Jermy Fartz

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"Now's our chance, Neil! Go long!" Nikki called, throwing the frizziest just as Snake tackled her to the ground.
Neil ran towards the flying disk as Petrol chased after him. Mal managed to hold the hulking kid off long enough to let Neil make a grab for the frizbi. He missed ... but the disk hit him on the cheek and bounced off his face, into Max's hand.
The air horn sounded.
"Camp Campbell wins." Quartermaster mumbled.
Everyone cheered at their victory.
"Curses!" Pikemen roared, falling to his knees dramatically, "Foiled again! Our plan to use Africanized honey bees was supposed to be foolproof!"
Space Kid walked by, covered in bees, just as the wood scout said that. Mal jumped up and went to go take care of that.
"In your zit-covered face, Pikeman!" Max smirked, shoving his finger in the boy's face.
"You incredulous pest! I will not rest until you all answer to the Wood Scouts!"
"Never gonna happen, losers!" Nikki said.
"Guys, guys," David cut in, kneeling down in front of them, "can't we all just be nice to one another?"
"Camp Campbell campers being nice?" Pikeman scoffed, "Impossible! The only things you classless simpletons understand are mean-spirited sarcasm and snide remarks."
"I'll give you a snide remark..." Max muttered.
"Now hold on just a minute. We can be nice!" David insisted.
"Please. Your lot couldn't be nice even if they tried."
David frowned and started to get defensive.
"Oh, really? You wanna bet?"
"As a matter of fact, I do." Pikeman said, getting a sinister look on his face.
"David, don't." Gwen begged.
"I bet you that Camp Campbell can't go 24 hours without being mean. If you lose, then you surrender your camp and campers to the Wood Scouts."
"God damn, why is everything always for the fate of the camp? We just played frisbee for the fate of the camp!" Max complained.
"Fine, fine. If you lose, we'll simply take your BEST camper."
"And if we win?" David asked.
"We WON'T take your best camper."
David was about to stick out his hand and accept the deal when a loud voice cut through the small crowd.
"HOLD IT!" Mal demanded.
Everyone turned to face the girl as she stripped off her rubber gloves that had been necessary in removing those bees from Space Kid's suit.
"I have had enough of this slime covered BULL SHIT and I'm ending it here and now! If we win, I want you to leave us the FUCK alone! No more trying to weasle us into giving up our camp!"
David's eyes lit up at that suggestion as he turned back to the young boy he had been making a wager with.
"Yeah! What she said!"
Pikeman sighed.
"Very well." He reached out his hand once more and grasped David's, "It's a deal." He reached into his vest and pulled out a whistle, "Petrol! We're falling back to base. Remain here to observe the campers, and blow this whistle if you witness any...poor behaviour."
Petrol grunted and saluted the boy before catching the tiny contraption in his hand.
"Come, Snake! We've got an extra bunk to prepare for our new recruit." He said with an evil laugh before walking away with the short boy in toe.
"I have to say I'm actually impressed by how you handled that, Mal." Gwen said, patting the girl on the head, "But this is still a stuuuu-"
The woman trailed off as Petrol came up behind her with the whistle in hand.
"-PENDOUS idea!"
"Oh, come on, gang! We just have to be nice to everyone for one day!" David said... before being hit by the bus... again.
The doors opened and the Quartermaster spoke.
"New kid's here."
"New...kid?" David asked, peeling himself off of the floor.
A boy came walked off the bus, making squishing noises when his feet touched the ground.
"Hey, everybody!" He greeted in the most annoying, naisely, voice they had ever heard.
He had black, greasy, shoulder-length, hair and big, thick, glasses... but that was the least of the problem. He wore a long sleeved, yellow, shirt, signifying his position as a Camp Campbell Camper and had a DISGUSTING grey vest that absolutely REEKED and sweat pants to match. Oh, and he was wearing socks and sandals AND his underwear was poking out of the top of his pants.
"My name is Jermy Fartz." He said.
Everyone just stared.
Eventually, everyone found themselves back in the mess hall.
"So, let me get this straight:" Max said, "Your name is Jeremy Fartz?"
"I wish." The boy responded, "It's actually JERMY Fartz. It's a family name. But both of my friends call me Big Nips."
"Why do they call you Big Nips?" Neil asked.
"Oh! Well, you see...."
The boy lifted his shirt up and all four of them let out horrified screams. It died down once he put it back down but Mal still looked concerned.
"That looks REALLY painful." She thought out loud.
"It is a little bit. Apparently it's a rare condition, and the ointment I have to use to stave off the chafing smells like old beef jerky on a hot day, but I don't know...."
