Good morning, campers!

Camp Here & There is a weekly horror comedy podcast tuned in to the loudspeakers of a small midwestern sleepaway camp plagued by supernatural terrors and natural disasters. Sydney Sargent, resident camp nurse, cheerfully reports on the everyday terrors just below (and above) our feet.

Disclaimer: Camp Here & There is not intended for audiences under the age of 16. The story deals with mature themes and graphic horror which may not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.

Written and directed by Blue Mayfield and Nicholas Belov.
Recurring cast includes Blue Mayfield, Corey Wilder, Crystal Lee, Emily Safko, Gianni Matragrano, JV Hampton-VanSant, Mikee Joaquin, Nicholas Belov, Ryan Henning, Tom Antonellis, Tom Laflin, Ty Coker, and Susan Dohan.
Sound edited by Beetlesprite and Cut by Frank.
Music composed and produced by Will Wood and Jonathon Maisto respectively.

Episodes will begin airing weekly on June 10th, 2021!

FILE 7

The World of Goo

Audio data from various sources, detailing the events which occurred at SITE2 on day 958. Read more…

FILE 6

The Norms of the World

Audio data from various sources, detailing the events which occurred at SITE2 on day 957. Read more…

FILE 5

The Reversal of Norms

Audio data from various sources, detailing the events which occurred at SITE2 on day 956. Read more…

FILE 4

The Prophecy of Reversal

Audio data from various sources, detailing the events which occurred at SITE2 on day 955. Read more…

FILE 3

The Squall of Prophecy

Audio data from various sources, detailing the events which occurred at SITE2 on day 954. Read more…

FILE 2

The End of the Squall

Audio data from various sources, detailing the events which occurred at SITE2 on day 953. Read more…

FILE 1

The Beginning of the End

Audio data from various sources detailing the events which occurred at SITE2 on day 952. Read more…

Teaser

Welcome to Camp Here & There!

Looking to enroll your child in a normal, everyday, average summer camp? Look no further! Read more…

SYDNEY O. SARGENT

GenderMale (FtM)
HeightNot much
EyesLight
HairDecorated with natural items
Notable TraitsLong, dark hair; long, dark eyebags
BirthdateThe Second Eclipse of Winter, 24 years ago
BirthplaceThe lowlands (but not quite the lowest lands)
OccupationCamp Nurse

Sanguine, mischievous, and slowly dying of a plethora of chronic disease, Sydney Sargent is the nurse at Camp Here & There. His open-book policy regarding the operations of the camp staff makes him unpopular with his coworkers, though the kids often appreciate him. He’s rambly, moody, strange, and blunt, but he cares immensely about the campers, and you won’t find a more spirited mealtime announcer.

(He never actually graduated from medical school, however, meaning he never actually took the hippocratic oath. So. Y’know. Just saying… be careful).

JEDIDIAH A. A. MARTIN

GENDERMale
HeightMiddling
EyesDark
HairBrown and tousled, what’s he been up to?
Notable TraitsSilly little lab coat; silly little glasses
BirthdateThe Ides of Spring
BirthplaceDirt, Texas
OccupationAssistant Nurse

Jedidiah might seem distant, distracted, closed-off, or self-involved, but the truth is that he’s only got the time to worry about what really matters — and what really matters is the top-secret, dubiously legal science experiment he’s been working on in the back office. He and his co-nurse seem to have an extensive history together, but nobody can quite figure out the status of their relationship. All we know is that if anyone can get Jedidiah to stick his head out of his office every once in a while, it’s Sydney.

LUCILLE S. BERTUCCELLI

GenderFemale
HeightTowering
EyesStern
HairAs grey as her tone
Notable TraitsLong fingers; long shadow
BirthdayWay back when
BirthplaceCamp Here & There
OccupationCamp Director

Don’t be fooled by her gruff, cold demeanor and the flamethrower that she keeps on hand at all times — Lucille is the very model of a modern camp director; a paragon of leadership, responsibility, and maternal charm. Most campers have never actually spoken to her, so her personality and true motivations have become shrouded in rumor — but let’s clear those nasty rumors up right now. Lucille is just the BEST. And she has your best interests in mind at all times. Got it? Good. Don’t make me have this talk with you again.

THE ELEPHANT MAN

GenderMale
EyesHe has them
Hair(Dirty) blond
HeightUp there
Notable TraitsDazzling teeth; dizzying aura
BirthdayNobody’s quite sure
BirthplaceIt’s really anyone’s guess
OccupationFreak

Who is this dude? The tall, gangly weirdo in the bloodstained scrubs and the pink elephant mask who we keep getting reports about? He mostly skulks around the forested outskirts of the campgrounds, but from time to time someone will claim they saw him peering in through a cabin window or sneaking out the back of the cafeteria. Not to mention the reports of personal effects going missing — could it all be connected? Until we figure out what this guy’s deal is, best be careful about wandering around the campgrounds.

Mayfield and Belov presents: Camp Here & There. Episode 7: The World of Goo. 

(opening theme)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

SYDNEY
(through a stuffy nose)

Rise and shine, camperooskies… I, ah, must apologize, I’m — (inhale) I’m feeling a bit “less than the weather” today, as they say. (sniff) It’s all that damned goo. Oh, yeah — if you didn’t notice, there’s… there’s… this… (sniff) there’s this big gelatinous thing in the center of camp, and it’s… it’s just sitting in the rock circle, where the bonfire should be. I guess it fell out of the sky and onto the bonfire or something…?

Anyway, yeah, there’s a big pile of goo, and I. I’m actually allergic to goo, so I’m (sniff) not at my peak. Plus, my brain feels so foggy without the bonfire smoke to illustrate, y’know, sacred truths within its soupy coils… so. (sniff) I’m just not firing on very many cylinders today.

Anyway, anyway, anyway. Until one of the wonderful counselors here at Camp Here and There decides to get off their ass and clean this muck up, let’s not dwell on the sticky and the icky, huh, campers? The time is, uh… 

Do I have to check one of the clocks? Usually, the time sort of just… comes to me. I guess I… mm… campers, I — this is sort of embarrassing, but I never learned to read analogue clocks, so I… don’t know what time it is… 

Well, it’s — eight-something, probably! Yes, the dawn of the newest twenty-five-hour age! What terrifying cosmic secrets will you unlock today, children? Well, here’s a secret I’ll let you all in on for freesies: for today’s breakfast, Matthew has prepared hash oranges, hash greens, hash reds, and hash b-(sneeze) Oh gosh, sorry! (sniff) Goo… (sneeze) One moment please, (he blows his nose). Urrf, this stuff… Okay! I’m fine.

Hoo. Moving on… we’ve got some real storybook romps lined up for you on this morning’s activities list. Juniper is inviting all you kids to a classic English children’s game that he used to play in his hometown of Legsworth — it’s called Cornhole Two, and boy is it sticky! Our Trusty lifeguards Juno and Mila are opening the central lake to any lost souls wanting some time in the viscous waters of Lake Eerily-Gelatinous. Salem’s supervising the archery field, and both Soren and Fennel have teamed up to bring you a theoretical workshop on The Strange Magic of the Soul and Mind!

Wow! (sneeze) What a jam-packed day! I sure do love… uh, Mondays… Uhh. It’s Monday, right? Usually I just know — I — Jedidiah… ?

JEDIDIAH

(muffled)

Sunday, babe.

SYDNEY

Sunday! Yeah! Man, it sure is great to… (sniff) know things. Mm. Man.

Really hope the bonfire does come back.

Alright, alright. In a while, alligators; I’ve gotta blast — I’ve got a camper here by the name of Cindy Silicone whose lake lesions are just (sniff) begging to be put on ice. Have yourselves a hearty breakfast! 

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

SYDNEY

I don’t have many memories left over from when I was a child, campers. I remember going to this Summer Camp! I remember little Jedidiah awkwardly flirting with me on the playground, all tiny and nerdy and looser-y and lame… (sniff)I remember my favorite books and video games… my home life is something of a blur, for whatever reason! But I do remember one thing that happened to me at home — like it was yesterday, in fact. (sneeze)

I was six years old. I’d just gotten home from school, and my mom wasn’t back yet, so I figured I’d sneak in some TV time. (sniff) Boy, was that a mistake! I clicked that nasty little box on and came face-to-face with the most horrible image. It was this colossal, sweating sack of meaty slop — a blob, if you will — which (sniff) oozed its way through a peaceful grayscale cityscape, devouring everything in its wake. Oh, it was terrible! Scared me senseless! I was thrown into such an awful sneezing fit, I could hardly hold the remote steady enough to turn the terrible contraption off… and ever since then, campers, I’ve been not just allergic to goo, but deeply, deeply perturbed by it.

(sneeze) All that said… (sniff) I assure you, my little trash raccoons, that my concern over the goo pile which has smothered the oracle bonfire does not stem from a simple childhood phobia, nor does it stem from the admittedly disconcerting absence of my smoke-fueled divination ability. (sniff) I’m extremely concerned about the viscous invader at the center of camp because… (sniff) it seems to me… that slowly, incrementally, over the course of today… the goo… has been (sniff) growing

Oh, none of you believed me at first. This morning, while you kids were chatting over breakfast, I know I watched that sickening gack begin to wobble, shudder, and expand, ever so slightly… (sniff) now, it’s grown out far enough to have swallowed the wide circle of stones which once sat proudly around the bonfire, and tall enough to threaten the flag atop the flagpole. Even the trees have begun to react, leaning back and away from our ungrateful gelatinous guest, looking like an array of dominos falling in slow-motion; and the goo has seeped across the top of the water, threatening the ill-defined territory of the unknowable object at the center of the lake. So none of you can ignore it anymore!!

I have no idea what it’s (sniff) feeding on to fuel its expansion — the embers from the suffocating bonfire, perhaps? The dirt on the ground? Or something metaphysical? (sneeze) Either way, this fantastical sack of opalescent ooze smells like doom, to me. I’m wholly confident that if we allow it to continue growing unchecked, we will all be consumed — a fate so ripe and mucilaginous that I would not wish it on anyone (sniff), not even Counselor Joshua.

Of course, your kind and hard-working Camp Director, Lucille, has done her part to try and mitigate the glutinous disaster-in-waiting. She summoned a few of her (sniff) Friends-of-the-Oak — you know, those handsome wooden mannequins she enchants to do her bidding? Yes, she does love her puppets. Anyway, she had those guys try using a vacuum, but it (sniff) totally backfired — the vacuums actually ended up sucking themselves into the goo, taking the Oakfriends along for the ride. So, obviously, Lucille is hopping mad, ’cause her favorite wooden guys got absorbed, and (sneeze) I’m not sure she’ll be willing to risk any more resources on this problem. It might be up to your heroic camp counselors to get this goo out of our hair — and I’d encourage them to hop to this as quickly as possible.

Anyway, I… (he explodes into a sneezing fit)

Uuagugh! GOO! Children, I cannot tell you how much I hate goo. Lava lamps, the movie Flubber, the fluids that come out of your body when you’re sad or injured… all of it repulses me. (sniff) And I am sick to bastard death of not being able to breathe out my nose, and having to look at clocks to figure out what time it is… do they have to have so many hands? I still haven’t figured out which one is meant to measure millenia.

(sneeze) Anyway. Anyway, anyway. It’s 12:87 now, I think, and boy, today really took its sweet time getting from breakfast to lunch, huh? As if Father Time himself is wading through a thick pool of gelatin. I don’t envy the bastard.

Today’s lunch is a mixture of boiled crawfish, broiled shrimp, and toiled lobster. As any good (sniff) chef knows, toiled lobster tastes best when it’s been subjected to considerable emotional labor in the form of a job in telecommunications or some equally humiliating field. You really gotta work ’em to the bone! Or… shell! Hya-HA! (he smacks the table) Man, I am funny. Vegans get birdfeed.

(shuffling sounds)

Oh, one second, kids, I— oh, I’m being handed a message… Oh, I—

Oh.

Oh, dear. 

Hm. Breaking news, my dears… the goo has become autonomous. It’s rolling around, slopping and sloshing like an overactive latrine, and it’s heading towards Cabin Ladybug… oh, dear… kids, do not leave the mess hall. Counselors, make your way to my office as quickly as you possibly can, and try not to… alert the goo… ? Somehow… ?

And, kids, I’d advise you not to touch your food until this thing has been dealt with. There’s a chance that some of its nasty particles have contaminated Matthew’s cooking, in which case you’ll probably undergo a painful transfiguration into some kind of blob-person.  Alright, kids, see you soon… I hope… 

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission mu-

(there is a click as the intercom turns on) 

SYDNEY
Campers, C— (sneeze) campers! I apologize for (sniff) for interrupting your lunch a mere few minutes after my last announcement, but I-I’ve got (sniff) urgent news, and an even more urgent request!

When I called your counselors to my office, our first order of business was a good old-fashioned brainstorming sesh, in which we all talked over how to deal with this syrupy behemoth. Now, Camp Here & There prides itself on fostering a sense of unity, family, and above all, love between all the members of its staff. So as you can imagine, we treated one another with the utmost respect and care through this discussion. Every suggestion was duly considered before it was gently shot down. Heartfelt compliments were offered and returned. We even held hands. And as we convened, the goo, seemingly bent on swallowing Cabin Ladybug, seemed to be growing at an exponential rate.

It was at this point that a certain counselor — I won’t name names, but it was Joshua — made a suggestion which the rest of us took to be… stupid. Me, Jedidiah, and Yvonne all told him, lovingly and politely, to shut up, and in that moment I noticed something fascinating. The goo — which had, to this point, grown so colossal that the shape of Cabin Ladybug had been entirely obscured by its lustrous heft — shivered, convulsed, and shrank.

In this moment, it all became clear to me. The fierce camaraderie shared between the campers of each cabin… the committed, heartfelt love between members of the camp staff… and the protective, parental compassion that the counselors show for you kids… our camp environment is a tender one, and that is exactly why the goo has prospered. The gruesome growth of this glistening glop… is fueled… by love.

And, similarly, rudeness and antagonism serve to poison it. And tell me, my little arthropods — who on this Earth is better at being antagonistic than teenagers? Oh, if I were as skilled at insult and injury today as I was when I was your age, I’d rule the world. Campers, we need you. Go, now, from your lunchroom tables to the center of camp! Levy your harshest, most blistering insults unto the goo. Unleash every ounce of your pent-up, adolescent rage upon it! Pretend it’s your parents! Your teachers! The government! Us! I’m quite certain that within one of those categories is someone who deserves it!

But, ah… be sure to use only your words. We aren’t sure you’d survive if the goo slurped you up, so keep your hands and feet away from it.

Now hurry, hurry! Rush outside and do your worst! We’ll be cheering you on! Or, not… we probably shouldn’t cheer you on. But we’ll be very proud, in our hearts! 

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

SYDNEY
All’s gel that ends gel, huh?

(Sydney and Jedidiah both break out into uproaring laughter. Sydney chokes, which makes Jedidiah laugh harder.)

JEDIDIAH
He spent an hour and a half coming up with that one.

SYDNEY

(shoving Jedidiah away)

Get away from the microphone, you prick —

Oh, campers. Dinner has arrived, and the timing could not be better. If you’ve heard the word, rest assured that it’s true: the Goo is Gone!

