Summer was over; It was time to go home. McGee was not pleased.
Lakebottom had been the real home he never had. As much as he loved his parents and Suzy, they never really understood him. They had no curiosity, no sense of adventure. They didn't believe in magic or monsters (well Suzy did now, but she still didn't like them). He never really fit in at home, not like he did at Lakebottom. And the worst part? He would be without either of his best friends when he went back.
Home wasn't bad, it really wasn't. He was rich after all. He had all the games he could want, any food he could ask for, and absolutely no freedom! *Sigh*, yeah. No adventure, no unapproved friends in the house, no learning anything they didn't approve of. He only learned to cook because he begged the head chef to teach him and she did: on the sly. She was sweet to him; he was glad, no one else was. Everyone else either treated him as a child or as the 'young master'. It was nice to just be treated like a growing person for once.
Speaking of restrictions, his parents had to approve of his friends. His friends had to have a certain level of social standing, money, or power. Gretchen and Squirts families weren't poor or anything but they sure weren't rich. 'Upper middle class' as Squirt had described it. His parents wouldn't approve of their long term association. He couldn't even see them at school; he went to a fancy private school while they went to the local public school. Once again school wasn't bad, it was just lonely. Everyone was so worried about their standing that they only made friends if they had something to gain, like Jordan and Suzy. She gained a constant companion/servant while he gained a companion/leader. As smart as Buttsquat could be he rarely had the common sense to express it. As such, she walked all over him. As for his parents themselves, they were always busy with work. They visited from time to time, but he saw them about as much at home as he did at camp; once in a blue moon. Before it hadn't been so bad, but now that he knew what it was like to have friends and caring adults around? He rued the idea of going home.
So what was the first thing he did when he got back to his rich, fancy, constricting life? When Jordan and Suzy went back to ruling their boring private school and he was back to being the eccentric, nerdy outcast? He snuck out of the house.
His parents didn't even see it coming: he had never done it before. It wasn't rare so much as unheard of. They didn't even know where to look! He had always contented himself with internet friends and games, so they didn't even know where he would go. Common sense would have told them to call his old friends from camp, but they didn't even believe he would still associate with them. After all, why would he? They could offer him nothing, right?
Wrong. They offered him love, understanding, and adventure. Something they did together the moment they met up. They went into the local woods and started doing every monster call they could think of. They didn't know if they would find anything, but it was worth a shot. The forest didn't have much in the sense of magic, but they did find a few tree sprites and a couple elves. Nothing big, but enough for a little company and a few good pranks on the local townspeople. The tree sprites were willing to spend time with them just out of joy that they understood their language:'the elves just loved a good prank.
At the end of the day they had 7 new friends and a good memory. McGee also had his first grounding.
It wasn't his last. After all, summer was far away. He wasn't waiting that long for his next big adventure.