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I jerked, muscles unclenching and sore. Blinking, I opened my eyes to a light blue pillow, and I wondered where I was until I remembered what had happened the day before.
I sat up, shivering in the coldness of the morning. I looked around for what had woken me, and whipped my head around when I heard another one.
Jeff finished his long belch, bending down to pick up what looked like a hunting knife and a bow. He stared up at me in my bunk, announcing flatly, “Battle training in forty-five minutes. You’ve got till then to get ready and eat breakfast.”
I watched as he left the hall, shutting the door loud enough to ensure I was completely awake. Grumbling, I slid out of bed, the freezing morning air making the hair on my body stand up. I shivered as I walked across the wooden plank floor in my bare feet, turning the light on in the bathroom and wrinkling my nose at the mess. More toothpaste decorated the sink, and the mirror was ajar.
I stepped closer to it, the fragmented side slightly open so I could see that there was a compartment behind it. I swung it open, seeing a toothpaste-covered green toothbrush slapped lazily on the bottom shelf, and a bunch of new bathroom materials on the middle shelf.
I almost did a retarded happy dance when I picked up the new toothbrush, purple and untouched. There was toothpaste in there too, floss, deodorant, soap for the sink and shower, razors, and shampoo and conditioner. I looked over at the shower, grimacing at the hair clogging the drain. I reached into it, gingerly turning on the shower head, and shutting the cubicle as I let the water hopefully wash the hair down the drain. Then I searched the bathroom, finding another hidden compartment in the counter of the sink, complete with fresh towels. Brushing my teeth, I finished quickly, and then shed off my clothes. I threw them on the ground, opening the door of the shower cubicle.
The air was moist and humid from the heat, and I was happy to note that the hairball had vanished down the drain. I stepped into the shower, grabbing the bar of soap and vigorously washing every square inch of my skin. Normally I wasn’t such a germophobe, but living with Jeff made me uneasy about picking up AIDS or something from him. Plus, I was still covered with dirt and minerals from the way to Camp, and I hadn’t had a shower in about three days.
I walked out ten minutes later, bending down to grab a towel and dry myself off. I shrugged back into my clothes, using the towel to rub my hair dry, and walked out of the bathroom, making sure to keep the door open so it wouldn’t be so humid in there. I didn’t want any more mould growing.
The hall was as cold as ever, but I ran to my bunk with joy when I spotted a clump of new clothes sitting beside my old jeans and new red t-shirt. I speed-dressed, clad in new underwear, jeans, socks, even shoes. I threw on my red shirt and hoodie, before climbing up to my bed. I yanked the sheets up to cover the pillow, so it wouldn’t get damp again, and jumped down to the ground. Walking past Jeff’s bunk, I pointedly ignored the bottom bed, moving quickly to the door.
I opened it, seeing the sun just barely rising, my breath puffing out like clouds. It had to be somewhere near zero degrees, frost glittering over every surface. I walked along the dirt path, the ground frozen and expanded. Kicking dirt clumps, I looked at the ice crystals formed beneath the surface of the dirt, leaving a trail behind me as I walked aimlessly.
Eventually, I spotted the hall from last night. A heavenly aroma made my stomach rumble, and I zipped into the near-empty hall. There were plates decorating the long table, so I guessed everyone had already eaten. I made my way over to the cafeteria, grumbling that Jeff hadn’t had the forethought to wake me earlier so I could’ve eaten with everyone else.
There was only one tree-person there, and I walked up to her with a plastic tray I’d gotten from the stack beside the start of the line. She turned to me, and I recognized her fiery maple-leaf hair as the tree-woman from last night.
She batted grass-lashes at me, leaning forward slightly. I cleared my throat uncomfortably, mumbling lowly, “Is there any breakfast left?”