I must say, you kids were quite the sight. The way you all stood single-file, facing the goo like a redcoat battalion, and launched your verbal assault… the way it trembled and cowered as you collectively read it for filth! Some among your ranks began directing your insults at the counselors, and I’ve received requests to admonish you for that, but… I mean, insults hurt the goo no matter where they’re directed, right? Ends and means, I say. What matters is that, in the face of all that choking hatred, the goo shrank to nothing and became… merely a memory.

I’m still experiencing some — (sneeze) residual effects of the goo’s presence, but I’m sure I’ll be fine by tomorrow. In the meantime, though, I’ll stay indoors for today. If you need me… you all know where to find me! Here in my office, like a moth in his cocoon

Tonight’s dinner is… well, wouldya look at that, pudding! (sneeze) With some molten lava cake for dessert. Now, Matthew has informed me that he has, indeed, learned his lesson, and that no real lava will be anywhere in the vicinity this fine evening. Don’t we just love when men learn from their mistakes and improve? My my, Matthew is just stellar. 

There are no official campwide activities for this evening — just run around and play to your hearts’ content. The campgrounds are your oyster! Also, Soren, counselor of Cabin Ladybug, wanted me to announce that he’s on the hunt for some really long stones. Should you come across a really long stone in the forest or at camp, please report its precise coordinates to Soren immediately.

And that about does it for today! Have a wonderful, immaculately gooless night my little dart frogs. May slime never consume you. 

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(tape recorder clicks on)

(the sound of a clock is heard ticking in the background)

SYDNEY

Now the ghost recorder gets to hear you verbally harassing me. Rethinking your behavior?

JEDIDIAH

(amused)

Sydney, I’m not making fun of you. I just don’t understand why you put a mushroom in your hair. 

SYDNEY

Mushrooms clean the Earth. I am of the Earth. Natural shampoo. Also, I try to be nice to them so that they’re nice to be when I’m dead.

JEDIDIAH

(laughing)

Uh huh. 

SYDNEY

(laughing along)

And it’s cute, right? You think it’s cute.

JEDIDIAH

It’s… bold. Fresh. Metaphorically. It is… visibly not… literally fresh.

SYDNEY

You could learn a thing or two from me, you know. About style.

JEDIDIAH

I’m okay. 

SYDNEY

With your stupid little glasses and your stupid little khakis and your stupid little dress shoes.

JEDIDIAH

They’re penny loafers.

SYDNEY

I’m gonna put stickers on your lab coat. 

JEDIDIAH

And that is why I keep my office locked. Okay, I’m off to bed. Will you be sleeping soon?

SYDNEY

Oh yeah, I won’t stay up too late tonight. 

JEDIDAH

Alright, well, I’ll see you in the room. Goodnight, Sydney.

SYDNEY: Goodnight.

(Jedidiah walks away and closes the door)

SYDNEY

Hmm hmm hmm… today was nice. I turned this on at 25:25 so it’s probably 25:27 or 28. I don’t really know what to talk about right now, and maybe that’s a good thing? Maybe I can quiet my mind down for a minute.

Hmm… hmmmmm.

Quiet. 

Quiet… 

… 

Y’know, there’s a centipede in my study. 

I don’t know where it came from… or exactly how long it’s been lingering. But for the past few days, I’ve been seeing it… scurrying around now and then. I didn’t know we have this species of centipede around here? Or — or that this size of centipede existed? So I’m a bit perplexed. But of course it’s a welcome guest, I mean –

(there is a knock at the door)

Huh? Jedidiah?

ROWAN

(cracking open the door)

Ah — no. Sorry, I — let myself in. 

SYDNEY

Oh, Rowan! Hey, come on in. 

(Rowan closes the door behind him)

SYDNEY

What can I do for you? 

ROWAN

H-hi. Um… I know it’s late… sorry. 

SYDNEY

No, don’t worry. Something wrong?

(Rowan walks closer)

ROWAN

I-I-I. Okay. I’m just here to see if you could give me anymore of that… uhm… anti… dark visions medication?

SYDNEY

(he opens a drawer and grabs a bottle)

I mean, yes, but you’re gonna build up a tolerance to this stuff if you keep asking me for it, dear. I’m thinking you should limit your intake.

ROWAN

I know, but, listen, I — just — don’t think I’m going to fall asleep tonight without it and the kids don’t — like it when I cover the windows, and I… .

SYDNEY

What’s the problem with windows?

ROWAN

(whispering)

The sky… I don’t like when it can see me.

SYDNEY

I see.

ROWAN

I don’t think it likes what it sees.

SYDNEY

Right. Okay.

ROWAN

I need the medication. 

SYDNEY

Well, it’s mild and over the counter anyways, so it can’t really hurt you. (pills rustling) Just try to take these as needed, alright? You’ll be even worse if they stop working.

ROWAN: Sure… Thank you. (he takes the bottle) Uh… how are you?

SYDNEY

Oh, uhm. I’m okay. People have been pretty friendly today. 

ROWAN

Mm.

SYDNEY

It’s nice to see you talking too. How about you?

ROWAN

Well. I like working with the older kids. My cabin’s been easy on me so far; all things considered. Which is good, because I’m pretty distracted this Summer… (sigh) and it’s always harder with just one person. I, uhm, I appreciate this, Sydney. I’m — gonna get going, okay? Thank you. 

SYDNEY

Oh, okay, yeah sure. Let me know if you need anything else, alright? 

ROWAN

Alright. Goodbye. 

(Rowan walks away and closes the door)

(Sydney closes the drawer)

SYDNEY

(stretching)

Rowan’s a nice guy, isn’t he? 

Well, alright, ghost recorder. You’ve had your fill of interesting events. I’ll be back tomorrow night with who knows what else! And… I hope you sleep well.

Today’s episode was written by Blue Mayfield and Nicholas Belov. The part of Sydney was played by Blue Mayfield. The part of Jedidiah Martin was played by Nicholas Belov. The part of Rowan Chow was played by Corey Wilder.


Camp Here & There is the sole intellectual property of its production company, Mayfield & Belov. All music composed by Will Wood, and produced by Jonathon Maisto. Sound editing by cut by Frank and Beetlesprite. Special thanks to our patrons: Casper, Alyx Wijers, Bottled Water, Bee, and Ava Lazin.

For behind-the-scenes material, exclusive canonical content, interactive events, and early episode access, consider signing up for our Patreon at patreon.com/mayfieldandbelov. Our discord server is a great place to meet likeminded fellows and discuss today’s episode — find the link at mayfieldandbelov.com. Lastly, if you’d like to support us, the best thing you can do is to spread the word about the show.

Thank you for listening to Camp Here & There! And remember: Don’t anger it.

View more episode transcripts

Mayfield and Belov presents: Camp here and There. Episode 6: The Norms of the World

(opening theme)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

SYDNEY

Good morning, campers! Have we all recovered from yesterday?

I forgot to mention this at the end of the day yesterday between the cancellation and the casualties and all, but guys… didn’t Jeddie make just the cutest camp announcer? I know I was a little mean. It’s just so satisfying to wield psychological power over a man in a button-up. You all understand, right? He’s a good sport about it after all.

Well, anyways… howsabout these announcements, huh? The time is 8:61 AM, the sky is a serene and bloodshot red, and the jabberbeaks are a-chirpin’ with ferocity! If you listen closely, little ones, you might just hear, amidst their raucous peeps, the day of the week on which you are fated to die! I hear a different day every time, and boy, does that raise a lot of questions! Like, am I immortal? Am I already dead? Or is it just confirmation that it’s all of our seemingly insignificant decisions which determine where life will take us next? It’s probably not that last one, because Jedidiah says he pretty much always gets Thursday!

Alright, alright, let’s see here. Hmm… ah, Cabin Dungbeetle. Cabin Dungbeetle, though I personally admire your particularly enthusiastic approach towards Opposite Day,  I regret to inform you that it’s, well, Lucille has made it known that she wishes for you all to face some sort of consequence for the, ah, wanton damage to camp property and staff. Thus, you’ll be responsible for setting and cleaning the mess hall for all three meals this whole week. I promise you, chipmunks, I tried to convince Lucille that after cancelling Opposite Day yesterday, further punishment would be cruel and unnecessary. I mean, it’s clear to me you all didn’t even do anything wrong! Like, okay, sure, yesterday was… challenging for Counselor Juniper, but he’ll be fine. 

(Sydney turns away from the microphone) 

Right, Juniper?

… 

(he turns back)

 He’ll be fine.

Today’s breakfast is raw honey and silver, starfish salad, and eggs of a color I simply cannot fathom! Matthew at it again with all those extra eye-cones! 

For today’s activities, we… wait, hold on… where is the activity list?

(he shuffles paper around his desk)

Hey, Jeddie? Jedidiah! 

No? Where is it then?… You think?… Alright. (ahem) I’m sorry, kids. It appears the list has gone missing… which does lead us into the final announcement I was planning to deliver this morning. Things are still going missing. I first mentioned this issue in the context of my personal effects alone, but after receiving countless reports from counselors, it’s undeniable that this is a campwide issue. Either this is another unexplained weather phenomenon, or someone — someone very sneaky, very dextrous, and very clever — has been stealing from the residents of Camp Here & There! Probably… not Counselor Joshua. I’m sure that all of you immediately think ‘Joshua’ when you hear about creepy, losery behavior, but let’s be real… Joshua is not smart enough to pull this off.

Anyway, investigations into this phenomenon are ongoing. Please keep your important things close to your person and within your sight, and remember the one thing you cannot under any circumstances allow a man to steal: your heart.

Today’s activities will proceed as planned but… I don’t exactly remember what they are. Hmm. You all can commence with breakfast; I’ll be right back. 

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

… 

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

SYDNEY

(breathless)

OKAY! I got a reprint. This morning you’ll all get the chance to scrape glowing moss off of the rocks of the lake; after which, Counselor Gracie of Cabin Tarantula Hawk will show you the proper way to imbibe the moss in order to attain maximum awareness. Counselor Marisol of Cabin Grasshopper is inviting you all to birdwatch the jabberbeaks and sawbone finches, and Cabin Tarantula Hawk’s resident craftsman Counselor Warren is opening the Creativity Cabin for some relaxing eye-color redecorating, now with painless needles! (sigh) Ah, the memories of being a child and injecting my dry irises with Raspberry Red. Alright, campers, you can go back to eating. See you all at lunch!

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

SYDNEY

Afternoon, campers, and welcome to the minute 12:82! Did any of you jabberbeak watchers learn which day of the week you’re due for? Most recently, they told me I was to die on a Saturday. I’m sure that if I was anyone else, such a revelation would turn each Saturday into a harrowing gauntlet of all-too-possible doom for every week hereafter. Knowledge, knowledge! Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Alright, alright, enough jokes. I’m actually in quite a serious mood right now. Campers, items are going missing at an exponential rate! Whoever is responsible seems to have been emboldened, even motivated by my acknowledging their actions. We’ve got to get some sort of camp-wide vigilance operation going, so that we may perhaps apprehend this culprit, or at least get my fancy soaps back. I’d like to establish that if it’s a camper who’s responsible, you may simply come forward to me in private and I assure you that you will be neither punished nor reported. Counselors… well, you’ll have to talk to Lucille, so… perhaps it would be better if you returned the items anonymously.

(ahem) In the interest of the item retrieval effort, we’ve posted a list of all stolen items we are currently aware of to the Camp Bulletin Board. It’s in the cafeteria if you’d like to check or modify it, but here’s just a hint of the items our counselors and campers have lost just today:

  • Counselor Rowan’s incense sticks. 
  • Counselor Warren’s animal tooth collection.
  • Several books of Counselor Soren’s, including Embalming for Dummies and Demonology for Freaks.
  • Camper Penelope’s secret stash of ash-laced chocolate. 
  • Camper Natsume’s colorful candles.
  • Samples from Counselor Yvonne’s crystal collection.
  • Many different clocks from both the nurses’ office and administrative building, including Lucille’s fancy old mahogany grandfather clock!

And so much of my stuff. Including samples from my stash of homegrown herbs — some of which are medicinal, but some of which are quite deadly. I very much hope the culprit can tell those apart! You wouldn’t want to accidentally heal someone you’re trying to murder. Also… Jedidiah told me that the photo of me that keeps in his desk has gone missing, which… I didn’t even know he had that… mm.

Anyway. Anyway! All of this to say, this has got to stop. I’ll thank you to report any other items which go missing, or which turn up.

For today’s lunch, Matthew has made goose stuffed with goose stuffed with more goose, and a side of almond milk supreme. Vegans will be having soy-meat of a reportedly goose-like variety. The afternoon’s activities will be a live-action rendition of the famous board game Battleship, with authentic canons. Counselor Joshua is hosting a competition to see who can guess how many ketamine needles I snuck into his pillow last night, and Matthew wants to remind the camp that his door is always wide open to any wayward camper who is feeling called by The Meat. 

Well, that’s it for now… apologies if I sound a bit out of it, campers, but — I can’t keep my mind from wondering… why all the items taken today have been commonly used in the practice of magic… aside from… the photograph of me

Well, I’m sure it’s nothing! I’ll see ya later. 

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

MARISOL

Breathe, sweetheart, breathe. It’s okay, yeah? Hey, where’s Jedidiah?

SYDNEY

(mumbling)

MARISOL

What’s that?

SYDNEY

I don’t want to bother him with this… 

MARISOL

Nonsense. He’s your… you know?

SYDNEY

It’s… announcement time, anyway.

Good evening, campers. The time is… 19:03, and it appears… we know who the culprit is. (sigh) Well, Marisol and I know. I guess you’ll have to take our word for it. It’s… hmmgh… 

MARISOL

(leaning into the mic)

It’s the elephant man… 

SYDNEY

Campers, I… have to admit that, in retrospect, I’ve been… seeing him around all week. I didn’t want to raise an alarm, because it was never a clear sighting around the grounds, you know, just — a pinkish shape in the window at night, a bloodstained blur in the underbrush — plus, you know, my mind is not exactly — that is to say, I have a history of — well, ah. Either way, there’s no denying it now. The elephant man who caused such a stir on the first day of camp has been traipsing around the campgrounds, pilfering trinkets of significance from each one of us in turn.

It happened down by Cabin Grasshopper… I was out behind it, picking flowers for my concoctions, when above me I heard an odd scrabbling noise. I looked up to see him — a tall, lanky man with a pink elephant mask — clambering out of the cabin window, cradling a porcelain tea set in his long arms.

MARISOL

Oh! Tell them about the robe!

SYDNEY

Right, yeah, uhm. It’s — kind of funny. He — he updated his wardrobe. Last time I saw him, I knew that his outfit was familiar… this time, I saw it clearly. Hospital scrubs. Pale aquamarine scrubs, like a nurse would wear! And what’s more, this time he had a — was it a robe? I thought it was a cape — ? 

MARISOL

Definitely a robe.

