Authors: John Luke Robertson
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Phil & the Ghost of Camp Ch-Yo-Ca
Copyright © 2014 by John Luke Robertson. All rights reserved.
Cover and interior illustrations copyright © 2014 by Jeff Gregory. All rights reserved.
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Designed by Jacqueline L. Nuñez
Scripture quotations are taken from the
, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Phil & the Ghost of Camp Ch-Yo-Ca
is a work of fiction. Where real people, events, establishments, organizations, or locales appear, they are used fictitiously. All other elements of the novel are drawn from the authors’ imaginations.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Robertson, John Luke, author.
Phil & the ghost of Camp Ch-Yo-Ca / John Luke Robertson ; with Travis Thrasher.
— (Be your own duck commander ; )
ISBN 978-1-4143-9814-3 (sc)
I. Thrasher, Travis, 1971- author. II. Duck dynasty (Television program) III. Title. IV. Title: Phil and the ghost of Camp Ch-Yo-Ca.
ISBN 978-1-4964-0004-8 (ePub); ISBN 978-1-4143-9837-2 (Kindle); ISBN 978-1-4964-0005-5 (Apple)
Build: 2014-09-12 04:07:17
This book is dedicated to Papaw Phil.
Papaw, thank you for passing down your love of the outdoors and adventure to me. Most important, thank you for showing me that real men love God, value their families, and support their country. You are a true hero.
You'll miss out on all the fun if you do.
Instead, start at the beginning and decide where to go at the end of each chapter. This book is perfect for an evening around the campfire. There are lots of stories in it
âsome scary, others not so much. So grab some marshmallows and a chocolate bar (don't forget the graham crackers!) and follow the directions on which page number to go to at the end of each chapter. You'll be flipping around a lot, but that's part of the fun.
If your ghost story gets too scary, though, just start over at the beginning and choose a different path.
The great thing is,
are the main character.
make the decisions.
And right now,
get to be the
So put on your spider-stomping boots and get ready for a camping experience like no other.
Just make sure you don't meet up with a monster in the woods.
Also, you might want to avoid the lake late at night. There are strange things happening around there.
BEFORE WE BEGIN, THIS IS WHO YOU ARE.
Your name is Phil Alexander Robertson.
You are the first official Duck Commander. And it’s true, you know. You really do command the ducks. With the help of some calls you invented that sound exactly like real ducks, as well as some blinds and guns.
You grew up in a log cabin near Vivian, a small
town in rural Louisiana. You and your six brothers and sisters didn’t have much in the way of luxuries. Money was scarce, so you hunted and fished and lived off the land to survive.
You are married to Miss Kay and have four grown boys: Alan, Jase, Willie, and Jep. Early on you decided to make a living off what you love: hunting and fishing. That’s how you ended up creating the Duck Commander duck call and how a small family business took off.
You live in West Monroe, where the Duck Commander factory and business are currently located. You love your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, your family, and hunting ducks. You believe hunting is your God-given, constitutional right to the pursuit of happiness. Hunting is what makes you happy, happy, happy.
You are about to embark on a very different kind of hunt. But you’re ready.
You’ve always been ready for a great adventure.
THERE’S NOTHING LIKE THE FEELING
of sitting down in your favorite reclining chair on a Sunday night after eating Miss Kay’s fried round steak with white sauce and then watching a little Jason Bourne. With your family around you, playing games in the background and laughing lots. That’s really the definition of . . .
Yeah, you guessed it.
Happy, happy, happy.
So when you hear a knock on the door that Sunday evening, you can’t help but be curious. The family is all here, and none of them knock, anyway. The mean game of Egyptian Ratscrew going on at the dinner table pauses temporarily. Miss Kay answers and acts like she was expecting the guest.
Turns out it’s Isaiah Bangs. Isaiah is the director over at Camp Ch-Yo-Ca, a popular Christian camp located in the piney woods of northern Louisiana near West Monroe. It’s
a place where many campers have discovered Jesus. A place where many have also discovered love
—like Willie and his wife, Korie, who met there when they were just kids. Isaiah is probably Willie’s age, somewhere around forty. He’s young at heart, and that’s why the campers love him. He’s got a big smile and big eyes to match. When he tells a ghost story,
You know Isaiah’s a big talker, and it could take him up to half an hour just to make it the ten yards from the door to the couch by your chair. But tonight Isaiah heads straight for you. He must have something on his mind.
You give him a nod. “Haven’t seen you in a while. Busy summer at the camp?”
