FILE 6

The Norms of the World

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

Content warning: Jokes about needles.

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

MAJOR INSIGHT INTO:

• status & thought process of ENTITY2

• thought process of ENTITY1

• relationship of ENTITY1 & ENTITY2

• relationship of ENTITY2 & ENTITY13

• status, behavior, & abilities of ENTITY4

MINOR INSIGHT INTO:

• Apparent ritual interests of various suspects, namely ENTITY9, ENTITY5, ENTITY10, and ENTITY6

• ENTITY3 keeps a suspicious number of clocks around for someone supposedly chthonic

IMPORTANT NOTES:

• I seriously suggest we focus more resources on determining whether ENTITY4 was actually involved in the limn, because if it’s not a suspect then it absolutely needs to be eliminated before it carries out whatever the hell kind of ritual it’s preparing for.

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

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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.