SYDNEY

Alright, a robe. A purple, star-patterned wizard robe, y’know the kind you’d get from, like, a costume store, with satiny stars. It was… absurd, in retrospect. And every piece was covered in… faded, brownish stains… 

MARISOL

(noise of discomfort)

SYDNEY

And of course, that cartoonish pink elephant mask. (sigh) Well, the very sight of him made me feel too sluggish to yell, run, or even politely confront him. That peculiar effect he has on me, and me alone it may seem. I wonder if he can control it, if he wants me to feel drugged. Either way, it’s clear that the mask acts as some sort of stopper-upper for that effect of his, because after landing on the grass beside me, he…

MARISOL

You don’t have to explain in so much detail… 

SYDNEY

No, I… He landed on the grass beside me, looked over at me, reached up for his face, and tilted his mask upwards — just enough that I could see the way his lips curled at the edges, the gleam of his tombstone teeth. And the wave of nauseating, headaching exhaustion that hit me when I saw his face, so close to mine… I mean, I collapsed. I simply could not stand; I could hardly bring myself to breathe.

I couldn’t see his eyes — I suspect my heart will stop if I ever do — but I could tell he was staring at me, taking me in, aching to remove his mask and devour me wholly… and then he dropped Marisol’s tea set to the ground. The kettle cracked and split, and he didn’t seem to notice when a shard of china struck his calf. He just stared at me, his lips wet, and with every time I blinked it got harder and harder for me to open my eyes again… the man began to slowly lower himself, to bend his knees and meet me on my level, to extend his arms like a mother welcoming her newborn child… I didn’t have it in me to care. I wasn’t scared. I observed dully, like a doll atop a shelf, as this strange man gave in to his temptation to steal me away.

And then Marisol came charging at him.

MARISOL

(bashful)

I didn’t, like, mean to. I mean, that’s not something I’d normally do? It was just like… 

SYDNEY

I understand. It’s the effect he has.

MARISOL

The effect he has. Yeah.

SYDNEY

She charged in and tackled him to the grass, and with the source of my lethargy now excised from my field of view, I felt my energy immediately begin to return. All the feelings I’d been too dull to feel came rushing into my body: fear, curiosity, disgust, the… the sense of violation, the sense of… objectification… I… 

MARISOL

Anyway. 

SYDNEY

Yes, right, I… well, I used all my newfound willpower to quickly push myself up, and when I did, the man was gone.

MARISOL

He just got away! I don’t really know if he overpowered me or what. Can’t recall. I was really in a weird state.

SYDNEY

Somehow, he’d gotten away. And as the sense of lethargy began to recede, to be replaced by a feeling of… feeling bad… his laughter rang out through the trees.

MARISOL

Are we sure it was his?

SYDNEY

Who else would have been laughing in the trees?

MARISOL

It just sounded so, commercial, right? Kind of like a, er, (laughing) cartoon prince. 

SYDNEY

(chuckles)

A shockingly handsome laugh, yes.

Campers, I… don’t know what to do about this, frankly. I could… keep some caffeine or maybe amphetamine on me… maybe, but if he’s using some kind of… hypnotic magic, I don’t know how much that would do. Marisol and I will try to convince Lucille that there’s something serious going on. Until then, I advise you all to keep your valuables close. I’ll keep you updated my little sandworms.

Tonight’s dinner is seaweed spaghetti in brine and mini hotdog buns. Just the buns. Oh, and vegans get mustard. And, uh, tonight’s group activity will be: evil board games. Only the most evil board games allowed: (heavy metal voice) snakes and weasels! Spin the evil eye! Truth or death! (he chokes) Monopoly . . . . . !

Keep track of your things, and remember: I love you all very much. Have a good dinner. 

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(tape recorder clicks on)

(the sound of a clock is heard ticking in the background)

SYDNEY

Hello again, ghost recorder. It’s 25:25PM and once again time for me to talk to a machine. 

Actually, it’s been pretty nice to actually talk about my problems lately, even if it is to a tape recorder that I pretend is haunted. Mmm. I used to talk to Jedidiah about everything, but… I mean, he’s not just an endless well of support for me to dump all my issues into. Your friends shouldn’t have to play therapist for you, right? So I don’t really need to make him listen to all my bullshit anymore.

Goodness, who am I lying to here? I just don’t tell him about my problems because I don’t feel like he’ll listen. Nobody will! Or at least, nobody will do anything about what they hear. I tried to tell Lucille about the elephant man, and she just did her whole… (mimicking Lucille’s grumbles) mrmrghhrhmr. Something noncommittal about “handling it”, but I really have my doubts. So, like every camp issue that doesn’t merit a punitive response, it’s my problem to solve.

Marisol said that I should definitely tell Jedidiah about this… (sigh) this is the first time in a long time I’ve felt like I was actually in danger. Maybe it’ll be enough to make him react.

(there is a soft knock as the door creaks open)

SYDNEY

Oh! Speak of the devil. 

JEDIDIAH

Hey, Sydney. Talkin’ about me behind my back? 

SYDNEY

Yes, indeed. I told my ghost recorder that you were a handsome assistant with a perfect smile. 

JEDIDIAH

(laughs)

Good to know. Listen, I… I’m sorry that I was so busy today. Lucille had a job for me… bad timing, I know. I — I wanted to check in. Are you alright? 

SYDNEY

Well, I’m… I’m sort of troubled.

(Jedidiah closes the door and walks inside)

SYDNEY

Uhm… remember the elephant man?

JEDIDIAH

Mm, yes. 

(Jedidiah pulls up a chair and sits down)

SYDNEY

He’s real, Jedidiah. I won’t hear otherwise. I saw him. I’ve been seeing him. He’s the one who’s been taking all this stuff. He took your photo of me! 

JEDIDIAH

Yeah, I know. I listened to this evening’s announcement. 

SYDNEY

Oh, did you? I never know. Well, Jeddie, I’d like to take this seriously. I’m real scared. 

JEDIDIAH

Yeah. Well, Sydney… I’m… sorry that happened to you. I know how much you value your… your ability to control yourself, your autonomy and all. So to be affected that way… it has to be specifically uncomfortable for you. I’m sorry.

SYDNEY

Uh… thanks. That’s… nice, actually.

JEDIDIAH

That said… he didn’t — actually hurt you, right?

SYDNEY

Well, no, but… 

JEDIDIAH

Yeah. He — hear me out here; aside from the feelings of discomfort? I don’t think you actually have anything to worry about, Sydney. He seems creepy, but… harmless.

SYDNEY

He ate my worms.

JEDIDIAH

Worms aren’t people. 

SYDNEY

Jedidiah

JEDIDIAH

Sydney, I’m just trying to tell you that I don’t think this is worth getting bent out of shape over. He’s a nuisance, yes, like so many other things in life, but we really don’t have any reason to think he’s a threat.

SYDNEY

He’s stealing things from people! He’s stealing a lot of stuff from me!

JEDIDIAH

Which is a problem, but —

SYDNEY: Common sense dictates that —

JEDIDIAH

Common sense? Sydney, stuff like this is the only common element in our lives. I’m actually, well, okay, I’m sorry about what happened to you, but I am surprised and frankly a little worried about your fixation on this guy, okay, because you, a few days ago, you got captured and kidnapped by penguins. Last year we had real elephants storm the camp, and a counselor was destroyed. Sometimes it rains knives or nuclear waste, and Rowan says the world is going to end almost every day. And you are always fine. And yes, this guy might pose some kind of weird existential threat to the camp at large, but the idea that one weirdly dressed human being is the first thing since taking this job that you’ve actually been scared of — that doesn’t make sense to me. Nothing in this camp ever hurts you, Sydney, you are always fine, and the biggest threat that I currently see to your wellbeing is your own mental health.

SYDNEY: 

… I… I just… he feels… like he wants to do something with me. 

JEDIDIAH

I will try to do something about him, okay? Lucille usually listens to me, and barring that, I… I can work on the alarm system, see if I can figure out why it won’t catch him. But if our time working this camp can teach us anything, it’s that you don’t need to waste your energy worrying about this.

SYDNEY

Yeah… you’re probably right. That alarm hasn’t worked in years. 

JEDIDIAH

I’ll do something. Just try and focus on staying mentally healthy and all. 

SYDNEY

Mm. D’you wanna play chess with me tonight? 

JEDIDIAH

(sigh) 

Sydney, I’m busy… 

SYDNEY

Right, your project. 

JEDIDIAH

(softly)

My project. 

SYDNEY

I can’t remember the last time we played. A couple of years, maybe.

JEDIDIAH

I’m just busy. 

SYDNEY

Yeah. Okay. 

JEDIDIAH

And, and if you feel safe right now, I have things that need attending. 

SYDNEY

Right. 

JEDIDIAH

I’ll see you. I — I love you.

(Jedidiah walks away)

SYDNEY

Mm. 

(he closes the door)

SYDNEY

Whatever. Goodnight. 

(there is a click as the recorder turns off)

(ending music)

Today’s episode was written by Blue Mayfield and Nicholas Belov. The part of Sydney was played by Blue Mayfield. The part of Jedidiah Martin was played by Nicholas Belov. The part of Marisol Yuchengco was played by JV Hampton-VonSant.


Camp Here & There is the sole intellectual property of its production company, Mayfield & Belov. All music composed by Will Wood, and produced by Jonathon Maisto. Sound editing by cut by frank and Beetlesprite. Special thanks to our patrons: Mila Eris, Ninjoj, Jasper Ryley, Dylski the bean boy, nalaaa, lonely tea drinker

For behind-the-scenes material, exclusive canonical content, interactive events, and early episode access, consider signing up for our Patreon at patreon.com/mayfieldandbelov. Our discord server is a great place to meet likeminded fellows and discuss today’s episiode — find the link at mayfieldandbelov.com. Lastly, if you’d like to support us, the best thing you can do is to spread the word about the show.

Thank you for listening to Camp Here & There! And remember: an infinite distance away from you floats an unfathomably large tree capable of abstract thought. Its influence on your life is subtle but distinct. Don’t anger it.

View more episode transcripts

Mayfield and Belov presents: Camp Here and There. Episode five: The Reversal of Norms

(opening theme)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

JEDIDIAH

Sydney, please don’t make me do this, you know I’m going to suck, dude, please —

SYDNEY

Oh, yes, I can just let you do things today the way you always do. It’s not like the government will have our heads if we don’t abide by the principles of Opposite Day!

JEDIDIAH

AGH! It’s like sarcasm but worse!

SYDNEY

Listen, Jedidiah, I don’t like this either.

JEDIDIAH

So that means you love it, right? You’re saying you’re relishing my pain? Since it’s opposite day and all?

SYDNEY

I’m not implying that in the slightest. 🙂

JEDIDIAH

Hnngh. Will you stop being infuriatingly cryptic if I do the morning announcements?

SYDNEY

Oh, yes, Jedidiah. I absolutely will. 🙂

JEDIDIAH

Right. Fine. Ugh. Okay. I… Okay. God. I have to…  opposite-ify this. God, this is a miserable world we live in. Okay. Okay. Here goes.

Good morning, campers! The sun is… uhh… low in the ground… and the sky is, like… blue. And, uhh… the inexorable march of time, or whatever? Or…  not that? Okay, I’m sorry, I need help. Sydney? Sydney, I need help.

SYDNEY

But you were doing such a good job!

JEDIDIAH

Can you break character for one minute!

SYDNEY

Of course. I’m a criminal who is perfectly willing to flaunt the rules of Opposite Day.

JEDIDIAH

Please. A minute out of this whole stupid day is all I ask.

SYDNEY

(inhale)

(he picks up a timer and turns the dial to a minute)

Okay. One minute for you. Because I love you.

JEDIDIAH

That’s not Opposite Day sarcasm, right?

SYDNEY

No, Jeddie, I sincerely do love you.

JEDIDIAH

Right. Okay. Listen, I get that it’s Opposite Day, so I’m supposed to say and do the opposite of whatever — is normal, but how granular am I meant to get about that? Can I even mention the sun, or should I call it the moon instead? Do I call the ground the sky? And since I’m doing the announcements instead of you, am I supposed to act like you, or like the opposite of how you do it? Or just the opposite of myself? You’re a pretty good approximation of the opposite of me, is the problem, so my options feel strictly binary and wholly incorrect. How does this come so easily to you? I can’t… I can’t figure this whole thing out. Why do we care? Like, yeah, Opposite Day is a government mandated thing, but is anyone from the government listening in on us? Or would anyone here report us to the government? Lucille is the only one around here with any sort of cellular communication technology, and she’s sure as hell not participating in 

(the timer rings)

SYDNEY

Well, would you look at that! Looks like your minute is not over.

JEDIDIAH

(meek squeak)

I got no answers at all!

SYDNEY

Jedidiah, don’t let me not ask you something. Would you normally be peppering me with all these questions?

JEDIDIAH

Uh, y-… yes?

SYDNEY

Then you need to (not) do THE OPPOSITE OF THAT!

JEDIDIAH

Ugh, fine, shit. Fine, I’ll just… try.

SYDNEY

It’s fantastic that you’re cussing where the kids can hear.

JEDIDIAH

Right, sorry.

SYDNEY

Are you?

JEDIDIAH

Uuaghghqj I mean I’m not sorry. MORNING ANNOUNCEMENTS I’M DOING THEM.

Well, kids, as you… certainly haven’t guessed, it’s not Opposite Day. Opposite Day, for the record, is not a government mandated holiday in which we aren’t forced to do and say the opposite of whatever we would usually do. The government will not punish us in any way if we mess up.

Hey, I got through that bit pretty good, didn’t I?

(Sydney snaps his fingers)

Whatever! Whatever. Thanks to Opposite Day, everything around camp is… extremely normal. I’m sure you kids are all having fun bossing your counselors around… or, uh, I mean, I bet you’re all having a miserable time, uhh… being… not doing that? Christ. I’m just gonna get through this.

Breakfast is garbage. Matthew is just gonna take a dump on your plate. Opposite Day, woo. As for today’s activities, you all get to take turns playing app store games on Lucille’s cellphone, draining all her data. Awesome.

Okay, that’s it, I mean, that’s none of it, I mean, whatever, whatever. If you need me, I’m not going to be behind the locked door of my office, where nobody can hear me fail to care about Opposite Day. I love you all. Hello.

SYDNEY

(clapping)

Yayyy!

JEDIDIAH

Christ.

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

JEDIDIAH

(self satisfied)

Goodbye, kids. The time is 80:12, and lunch is never coming. Fortunately for those of you who enjoyed this morning’s fumbling, I did not have the foresight to write myself a script for the lunch announcements. Nope. Completely did not do that.

Today has in no way been a total shitshow, and if it had been, that certainly wouldn’t be because of the totally optional holiday of Opposite Day. The campers of Camp Here & There have been calm and peaceful today, and have done nothing to take advantage of Opposite Day for greedy and destructive purposes. 

Fourteen-year-old Dolly Navarro absolutely did not unite her campers under the banner of her authoritarian leadership, or rally them around a mock execution of Counselor Juniper. Thirteen-year-old Natsume Shiota did not read Juniper his last rights from a book of demonology, and he was not heard announcing that “if he dies on opposite day, it actually means he’ll live forever!” 

But, of course, if something like that did happen, well, all of you can rest assured that the staff of this camp look at this behavior with… nothing but approval. Violence. Woo.

Uh, and, to the Cabin Dungbeetle kids, a little, ah, private message from me to you, and, uh, don’t worry about me, y’know, deviating from the script a bit, but, uh, I — (nervous laughter) Dropping the opposite day facade, Juniper is valuable camp personnel, and also, like, a — human being so — don’t — kill him? Legally we’re powerless to stop you here so, just, please don’t kill Juniper, okay? Uh, pl—

SYDNEY

Jedidiah?

JEDIDIAH

Yes? I mean. N-no. 