Nikki, Neil and Max wandered off to talk to each other but Mal stayed and listened.
"You're really well informed on this." Mal said after a few moments of his rambling.
"Yeah, well, looking up these things is the only real fun I have back at home."
"Really? What about your friends?"
"They don't really like hanging out with me... no one really does."
Mal deflated and began to feel sympathy for this kid.
"That sucks..." She said.
"A little bit."
They were about to continue the conversation when David's voice caught their attention.
"Now why don't we all put this silly bet behind us and focus on welcoming Jermy to-"
"Fartz!" Jeremy added.
"....Jermy...Fartz to Camp Campbell! Who's up for a nature hike!"
The boy in question held up a piece of paper to his new counselor.
"What's this?" David asked.
"I hate to be a Deborah Downer but this letter from my mom, Mrs Fartz, says I can't go on any hikes due to my..." He stopped for a moment and let out a tute, "IBS."
Max ran his hands down his face in what looked like physical pain.
"Jesus Christ..." He said.
"OK guys, I'm drawing the line here." Neil said, "Back where I'm from, I used to be the loser kid that everyone laughed at. And you know what? It sucked! I say we give this guy an honest shot."
"Yeah!" Mal said.
She honestly couldn't have said it better herself.
"So! Jermy!" Neil walked up to Jermy and placed a hand on his shoulder but stopped when he felt a weird squishing, he pulled back to find some weird slime coming off of the boy and carefully wiped it off on his shirt, "Uh, what kinda stuff did you get up back home?"
"Well, on weekends, I would practice kissing with my dog, Chuckles."
"Oh...." Neil said, the terrified look coming back.
"Yeah, it's harder than you'd think, he never seemed super into me, so I had to slather peanut butter all over my gums."
Neil walked away holding the hand he had touched Jermy with as far away from his body as possible.
"I'm going to wash this hand..."
"It was chunky, by the way." Jermy said, "The peanut butter."
"EMERGENCY HUDDLE!" Gwen called. Everyone did as they were told, "I am extremely disappointed in you kids."
"What did WE do?" Nikki asked.
"Guys, Jermy is clearly a young boy with "special needs." I just don't think he's all there. Now, making fun of each other is all well and good, but this- This is just not cool."
"Actually..." Jermy popped up, causing everyone to yelp, "...and I get this a lot: My numerous doctors have assured me that I am completely on-track developmentally. I'm just another one of the guys, so let me have it!"
Gwen grabbed the boy by the shirt and lifted him to her face.
"Kid, I am trying, but you've GOTTA work with me here!"
"Sorry." He said, letting out another fart.
"Christ, what is WRONG with this fuc-" Mal and Nikki grabbed Max's hoodie before he could finish.
"MAX! The walls have ears!" Nikki told him, gesturing to Petrol, who was peering through the window.
The boy just stared at them and waved his whistle, menacingly.
"Let's go outside...." Gwen said.
Everyone followed without complaint.
"Alright, kids. Since today is going to be a bit...."
The woman looked to Jermy, who was breathing heavily.
"...stressful, I have decided that our morning activity will consist of yoga exercise and deep meditation."
David started handing out yoga mats as Nikki, Max, and Neil continued the debate they had started when Mal was talking to Jermy.
"Yeah, but I know the ins and outs of this place. That's what makes me the best." Max said.
"Uh, what's going on?" Mal asked.
"We're trying to figure out which one of us the wood scout's would wanna take." Neil explained.
"Okay... well you're not gonna get anywhere with only talking to each other. Of course you're all gonna say your the best. Try asking someone else."
The three of them shrugged, that made sense, and wandered off to ask Nerris. Mal felt someone tap her shoulder and immediately flinched. She zipped around just in time to see Jermy reeling back his hand with an apologetic look on his face.
"Sorry..." He mumble.
"No!" She said a little too loudly, "I'm just jumpy! It's totally not your fault."
"Oh, well that's a relief." He smiled.
Mal smiled to. A disgusting sound cut through the silence and Jermy straightened up.
"Now, the best part about these activities is that they require NO TALKING. Whatsoever. At all. So without-"
"Ms Gwen?" Jermy interrupted, raising his hand.
"Yes, Jermy?" Gwen sighed.
"I'm gonna need a new pair of yogurt pants."
"Don't you mean yoga pants?"
The boy ripped another wet fart.
"Uhhhh, not anymore."
Preston fainted and Nikki started cracking up.
