After church, Nolan was instructed to pack for camp. The bus would be leaving from the church parking lot at 4 that afternoon and Nolan’s father was notoriously early. There was more chances to talk to people when you were standing around early and Charlie loved talking, that’s why he went into sales in the first place. He didn’t just chat for no reason, Charlie was a natural influencer. He discussed the issues of the day, found like minded people, gathered a coalition together and then moved them to act. He didn’t really have an agenda, it was just his way. Charlie lived a life of always making things happen. It didn’t always work out for him but he just couldn’t help himself.
So they arrived at the church, packed and ready around 3:15 for the 4 o’clock engagement and Nolan’s dad began to talk. Who was the lady that spoke in church today? What did the other parents think of the message? How does the pastor know her? Did something seem a little off with her? Nolan was fascinated by this conversation and because of the circumstances of his experience that morning, he hung onto every word. The adults had questions about what she said, they didn’t quite trust her or know where she came from. Mr. Howard joined in and said that one of the pastor’s lodge buddies had recommended her.
“Well I didn’t really like her.” Nolan proclaimed boldly into the adult’s conversation. “She gave me a creepy feeling.” They all stopped to listen to the boy and while agreeing they wanted to be respectful so the subject was changed. Still the coalition was gathering steam and the woman who only Nolan knew to be a witch wasn’t the sort that many parents wanted speaking at the kids camp. Then came the news. DJ arrived to help get load up and drive the bus down to camp. He told them that the guest speaker had fallen ill after church. She wouldn’t be at camp the first day or two at least and may miss the whole thing.
It all hung in the air as everyone loaded up on the bus. The parents were sure what to think but there would be a camp pastor and he could speak in her place. He was already going to be preaching most of the chapel services, so it wasn’t that much of an imposition. DJ pulled on Nolan and said, “Help me put these bags under the bus young man.” Nolan agreed and they got several feet from where everyone was standing. Then DJ sprung it on him, “You’re right not to trust that woman. You’ve got good instincts. She’s a snake in the grass and I hope she doesn’t get anywhere near you kids at the camp. But I’m volunteering down there, to keep things cleaned up. If you end up having any trouble, you come to me. I can help” Nolan was glad to have a strong ally. DJ might actually kill for Nolan under the right circumstances and while he was dangerous, he was dangerous for the right team now. Nolan felt strength come into him as he nodded in agreement with DJ and then quietly helped get the everything ready.