SYDNEY

I just love how encouraging you are! You’d be a total Debbie Downer if you were to scold all the kids just for enjoying themselves, so it’s great that you aren’t doing that.

JEDIDIAH

Sydney. Sydney, people are getting hurt.

SYDNEY

But are the children getting hurt?

JEDIDIAH

What kind of question is that?

SYDNEY

Carry on, winner! You’re crushing it!

JEDIDIAH

(grunt)

Er, our chef, Matthew wants you all to know he absolutely loves the way some of you are crawling around in his kitchen, performing unethical chemistry experiments with his cooking reagents, so keep that up. For lunch, uh, you can help yourself to any of the raw ingredients in his stores.

This morning’s… no, tonight’s… ? Sydney… okay, help actually. What’s the opposite of afternoon? Is it evening? Or is evening the opposite of morning…? Would the opposite of afternoon be some — some equivalent time of night?

SYDNEY

Wouldn’t you like to know. 

JEDIDIAH

I would! …  not! 

SYDNEY

Well, Jedidiah. Since you are not asking me to provide you with a term which would be recognized as the opposite of afternoon, I’m under no obligation to answer you with the opposite of the opposite of afternoon! Which is… afternoon! 

JEDIDIAH

This afternoon’s activities are screaming until you pass out, and breaking your legs with hammers. I would be happy to see you in my office anytime today. I love you. Hello. 

SYDNEY

Woah, are you actually upset? 

JEDIDIAH

Sydney, I- 

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

SYDNEY

Hey, kids. Sydney here. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of you rascals are pretending to be unaware that Opposite Day has been cancelled, so here’s a camp-wide announcement that nobody can ignore: Opposite Day has been cancelled. I know that’s exactly what someone would say on an Opposite Day that hasn’t been cancelled, but I swear on my mother I’m being sincere. The order comes all the way from the administration building.

(sigh) I regret that it came to this, but Lucille’s word is final on these matters — even when it is technically illegal; I’m sure we’re all a bit worried about Lucille facing retribution from the government for cancelling the observation of this holy day. I have to wonder what the final straw was for her. Was it when Juniper got strung up on the flagpole, gallows-style? Or when Matthew personally went to talk to Lucille about the miniature black hole you creative chemists managed to spawn in the kitchen? Perhaps it was the unidentifiable mass of pink goo which splattered onto Joshua and subsequently dissolved his uniform, leaving him standing there with his funny little body exposed to the elements. Well, either way, it’s a real shame.

Kids, your enjoyment and safety during your time here at camp is the most important thing in the world to me. That’s a pledge that I work to live up to. So that’s why I take Opposite Day very seriously — I know that the role-reversal is some of the most fun you little horse flies have all Summer. But after talking things over with Jedidiah, I fear that my camp spirit may have made me rather myopic. I fear that in my blind passion, I may have ruined Opposite Day.

After all, kids, if I hadn’t prevented Jedidiah from intervening when you sentenced Juniper to be hung by the neck until dead, perhaps it would not have had to become a campwide affair. Perhaps, had I supported Matthew in his desire not to have you in the kitchens, all of tonight’s dinner would not have been sucked into a wormhole. My intentions — to prioritize the fun of you children over the health, safety, and legal rights of my coworkers — were utterly righteous and pure; of that, there is no doubt. But I think my methods were a bit… over-the-top. Perhaps, if I’d been a little more moderate, all the fun of Opposite Day would still be in effect.

I don’t know, kids. I hope you don’t blame me for any fun you may have missed out on this evening. Since we didn’t really have any activities planned for tonight, and dinner has been dematerialized, I’d like to invite you all to come join me around the oracle bonfire so that we may fill our empty bellies with its rich smoke, and our dreams with its visions of unspeakable calamity. Just as soon as I finish oiling Juniper up, of course. He’s got a pretty bad case of rope burn ‘round that weird, long neck of his.

Oh, also, on a completely different note — remember a couple of days ago, how I said stuff went missing from my office? It seems like, in the past few days, that’s becoming something of a… campwide issue. We’ve gotten reports from other counselors and campers about their personal effects vanishing. We’ll keep you updated, okay? In the meantime, sleep with your most precious items in your arms. And, Joshua… watch out. If I find out you were behind this, I’ll prescribe you every ounce of my most copious painkiller, and then I won’t order a restock, and you’ll have to spend the rest of the Summer suffering the withdrawal symptoms.

Alright, campers. I love you all. I’m sorry about dinner — but I’m sure Matthew has big plans for breakfast to make up for it! If you’re interested in joining the bonfire circle, that’s where I’ll be for the next hour or so. To those of you who don’t show up: goodnight, you marvels. Goodnight, and sleep well. 

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(tape recorder clicks on)

(the sound of a clock is heard ticking in the background)

SYDNEY

Evening, ghost stuck in my recorder, it’s 25:25 again. Wow, what a day, huh? There’s so much to report on, where do I even start… 

First of all, I know this whole recorder thing was originally supposed to be for recording injury reports, and I’ve kinda shunted that in favor of rambling about my cursed emotions. But, there actually were a lot of injuries today. And I kind of… see the benefit in keeping track of the really bad ones this time. So, even if Lucille isn’t listening, this one’s for me. 

Uhm. Y’know, I’m aware Lucille cares about me a lot, but I question if I’m doing something wrong to make her not want to… I don’t know… interact with me? I know she doesn’t listen to these, or else she’d confront me about all this nonsense. It’s like she only asked me to do this to keep me busy. That would bother anyone, wouldn’t it? I make valuable contributions to the campsite. 

Whatever. Today seventeen kids were injured out of the hundred and thirty that are currently attending. Five of the seven total cabins had their tributes. Augh, so much pain. The most notable of that list, Natsume Shiota and Dolly Navarro from Cabin Dungbeetle both lost finger digits, Wendy Yak from Cabin Magpie Moth had a softball in place of her shoulder joint, and Misha Tchevitksy from Cabin Tarantula Hawk had his foot turned 180 degrees. 

These all sound… terrifying, actually. I mean, they were terrifying up close, too, but I guess it didn’t register with me until I laid it out in words. Am I that desensitized to pain?

Sigh. I guess I’m glad that everyone’s basically okay now.

There is some good news, however. Jedidiah was actually helping me this time. He was real sober and quiet while treating the kids, but he did talk with me and we got to sit close together all afternoon and evening. That’s some nice quality time, the sort we don’t often get lately. I wonder what I did differently to make him actually want to be around me? He was real sweet to me too, actually, giving me all these reassuring touches and words. It was… really nice. I already miss it. Maybe I’m being too greedy, but I… really hope that happens again soon. 

(he laughs gently) Look at me. I promise to give an injury report and then I just ramble again. I’m insatiable. I mean, there’s not much more spectacular bloodshed. A few bumps and scrapes, one broken bone, some sick stomachs, nothing truly extravagant there. 

Mm. Well, I bet I’ll have some fantastic dreams tonight. Maybe I’ll finally learn where all my stuff is disappearing off to. I really hope Joshua’s been taking it, because it’d be real funny to have even more reason for dumping buckets of leeches down his jeans.

Well, ghost recorder, this was a wild day, and I think I’ll get some sleep now. I hope you sleep peacefully in the astral realm. Thanks for listening, and as always… goodnight.

(there is a click as the recorder turns off)

(ending music)

Today’s episode was written by Blue Mayfield and Nicholas Belov. The part of Sydney Sargent was played by Blue Mayfield. The part of Jedidiah Martin was played by Nicholas Belov. Camp Here & There is the sole intellectual property of its production company, Mayfield & Belov. All music composed by Will Wood, and produced by Jonathon Maisto. Sound editing by Cut by Frank and Beetlesprite. Special thanks to our Patrons Minno, Ambrose Valentine, A Lonely Dunedain, Emil, and Skye Manzie. 

For behind-the-scenes material, exclusive canonical content, interactive events, and early episode access, consider signing up for our Patreon at patreon.com/mayfieldandbelov. Our discord server is a great place to meet like minded fellows and discuss today’s episode — find the link at mayfieldandbelov.com. Lastly, if you’d like to support us, the best thing you can do is to spread the word about the show.

Thank you for listening to Camp Here & There! And remember: I’m outside.

View more episode transcripts

Mayfield and Belov presents: Camp Here and There. Episode 4: The Prophecy of Reversal 

(opening theme)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

SYDNEY: Gooood morning, campers! Let’s get the ball rolling on this fine forenoon and kick things off with some announcements! How did y’all sleep? I certainly slept well — Jedidiah had me try this snakeoil tea to help me rest, and WHOO! (he slaps the table) That stuff’ll knock you RIGHT out HA HA HA! Don’t try it. 

The time is 8:60AM, and the sky is painted such an acidic shade of yellow that, well, I’d advise you all to avoid staring at it for too long. Warn your fellow campers not to glance up if you don’t want to learn what it looks like when a child’s irises melt off!

Not that it’ll matter. You’ll be too preoccupied to look up today, anyway, because kids, I have some great news about this morning. All morning activities are cancelled — because we’re receiving a surprise visit from the Gravedigress!

(he claps) WHOO!

For those of you who are new to Camp Here and There this year, the Gravedigress is a wondrous witch who tends the Death Fields down South. Using her powers of reanimation — not the same thing as necromancy, by the way — the Gravedigress’s magic can breathe a convincing imitation of life into your corpses! Dead pets? Dead relatives? Found a squirrel decaying on the forest floor? You better have those corpses handy when the Gravedigress comes around, ‘cos she’ll get them up and dancing like a crunchy marionette in no time.

Of course, they’ll all be corpses again once she leaves. If you want to see your dead pet or relative attain a more permanent state of reanimation, you’ll have to make the pilgrimage down to the Death Fields, a place where the Gravedigress’ illegal magics have long since seeped into the very soil. Just make sure you get comfy with decomposition first — the earth over there can keep your loved ones moving, but it won’t keep them from rotting!

Now, I’m —

JEDIDIAH

(quiet in the background)

Why are you just telling them to go to the Death Fields?

SYDNEY

Huh? Jeddie?

JEDIDIAH

It’s the Death Fields. You can’t just tell them to go over there, they can’t handle that.

SYDNEY

You really think so?

JEDIDIAH

Yes! It’s- yes!

SYDNEY: Geeze okay okay I’ll- fine!

Jedidiah has reminded me that it’s… super against the rules for campers to go to the Death Fields, as they represent some of the most dangerous and unethical magic that mankind is capable of. (whispering) But if you really want to . . . . . I’ll be your chaperone. I won’t tell! 😉

So, I’m sure all of you are jumping with excitement at the prospect of seeing our friend the Gravedigress this morning. That’s sweet, but it’ll be another half hour or so before she arrives, so in the meantime, why don’t you all get healthy helpings of the great breakfast that Matthew so kindly made for us? On today’s menu is watermelon cut into dodecahedrons, toppling tower tofu, and a healthy helping of the snack that smiles back — sausage!

Aaaaand that about does it for this morning’s news! Stay safe, my little mole rats, and remember: when you die, you will rot.

Love you!

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

SYDNEY

Wheeeeeew!! Well now, campers, wasn’t that a delight? The way you all clapped and cheered when Miss Gravedigress dragged herself into camp, her long-broken legs contorting into sickening perversions of form as she forced her body to locomote, playing both puppetmaster and marionette… well, it just warmed my heart to see you kids so excited. I’m sure that if the Gravedigress’ heart was not a dried-out, frozen husk, it would’ve been warmed as well! (he chuckles)

The show she put on was pretty spectacular. A veritable troupe of woodland cadavers — little skeletal squirrels rag timing with teensy top hats, featherless birds tracing anthems in the sky, bloodied rabbits hopping to the beat, and a symphony of half-eaten frogs playing little orchestral instruments. Thirteen-year-old Calvin, from Cabin Ladybug, brought along the corpse of his family dog, a darling little terrier named Scottie. And wouldn’t you know it, with just a wave of the Gravedigress’ desiccated hand, what remained of little Scottie was dancing and crooning like all the rest! Oh, and when his head popped off —

Well, you were all there, huh? You don’t need a review. Anyway, good times. Put in a good word for the Gravedigress on Warlock Yelp, and maybe she’ll come back again this Summer! Ha ha ha! Warlock yelp. I’m funny.

Ah, but — there is some rather concerning news in the wake of the Gravedigress’ egress. As kids from Cabin Ladybug will already be aware, a counselor by the name of Soren Baltimore is absent from the Lunch Lineup today. We can’t find him… anywhere, in fact! Now, as all counselors are taught, deserting your post is extremely against policy. Lucille has a habit of disciplining deserters with… (whistle) immense prejudice. “Run away and pay”, as she always says! So, Soren, if you’re somehow hearing this… I would really advise you to head on back and turn yourself in. Things will get very ugly if she has to go out and look for you.

And, ah, kids, counselors… if you happen upon dear Mr. Baltimore, just grab him by the arm and drag him up to the administration building. There’s a jolly rancher in it for you!


Anyhoo, activities for this afternoon include running with scissors, dancing on ladders, and swimming in a thunderstorm. Oh, these really sound fun! Lunch today will be tigerstripe tarts and tofurkey lemonade. And I believe that’s all! Have fun out there today!

(the door opens)

SYDNEY

Hm? Oh, Salem, Marisol! Kids, I’m joined by the two counselors from Cabin Grasshopper. What br—

SALEM

(from the back of the room)

We found Soren.

SYDNEY

Ah?

MARISOL

(from the back of the room)

Those fumes you’re always talking about? Salem saw him by breathing the bonfire. Oh, it was so cool, Sydney. She like, stood near it and got all still in a trance before she blinked and told me.

SYDNEY

HA! That’s the bonfire for you. So, where is our slippery friend?

SALEM

He’s — hey, is the intercom still on? 

(she walks closer)

You’re done with announcements, right?

SYDNEY

Well, yeah, but this is important, don’t you think?

SALEM

You think the kids need to be hearing this?

SYDNEY 

I mean, it’s for everyone, kind of, but… yeah? Wouldn’t they want to know? 

SALEM: You really — ? No. Turn this off. 

(sounds of a physical struggle)

SYDNEY 

Hey, stop it! You’re disrupting the integrity of the mealtime announcements! Only I touch the button!

(there is a click as the recorder turns off)

… 

(there is a click as the recorder turns on)

SALEM

Yeah, yeah, and that’s real annoying, Sydney! Okay, okay, you know what, we can argue about this later. He’s-

MARISOL

(eager)

He’s left the camp grounds! Heading south. 

SYDNEY

You mean — ?

SALEM

To the Death Fields, yeah. I saw him walking up the hill. The Gravedigress was just a little ways ahead of him.

MARISOL

And we talked to Fennel. They told us Soren’s had this “thing” about necromancy and mortality since they’ve known him. 

SALEM

Tabarnak 

SYDNEY

The gravediggress is not a necromancer, though? 

SALEM

She’s as close as you’ll get, I guess. 

SYDNEY

Well, kids, this is an interesting development, isn’t it? Soren Baltimore seems to be making his way towards the Death Fields, the patch of soil down South where the line between life and death is blurred in exciting ways. I suppose I’ll talk to —

SALEM

You turned it back on? How long has this been running!? Sydney, for God’s sake, why insist on stressing out the kids? You’re really testing me here.

