Winner of WANTED 26

One Summer Night


We took the sock out of the camp director’s mouth so he could plead his case, but his case was weak, so we socked him in the mouth and he fell to the floor. I sneaked a look at the cabin’s tipped freezer chest, the spilled boxes of ice cream bars: our denied treasure. The director rolled onto his back and eyed the group of us cluttering his quarters. “Some desires reach beyond social spheres,” he said, all proud, as if his thievery and dishonesty had simply been a ploy to band us campers together—jocks, geeks, trash, dickheads—to take our minds off the scorching August heat. One of the jocks kicked him square in the stomach and his pride vanished real quick. “That’s enough,” the jock said. We hogtied the director using an extension cord, then took off our shirts and used them as slings to carry as many ice cream bars as we could manage back to the bunks. “Rejoice,” we proclaimed to our newly converted disciples, who slid off sweaty mattresses and scrambled to feel the cold drip of Fudgsicle on their tongues. The chill pinged our bones and we threw ourselves into the night. We danced to the pulse set by cicadas and tree frogs. We sucked down bar after bar. When the counselors returned tipsy from the town bar at midnight, they found us smeared in chocolate, buzzed on sugar, vividly alive. And during it all, not one of us stopped to wonder why a middle-aged man would lie to an entire boys camp about the availability of frozen treats. It was only after the director vanished, days later, when we found the hidden chamber,the video tapes, and the gold coins, that our real investigation began.


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WANTED is an occasional community writing contest run by Revolver. We give a prompt and our readers respond. See previous winning entries. If you’d like to receive email alerts—and that’s all you’ll get, a short email—saying the new one’s up, sign up here:

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Ben Woodard

About the Author

Benjamin Woodard lives and teaches in Connecticut. His recent writing has appeared in Maudlin House, Alternating Current, and Kenyon Review Online. He is a Senior Editor at Numéro Cinq Magazine, and helps run Atlas and Alice Literary Magazine. You can find him at and on Twitter at @woodardwriter.
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