“Yes, sir. And that’s why I called Miss Kay to ask if I could stop by.”
You nod again and rub your bare feet together. “Did you eat?”
“Oh yes, thank you.” Isaiah gives the younger kids a quick glance. “I was wonderin’ if we could maybe talk outside.”
What’s up with him?
As you slip on your shoes and head for the door, Isaiah hangs back at the kitchen table. “Hey, John Luke
—you mind coming with your grandfather and me? Got something to discuss with you guys. About the camp.”
John Luke stands up to follow you.
“Yeah, take him, ’cause he was winning,” Willie says.
“I don’t want to have to sit next to
,” Jase shouts.
The joking and hollering continue while the three of you step into the fading light of the summer evening.
John Luke pulls out his smartphone in response to an annoying beep. You sigh. These new phones are like short leashes on overactive dogs.
While John Luke texts away, you head over to your shed to put some equipment away while Isaiah walks alongside, talking to you.
“They’re going to be calling off this coming week of camp,” he says.
You meet his eyes, surprised. “Since when? What’s wrong?”
“We just made the decision. Counselors are calling parents, telling them not to bring their children. The kids are going to be heartbroken, but we have to do it.”
“Why?” John Luke asks, joining the two of you. “I was planning on working there all next week.”
“I know, John Luke. That’s why I’m here. I need both of you to help.”
“How so?” you ask.
“During last week’s camp we had multiple complaints
—three to be exact
—of something bothering the campers. All three very different kids, so it’s not some prank they’re doing for fun.” Isaiah looks serious, as if one of his four children were involved in an accident.
“Complaints,” you repeat. “What sort of complaints?”
“All of them said they saw some kind of ghost.”
You have to let out a laugh. “Oh, you know the fun we have with the kids.”
“Yeah, I know,” Isaiah says. “I know the tales well
—have told a few myself. But these stories . . . something’s going on. We’ve alerted the police. There’s not a lot we can tell them, though. Nobody’s been hurt or attacked. But the kids leaving camp yesterday and today were pretty freaked out.”
“What happened?” John Luke asks.
“Two of the kids
—a boy and a girl
—saw something at night. And another boy reported an ‘encounter’ in the middle of the woods.”
“You kids with your love of being spooked,” you say to John Luke. “Someone’s always spying in the woods.”
Isaiah doesn’t smile. “Our fear is that someone might actually be spying. You know. In a not-so-good way.”
“Exactly what sort of encounters are you talking about?” you ask.
“The girl saw something
—a spirit or a ghost, she thinks
—sitting at the end of her bed. In another cabin, a boy said a figure was standing inside, by the window. And the kid in the woods was chased by some kind of beast that jumped down from a tree.”
You’d usually be smiling by now, but you notice
Isaiah’s still not grinning at all. So you just nod. A slight breeze stirs the grass, making the hot and humid weather slightly more bearable. You clean your teeth with a toothpick while you study Isaiah.
John Luke looks serious. “Ghost stories are supposed to be fun. They’re not supposed to become real.”
“So what would you like us to do?” you ask.
“I’d love John Luke’s help
—yours too, if that’s okay.”
“My schedule is pretty busy this week,” you say, trying not to laugh, “but I think I might be able to find a little free time.”
Isaiah nods. “I know this is a strange request, but I just . . . I was wondering if you guys could spend a night there. I have to leave tomorrow morning for a funeral down in New Orleans and will be gone until Wednesday. Two of my counselors have already left. And, John Luke, you were going to be my third.”
“I can do it,” John Luke says. “I was gonna be coming out tomorrow morning anyway.”
“Yes, but . . .” Isaiah pauses for a moment. “I was hoping for tonight so I could go home and pack for my trip.”
“And what do you need?” you ask. “Some Ghostbusters? Want us to bring our guns?”
Isaiah shakes his head. “Something’s going on. I just don’t know what.”
“Then John Luke and I will check it out.” You’re always ready to help out old friends, even when their requests don’t make a whole lot of sense. But this favor comes with a
—some one-on-one time with John Luke, which you haven’t had in a while.
The camp director sighs with relief. “That’s great. It’d be best if you could go over there tonight, but, well, if you want to stay home until the morning, that’s fine.”
He waits for your reply. You can tell John Luke is ready to leave as soon as possible.
Do you hop in the car and go to Camp Ch-Yo-Ca right now?
Do you head to Camp Ch-Yo-Ca tomorrow morning so you can sleep in your own bed?