SYDNEY

(clears throat)

I’ll talk to Lucille about this and see if we can mount a rescue mission. In the meantime, campers, sit tight! 

(he turns to Salem, talking quieter)

They deserve to not be in the dark about stuff like this!

SALEM

Turn it off!

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(tape recorder clicks on)

SYDNEY

Down past the southside fence and up Churchover Hill, there’s a wheat farm where soil and grass alike are deathly shades of gray, where the rottenfruit trees impart their dessiccated boons, and the wheat does not sway in the wind so much as flail and shudder and gasp. Its true nature is known to few and understood by fewer, for none can set foot on the soil without suffering great reprisal from the bitter magic buried within, and none can translate the death-rattled speech of the farm’s sole sentient denizen. Us locals lovingly refer to this place as the Death Fields, and as the name might indicate, it is not a place where the still-breathing are welcome. 

But we all took history class in school, right? We all know the story. Fourteen centuries prior to the present day: the deranged spree of a fierce emperor, and the trail of evisceration he left in his wake… the dirt turning sallow and barren with regret as it drank the blood of countless pigs, cows, and farmes… the plants withering under the weight of the land’s grief. Back then, there lived one dauntless magician who loved her land and her people so dearly that she sacrificed everything she had to bring it all back to life. But true necromancy, as she would come to learn, is impossible: thus, the spell that she cast was one of perpetual motion… without the grace of flourishing life. Instead, life without death. Life without the miracle of birth or the mercy of death; just eternal awareness, and eternal sickness. 

To this day, the land moves; it shudders and shakes and shifts with the seasons. Its creatures, large and small, stumble across the Schrodinger’s wastes, crying out for release, always rotting but never rotting away… and of all the sundry beasts who walk and think and suffer on that cursed land, not one heart still beats.

Well.

Lucille didn’t particularly want to go to all the trouble of retrieving Soren, but when she learned that I was dead set upon it, she agreed to come along. She’s so reliable! So the two of us zipped up our ever-stylish hazmat suits, Lucille popped an antihistamine for her wheat allergy, and we pocketed a couple of glass eyeballs for protection and luck. And we were off!

Campers, you know how sometimes, you look into an animal’s eyes and find them lacking? Empty, like a doll’s? Like a fish or a hamster, beady and black, no shine, no thought, a pure vacuum that may suck you in if you get too close.

The Gravedigress’s eyes looked like that, as she stood upon the sickly soil and beckoned Soren closer. Not that they’d ever looked alive, per say! But the darkness about them in that moment was exceptional. Her voice, as she murmured her unintelligible murmurs, had taken on this thick, milky quality, and it quivered in an oddly inorganic way, like the vibration of a hollow iron rod. And her hand — she had removed her gloves, and campers, when I describe her fingers as ‘boney’, I invite you to interpret that in the most literal possible sense. Emerging from robes of layered, gothic debonair, the joints of her hands creaked themselves into a beckoning, welcoming shape… 

She sorta reminded me of my mother.

Anyway, Soren was kneeling upon the divide at the bottom of Churchover Hill — the point where the green grass abruptly gives way to a toxic expanse of dead, deadly dirt. He had not yet touched the soil of the fields, but if I’ve ever seen a man in the throes of temptation, I saw it today.

Then Lucille yanked him up by the shirt collar and gave him an earful. Boy, did that snap him out of it! And after he’d been thoroughly dressed down for his treason, he was willing to walk back to camp with us. Just before we started back up the hill, I looked back at the Death Fields and, of course, the dear old Gravedigress had disappeared. I can’t believe she nearly snatched Soren right out from under our noses! She’s a sly old rascal, isn’t she, kids?

Aaaaaanyway. Soren hasn’t spoken a word since he got back to my office. (raising his voice) Isn’t that right, Soren? … Yeah, he’s not talkin’! Just sitting in a too-small chair, staring at the wall. Must be rattled. I’d like to invite Fennel Marlborough, Soren’s fellow counselor at Cabin Ladybug, to come down here and bring your friend some dinner. Me and Jeddie might need your help sorting this guy out.

Aaand tonight’s meal is robin wings with rutabaga sauce, macaroni paste, and a “blueberry merry blast, guaranteed to blast you” as labelled by Matthew. Wow! Don’t we just love him? Tonight’s activity is a campwide playing card game! Complete with special 3-D glasses to make the monsters on the little plastic squares really POP! Have fun, little blue jays! Enjoy your meal!

(intermission music)

(tape recorder clicks on)

(the sound of a clock is heard ticking in the background)

SYDNEY

Helloooo, ghost recorder. It’s 25:25 again. I had a fun day, but things are still going missing from my office. Not just that, they’re going missing from my room. There was this precious little rabbit stuffed animal I’ve had for years that is just gone. I know I haven’t moved it from the plush pile, and Jedidiah never touches it, so… yeah. Really suspicious.

I hung up this — this craft project, the kids gifted it to me; it’s a wreath of spears from the Battle Cabin. I hung it up on the door of my study, and it’s quite fashionable, I think! Perhaps it’ll scare off any would-be thieves. I can’t always guard the room myself, since I’ve been spending a lot less time in there lately. I’m trying to make sure Jeddie gets to sleep, see. He’ll be joining me here in our bedroom soon — I think he’s in his office right now, but I’ve been knocking at his door all night, bothering him for his company. But it’s like, I tell him it’s ‘cause I need his company, but really, I just wanna make sure he’s in the bedroom so he’ll want to sleep. It’s my little evil scheme. Devious, right?

He’s gonna wanna hear about the Death Fields anyways, or at least I’m gonna wanna tell him… Maybe he’ll have-

(the door creaks open)

JEDIDIAH

Ah, you’re recording your… journal thing?

SYDNEY

HI! Oh, yeah I was. 

JEDIDIAH

Am I interrupting?

SYDNEY

No, no it’s alright. Trust me, I’d rather talk to you. 

(sounds of Jedidiah shuffling)

How’s your project? 

JEDIDIAH

Enough of that… How was your day, Sydney? 

SYDNEY

I went down to that farm on Churchover Hill. You know, the spooky death magic one?

JEDIDIAH

You left the campgrounds?

SYDNEY

Yeah, Lucille was with me.

JEDIDIAH

Mm. 

SYDNEY

And the Gravedigress had a bone hand and she beckoned Soren to step onto the soil and become a zambie like her. I think she wanted me to walk to her and it was really cool her eyes were super unnerving you don’t normally see people with eyes like that like they were total voids and I thought maybe-

JEDIDIAH

Are you alright? 

SYDNEY

Mmm? I suppose. Why? 

JEDIDIAH

No particular reason. Next time… please don’t leave the campgrounds without telling me. Not that you can’t– not that I want to control you, or, or anything I just. I want to know you’re safe? 

SYDNEY

Not that you’d’ve come with me anyways :/. 

JEDIDIAH

… I’m going to bed. 

SYDNEY

Wait, I’m sorry. 

JEDIDIAH

Mm. 

SYDNEY

I guess I’m still a little… it’s alright, Jeddie. Don’t worry about it. I know you care, and I love you. 

JEDIDIAH

I love you too. It’s fine. I really am sleepy, though. I’d like to rest.

SYDNEY

Okay… sleep well. 

JEDIDIAH

You too. 

SYDNEY

(whispering)

Goodnight, ghost-recorder. 

(there is a click as the recorder turns off)

Today’s episode was written by Blue Mayfield and Nicholas Belov. The part of Sydney Sargent was played by Blue Mayfield. The part of Jedidiah was played by Nicholas Belov. The part of Salem de La Marnierre was played by Crystal Lee. The part of Marisol Yuchengco. Camp Here & There is the sole intellectual property of its production company, Mayfield & Belov. All music composed by Will Wood, and produced by Jonathon Maisto. Sound editing by Cut by Frank and Beetlesprite. Special thanks to our Patrons Vance Barnhill, Alex Rybitski, Olivia Losito, Frogsnbogs, Conner Darrow, Generic Waffle, Mori, Lys, and Sarah Swihart.

For behind-the-scenes material, exclusive canonical content, interactive events, and early episode access, consider signing up for our Patreon at patreon.com/mayfieldandbelov. Our discord server is a great place to meet like minded fellows and discuss today’s episode — find the link at mayfieldandbelov.com. Lastly, if you’d like to support us, the best thing you can do is to spread the word about the show.

Thank you for listening to Camp Here & There! And remember: Your bones want to be dry.

View more episode transcripts

Mayfield and Belov presents: Camp Here and There. Episode three: The Squall of Prophecy. 

(opening theme)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

SYDNEY

Merry breakfast, campers! The time is 8:64 AM, and I am feeling just peachy after a long night of playing victim to the soul-stirring terrors that lurk within my own mind. Nothing like a healthy nightmare or three to make one grateful for the time they spend awake! Huff!

(he claps his hands)

Alright! 

Oh, goodness, right, so, I’ve a few things to discuss this morning. First off, counselors Juniper Sloan from Cabin Dung Beetle and Rowan Chow from Cabin Magpie Moth have been chosen to deliver the weekly salmon tax to our underground penguin overlords. Our trusty lake-guards, Mila and Juno, have offered to catch the fish using their camp-issue harpoon guns, but don’t be shy if you feel like taking some initiative and catching them yourselves! You know what they say: Only dead fish go with the flow!

And speaking of Rowan Chow… I’m sure even those of you who haven’t gotten to know him personally will remember him as the nice fellow who warned us all about that big nasty mercury storm — you know, yesterday? With all the penguins and those very fashionable hazmat suits? Yes, well. Rowan seems convinced that those weren’t the last of the climatological catastrophes we’ll have to… “weather.” Heh. Heh. Hack. Hehahdbjlfhjlsbjlflg. 

(he literally chokes)

Ahem. I just mean to say that he’s quite torn up about something he foresaw this morning. Around 6:00 AM, when the sky was still green… I was traveling from cabin to cabin to administer some morning medication, and there I witnessed it: our man Rowan took one sip of the sky and nearly collapsed. He turned to me, leaky-nosed and starting to weep, and declared that a disaster of unforeseen proportions would bear down upon us before nightfall. He described it to me, campers, and spared no detail: lakes of boiling blood cascading down from above… screaming chunks of flesh, cannibalizing one another amidst the desperate fight to stay afloat… the world turned upside down. A vivid hellscape with no hope for relief. 

He wouldn’t go into further detail after that, campers, and Lucille seemed remarkably unconcerned when I brought the matter to her attention. When I suggested emergency response measures like we took yesterday, Lucille said that if Rowan’s prophecy is to come true, there’s no way to escape from such a fate, so we might as well just enjoy our last day alive.  And, I mean… that’s true, but I still think we should play it safe if all of you are at stake! In any case, my fwuffy little ferrets, I suppose the plan is to go about today as scheduled… 

This morning’s meal consists of eggs benedict, eggs sampson, eggs augustus, candy necklaces, and grilled pineapples with tabasco sauce. Vegans, that last thing is for you; Mila the lake-guard, who helps out in the kitchens sometimes, gleefully informed me this morning that the pineapple is acidic enough to “melt the marrow right outchya dang skull-bones, duuude!” . . . . .  So do take care.

Today’s indoor activities would be… well, Counselor Warren from Cabin Tarantula Hawk is hosting a fox-teeth-and-glitter-glue craft workshop. Counselor Salem of Cabin Grasshopper will be guiding you through a nuclear hurricane survival simulation, and Counselor Yvonne of Cabin Silkworm is inviting you to something she calls “The Gamer Hour.” Not sure how she might have gotten video game technology to work at Camp Here & There…  as you all know, anything more advanced than a wire radio is going to short-circuit due to the high concentration of energies in the area. Hmm. Well, whatever she has planned, it’s probably more fun than lakes of blood! Stay inside, kids.

Okay, bye! 

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

SYDNEY

Afternoon, camp scoundrels! It’s 12:80 once again — oh, how each staggering step in the unstoppable march of old Father Time sends us flying, headlong, from one moment to the next; oh, how each tick of that clock is a reminder of His cosmic promise: to one day take away everything we hold dear. I hope you’re excited to get one step closer to your final meal! Iiiiiiit’s lunchtime!

Campers, I’m sure you’ve all been feeling rather troubled these past few hours — particularly those of you who participated in outdoor activities, as you have now most definitely been visited by a certain skylorn doomsayer. Yes, Cabin Magpie Moth’s Counselor, Rowan Chow — who is currently in my office sniffling and shaking like a chihuahua in a blizzard… yes, he spent the morning wandering around the campsite babbling frantically about — you know — doom!

“Inside,” he mutters, staring out through my window at the vast amalgam of clouds gathering above, dirty yellow like iron-deprived blood. “I have to be inside.” Suddenly, he yelps, and yanks his head away from the window as if it had struck him upon the cheek. “It’s coming soon! It’s coming!” He grabs me by the shoulders and shakes me around; Jedidiah has to come and calm him down. We lay him down in his cot, but he does not sleep… and we can’t get him to stop glancing out the window… 

Rowan’s fear mongering has put even the trees in a state of concern. They’ve begun secreting their protective slick and releasing a putrid scent of dismay. I gave Rowan some anti-auguric medication — guaranteed to suppress any and all visions, omens, and harbingers for up to four hours! — and he’s beginning to look a bit sleepy; I’ll probably keep him here until whatever danger he’s foreseeing is passed.

Now, some of you might not know this, but if you attended camp last year, the memory of the event should be etched irreversibly into your gray matter — last year, in a different weather-related incident, a counselor from Cabin Magpie Moth was tragically… destroyed. And we’ve been having trouble finding a replacement, so this year, poor Rowan here is the only counselor at Cabin Magpie Moth. Since he’s indisposed, we’ll need the other cabins to chip in and care for all the wayward little scamps he’s currently leaving unsupervised. Get it? Got it? Great!

Lucille refuses to leave her office no matter how much Rowan screams at her door. She seems quite unconcerned about this doomsday stuff, and while I admire her stoicism, you kids need some leadership in these trying times. So I’m stepping up to the plate! As per camp protocol for circumstances in which the end of all things has been loudly prophesied, we’re going to be conducting a ritual to seek the aid and sympathy of the Forest Gods. Hold onto your plastic trays and napkins, because as soon as the clock strikes thirteen I will be leading you all in a great procession through the woods and to the lair of the silicon squirrels, who feed off of our rubbage. As we offer unto them our plasticine libations, we will say, one by one:

“O beasts of steel and wire, who clatter and chatter among the things we leave behind: gifts we bring, of oil and tree! We beg of thee, exercise your boundless mercy; stay the coming flood; let us live to die another day.”

And then you’ll place your tray gently atop the plinth! We’ll need a single-file line for this, my caterpillars. 

And after that… we’ll all need to stay as far away from the forest as possible, so we’re having a camp-wide gathering in the Battle Cabin, where the camp’s extensive collection of antique weaponry resides. Don’t play too rough! 🙂

Mmm, today’s lunch consists of potato skins, townhouse crackers, cold ketchup and avocado soup, and the leftover salmon from Mila and Juno’s very successful lake-life hecatomb! Maybe, if Rowan can suggest it, our weather will be cloudy with a chance of hollandaise sauce! 

Oh, and Juni —

JEDIDIAH

Wait.

SYDNEY

Yes, Jedidiah?

JEDIDIAH

What. Did that mean…?

SYDNEY

I’m sure I don’t know what you’re referring to!

