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Monsters Around the Campfire
Monsters Around the Campfire
Monsters Around the Campfire
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Monsters Around the Campfire

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Even on a hot summer night, there can be chills around a campfire. For Ollie Carothers and his fellow campers, the goal was simple – have the best time ever.

In the glow of the fire, stories are told, one camper to another. But are they just stories? What snapped the branch? Is that just a shadow? What lurks under the surface of the swimming hole?

Could it really be …

Monsters Around the Campfire is collection of five short stories all brought together by a group of kids at summer camp. The book features 13 illustrations by the author.

Release dateJul 22, 2014
Monsters Around the Campfire
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Donovan Scherer

I’m Donovan Scherer, an author and illustrator creating worlds of adventure with a sense of humor and a little bit of dread that everything will go terribly, terribly wrong. I tend to think in cartoon, but since animation would take me longer than I’d like to keep you waiting on my stories, I write and illustrate them instead.

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    Monsters Around the Campfire - Donovan Scherer

    Monsters Around the Campfire

    Text & Illustrations Copyright © 2014 by Donovan Scherer

    Published in 2014 by Studio Moonfall LLC

    All rights reserved.

    This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

    No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

    For information regarding permission, write to:

    Studio Moonfall LLC

    5605 Sheridan Rd., #1172

    Kenosha, WI 53141-1172

    StudioMoonfall.com • DonovanScherer.com

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Names: Scherer, Donovan.

    Title: Monsters around the campfire / written and illustrated by Donovan Scherer.

    Description: Kenosha, WI : Studio Moonfall LLC, 2014 |

    Summary: A group of kids trying to survive their time at summer camp tell scary stories around the campfire.

    Identifiers: ISBN 9781942811008 (softcover) | ISBN 9781942811145 (epub)

    Subjects: BISAC: Juvenile fiction / Horror. | Juvenile fiction / Ghost stories. | Juvenile fiction/ Social Themes / Friendship. | Juvenile fiction / Legends, Myths, Fables / General. | CYAC: Supernatural--Fiction. | | Horror stories. | Friendship.| Camping--Juvenile literature.


    To Kevin and Nathan.

    May your childhood be full of stories and s’mores.

    Special Thanks

    Jeanne Scherer, Doug Scherer, Jason Whited, Nate Bryant, Erin Meyers Garcia, Bridget Suda, Michelle Sconzert, Becky, Jake and Kate Douglas


    Chapter One

    The Rat Catcher

    Chapter Two

    Death or Glory

    Chapter Three

    Old Dog

    Chapter Four

    Tastes Like Chicken

    Chapter Five

    The Swarm

    Chapter Six


    Chapter One

    Ollie Carothers leaned back in his folding camp chair. Beneath his shaggy, light-brown hair, a grin stretched across his face. He didn’t know any of the other kids that were sitting with him in the circle around the campfire, but that didn’t matter. All of them were laughing, telling jokes, and showing off the handfuls of treasures they had found since arriving at Camp Preparadox. It was chilly enough for a jacket and night was already beginning to creep in on the first day of camp, but Ollie knew that this was going to be the best weekend ever.

    The campground was generally reserved for the activities and adventures for the Preparadox Scouts. Heading into the sixth grade at the end of summer, Ollie was already too old to join the troop. Fortunately, this weekend was open to the public, and all the kids in the nearby town of Sheboyganville were welcome to join in the fun.

    Check this out, an older boy said to Ollie as he walked up. The boy must have been at least thirteen because he already had a hint of a fledgling mustache.

    Ollie’s eyes lit up when he saw the thing the boy was holding in front of him. He reached out to hold the treasure. It was a coin, worn and tarnished from years of being lost in the woods. The face on it was that of a woman, and though he couldn’t distinguish the features very well, she looked stern and wore the slightest bit of a frown.

    That’s super cool, Ollie said. Where’d you find it?

    I didn’t, the boy said. Traded with one of the little scout kids for a box of malt balls. He said they find these things around here all the time.

    I’ll keep an eye out for some tomorrow then, Ollie said.

    If you find a bunch and want to trade for some candy or whatever else I can get my hands on, let me know. I’m Lex Carter, by the way.

