Now I’m still not sure if it was because the admissions office had had a weird sense of humour, were assigning bunks by alphabetical order, or just coincidence. However, three of the four people in the room either shared names or had very similar names. We had decided to refer to ourselves as Rus, Rusty, and Russell to avoid confusion – you’ll figure out which one I was by the end of this story. We got along great and had a very similar sense of room cleanliness. Four days into the camp, our pet ‘pile’ had grown to cover half the floor and Russell swore he’d seen it move and eat a chipmunk that had wandered into our cabin the day before. Prodding it’s edges carefully, Rusty found a dry shirt with a few less wrinkles and started getting changed. Rus called out from where he was reading a Bible on his bunk across the room.
“Rusty! What happened? You have splotches all over your back!”
Rusty looked down and noticed that his chest and upper arms had welts breaking out all over them. Stretching his waistband he saw small red marks forming on his legs and lower body as well. Rus jumped off his bunk and stared closely at Rusty’s face.
“They are smaller, but they are on your face and neck too.”
Rusty raced back to the nurses station for a second time and pounded on the door. It took a while as the nursing student was getting changed for chapel as well, but eventually she opened the door and let him in. She looked him over thoughtfully.
“Well, this is the oddest reaction to an insect bite that I’ve ever seen, but I still don’t think you are deathly allergic. Otherwise you would already be dead. It will likely be uncomfortable and itchy for a while but I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. Here take some benedryl to help with the itchyness and feel free to skip the service and sleep it off if you need to.”
Trying hard not to scratch Rusty returned to his room, finished changing and snuck into the back of the chapel a little late. Rus waved him over to a spot of pew he had saved.