JEDIDIAH

The ‘hollandaise’ thing?

SYDNEY

Hollandaise is a sauce that you eat salmon with!


JEDIDIAH

That really doesn’t help?

SYDNEY

Well, I —

JEDIDIAH

I mean, no part of what you said made sense. Grammatically or otherwise.

SYDNEY

(laughing)

Alright, alright. If you didn’t like the joke, I won’t make it again.

JEDIDIAH

(amused)

It’s not that, Sydney, it’s… wait, that was meant to be a joke? Wait, I — wait, like a funny ha-ha kind of — like a joke?

SYDNEY

Yeah! It was a joke, like — cloudy with a chance of hollandaise sauce, ooh, like — it’s like, combining multiple current events in one clever reference.

JEDIDIAH: I think I will never completely understand you.

SYDNEY

(still laughing)

Anyway… ummmmm. Where was I- ah! Right. Juniper — the penguins really did expect a delivery today, and we can’t let them down just because Rowan needs a nap. You’ll need to go down into the caverns and deliver the fish to Maurice yourself. Oh, and tell him Sydney said hi 😉

Also, if any of you kids start experiencing visions of unending terror and catastrophe, please speak with me or Jedidiah about getting anti-auguric medication immediately. Even if the visions are real, you know what they say about ignorance.

Alright, that does it for this meal’s announcements. Enjoy your crunchy townhouse crackers, kids, and please stay safe. 

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

SYDNEY

Good news, it’s soup! Bad news, it’s got mushrooms in it. Good evening, campers! It’s 17:03, and the sun has begun to slow in its rotation as it readies to sink beneath the soil for a good night’s sleep. Ah, and with that, our harrowing day of doom is coming to an end on an unexpectedly pleasant note! Sort of!

The thing that Rowan saw in his vision from the sky? The lakes of boiling blood and the screaming chunks of flesh? That was soup! Matthew’s newest soup, a concoction of his own conception that he’s calling: Apocalypse Stew! Chunks of sheep meat and mushroom in a tomato broth —  a highland-dweller’s heaven, although it is with much sadness and regret that I report that several friends of decay were added to the pot. I don’t like seeing the mushrooms drown in the big wet sizzle.


Ahem! WELL! Other than for the mushrooms who bravely laid down their lives to protect our freedoms, this comes as a relief to the whole forest, wouldn’t you say? And Matthew would like to issue every camper and counselor a heartfelt apology. He truly didn’t mean to give poor Rowan visions of viscera and bubbling blood lakes. Rowan, for his part, has accepted the apology, although he’s still in the process of coming down off his nine-hour panic attack. Poor guy. He’s so sick of the sky, and who can blame him? That big old arm up there, wrapping us all in a distant hug that somehow makes us feel lonelier… such a menace, is the sky. Good luck escaping her, Rowan, old pal!

Ah, and Juniper’s first and most lonesome delivery went well! All of the salmon successfully changed hands (or flippers?), so we’ve avoided the wrath of the Macaroni clan for this week, at least. No injuries sustained on Juniper’s behalf, aside from a few dartlike feathers lodged in his throat. But Jedidiah’s going to get to work extracting those as soon as he’s done eating dinner. Juniper can wait. He’s got a long neck. He’ll be fine.

Everyone say, “Thank you, Juniper!” 🙂

Aaand to all the campers who fashioned a wreath made of spears for me from the Battle Cabin, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I’m so touched! Keep being the best. 

Tonight’s dinner, as previously mentioned, is soup! Vegans get jello. Various activities lie in store for you after dinner, but my favorite amongst them has to be the photographing-glowing-orbs-in-the-woods-at-night contest. The camper who snaps the clearest polaroid wins a sour gummy worm from my secret candy drawer!

Oh, and, ah, one last thing: I am pretty sure that some of my stuff went missing from the nurse’s building last night. Personal stuff. My hairbrush, this pen I always chew on… listen, I don’t want to point fingers, but Joshua, you creep, if you want to sniff my personal effects, you know you can just ask, right? As it stands, I won’t enact revenge upon you if you just bring it back by tomorrow, alright? I need the hairbrush for my hair.

And, huff, that’s the last of my announcements for today. Make sure to give Matthew a smile and let him know you appreciate his stew — he’s sensitive. And with that, my little pill bugs, I bid you goodnight. Sleep deeply, but don’t get lost! You’ll be hearing from me again tomorrow. 

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(tape recorder clicks on)

(the sound of a clock is heard ticking in the background)

SYDNEY

Evening, ghost recorder. It’s 25:25 Pm again. Time for the Sydney Feelings Hour. Woooo. 

(he does a slow, sarcastic clap)

(sigh) I don’t like to let the kids know when I’m scared or tired or upset, but since it’s just between the two of us, I’ll say that honestly… today was a bit rough. Having Rowan weeping on my shoulder was, mm, I mean, I deal with that stuff all the time, crying and consoling and healing. It’s my job. But. But… it just takes its toll, is all. Today was draining.

(huff) And Jedidiah was no help at all! He’s a good doctor and all, but his bedside manner is atrocious, and since most of today’s distress was emotional rather than physical… he could’ve stepped up. Like, he didn’t seem worried about Rowan or the doom-prophecy in the slightest, which is good, I guess, but he could have at least acknowledged that it was scary to other people. Especially the kids! Like, they’re kids. Being a nurse for kids is not all putting alcohol on scrapes and pulling out worms, right, it’s being a source of comfort and emotional support. The least he could do is ask if they need a glass of water or something. 

Maybe I’m being too hard on him. He’s just not good at the feelings stuff, so it all falls to me, and I’m not just an infinite wellspring of emotional support, right?

Agh. I dunno. Jeddie does a lot for me, and for the camp. I’m not trying to act ungrateful. These are all… my own problems.

Speaking of my problems… 

I saw the elephant man again. Saw… am seeing. I’m seeing him. He’s everywhere, outside my window, behind a cabin on my way to the cafeteria, in the bathroom. It’s driving me up a wall. I’m hesitant to bring it up to Jeddie again. I’ve already troubled him enough. But I’m starting to get really worried. Don’t share this with anyone, but… (whispering) back in highschool and college, I had a lot of hallucinations. I was on antipsychotics and everything. A few years ago, they just… I stopped having them. I figured I just maybe grew out of it, or got out of the manic stress that caused them, something like that. But I– am I having a break again?

Mm. Can’t be that. This is different. When I look back on my hallucinations they’re… colder, I guess; fuzzier than him, just a bit, no matter how real they felt in the moment. This guy cast a real shadow, and he ate my worms! And Marisol saw him! I know she wasn’t lying about that, not Marisol of all people. Jeddie’s just a cynic. Distant, apathetic, and cynical.

Aagh. Sorry. I shouldn’t talk about him like that. He’s right here, after all. Asleep, obviously; I pestered him into hitting the hay early so that we wouldn’t have a repeat of yesterday. But still. My words might seep into his dreams… 

Speaking of dreams, Jedidiah had Matthew make something for me: this special tea. Jeddie said his mom used to make it for him when he couldn’t sleep, and it totally wiped out his dreams. Maybe I won’t have any nightmares tonight. Worth a shot, right?

Well, I’m gonna drink up and head to bed, I suppose. Hoping against hope that this elephant guy doesn’t show up again. On the bright side, I know Lucille will protect me! (snicker) It’d take more to stop her than some freaky forest carnie!

Goodnight, recorder. I’ll be back to feed you more of my thoughts tomorrow. Have sweet recorder dreams, and let’s hope I have none.

(ending music)

Today’s episode was written by Blue Mayfield and Nicholas Belov. The part of Sydney Sargent was played by Blue Mayfield. The part of Jedidiah Martin was played by Nicholas Belov. Camp Here & There is the sole intellectual property of its production company, Mayfield & Belov. All music composed by Will Wood, and produced by Jonathon Maisto. Sound editing by Cut by Frank and Beetlesprite. Special thanks to our Patrons Aurelie Galibois, Matty, Luna Arson, Adamills, and Bot_lol. 

For behind-the-scenes material, exclusive canonical content, interactive events, and early episode access, consider signing up for our Patreon at patreon.com/mayfieldandbelov. Our discord server is a great place to meet like minded fellows and discuss today’s episode — find the link at mayfieldandbelov.com. Lastly, if you’d like to support us, the best thing you can do is to spread the word about the show.

Thank you for listening to Camp Here & There! And remember: You have no idea what’s coming.

View more episode transcripts

Mayfield and Belov presents: Camp Here and There. Episode two: The End of the Squall.

(opening theme)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

SYDNEY

Good morning campers! The time is 8:75AM and I am feeling ravenous. Bit of a late start on everything today — a few of the counselors straggling into the mess hall seem very tired… what were you doing last night, you sneaks? Judging by the avian cries and cold drafts coming from the vents, I would bet it was something… zoological. A departure from the usual late-night rituals, huh? What, the dark vagaries of good-old eldritch thaumaturgy not alluring enough for you anymore? Ugh… amateurs.

Well, anyways. 

(paper rustle)

Important notice for everyone, today: this morning, Rowan Chow, a counselor from Cabin Magpie Moth, lifted his head to the swirling orange sky and took a deep breath through his nose. When he emerged from his meteorological trance, he reported high chances of mercury rain this afternoon. Well, campers returning from last Summer will remember what happened last time we ignored one of Rowan’s forecasts. All the letters we had to write to those poor parents… also, Counselor Fennel reports that the trees around camp have begun secreting the special chemophobic slick they’ve evolved to protect themselves from weather phenomena like these, so it’s basically a done deal. So, campers, since very few of you brought hazmat suits to camp — next time, pay attention to the list on the website! — we will be spending the afternoon indoors today! Yayyyyyy!! 

(he claps)

I hear a conspicuous lack of clapping from the mess hall… lighten up, you guys! It’ll be funnnnnnn! Just think of it like any lazy pajama day — you know, reading storybooks, trading secrets, drawing pictures of your enemies dying violently, and gazing wistfully out the window as the dirt is moistened to a toxic slop by the deadly cavalcade from the quicksilver clouds. I, personally, am looking forward to it.

Still, you do have this morning to run around in the grass, bellowing like little neanderthals. On the breakfast menu for today we’ve got —a

(a muffled bumping sound comes from the air vent)

… As I was saying. For breakfast we have —

(there is a further bump and a clang)

Okay, what the hell? Is that the air vent? What were the counselors up to last night? 

(scooching and shuffling as he gets up from his chair)

One second, campers. I’m going to check out the vent. In the meantime, just think about . . . . . your favorite…  alternative fuel source. 

(foot steps)

Goodness, where is Jedidiah today? 

(there is a clang, a penguin squawk, and Sydney’s yelp. sounds of Sydney rushing back)

I — I’m back. I . . . . . alright. First of all, a blanket apology to the counselors for my assumptions. None of you would ever bring . . . . . something like this . . . . . upon the camp. Kids, I don’t want to be alarmist, but . . . . . we appear to have an — an infestation on our hands. I couldn’t quite tell what sort of creature it was from where it lurked within the shadows, but black feathers indicate corvids or, if we’re very unfortunate, perhaps. . . . . perhaps penguins. [voice strained] Do not go near the vents under any circumstances today, alright, kids? We’ll get this figured out.

Today’s breakfast is pickled cabbage, peanut butter and ham sandwiches, and live salmon. S-salmon… Oh no…

I have to go. Enjoy your meal.

(rushed footsteps. door closing)

Lucille! Luciiiiiiille!

… 

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

SYDNEY

The macaroni penguin. A common midwestern breed of flightless bastard. A penguin of the macaroni species can be distinguished by her loathsome, pretentious shock of blond eyebrows… and her particularly bellicose attitude towards Summer camps.

The time is 12:83 PM, and as you have surely learned in the hours since my last report, Camp Here and There has been overrun by a pestilent infestation of penguins. Campers… I am never one to advocate for animal cruelty in any capacity. In fact, were I not so concerned with the comfort of you kids, I might even be rooting for the penguins here. And you can rest assured that every living being on this campsite is under my jurisdiction as camp nurse, so if this fight escalates into a full-scale war I will treat injured penguins with just as much care as I would show a human child. But something… must be done. This has to stop.

The penguins militarized quickly. I don’t know how long they’ve been living in the vents, but they have spent that time… preparing. Waiting for the ideal circumstances to launch their invasion… circumstances such as a quicksilver rainstorm which would force us to huddle in our cabins, cut off from one another and from our resources — which would undermine our unity, mobility, freedom, and communication. You kids, trapped as you are in your cabins, are too familiar with the sort of havoc which has been wrought within them — I need not describe what has been done to your beds, your clothes, your hair but reports from other buildings on the campgrounds are just as dire or more. The penguins raided Matthew’s kitchen, flippantly violating countless health codes and littering their nasty tailfeathers all amongst his bubbling vats of meal. They covered poor Warren in gorilla glue, then stuck him all over with feathers of black and white in what I can only assume was their perverse idea of an art project. Joshua, who got trapped in the bathrooms when the penguins struck, has now been administered countless swirlies… which is actually pretty funny, so, keep that one up, penguins. Ahem, I mean… 

In lieu of using her flamethrower, Lucille has requested that one counselor from each cabin be sent over to the administration building. The plan is to form a crack squad of penguin wranglers who can help take care of the situation before things escalate further. Each cabin should be stocked with at least one men’s medium hazmat suit in the closet — just send over the person it fits the best. When you are making your way between cabins, remember to open and close the doors very quickly — mercury rain vaporizes upon hitting the ground, and if much of that vapor got inside there would be consequences. To the counselors remaining in the cabins — you will spare no expense in preserving the safety of the children under your care. If you are faced with the decision to sacrifice your life for the sake of those kids, you will do so with no hesitation. Am I clear?

Also… if anyone sees Jedidiah, can you let me know? I haven’t seen him since this morning, and he hasn’t replied to my psychic messages at all. He can take care of himself, I know that, but considering the circumstances… I mean, I’m not worried, or anything, I just… yeah. Just…  let me know.

Alright. Lunch today, on account of the situation we’re being faced with, will be —

(muffled penguin squawking) 

Oh God. Did you hear that? Or am I just being paranoid? Did you hear a squawk just now?

Counselors, please hurry over. The situation is getting —

(further squawking)

No… oh God. They’re right outside my door, oh God! Oh my God!

(the door bursts open. sounds indicate a physical struggle)

No! AUAGH! Unhand me! Let — me — go! No! No! Not my worms! Those aren’t for eating! Aggh! Put that down! Th-That too! Hey, not the bonesaw! W-wait — you — what are you wearing? Is that — Jedidiah’s coat? How did you get your little flippers on that? Whose blood is on it? What did you do to him, you scoundrels!? No! Stop! [THEY BEGIN TO DRAG HIM AWAY FROM THE MICROPHONE] Stop! Let me go! No! Jeddie! Lucille! Someone! Help me! NO!

(intermission music)

(there is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on)

SYDNEY

Hey campers, it’s me. Sorry if I had you all worried. Just to ease your hearts: I’m fine. And I’ve got quite a story to tell you all!

First among them was that the ventilation system in the administrative building, bizarrely, leads to a mind-bogglingly vast underground cavern, which, in turn, connects to the ventilation systems of every other building in camp. In short, there is an extensive network of subterranean tunnels beneath the campgrounds, which one could hypothetically use to travel unnoticed between buildings. I have to wonder how many campers and counselors in the storied, hundred-year history of Camp Here & There have made use of these tunnels for clandestine rendezvous . . . . . it’s quite a romantic thought!

