Chapter 51

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I would really love to hear your thoughts on this chapter, as I want to know if I got the camp bit right or if I need to add more. XD Thanks.

The Camp travels slowly past as we drive through it. The first thing I notice is that there are tents everywhere. And I mean it. In every centimetre and every bit of available space, there's a tent supported by a number of pegs drilled into the soft forest floor.

People mill around doing different things, but they mostly stare and gawp as we pass. I meet their eyes nervously feeling like I've done something wrong. Hiding beneath the cattle-reeking blanket seems like a good idea now.

The truck finally stops. Dad's driving it. Josh released the man and made him swear not to tell the police anything. The man, already silenced through fear, agreed and now he's gone and we've stolen his truck.

As I think of this, the eyes of a small girl meet mine. She's holding a rag that's frozen over, evidence of her power. I watch as she hugs it closer to her body, shielding it away from me. I try a little smile but she shies away even more, lowering her eyes.

I spot something next to her. It looks like a small portable speaker. And it's from this that few phrases are repeated, loud and clear.

"All new arrivals please report to Sarah Miller in the main tent. All visitors use the visitor's entrance."

Sarah. Why does that name sound so familiar?

A second later, it comes to me. Sarah was the name of the person Josh was talking to the other night. Maybe this is the same Sarah, maybe it's a different one, I'm not sure.

Angie turns to me before I can turn to her. "Sarah!" she says quietly but it's clear she's excited.

"I know," I reply. Then, as an afterthought, "Sarah."

We all jump out and leave the truck in the middle of the street—if that's what you'll call it—to follow Josh. He says he knows where Sarah's tent is and begins walking in the direction. The fact that he knows—or at least the fact that he seems so certain about it—seems slightly strange to me. It's as though he's been to the Camp before, or at least knows his way round well.

Soon we arrive at a big blue tent, big enough to house a family of four or five. The tent on my back looks so measly and small compared to the one in front of me that I wonder how much importance Sarah must have in this Camp.

There's a man standing on guard duty outside—another trait of Sarah's so-called importance, I'm guessing.

My Dad explains that we're new arrivals. The man nods and opens the flap of the tent to let us through. When I duck inside with the others, what I see is a gorgeous sight for a camper. It's got most of the things you have in a home but all portable styles: a barbecue, a few folding tables acting as worktops, a round dining table, a gas stove, a huge ice box and bags of cutlery.

In general, it's camping Heaven.

Sitting on a folding chair, is a young woman with fair hair, icy blue eyes, pale skin and thin pink lips. She's wearing no make-up, but I guess you don't need to look pretty if you're in the middle of a forest. But, with this woman, she doesn't need make-up. She looks good without it.

This must be Sarah. She sees us and does an attempt at a smile. It doesn't quite reach her cool eyes.

"Hello," she says. Her voice is low and calm but it holds a sense of authority. "Are you new arrivals?"

My father, who's the one in charge of our group here, nods. "Yes."

She smiles wider, looking at all of us in turn. When her eyes skim over me, I'm welcomed with a slight shiver down my spine. Subconsciously, I pull my jacket tighter around me. It's definitely cold in here.

"Joshua Middleton," she says slowly, and the smile is so wide it looks like she's a crocodile about to eat something. "How pleased I am to see you."

Josh looks embarrassed when we all turn our heads to stare at him, demanding answers with our eyes. When he doesn't speak, Sarah fills in for him.

"Joshua has been telling me—well, updating me on your journey to our Camp. It's finally a pleasure to see you all here."

So that's what Josh had been doing. Not checking up on his girlfriend but informing Sarah about our arrival to her Camp. She probably wanted to know more about the people arriving.

"I give people who I know are arriving my number," she explains. "So they can keep me up to date."

It all makes sense now. Angie and I were just worrying for nothing.

At least Josh doesn't have a girlfriend, though.

Yay, I think and it just pops into my mind, there's no real reason for it. And I'm stuck there, pondering over that one word in my head. Yay. Of all things, it had to be 'yay'.

"Now," says Sarah. "We have a few matters to settle." She glances at me and my mother and Angie. "You three. You don't have the power, do you?"

I glance at Mum and then Angie and then back to Sarah again. Then, slowly, we all shake our heads.

"Thing is," continues Sarah, "This Camp was specifically built for people with the power. There are thousands like us, all travelling to come up here and settle down. We are needing to extend the Camp because there are so many. It seems that the whole of Britain will be full of people with these powers in no time at all."

I swallow hard, knowing what's coming.

"So, I ask you very kindly and with all due respect to, because of numbers and space, please leave the Camp."

My heart deflates. The flame of hope inside me dies.

"I can get a guard to escort you, if you wish. But, for now, I have some very important business to attend to."

And with that, Sarah strides past us and exits the tent like a Queen.

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