camp anawanna
august 26, 2021 — cv week — gigi stanich & ellie dalton

Stealing wasn’t exactly something Gigi did. Well, she’d never done it before. Not even a piece of gum or a quarter or anything. Her dad was a cop, she’d had it engrained in her from a very young age that stealing was wrong and criminals went to jail and she really didn’t want to go to jail, especially not because of something that happened at summer camp. But her current options were: become a thief, or have her underwear (and bra!!!) run up the flagpole for everyone to see. Jail would probably be more merciful.

At least she wasn’t alone — she had a partner in crime, oh god, this was the start of her slippery slope. Stupid Delia had threatened her and El with the same thing if they didn’t sneak into the Robin cabin and steal Bastian’s hoodie. Because Stupid Delia was weird and gross and kind of obsessed with him, and also had the ways and means to steal their unmentionables and show everyone at the whole entire camp. She was the worst.

“Okay, okay,” Gigi whispered, pressed up against the side of the cabin, wearing the darkest clothes she’d brought — not wanting to freak out El by going all symbiotic on her, and also not knowing if she’d be able to pull it back when she wanted. It was still tricky. “So we go in, one of us can keep watch, the other one look for it, in and out fast as we can. Good?”

Ellie didn’t have much interest in stealing. She wasn’t really a bad kid like that, despite a gently rebellious exterior that was certainly more tame and squishy on the inside as she always wanted to be braver than she actually was. If she thought about it long enough, she might recall a specific time in childhood when she snagged her mother’s red lipstick -- obviously that didn’t quite count here. Coming from a military family meant she was never left to her own long enough for the idea of yanking something to cross her mind. Still, taking this adventure with Gigi was more appealing than the alternative.

Delia was the new bane of her seventeen year old existence. She and her overly processed hair and name brand everything grated under El’s skin and it appeared as though she wasn’t the only one. Now she was forced to take a deep breath and do something that she likely wouldn’t have done without the threat of bra and panty exposure promised. No, she didn’t want her underwear strung up a flagpole any more than her accomplice did. Without the inhibition of alcohol, it just wasn’t at all appealing.

“Good.” she responded with a nod, giving a peer around the corner to make sure they were indeed clear for the mission. “I can go in. I don’t mind going in.” Again, she was trying to be brave. She could do this. Taking a deep breath, she offered a grin. The cabin should be clear for the next thirty minutes or so, which plausibly should give them enough time. And she didn’t waste any time heading for the back door and slipping in through a small sliver when it was opened.

Gigi felt like she should have offered to go in, but El seemed confident and she said she didn't mind, and Gigi could do a good job keeping watch. She offered her compatriot a tentative smile in response to her grin and watched the other girl slip into the dark cabin. Standing watch outside for a moment to make sure the coast was clear, she felt nervous about being there where people could see her, notice her, notice something was going on that shouldn't.

A few more seconds passed before she slipped into the cabin too, staying by the door and keeping a sharp eye watching for anyone approaching. She didn't trust people sticking to a schedule, especially not boys, so she half-expected to see any or all of the Robins headed toward them at any second. What would be worse, their undies on the flagpole or the rumors that would fly around camp if they were found creeping around the boys’ cabin? Both sounded life ruining.

“Any luck?” she whispered, glancing over to where she could hear El moving around. It was so dark in there, she couldn't even see her.

The goal here was to complete the task as quickly as possible without displacing too many other things. El weighed the options and honestly getting caught sneaking into the boys’ cabin didn’t seem as terrible as having their underthings displayed for the whole camp. She could take a reprimand from the staff, which was perhaps why she didn’t feel as nervous going into the cabin in the first place.

It was more locating Bastain’s bunk that threw her. The room was set up differently than Owl cabin, so it took her a moment to figure out where his things were set up. Once she found it, she quickly moved to search for a hoodie to no avail. Brows knit together, turning her head up immediately to Gigi as she tucked herself inside the door.

She picked up her phone, using the light to further aid in her search. “I found his things, but no hoodie. Do you think a t-shirt would work?”

Using the light was definitely necessary, but it didn't make Gigi less nervous. It made it worse, actually, because at least in the dark it wasn't obvious there was someone in the cabin. Now it was like a big neon sign pointing their way saying look over here! She chewed on the inside of her lip as she glanced over at El, back to the outside, then moved away from her guard post and across the cabin to help her look.

