Chapter 1: Just A Fun Morning

The sun peaked behind the mountains, spraying the morning mist with a brilliant yellow glow. Rivers were created from the now melting snow. The water trickled down the side of the mountain, growing into a raging sea of slush. I watched a few animals go to the stream and take a gulp of icy, cold water. I sighed and looked back into the tents. My short copper hair swirled around my head. Everyone was still sleeping and it wasn’t a surprising sight. I carefully got up from the damp log I was sitting on and crept towards my tent. I crouched down and grabbed my bag, careful to not wake up my brother who was sleeping soundly next to a snoring giant. I walked back to the log and sat down as I opened my bag and got out my notebook. If found please return to Johnny Krisk stared back at me and I chuckled. I was 13 when I had gotten that journal and it had been a year since then. I turned to a new page and started to draw. Last week, my dad suggested we take a camping trip up to the Georgia Mountains. When us kids had heard that, we thought of a nice hot hotel. Waking up to room service and all you can eat buffets. But this was better. My dad had gotten permission for us to camp in the middle of nowhere. No one else for a couple of miles had been paradise for my family. We don’t live a harsh life but it gets stressful. My teachers were very cross about me leaving for a few weeks at the end of the first semester. But my dad and mom have a way with words and convinced my teachers to let me go. I got a ton a homework when I got back though. My mom said it would be cold, so I was wearing my blue play jeans with a COD shirt and a new buck-skinned jacket. I have to say, my hiking boots added onto what I was already wearing, I looked awesome. Anyways, I liked being out there, it was so peaceful. I had just finished sketching a bird perched on a tree branch, when I heard a groan. I winced and looked back at my dad’s tent. A second groan confirmed that my alone time with the earth was over. “Alright! Come on guys, time to get up!” my dad’s voice awoke the sleeping giant in my tent. A huge lump of black fur bounded out. “Here Sherlock!”, I said as the lump of fur turned and ran towards me. Sherlock was great pyrenees/black lab mix, which made him look like a great big black lion! I braced myself for impact and fell on my back as Sherlock tried to lick me. But unfortunately, his tongue was almost as big as my face so he was basically suffocating me. I pushed him off and stood up. He ran over to my dad and tackled him. My dad played with Sherlock until he couldn’t play no more. My 17 year old brother Mike, stood laughing at the entrance of my tent. Mike was the guy who actually had a gym membership he used! He had orange hair that was cut short(he protested but the school insisted—heck, they even payed!) and yet he still rocked his look. My mom joined in laughing as my dad tried to get up, but falling each time. All the laughter woke up my 12 year old sister, Annie, and she crawled out of Mom and Dad’s tent. She stood up and called Sherlock over to her. Sherlock obeyed and sat down next to her, as she stroked his head. Annie was basically a dog whisperer and could calm a pack of hyper Chihuahuas with a single snap of her fingers. She put her long light-auburn hair in a hair bow she mysteriously took out of thin air, as she hooked Sherlock on his leash and took him into the woods. “Well that was eventful!” my mother said, as she took out her brush and brushed her short cinnamon hair. “Certainly was, but now my favorite shirt has dirt all over it”, my dad looked down at his shirt dusting himself off. His fiery colored hair was matted from the dew on the ground and had specks of dirt hanging off the ends. Mom and Dad turned and went back in their tent. Mike turned to me,”What are you doing with that notebook Johnny? This is a break from school!” I rolled my eyes and said, “I was sketching the trees and right now, I just need a break from your face!” Mike laughed and I ran towards the tent tackling him in the process. In a flash, he was on top of me, holding my arms down and smiling in victory. I lunged at him using only my upper body and knocked him off. We both got to our feet and were about to start a full on wrestling match when I heard, “Alright you two, knock it off.” We both looked up and saw Annie standing there with Sherlock. “Do you really want to fight off this beast?” She unhooked Sherlock’s collar and Sherlock sat down. “He wouldn’t tackle us,” Mike protested, “he’s too tired”.  “Really?” I asked him as I slowly backed away from our little battle ground. I looked at Annie and she yelled, “NOW!” Sherlock ran towards Mike as I ran towards Annie. Mike was taken down by the monster and I skidded to a stop. “I surrender!” Mike yelled from the ground. Annie called Sherlock over to her. “Ok, mental note, don’t tease Sherlock.” Mike said as he stood up and dusted himself off, walking over to Sherlock and scratching him. “Oh Sherlock, what would we do without you?” Sherlock panted at the joy of all of us crowding around him, giving him praise. Then Sherlock suddenly stopped. He stared into the wood, emitting a deep growl. We all looked to where he was growling. Nothing was there. Sherlock stopped growling and panted again. Annie and Mike went back to cuddling him but I still stared into the woods. And as I started to turn around, I thought I saw a cloaked figure running away.

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