"Come ON, kid!" Max said in exasperation, "Are you-"
He stopped as Petrol gave him one of his most intense stares yet.
"Uhh, are you...OK? Need with those?"
"Oh no, I got it." He tried to walk away but fell over with a splat, "Oh, no, not agaaaain!"
Nikki completely lost it and Mal gave her one of her own, more effective, glares.
"Knock it off, Nik!" Mal scolded her gal pal before going over to Jermy and offering him a hand.
For awhile, Jermy just stared, as if being given a hand to help him up were a completely new experience for him. After a moment, the boy reached out his own appendage and grasped the girl's hand. They both winced a little at the squishing sound that came when their hands made contact but Mal didn't pull away and continued to pull the boy to his feet.
"Are you sure you're okay?" She asked him.
"... Yeah."
"... Um... you can let go now." Mal said.
They both looked down and Jermy realized he was still holding her hand. He quickly pulled away.
"Sorry!" He said before bolting to the bathroom to change.
The rest of the day was pretty stressful for Max and a few others. Whatever he did, Jermy couldn't managed to not look ridiculous and in need of a wedgie. Mal did her best to help him every time he fell but, whenever she did, he would always get flustered and she didn't know why.
When it was time for the last activity of the day, Max was a frazzled mess.
"I can't do this! I can't fucking do this!" Max cried.
"Hang in there, Max, the day's almost over..." Neil tried.
"He roasted Space Kid with his FARTS! Did you not see that?!"
"A-HEM!" Preston coughed to get everyone's attention to him up on stage, "The time has come for the final activity of the day! A stunning performance piece, slash improvisational fusion! Now I'll need a suggestion from the audience. Somebody shout out a theme!"
"Ooh! Ooh! The forest!" David offered.
"Hooo, boy, that is REALLY-"
Petrol towered over him.
"ACCEPTABLE! Under these conditions. So I will WORK with it! Everyone search inward for the part of the forest that calls most to you. Once you've found it, you will design a costume, and give a brief performance on its behalf! NOW GET TO IT! Please."
Nikki just dived into the nearest mud puddle and shouted, "Done!"
"I sure hope my nervous vomiting doesn't kick in...." Jermy said.
"He can't be real!" Max said, collapsing to his knees, "Oh God, I'm gonna crack and live the rest of my life as a Wood Scout!"
"Come on, Max!" Mal shouted, "All you need to do is NOT be an asshole to someone who hasn't done anything wrong! And I think you're all judging Jermy really unfairly!"
"Huh?" The campers cocked their heads to the side in unison.
"You heard me! Jermy might not be the coolest kid at camp but he's still a nice guy! You have no right to treat him this way just because he's a little challenged!
"That's an understatement." Max rolled his eyes.
Mal started to fume and some people swore they could hear some kind of cracking noise.
"You know what else is an understatement?!"
Everyone went pale as Petrol took out his whistle.
"She's gonna burst!" Neil cried.
But she was done before anyone could do anything.
Mal turned around and ran as fast as she could into the forest. Suddenly, everything was silent. Petrol didn't even blow the whistle, in fact, he lowered it from his lips in shock. Everyone just stared at where Mal had disappeared and eventually shifted their gazes to Max. The boy tensed up at the attention.
"... Max-"
"SHUT UP ASSHO- I mean... just.... LEAVE ME ALONE!!!"
The boy let out an exasperated yell before running off as well.
Mal sat at the edge of the lake, curled up in a ball. Her face was buried in her arms as she hugged her knees to her chest, letting out and occasional sob or sniff. It wasn't long before she felt a sticky hand grabbing her shoulder and completely flipped out... literally. She let out a surprised scream and, with one swift motion, grabbed the hand and flipped the person over her shoulder and into the lake. The well intended and now very soaked culprit came up from the surface, sputtering and shaking from the unexpected violence. Mal's eyes went wide as she brought her hands to her mouth in shock.
"That's my name don't wear it out." The boy in question chuckled, awkwardly.
"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry!" Mal cried, before trudging into the water after him to make sure he was okay.
"I'm really sorry, Jermy." Mal apologized, yet again, as she wrapped a towel around the boy's shivering body.
"It's really okay." He told her with a smile, "I probably should've learned from the last time I did something like that buuut... nope."
Mal giggled a little and a comfortable silence swept over them as they sat next to the storage closet.
"... um... I just wanted to thank you for sticking up for me." Jermy said.
Mal looked at him in shock before letting it melt into a solum frown.
"Oh... you heard that."
"No offence, Mal, but I think the whole lake heard that."
Mal allowed herself to laugh at that.