    Nice to meet you, Lex, Ollie said, reaching to shake his hand.

    After Lex wandered off to show the others his coin and to set up some future bartering prospects, Ollie sat back, daydreaming about what other things he might find around the campground. He took a drink from his bottle of chocolate milk and choked a little bit as he did. It had been out for a while and was warmer than he would have liked. Checking to see how much was left as he decided if he should finish it, he noticed the milk was a strange shade of blue in the light of the campfire.

    Deciding it would be best to not risk finishing his drink, Ollie hopped from his seat and headed to the fire, knowing the crackle of splashing milk on the flames should provide some entertainment for the group. Then, out of nowhere, something dark ran straight toward Ollie.

    He didn’t realize it was a dog until it weaved between his feet. Ollie jumped back, nearly falling. Chocolate milk splashed from the bottle, splattering onto a nearby girl.

    You tunahead, the blonde girl shouted. The splatter of chocolate milk landed right in her face. She was well dressed, a little too well dressed for camping, and now with milk dripping off her chin, it was definitely a poor choice of clothing.

    Ollie tried to apologize but was also busy trying to stay upright as the dog ran circles around his legs.

    There he is, a boy with long, black hair covering his face yelled.

    Slow down, Tyler, someone else yelled. He’s not gonna stick around if you keep chasing him.

    The owner of the second voice, still out of sight, was right. As soon as Tyler reached the circle around the campfire, the dog was off and running again. The dog turned, almost crashing into some of the kids sitting in the camp chairs. Tyler continued his chase and attempted to jump over the fire to go straight for the dog. Landing short, one foot hit a log, sending embers everywhere. But he was quickly back on his feet, running into the woods to try to catch the dog.

    Ollie looked back and cringed as he looked at the girl covered in milk. A nerdy-looking boy in an oversized jacket was by her side, trying to help clean it off with a bandana while she stared at Ollie, scowling.

    Which way did they go, kid?

    Ollie was happy to break the girl’s gaze. He turned to see who was talking. The boy, with his dark, disheveled hair looked tall for his age, though he must have been no older than Ollie himself. He was wearing what had been, in its better days, a Preparadox uniform. The uniform, now clearly outgrown, had the sleeves cut off and was stained with dirt and grass from more than enough use and not enough washing.

    Ollie pointed into the woods where Tyler had chased the dog.

    You’re all right, kid, the other boy said, leaving to run after Tyler and the dog.

    Knowing that he would have to apologize sooner than later, he turned back to the girl. To his surprise, she wasn’t there. Then he saw her in the distance, stomping back to the cabins with the boy that had clumsily tried to help clean her up. Something peeked out from the boy’s jacket. It was a ferret. Now he knew he had to apologize – if not for his own peace of mind, at least for the chance to play with her friend’s pet.

    Ollie started to run after them, but stopped when he saw a car’s headlights near the cabins. He watched as two distant figures stepped away from the vehicle and could hear them arguing.

    I told you we’d be late, the girl by the car shouted after slamming the door shut.

    It doesn’t matter, a woman said, maybe the girl’s mother. You’re too old for this anyway. This camp is for children.

    I’ve got to be older if I want to be a troop leader!

    Even as far away as they were, Ollie could hear the woman sigh. You go ahead and play then. After this weekend, you’ll figure out that there are better things to do with your time.

    As the headlights blinked off, he could hear the argument continue over the opening and closing of the car’s doors.

    Yeesh, Ollie said to himself. Wouldn’t want to be her.

    Ollie turned back around, deciding he probably didn’t want to intrude on the ongoing argument. The group around the campfire had grown quiet. Ollie turned to see Lex standing above the fire. He was silent, looking back and forth to the campers around him. Ollie slowly backed away, moving to his chair, and took a seat. Something was about to happen.

    A lot of you, Lex said in a hushed voice, aren’t too familiar with these woods.

    The group stayed silent.

    Most of you don’t know what lies in the forest, hiding in the dark.

    Still silent.

    Out there, just beyond the light of the campfire, it’s all around us. It’s waiting. Waiting for us to think we’re safe, to think we can just go wandering into the dark.

    All the boys and girls around the fire leaned in, entranced. Ollie too was lost in wonder. What could be out there? Lex was older than most of

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