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Camp Jellybean is a short story written in the year 2000, based on a nightmare that the Dozerfleet founder's brother J had in 1996.

Background

The junior and senior classes in the 2000-2001 school year, as run by Mrs. Bergt, were told to write a mystery/horror story. The only rule was "don't make the violence gratuitous." However, the class didn't entirely know what that meant. She said: "Don't have stuff happen without a reason. Don't have someone open a door and find someone else with an ax through their head." Still not understanding it, much of the class went to work anyway. Most came up with haunted mansion-type stories. However, the Dozerfleet founder decided to make one based on his brother's nightmare from 1996.

Plot

The first story features the Dozerfleet founder's junior class at SML, and the senior class above him, all going on a field trip that has the city of Wyoming as one of its first stops. As the bus nears the intersection of Burlingame and Maplelawn, a tank comes out of nowhere to ambush it. The Dozerfleet founder and perhaps one other survive, or are left at the scene. Sergeant Jellybean and Private Poppyseed reveal themselves, before taking the other students away to Camp Jellybean. Here, Sergeant Jellybean, of some unknown militant faction, tortures and murders the students in ways that are increasingly bizarre or downright absurd. They are allowed to eat only one black jellybean each per day as their new diet while in a prison cell in the campground, told that: "anything else will interfere with the tests!"

As Kenny is being hauled away, Anna screams in terror. She is immediately shot several times as punishment for showing concern for Kenny's fate. When Sarah protests Anna's senseless murder, Sgt. Jellybean threatens to make Sarah the next test subject to be hauled away. Sgt. Jellybean's men are ordered to clean up Anna's remains. After a full night of torture, Kenny returns to the cell as a mutated freak dressed in Dracula clothing and barring a black tongue, having two-tone red and green hair and elephantine skin. He obsesses over finding Anna.

After Sarah returns, she tells the class that she "feels completely fine." She immediately bursts into flames until nothing is left of her. Jessie McCaige literally flushes herself down the toilet after she is experimented on. Daniel turns into a firework and launches himself. Jame turns into a part-fish/part-iguana and melts into a puddle. Josh turns into a bunny with duck wings, and flies away telling everyone he "must find Antarctica!" He is immediately shot out of the sky by Private Poppyseed, and falls into the lake. Quentin turns into a human popsicle, then melts away. Kara is turned into a vampire, and she begins attacking and killing the remaining survivors. However, it turns out that Sgt. Jellybean himself escaped.

Reception

The class considered Camp Jellybean the most over-the-top of all stories submitted for the assignment. Still, many of them enjoyed the clever ways in which they were killed off. Mrs. Bergt's response was to say: "Oh...that wasn't gratuitous at all! I think I'm a little disturbed by that one..."

There was enough positive feedback to inspire production of a sequel, which was not as well-received.

Competing works

Other students' submissions also bore interesting plot points, including Daniel having the faculty beheaded and Josh(?) describing someone with an ax through their head, just as Mrs. Bergt asked the class not to do. However, none could match the uniqueness of Camp Jellybean.

Sequels

Camp Jellybean 2 picks up a short time after the original story.

The freshman and sophomores got to be tortured this time, as the juniors and seniors were killed off in the previous story. The story opens with a retcon, explaining in detail that Sgt. Jellybean didn't die. Kara only thought she killed him. In reality, she killed Private Poppyseed's clones. Hannah McCollar is the first to die after the teachers, being frozen and then shattered to pieces. Jordan Chaffee gets fed to a giant fish named "Humphry." Mary Alfaro melts. Billy Greiner gets turned into a spider, which is then stepped on by the other students who don't realize it's Billy. Steve was turned into a greenish blob, and ordered to eliminate anything labeled "purple elephant." Casey gets turned into a bomb, one which begins its countdown when Alaina complains that the situation "stinks." Ann Marie plots a way to save the group, but Steve misinterprets the instructions and eats her.

In order to save the group, Casey calls himself a purple elephant, thereby sacrificing himself as he is eaten by Steve and they both die. Alaina gets sucked into a vortex and vanishes, leaving Garet the only survivor. As he flees Camp Jellybean, he finds a way onto a Greyhound bus. However, he becomes distressed when the lady he sits next to on the bus begins eating black jellybeans.

The story was not as well-received as its predecessor, especially since it was not part of a class assignment. That there was little build-up or denouement also hurt it. Ann Marie in particular took offense to how her death was portrayed.

Camp Jellybean 3 was written in 2001. Receiving very little audience, it was written as a bonus feature for an issue of Dolphinformia. The short story had Emily Kincare and her class getting captured, with Emily being the only survivor. She managed to defeat Sgt. Jellybean once and for all. Unlike the other two, no trace remains of a copy of this story.

Remake

There have been considerations for a remake of this story's premise; but with an all-original and all-fictional cast. Research is required before pursuit.

See also

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