Camp: Episode 1


Dust clouds followed the open truck and spun brown boogers through Crystal’s already compromised nose; the bandana wasn’t working.  Seven campers grimaced at the already too hot sun, sitting upright and listless, swaying with the vehicle as it bounced over desert rocks and decaying bunny carcasses.  She thought she saw a snake and heard an errant rattle, but the engine’s roar created an auditory hallucination of another kind; it crunched on the bones of youth and suckled on the fresh marrow of life. Her last line off the back of the dirty toilet in the Utah Airport was wearing off.  Six weeks in the desert; this was going to suck.


“Do you have any blow?” She nudged the leather-clad boy-man next to her awake re-mouthing the request.  His brown eyes sprung open with fury as he pulled his surgical mask slightly to the side.  On a scale from one to trashy, Crystal was Lindsay Lohan.


“Not for you.” He grimaced then winked.  Crystal held hope.  He had coke in an Afrin bottle somewhere in his gear, she just knew it.  Not averse to working at this labor camp, blow jobs were just that, a job for blow.


“NO TALKING FUCKWADS!” All Sarge needed was a gun to solidify the image of an Israeli soldier.  His gas mask kept him comfortable from the swirling dirt, and his voice resounded ominously through the protective double chambers.  Shaved head glistening in the sun, he slammed his flat hand on the cab’s roof initiating a rapid stop.  Hands grasped hot metal bars and open eyes stared at boot-clad feet.  No one dared make eye contact with the madman.


“IN THE SOMEWHAT TWISTED WORDS OF THE BELOVED CHERYL CROW, THIS IS NOT A PARTY!  THIS IS NOT A DISCO!  THIS IS NOT L.A.!” He paced circular hoping for shuddering laughter or glimmering reaction to squash with a steel-toed hoof. “YOU ARE NOT HERE TO HAVE A LITTLE FUN BEFORE YOU DIE!  ALL I WANNA DO IS MAKE YOU LOW-LIFE DRUG ADDICT CRIMINAL DIRTY LITTLE BITCHES INTO HEALTHY PRODUCTIVE MEMBERS OF SOCIETY!  DO YOU HEAR ME?!?!?”  He fell to knees and leaned under Crystal’s bowed head brushing his black metallic chambers to her hidden cheek. His voice echoed soft and distant through the mask, “Do you hear me Tea Cakes?  Am I getting through?”


She attempted to breathe and speak with force, but only whispered air escaped cracked lips, “Sir, yes, Sir.”




“Sir, yes, Sir.”  She didn’t want the tears to spring to her eyes, but there they were: two tiny ovals of wetness at the corner of each.  She hoped they were a product of the dust and heat and the lessening high, but knew she was rattled. He knew she was weak and would prey on her for the next six weeks if she didn’t gain his respect.  He was tall and beefy, not lanky, and she assumed from the yelling bravado his penis to be small, hopefully, very small.  She hated sucking off freakishly large cock.  Her gag reflex was pronounced due to years of bulimia, and yakking in his pubes would not render the desired effect.  She wanted respect and comfort, not ridicule.


Crystal raised her head to meet his eyes, breathed confidently with eyes closed, and curled her lips into a crooked grin.  She re-opened her eyes, licked her teeth, and bit her lower lip, “Sir, yes, Sir.”


He smiled and jauntily tapped the driver’s roof, “We’re off to see the Mother-fucking Wizard.”


The truck rumbled awake and rolled toward the low lying shade structures in the distance.  They were nearly home now. 


“THIS A’INT FUCKING KANSAS, BITCHES!” Sarge reclaimed his stance at the end of the truck.  “Y’ALL GET READY TO WORK FOR YOUR SUPPER!”  He winked ominously at Crystal.  She knew her place at the table was under it.


a 21 episode journey

By Pam Benjamin

Pam BenjaminCAMP, Pam Benjamin