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Camp Black Lake

posted Apr 14, 2018, 3:18 PM by Viktor Zólyomi   [ updated Apr 14, 2018, 3:18 PM ]
The following article by Jonathan Parker was originally published in the Con City Times

Con County's top tourist resort Camp Black Lake has closed its doors for the foreseeable future after campers were attacked by what witnesses describe as `a flock of sharks and piranhas.' While Black Lake is known to host a vast array of dangerous fish, no one in the history of Con County has ever been attacked by such predators on the shore until now. Due to the severity of the incident, local law enforcement forces expect that the camp may need to remain closed for a long time, at the very least one week.

`It's going to take a while to analyze that crime scene,' Sheriff Paxton explains. `There's a lot of blood to clean up, and a lot of mangled limbs to identify. It's a miracle no one died. Yet.'

Numerous people have been hospitalized following the incident with severe injuries ranging from broken bones to bitten off hands or feet. One victim of the incident lies in critical condition, that individual being none other than Jeremy Sloan. The nephew of local fishery magnate Albert Sloan, and son of the late and infamous Robert Sloan, managed to avoid losing any limbs but has lost a huge amount of blood and sizable chunks of his flesh from various parts of his body. Reportedly, he was the first to be attacked by the piranhas.

`I've never seen anything like it,' says Lucy Hall, the lifeguard at Camp Black Lake. `Mister Sloan was dancing by the shore with his friends when five or ten piranhas just jumped out of the water and leaped on him. Lucky for him that he didn't fall into the water. He screamed for help, and his friends tried to pull the piranhas off of him, but all they achieved was that some of the piranhas jumped onto them instead. There was blood everywhere. And then the sharks came. As big as dolphins, and twice as agile. I swear, they jumped out onto the shore, and hopped from camper to camper like frogs, taking a bite out of anyone they could. Except Mister Sloan. Him they left for the piranhas for some reason.'

Several other witnesses support Miss Hall's account of the jumping sharks, and all agree that after the incident the piranhas and sharks returned to the water and swam away. It is not known at this time what provoked the attack on the campers, but given the track record of Jeremy Sloan, the Sheriff of Black Lake speculates that the young man may have done something to agitate the wildlife.

`I was there when this little shit tried to turn the lake into a giant soda bath with carbon dioxide canisters,' he said. `For all we know, he might have poured something into the water that pissed off the sharks and the piranhas. Maybe even some chemical or another his damn father invented. This is one of the reasons we had to close the camp. We don't want people going anywhere near the water until the fish calm down.'

Jeremy Sloan is at present unavailable for comment, but the Sheriff's concerns are shared by the victim's uncle Albert Sloan. `I would not put it past him,' the fishery magnate states. `He wanted to use my lakeside cabin for another party, but after what he did last time I refused to let him. Should have known he'd just go to the camp instead and get high there with his lewd friends. But getting the fish high? That's a new low, even by his standards. And he wonders why I don't let him work at my fishery.'

The environmentalist group known as Brains of the Earth, however, fears that the attack may not have been caused by Jeremy Sloan. Doctor Marcus Pitchford, who back in the day led the protest against Jeremy Sloan's attempt to pump carbon dioxide into the lake, admits having no sympathy for the young man but believes that he is, in fact, not to blame.

`I'd be the last person on the planet to defend that irresponsible youngster,' Doctor Pitchford says, `but I suspect we are dealing with something far more sinister than a party animal. Even if he did pour something into the water that made the fish aggressive, it is inconceivable that he gave the sharks the ability to jump on land like rabbits. No, I believe we are dealing with a mutation here, caused no doubt by chemicals leaking into the water from the defunct chemical plant on the opposite shore. Clearly, the plant needs to be cleaned up and demolished before it could cause even more harm to the environment.'

Doctor Pitchford refers to the ruins of the late Robert Sloan's facility, Sloan Chemicals, located in the ruins of the abandoned Black Falls, now known as Ghost Town, which has been abandoned and locked down ever since toxic chemicals escaped from the plant several years ago and killed everyone in Black Falls. The very reason why Ghost Town is abandoned is the fear that residual toxic gases may still remain in the chemical plant, which is why Doctor Pitchford believes that the time has come for the town of Black Lake to invest in a thorough cleanup of the ruins. Sheriff Paxton, on the other hand, believes this would be a waste.

`Old coot is just paranoid,' the Sheriff states. `It was all the Sloan kid's doing. As long as we don't let the brat near the lake ever again, everything will be fine. And if, if, I said, if the incident still repeats itself and we get another bunch of campers crippled by sharks and piranhas, well, then we can start entertaining the thought that maybe the treehuggers were right all along. But I tell you, it had to be the Sloan kid. And I'm sure he'll admit it to Carl as soon as he wakes up.'

At the time of writing Deputy Carl stands guard outside Jeremy Sloan's hospital room with a loaded shotgun in hand. When asked whether he believes the theory of Doctor Pitchford, he states, `all I know is we have a repeat offender in the room behind me and the son of a bitch will pay. Every crime must be punished!'

In the mean time, staff at Camp Black Lake await the decision regarding the camp's future. Lucy Hall is confident that they will not remain closed very long.

`We've had worse incidents before,' the lifeguard says. `Often, campers get a little carried away. They get high, they puke all over the grass, they defecate in the parking lot, that sort of thing. At times like that we had to close down to clean up the camp for guests, but never very long. The longest the Sheriff ever closed us down was two weeks, and that was well before my time, when we had a serial killer loose in the camp. Really, I think Camp Black Lake will very soon open its doors and provide a relaxing escape from the stress of weekdays for the whole family.'