“She was really adamant about it being his hoodie.” She frowned, hesitating a moment before starting to paw through his bag. Carefully, because she didn't want it to be obvious someone had gone through his things, but mostly because ew. Delia had been incredibly specific about what she wanted, and she was the kind of mean that Gigi figured wouldn't take excuses or substitutions. To go through all this and still lose, there was no way.

“You don't think he's wearing it, do you?” Her eyes were wide as she looked over to El, a pit starting to form in her stomach. “Oh no, what if he's wearing it.”

Her heart was starting to race in a way that was oddly giving her a rush as she searched, bringing a shirt slowly to her face to give it a little sniff -- just to be sure it was clean. It didn’t stop her from making a face, though she did give a glance over towards Gigi as she appeared next to her. Of course. El hadn’t actually considered that he could possibly be wearing the hoodie. Suddenly her eyes widened.

“Oh my God. He’s probably wearing it.” And what the hell was Delia going to do with his hoodie anyway? She couldn’t wear it around camp. Not without him seeing it. Again, she moved to another bag and gave a peek inside. This one smelled more fresh and like him without being that unpleasant just-worn-all-day smell. El actually thought it was nice for a fleeting half second before grabbing what appeared to finally be a hoodie on top.

Holding it up, her voice rose in the slightest. “Here! She didn’t say which one. This one will work, right?” She paused. “And it’s clean!”

It was nighttime, it was cooler out than during the day, of course he was going to be wearing it. Gigi felt panicked. What were they supposed to do now? Ask him for it? In person? No, absolutely not, there was no way that was going to happen. She knew Theo was friends with him or whatever but that didn’t change the fact that he was not the kind of person she could just go up to and casually ask for his clothes. And she couldn’t ask Theo for help with any of it because this was something she had to handle on her own. Theo was busy, he was working, he had his own stuff to handle and this was… stupid to say out loud, embarassing, and if she told him he would go and scold Delia and then things would get worse.

The spiral was getting deeper, her hand clutching onto one of the handles of the bag, needing something to hold onto and having nothing but what she’d already had in hand. She could feel El moving the bag around, but she was already lost in the thoughts of what their next few days at camp would be like after Delia held up her threat. Maybe she could go live in the woods — she’d made friends with a chipmunk at animal encounters, she would be fine!

El’s voice broke through her thoughts and Gigi’s gaze finally came back into focus, right on the hoodie the other girl was holding up. “Oh my god. Oh my god!” She dropped her hold on the bag and practically flung herself at El, hugging onto her. “You’re my hero!”

There was certainly a spiral to be had if they went any other way about getting the item. This was the only one that wouldn’t drag other people into the mix or escalate things further than they needed to be. Now with the hoodie in hand she started to feel some momentary relief, smiling as Gigi all but crashed into her with a gratuitous hug that El graciously returned.

“Yes! We’ve got it. Now we just need to--” she paused, interrupted by something outside. It sounded almost like voices, made all the more apparent by the few flashes of light that zoomed by the window. “Oh shit.”

This was okay. Or at least that’s what she told herself in the moment, although she felt the grip of panic start to rise in her throat. The last thing she wanted was to let that onto Gigi, so she gave one quick glance around before rushing for a window in the back that was already slightly ajar. “Keep your light down. We can use that bunk to climb out the window and move around the back through the trees. They shouldn’t see us at all.” she whispered, motioning her to follow as she pushed the window completely open, doing exactly as she said to get outside.

That pit in her stomach came back at the signs of people coming toward the cabin. She was a terrible lookout, abandoning her post and possibly getting them stuck — after El went and found what they were looking for and everything. Gigi looked around for a means of escape but El got there first and she was right behind as they escaped through the window, which she carefully moved back to only being open a slight bit, ducked down to keep from being seen as she heard the cabin door open.

It was a close call, but they'd done it. Gigi grabbed El’s hand and kept low as they moved into the tree line, more twigs snapping underfoot than either of them would have liked but it couldn't be avoided. Thankfully, it didn't sound like they were being followed. As long as they kept moving it shouldn't matter, and it didn't, because they got to the Sandpiper cabin and she flopped against the back wall of it, catching her breath as she laughed, still in disbelief they'd managed to pull it off.

“Amazing job.” After a high five, she reached over and took hold of the hoodie, lifting it up between them with a tsk. So much trouble all for that. “Let's go give this to that weirdo and we can call it a night.”