Less romantic was the smell. However long these penguins have been occupying these vents, they certainly wasted no time when it came to. . . . . marking their territory. Ah, but I shouldn’t disparage them. They’re actually really nice guys, when you get to know them!

Let’s back up a moment here.

When the penguins abducted me, I expected that I was going to be sacrificed in some sort of ritual. (Wouldn’t be the first time… !) But instead, I was carried to the very center of the vast cavern, from whence I could see neither the walls nor the ceiling. There, I was laid before a centroidal altar atop which sat the fattest, roundest penguin I have ever laid eyes upon. This was their leader… a man named Maurice. With a series of declarative squawks, translated into written English by the extraordinarily adept flipper of a penguin scribe, Maurice relayed to me his terms for ending this terrible war. What was written is as follows:

(as he speaks, the squawks of the penguins in the tunnel rise behind his voice)

You loud, shorn beasts who stomp and cavort and cause the firmament to quake; who wiggle your many loose digits and gnash the chitinous growths crowded within your beaks; you strange, slender animals who gather, concentric and conjoined, around the oracle flame, to croon and cry and dream the hot nights away: from the Macaroni clan, fair tidings. We wish to speak, and if your kind is as intelligent as your fondness for terrible contraptions would suggest, you wish to listen. For this war will end with or without your cooperation, and your adherence to our terms shall determine how many of you live to witness its conclusion.

What we want is simple: nothing more and nothing less than a weekly tax of salmon from the great lake to the North. Quantities will vary as our numbers grow, but your reward will remain the same: in return for dutiful and consistent deliveries, we will never again unleash upon you the unbridled terror you have experienced today. The food required to sustain our clan, in exchange for the mercy you are surely begging desperately for at this very moment… seems a worthy trade, does it not?

Do not waste any time in sealing this deal, oh beasts-of-great-ambition. You are now familiar with our terrible power, but we have yet to take any lives from your number. This kindness will expire if our demands are not met in a fashion which properly displays your enthusiasm for the glorious new partnership between our clans.

Dictated this day, the 11th of June, 2021, by Maurice of the Macaroni clan.

Yep, that’s what Maurice said. Well, obviously, I wasted no time signing it. Agreed to everything, unconditionally! And they called off their assault and let me go. So, if you noticed all the penguins filing dutifully back into the air vents about an hour ago… well, you’ve got me to thank.

Of course, when I told Lucille about all of this… boy, was she livid. Not at me, of course — she loves me, you know — but at the penguins for their little ploy. She actually grabbed her flamethrower; threatened to go down there and melt them all. I talked her down, of course. Won’t have any animal cruelty on my campgrounds. Or below my campgrounds.

So… looks like you little katydids are all safe now, thanks to me. I suppose a couple of the counselors will have to be responsible for acquiring and delivering all those fish, but if you aren’t those people, then chances are you won’t have to think about this incident ever again. Who is the greatest camp nurse of all time? Yeah. That’s right. It’s me.

Anyways — I do still have the usual announcements to do, I suppose! For dinner, Matthew’s informed me that we will be having coconuts, parsely, chicken nuggets, and… salmon. Huh! Due to the mercury rain, all of it will be wheeled to your cabins directly, in hermetically sealed vaults. Vegans, you have bread and butter for dinner tonight. Wow, I do not envy you! 

The rain will be letting up around 21:00PM, according to Rowan, so you’ll be stuck in your cabins for another few hours. Unfortunately, this means that tonight’s Seeing Ceremony has been cancelled, although the bonfire still burns fiercely enough through the downpour that I remain privvy to its crackling susurrations — and it’s telling me that you all should chin up a bit! Here’s a more optimistic perspective on all of this — after today’s excitement, you’ll probably sleep too deeply for nightmares.

Alright, kids, I’ve kept you long enough. I’ve got to get back to hunting for Jedidiah, who is… still missing in action. But I’m sure I’ll find him. And then I’ll kick his butt for making me worry so much!

… Mm. Well… enjoy your meal. 

(there is a click as the intercom turns off)

(intermission music)

(tape recorder clicks on)

(the sound of a clock is heard ticking in the background)

SYDNEY

Good evening, tape recorder. The time is 25:25PM once again, and the moon is seated, pale and distinguished in her castle in the sky. I’ve always envied her, you know. Her unwavering beauty, bearing the crush of solitude with such glowing grace… sorry, am I waxing poetic? It’s a solemn night tonight.


Alright, nightly report. We did have several injuries to treat today among the campers; beak-poked knees and flipper-slapped arms, the like. Campers who came to me this evening include… Mitzi Membrane, Delilah Debonair, Atticus Matticus… 

Uggh. I’m deluding myself. We all know Lucille never listens to these. Check this out, I can slander her all I want: Lucille is an evil witch and she’s plotting my doom! I guarantee you she will say nothing about that tomorrow. She didn’t say anything about last night’s elephant man encounter, either… 

But, you know, even if she didn’t listen, it was nice to talk about it. Even if it’s just to a machine. I mean, for all I know maybe this recorder’s haunted… maybe I’m making friends with a ghost. That’s a nice thought.

Anyway, talking just helps me work my thoughts out, I guess. I tried to keep a journal once, but it’s way harder to write than it is to talk — when I can see my thoughts all laid out, I keep wanting to go back and edit what I wrote, and my hand starts to hurt. So I just avoid writing, which defeats the purpose, I guess. I don’t have to scrutinize myself so much when I’m just saying stuff. I know I tend to ramble, though. I think it’s because I was such a quiet kid. I’ve got twenty four years of pent-up thoughts that I just gotta get out there.

Anyway, I don’t think I’ll ever go back and listen to these, but talking to a haunted machine feels, uh, a little less crazy than just talking to myself. At least you can hear me, right?

I wonder if Jedidiah might like to listen to these. He’s locked up in his office all the time, so we don’t get to talk a lot, but I like to think he still enjoys the sound of my voice… 

Mm. Speaking of Jedidiah, I still have no clue where he’s been all day. I’m getting kind of mad about it! Hundreds of mercenary penguins swarm the campgrounds, and he’s nowhere to be seen, and I got kidnapped!

… Or maybe I’m just worried. Or I’m mad that he’s making me worried. I’m mad that he’s abandoned me all day! Where is he? I don’t know, but I had to care for everyone’s injuries myself, and no one said they’d seen him. I knocked on his study, nothing. I tried the handle, locked. I checked and rechecked and double checked our bedroom, and he’s nowhere to be seen! Maurice, the penguin chief, told me they had taken his coat for posterity, and that “we were never so unfortunate as to encounter this scrawny science man you speak so desperately of.” Psh. Do you know how embarrassing it was to ask the campers where your assistant is while treating them? Not to mention how draining it was to provide emotional support to these bird-stricken war victims all on my own.

But today was a net positive, I guess. The catacombs under the camp were a wicked discovery. They seem to spread on for miles, and the macaroni militia told me that they hadn’t even charted most of it. I wonder who dug them, what they were put there for…  these secrets beckon me. I can never keep my nose out of a good mystery, hehe. 

(the door opens)

JEDIDIAH

(sleepy)

Sydney… ?

SYDNEY

Oh, hi. 

JEDIDIAH

Hi, uh, hi. I-

SYDNEY

So, where have you been?

JEDIDIAH

What? 

SYDNEY

All day today. Where were you?

JEDIDIAH

I’m sorry. I was up too late last night. Working —

SYDNEY

On your project, whatever that is?

JEDIDIAH

Yes, my project. I fell asleep in my office around 7:00AM so. Uh, I, uh, just now woke up. 

SYDNEY

Mm.

JEDIDIAH

Are you mad at me?

SYDNEY

What? No, of course not… I just thought you should know that there’s a clan of militant penguins living in catacombs underneath the campgrounds, and they waged a mighty war today and now have us under their little flipper-thumbs for a constant supply of salmon. And I had to treat the injured kids. 

JEDIDIAH

Oh. Cool.

SYDNEY

Oh, and I was captured by them. 

JEDIDIAH

!? Wh — Jesus, Sydney, are you alright?

SYDNEY

I’m fine! They didn’t hurt me. Honestly, it was kind of exhilarating.

JEDIDIAH

(sighing)

Okay. Good. Of course… you’re always fine.

SYDNEY

I suppose I am. 

JEDIDIAH

It’s good. I’m… proud of you. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about you — as — as much as I used to.

SYDNEY

Mm… What is it you’re working on even that takes all gosh dang night? 

JEDIDIAH

Uh, it’s nothing, Sydney. Don’t worry about it. It’s just some engineering stuff I picked up from school. Recreational activities. 

SYDNEY

You missed work for ‘recreational activities?’ 

JEDIDIAH

Won’t happen again. 

SYDNEY

Alright. If you say so. 

JEDIDIAH

 Well, can I get you anything? 

SYDNEY

Some water would be nice I guess. I’m thirsty. 

JEDIDIAH

Sure. By the way, what are you recording?

SYDNEY

My plans for how I’m going to lure you in with a carrot on a string and trap you in an inescapable corn maze.

JEDIDIAH

(laughing quietly)

Okay. Can’t wait. I’ll be back. 

(the door closes as he leaves)

SYDNEY

(sigh)

Well, I guess I should use sisal rope first of all. Mm, I’m tired. I think I’ll turn in. But I’ll keep doing this recording journal thing in the future. It’s nice. Goodnight, then. Jedidiah will be up for a while and…  I hope he doesn’t mind it if I talk to him. 

(there is a click as the recorder turns off)

(ending music)

Today’s episode was written by Blue Mayfield and Nicholas Belov. The part of Sydney Sargent was played by Blue Mayfield. The part of Jedidiah Martin was played by Nicholas Belov. Camp Here & There is the sole intellectual property of its production company, Mayfield & Belov. All music composed by Will Wood, and produced by Jonathon Maisto. Sound editing by Cut by Frank and Beetlesprite. Special thanks to our Patrons Marty Mcfly, Delight, Mya, and Will Wood. 

For behind-the-scenes material, exclusive canonical content, interactive events, and early episode access, consider signing up for our Patreon at patreon.com/mayfieldandbelov. Our discord server is a great place to meet like minded fellows and discuss today’s episode — find the link at mayfieldandbelov.com. Lastly, if you’d like to support us, the best thing you can do is to spread the word about the show.

Thank you for listening to Camp Here & There! And remember: everyone can hear you. Please scream a little less loudly.

View more episode transcripts

Mayfield and Belov presents: Camp Here and There. Episode one: The Beginning of the End.

(opening theme)

There is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on.

SYDNEY

Good morning, campers! Rise and shine, my little chickadees, and welcome to your first day at Camp Here and There! The time is 8:63 AM, the sky is cloudless and vaulted, and the oracle fumes which emanate from the bonfire at the center of camp are telling me that today… is shaping up to be the best. Day. Ever!

My name is Sydney Sargent. It’s nice to meet you! You know, campers, I was just like you once: young… frail… unwanted by peers and guardians alike… slowly dying of secret diseases… and fundamentally heartbroken… just like you! And every Summer I was sent away to this very camp, just like you. And now I’m the nurse around here! Isn’t it funny how life works? I sure think so.

As you’ve probably figured, you clever little primates, I’m also your cordial announcer for all the pre-meal updates. This is a big camp, and we can’t update all of you individually, so the latest and greatest in camp-related news will be delivered via me. On most days, you’ll hear my voice broadcasted over the loudspeakers three times a day, once before each meal. 

You’ll find me and my handsome assistant, Jedidiah, on the Southernmost outskirts of the campgrounds, in that quaint little building among the yew berries. Got scrapes? Bumps? Bruises? Aches? Broken bones? Split ends? Jammed toes? Empty eyes? Have you recently realized that you’re more mature than your parents even though you’re not yet old enough to live alone, so you have no choice but to accept the demeaning reality of taking care of your caretakers? Come pay us a visit and we’ll fix you right up! Don’t mind Jeddie if he seems a bit curt — he doesn’t talk much, nothing personal. You can talk to me, though! I really like to talk. Sometimes I talk too much. Sorry about that. Jeddie says he likes it when I ramble, though, in case you were wondering; were you wondering? Well, now you know. You’re welcome!

Now, Lucille gave me a list of announcements to make, uh…

(papers rustling)

Oh, Lucille is your camp director, by the way. You probably won’t see her around much? She mostly handles administrative stuff. But, you know, in case you’re wondering who that is. She’s my boss.

Uhhhhh… yeah, alright, just the usual first-day stuff scheduled for this morning. The Get-To-Know-You games, the orientation lectures, the part where they make you sign all the waivers but won’t let you read them, etcetera, etcetera. Just be sure to stay within sight of your cabin’s counselors, and don’t stray out into the forest. Also, try not to look directly at the bonfire for too long; it will try to lure you in.

The breakfast menu this morning includes: scrambled eggs, scrambled sausage, scrambled pancakes, and a bizarre blend of macaroni noodles and melted cow cheese that the chef, Matthew, assures me is safe to eat. Vegan options include: loose assorted leaves … that’s it. Be sure to appreciate all the fun colors; Matthew considers himself something of an artist. The eggs are purple! And if, by some freak chance, none of that suits your fancy, there’s a cereal bar with goat yogurt at the back of the serving room. Oh, and you kids aren’t technically supposed to use the coffee machine, but… I won’t tell.

Ah, and one last announcement here … it says to  “mind the man in the pink elephant mask lurking in the forest.” According to eyewitness reports from multiple camp personnel, a strange fellow began skulking the parameters of the campsite in between last Summer and this one. He’s been described as not too short and not too old, but definitely extremely zealous. He hasn’t hurt anyone yet, or set foot on the campgrounds, but the sight of him has been said to incite secondhand feelings of … fervor. A directionless sense of almost religious alacrity, an impulse without an object. Marisol Yuchengco, a counselor of Cabin Grasshopper, even reported a blurring at the edges of her vision, as if the sheer verve, rattling around in her heart with nowhere to escape, was fit to blind her. 

So, you know … take care! And enjoy your breakfast, campers. 

There is a click as the intercom turns off.

(intermission music)

There is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on.

SYDNEY

Afternoon, campers! The time is 12:80PM. So far, the first day of camp has gone off without a hitch, and the sun remains quite blinding! I’m sure you’re all very hungry after the blind turmoil of the Get-To-Know-You games — and believe me, I understand. Getting to know people, well … you could say it makes me a bit cranky! Hehe. So, in the interest of letting you loose, I’ll make this one quick.

Today’s lunch consists of that cheese-noodle concoction again, which I remain suspicious of. I doubt anyone’s tried it yet, but if you work up the courage, let me know how it is. I trust Matthew with my life, of course, but the combination of macaroni and cheese… it’s unnatural. Ah, also on the menu are… candied ravioli, unseasoned popcorn, and Matthew’s newest invention, a dish he calls, uhh…

(paper rustling)

“It’s A Special Secret, Baby!” Wow! Now that sounds delicious. I wish I could try some, but unfortunately I’m afflicted with a nefarious curse which mandates that I eat nothing but buttered bread for all eternity. Yes, I know, we all love buttered bread. Everyone likes to think they’d never get tired of buttered bread! But mark my words, after a few years of endless breadsticks, that sickly-savory taste starts to weigh on you. Not to mention the debilitating vitamin deficiency! Sometimes I look at a food like beans, rich in proteins and complex fibers, and I think … oughh … just the spirit of that tantalizing flavor … the unattainability of it all … ouugh …

Ah, well. Too bad, so sad, it’s alright! You kids enjoy your special surprise. Oh, and, vegans, uhhhhh, you can just eat the popcorn.