"That's probably true... so... did you also hear..."
"That thing about you and your brother not fitting in?"
"Yeah, that's... another reason I wanted to find you."
Mal sighed and curled into a ball again.
"... Mal," Jermy started, his naively voice softening up and becoming somewhat comforting, "I get that I'm new here and we don't know each other that well, and I'm probably that last guy you're wanna talk about anything with... but I really just wanted to make sure you're okay. And if there's something you want to get off your chest... I promise I won't tell anyone."
Mal thought as she squeezed her eyes shut and let out a shuddering breath. Yet another addition to her 'list if people who give a shit for some reason'. She didn't understand why it hurt so much every time that list grew... well... she did... but she didn't want to admit it to herself.
"... Me and Max didn't have friends at home." She said, "I know kids here talk about how they were unpopular or 'the loser kid' in their home towns but me and Max had NO ONE. After how many times we've both prayed for someone to take us in, to give us a chance... no one ever did. I know people have their own ways of dealing with things like this but I CAN'T STAND how Max's is to be everything those people were to us! He shuts people out, makes others feel the way we did, and I love him SO MUCH but I can't stand what our home life has turned him into!"
Mal stopped to breath and broke down in tears. Slowly but surely, Jermy's hand came up to rub the girls back, a little less slimy from the pervious dunking.
"It's okay." He whispered, "Go ahead and cry... by the sounds of it, you earned it."
Max ran until he could run anymore and collapsed to the ground.
Don't cry.
Don't cry.
The boy took a shuddering breath and tried to calm down.
Why the fuck couldn't Mal have yelled at him in privet? Now the whole camp knew they were losers who had no one and, worse yet, that stupid wager wouldn't even let him be an asshole about it. Max took another deep breath and looked around at his surroundings. He hadn't gotten too far. He recognized this part of the woods and could probably get back when he needed to but, to be honest, that was the last thing he wanted right now.
"MAX!?" A sickeningly familiar voice called.
Ah, shit. Max swore in his mind as the sound of Neil and Nikki's voices got louder.
Thinking quickly, the boy scampered up a tree and hid behind one of the branches. When his two friends came into view, they looked visibly worried... and Max hated it. Suddenly, instead of walking right past him like he had hoped, they stopped. Neil looked down and frowned.
"Max, we know you're here!" Neil called, "I can see where your footprints ended!"
"Shit." Max spat under his breath.
Nikki perked up and looked to where Max was in the tree.
"ShitshitshitshitSHIT!" He whisper yelled.
Nikki smiled and pulled on Neil's sleeve. Max thought he was done for but, instead of pointing up to where he was, Nikki whispered in the taller boy's ear. Neil listened and sighed.
"Alright, if you're sure." He gave in.
Nikki nodded and the nerdy kid walked away, leaving Nikki and Max in the silence of the woods. Nikki walked over to the tree Max was in and cupped her hands around her mouth.
"Hey, Max!" She called, "Is it cool if I come up!?"
Max mentaly groaned and looked rolled his eyes... but he couldn't say no to that voice.
"Fine. Whatever."
Satisfied with that answer, Nikki began climbing the tree and, eventually, sat herself down next to the brooding boy. Nikki sighed happily as she settled into her spot.
"Now, I know you don't wanna tell me anything so I won't even bother." Nikki said, much to Max's relief, "But just understand that I'm not leaving you alone until you come back to camp with me."
The boy sighed.
"Whatever, I don't care."
"You already said that."
"I don't know, Nikki. A lot, if not all, of my vocabulary has some correlation to being a jerk and I just want to be left alone right now."
"No you don't. You hang out with Mal when you're upset. That doesn't SOUND like wanting to be alone."
"Well, Mal's not here!"
Max slammed his hands down on the branch, causing it to shake a little.
"And she obviously doesn't want to be..." He finished off.
Nikki frowned.
"Max, you had a fight. It happens. You know Mal still loves you to bits and she always will."
Max sighed.
"I know."
It was true. He did know that Mal would always love him... he just wasn't sure if he deserved it.
"Hey, Max?" Nikki tugged on his hoodie sleeve.
"What?" He asked, looking at her.
Nikki pointed to the setting sun.
"The day's over." She smirked.
Suddenly, a huge grin crawled across Max's features as the boy stood up and took a deep breath.
Nikki collapsed in a fit of laughter, trying her best not to fall off the branch. Max didn't laugh but he did allow himself to smile and sat back down next to the giggling girl, taking time to make sure she didn't hurt herself. Max had a feeling that maybe, just maybe, things would be okay...

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