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Story

"P.S. Don't Write Back" is the second short story in the book More Tales to Give You Goosebumps.

Plot

Twelve-year-old David "Dave" Stevenson is staying at Camp Timber Lake Hills, a sleepaway camp, and he's really enjoying it. Though, he's concerned that he hasn't received a single letter from his parents after a week at camp. Dave tries to call home, but his counselor, Sam, insists that he should only make calls for emergencies.

Dave eventually gets a letter supposedly from his parents, but it is unsettling. The letter says that Dave's parents won't come to camp on Visiting Day and that he shouldn't write back. The letter also says that his sister misses him, which Dave suspects as false, as his sister was happy when he left for camp. The next day, Dave gets another letter. This one tells him that he is being sent to live with his great uncle, John, and it also says not to write back. Later, Dave is preparing to partake in a mandatory scavenger hunt in the woods, and he rereads one of his letters. It is addressed to David Stevenson of Camp Timber Lane Hills, a neighboring camp. Dave assumes that there must be another kid with his same name at this other camp. Dave decides that he will use a boat to get across the lake to the neighboring camp while everyone is participating in the scavenger hunt.

Dave's plan actually works, and he successfully crosses the lake. He finds Camp Timber Lane Hills, but it is ominous and dark. He goes into a bunk and finds a kid claiming to be David Stevenson, who demands that he leaves before he is seen. The protagonist runs away and sees a campfire. Many kids circle around the fire, holding hands, swaying back and forth, moaning. One camper grabs Dave and tries to drag him towards the fire. Dave, feeling that he's in danger of being thrown into the fire, pulls away and rushes back to his bunk.

When Dave gets back, he is reprimanded by Sam. Dave tells Sam about the other camp, but Sam tells him that Camp Timber Lane Hills burned down thirty years prior. Sam demands that Dave goes to sleep. Dave pulls out his letter, only to find that it is dated 1964.

Trivia

  • Based on what Dave learns from Sam, this story has to take place in the mid-1990s.
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