By the way, Jedidiah forwarded an interesting theory to me earlier. He suggested that all the stuff about a “pink elephant man” might have been a prank. So, Joshua. You snuck into my office this morning and scribbled that nonsense onto my notes, huh? And you even went so far as to rope Marisol into it. [with extreme disdain] Joshua. You better pray we don’t cross paths today. I will salt you like a slug, my friend. Like a slug.

But the good news about that, my little field mice, is that you need no longer fear. There is NOT a man in a pink elephant mask skulking about the forests’ edge, eager to swoop in and fill you to the brim with religious fervor. There is NO such man, and there NEVER was. All just a joke, ha ha ha! And if Joshua tries to tell you otherwise, smack the highest part of his gangly man-body you can reach. That guy is wrong in the head.

Anyways! Your next activity after lunch will be a rousing camp-wide swim! Wow! Hurry up and eat, little loves, and don’t stay in the water too terribly long or your skin might acquire a variety of fun new colors. Also, do your best to ignore the unknowable object which constantly floats in… or perhaps, hovers above… the surface of the lake. It’s hard to be sure exactly where it is in space, or what to call its shape, but we can say with certainty that it is… safe, as long as you don’t think about it too hard. 

Oh, and if you’d rather spend your afternoon in a more peaceful way, our friend Counselor Warren, of Cabin Tarantula Hawk, is going to be holding arts and crafts in the Creativity Cabin, so you’re free to head over there instead. If you do, make me a smiley face out of beans!

JEDIDIAH

(whispering unintelligibly)

SYDNEY

Hm?

JEDIDIAH

(whispering unintelligibly)

SYDNEY

Hah?

JEDIDIAH

(whispering unintelligibly)

SYDNEY

Hm… Jeddie is telling me that the smiley face thing is typically done with macaroni. Well, he’s wrong, but if you’d like to humor him, you can make one for him out of macaroni.

Alright, campers. That about does it. Enjoy your meal!

There is a click as the intercom turns off.

(intermission music)

There is a click and a chime as the intercom turns on.

SYDNEY

If I’m anything I am a man of my word, so here I am once again! Good evening, campers. The time is now 19:05PM, and the night is an opaque and impenetrable expanse of impossible evils. My favorite time of day!

Now, we’ll discuss dinner in a second, but first I need to address this. There have been all sorts of rumors flying around the campgrounds on this day, many whispers and snickers over whether or not the elephant man is real. Kids, you can trust me not to withhold information from you. Certain members of the staff at Camp Here & There may complain that I say too much, but you and I know that it never helps to keep kids in the dark. So please believe me when I say… I seriously have no clue whether the elephant man exists. A lot has happened, and I am thoroughly confused at this point.

After I finished up the lunch announcements, I left to tear Joshua a new one, but I was stopped by Marisol, and she told me something… something that threw me off quite a bit. She said that what I read about her experience was accurate: she did encounter a man in a pink elephant mask at the edge of the campgrounds, and he did in fact fill her with blind zeal. But the thing is… she never actually reported it to anyone. So the fact that it was listed among my morning announcements is… odd. I asked Lucille if she wrote it onto my paper, if she knew anything about it at all. She was hunched over her desk in the administrative office, and she didn’t really have time to humor me… but based on her noncommittal grunt, I think it was a blanket “no.” So I don’t think she was the one who wrote it here.

She probably wouldn’t like me saying all of this… but well, she loves me too much to punish me for it. Either way, campers, you deserve the truth, and the full truth is that I don’t know what’s going on! Jedidiah is still convinced it’s just a joke that Marisol is in on. Hasn’t even humored the idea that it’s real. He’s just stubborn like that. I’d like to be reassured by his unwavering faith in the mundane, but I just can’t bring myself to trust that, not even for him. I can’t get complacent about something that could risk the safety of you kids…

Ah, forgive me. I might have gotten carried away there. I assure you, my little swamp rats, that there is no need for any of you to be afraid! My confusion doesn’t mean you’re in any real danger — I mean, if Marisol’s account is true, the guy doesn’t seem especially vicious, right? Just kinda creepy, and maybe a little overbearing when it comes to sharing his feelings. At any rate, I am on this case like bread on butter. Did any of you know, in my senior year of High School, I was voted “Most Likely To Get Killed As Consequence Of Reckless Thirst For Forbidden Knowledge”? To this day I take pride in that title — and you can take comfort in it, campers, knowing that I’ll get to the bottom of this if it’s the last thing I do.

If you do run into the elephant man, though, put that fervor to good use and run. Run to me. And tell me everything.

Alright, moving on! End of day announcements… 

(papers rustling)

In honor of those among you who let the mutant bacteria of the lake seep into your epidermis and render it in rainbow, the winner of the technicolor flesh contest was a camper from Cabin Widowspider named…

(papers rustling)

Orla Clearwater, who now sports a stunning quintuple-toned pelt. Congratulations, Orla!

(he claps)

And for those of you who missed the arts & crafts session, I did receive a number of very sweet smiling bean plates. And to the one camper who gave Jedidiah a macaroni plate … you little rebel. I like your style!

(papers rustling)

Tonight’s dinner is green eggs and ham — just kidding! The eggs are crimson. How original! Isn’t Matthew just the best? Vegans, it says here that you’ll be provided with “assorted mushrooms gathered fresh from the woods, and served uncooked.” Well, that’s a little sad. Mushrooms are friends, not food. But whatever floats your goats, I suppose. 

After dinner…

(papers rustling)

Ahhhhhh, after dinner comes my favorite activity of the day. All of you will gather around the bonfire, holding hands, for the nightly Seeing Ceremony that will cap off your first day of camp. It’ll be your first time inhaling the bonfire’s oracle fumes … I’m jealous. Your dreams will be interesting tonight!

Well, that’s all you’ll hear from me for the day. But don’t you cry — I’ll be back bright and early tomorrow morning for breakfast. Enjoy your dinner, little loves, and enjoy your evening!

There is a click as the intercom turns off.

(intermission music)

There is a click as the tape recorder turns on. A clock can be heard ticking in the background.

SYDNEY

Evening. It’s 25:25 PM. I, ah… I know that this is normally the time of night where I put together a daily injury report for Lucille, but nobody came into my office today for anything but prescribed medication, so I think I’m gonna just… talk. Would that be okay?

…Ah, right. You are a tape recorder… you cannot consent.

I’ll talk, then. Yes, I’ll talk. And I have much to talk about! Remember when I said nobody came into my office today? Well, heh, that was a lie. It’s true that no injured campers came into my office today. But you know who did? You wanna know who did?

Pink elephant guy!

Yeah, for real. That freaky guy in the pink elephant mask who everyone’s been talking about all day? The guy Jeddie said was probably just a joke? Yeah, just a few minutes ago he came into this very room. How’d he get in? I don’t know! Not a clue! I’m supposed to be behind three locked doors right now. But in he very much got, all hunched and eerie, a nightmarish gangle in a suit of dirt and zeal and rosy plastic.

Gazing upon this… person? Well, I expected to feel that fervor, that directionless impulse that Marisol described. But instead, all the passion in my soul was… washed away. The pink of his mask, all shiny in the lamplight… it reminded me oddly of benadryl, and I felt a similar effect to that of the anti-allergen when I looked upon it. In hindsight, I can’t believe I didn’t try to confront him or even move from my chair, but I truly didn’t feel the urge. 

It’s not that the sight of him made me feel calm, not quite. It made me feel… complacent. Which is very scary, to me. I’m a lot of things, but unguarded, unwary, unconcerned, I am never that. To have nonchalance forced upon me… I feel violated, and I believe that if he’d tried to hurt me I would not have attempted to stop him.

I think I stopped breathing when he took off the mask. Not out of fear, I just couldn’t be bothered. The sight of his face made me feel so sedated… and when he smiled, his teeth oddly white and sterile behind strands of less-immaculate blond hair, I just about felt my heart give up. I’m glad that the shadows cast by his mask kept me from seeing his eyes; I probably would have passed right out.

Then his smile widened, and he grabbed one of my worms from my desk. A bead of saliva gathered at the corner of his lips as he held her to the light, appraising her. And then he put her in his mouth and began to chew. Slowly, still with a hint of a smile — he was savoring her… and then he swallowed — and without a pause he picked up another worm and ate again. When that was done he grabbed another, and then another, and then a whole handful, stuffing them all into his mouth, greedily now, desperate to satiate whatever hollow yawned within him. I still can’t believe I did nothing; I love those worms. But all my adrenaline had been drained away, and all I could think was, Huh. Jedidiah was so wrong. At the time, I found that funny.

But I don’t feel so much like laughing now.

After what felt, to my peace-addled brain, like an ignorant eternity, he straightened back up — licked his lips — gave me a smile — and walked back out. That was when the fear hit me, and the anger too, flooding over me as if the dam had broke. Right after he left I heard a knock on the door of the building, which really made me jump, but I reasoned that I’d still be feeling that horrible calm if he hadn’t really left, so I steeled myself and opened the door. And it was just a camper! Just a sleepless camper, milling about in her bedclothes. She was just nervous about sleeping in a cabin with others, but not unsettled enough to have obviously passed by any elephant men on her way over. Well, I got her in, gave her some water and some of her anti-anxiety medicine, sent her back to bed… and that was that. The elephant man couldn’t possibly have left through the door without being seen by her, but… the fresh pounding of my heart made me feel certain that he was gone. I don’t understand it.

I don’t know. [BREATHES] I guess I–

The door opens.

SYDNEY

Huh? Jeddie! Uh, hi!

JEDIDIAH

Hey, Sydney. Just wanted to check in on you. See how you’re doing.

SYDNEY

Oh… well, I’m fine. I’ve missed you, though! Up in that office all night. How’s your, uh, project going?

JEDIDIAH

(sighs)

SYDNEY

Not great, huh? Well, you’ve missed a lot around here. You remember that pink elephant man from the announcements?

JEDIDIAH

Yes. 

SYDNEY

Remember how you said he was probably just a joke?

JEDIDIAH

…Yes.

SYDNEY

Well, guess what. He’s real, Jeddie! He’s so real! He was here in my study! And he was like, he started eating my worms like, I’ll have to get more. 

Jedidiah moves to Sydney.

JEDIDIAH

Are you hurt?

SYDNEY

Mm, surprisingly not.

JEDIDAH

Mm, well, considering that… I mean… a-are you sure it was real?

SYDNEY

You think it might’ve been a hallucination? But… my worms…! I keep very close track of my worms, Jedidiah. I know when I’m missing worms.

JEDIDIAH

I mean… you don’t suppose they just squirmed away? Worms don’t really belong in your office, in the first place…

SYDNEY

Study. 

JEDIDIAH

Sure, study. Listen, I’m just —

SYDNEY

And, and, I haven’t had a hallucination in years! All that stuff — it’s different now… I’m… I’m not really like that anymore, Jeddie.

JEDIDIAH

I know. And I trust that. I’m sorry, I’m not trying to — gaslight you or anything. But you’re always on edge as it is, and I don’t want you to stress yourself out about stuff that might not even be a problem.

SYDNEY

Hm. Just trust me to know what’s real, okay? I think I’ve earned that by now.

JEDIDIAH

Yeah.

SYDNEY

Thanks… I really appreciate you.

JEDIDIAH

Yeah. You too.

There is an awkward silence.

JEDIDIAH

But if the elephant man is real… what are you going to do about him?

SYDNEY

(laughs)

I don’t know! …Oh, Jeddie. You look so tired.

JEDIDIAH

So do you.

SYDNEY

I’m always like this. But you’re starting to wilt, and it’s unpleasant on you. You should go rest. I cleaned the sheets on your bed. I used this new peppermint detergent I got, I thought you’d enjoy that.

JEDIDIAH

Thank you… 

(sigh)

Alright, then, as long as you’re okay.

SYDNEY

I’m fine. A little shaken, but I’m all safe.

JEDIDIAH

And you don’t need me for anything — ?

SYDNEY

Go to bed, Jedidiah Martin!

JEDIDIAH

Alright. Okay. Goodnight, Sydney.

SYDNEY

Goodnight. I’ll be there in a few hours.

Jedidiah walks out and closes the door.

SYDNEY

Hmm… mmm… He’s been like that lately, tired and spacey. It’s not like him, I mean, he’s usually pretty good at focusing on something. I’ll bet he doesn’t even hear me talking through the door. Sometimes when I speak to him I can’t help but think he doesn’t catch 90% of it — and that’s normal, that’s just Jeddie. But over the past year or so he’s gotten… weirder. Worse? Is worse the right word? He’s never really been an extrovert, I get it, we both like our lonesome. But even when we were kids he was always engaged with who he talked to, like he enjoyed the conversation. Nowadays, he doesn’t even look at anyone but me, and we barely talk lately either. It’s hard to get him to say anything. He just locks himself in that office, working on god knows what. Hnngg…. I hope he’s okay. I guess, if there is some god out there, sculpting and reshaping the world in his image, I hope… I hope he helps Jedidiah… Goodnight.

The tape recorder clicks off.

(end music)

Today’s episode was written by Blue Mayfield and Nicholas Belov. The part of Sydney Sargent was played by Blue Mayfield. The part of Jedidiah was played by Nicholas Belov. Camp Here & There is the sole intellectual property of its production company, Mayfield & Belov. All music composed by Will Wood, and produced by Jonathon Maisto. Sound editing by Cut by Frank and Beetlesprite. Special thanks to our Patrons Emerald, Josie, Yiloiose, Emily, and Doug Kavendek.

For behind-the-scenes material, exclusive canonical content, interactive events, and early episode access, consider signing up for our Patreon at patreon.com/mayfieldandbelov. Our discord server is a great place to meet likeminded fellows and discuss today’s episode — find the link at mayfieldandbelov.com. Lastly, if you’d like to support us, the best thing you can do is to spread the word about the show.

Thank you for listening to Camp Here & There! And remember: when you die, you will rot.

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SYDNEY

Good morning, campers!

Welcome to Camp Here & There where the sun is shining, the birds are chatty, and the blood-sucking butterflies in the walls can smell fear. We’ve got a whole host of games and activities so we do hope you and your child can attend this year. You’ll find the application on our quaint little website…

Now, recent reports might have mentioned a mysterious man skulking the forest in bloodstained scrubs and a carnival mask, but you don’t need to worry we’ve got that under control DON’T WORRY. What do I worry about? Well I worry my coworker won’t come out of his office anymore but hey, we all have our quirks, I’m just saying I’m a little bit worried-

VOICE 1

Everyone here will die!

VOICE 2

This camp is a toilet.

VOICE 3

Don’t throw your eternity away!

VOICE 4

The prospect of that is… horrific.

VOICE 5

I need to stay down where the earth will hold me!

SYDNEY

So, as you can see we’ve got some real fun stuff planned, and we hope to see you this year at Camp Here and There; kicking off come June!

Goodnight!

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