before he saw the dead guy, Spaulding Meriwether was in a bad mood. His feet were wet, his hands were freezing, and he was all alone in the middle of a dark, foggy forest.
Worse of all, he was feeling like an idiot. He knew what he was getting into when he came out here. He’d heard kids at school saying there was some strange stuff going on in the woods outside town, stuff that sounded to him like it could be part of some kind of creepy secret ritual. So what did he do when he heard all this? Stay far away, like any sensible person? Oh no, not S.S. Meriwether – he had to go investigate.
He prowled the stage like a prize fighter, rolling out one-liners in waves. BANG! That was a belter! WHACK! That one was a killer! POW! That one knocked ’em dead on their feet. The audience was reeling now! Dazed! Their heads were thrown back in laughter! They were out of control! Tears were streaming down their hot, sweaty faces! Snot was bubbling out of their noses! Three of them looked like they were about to choke!
Then – just as the laughter was starting to subside – THWACK! He let rip with another gag – even funnier than the last! SPLAT! BOP! KABOOM!
So tell me about Fatima Ro. There are a lot of people who are curious about her right now.
All right. But I’m just going to say this outright because it’s probably the one thing we still agree on – me, Soleil, and Penny. We were shallow before we met Fatima Ro. We were all about the scene. You know what I mean about the scene: the parties, the trinkets, the lifestyle. We hosted.