"...and they say that to this day, you can still hear his footsteps in the night when the moon is full... The Phantom Fence-Stringer!"
For a moment, there was silence.
"That's it?" The fire had died down considerably, casting those gathered on the other side of it more in shadow than in light; Evan's laid-back drawl was recognizable enough, though, especially as strained by abject terror as it currently wasn't. "No. That's just dumb, Bran."
Brandon slouched back and crossed his arms. "Oh, like you could tell one better?" He glared around the circle at everyone he could see. Liz was visible enough on his right, with Ken sitting primly on a square of blanket beside her; Camellia was sitting with her back propped up against a stump on his left. Patty on Ken's other side, and Mara and Evan across the circle, were almost invisible. Everyone else looked bored, though. Except Cam, who mainly looked embarrassed for Brandon.
"Of course I could tell one better," Evan replied. He reached out to throw another log on the fire, and the flames kicked up enough to illuminate his grinning face. "Hell, Patty could probably tell a scarier campfire story than you can, and she can't even tell a knock-knock joke without messing it up."
"I know a good one where it's a rabbit," Patty chimed in helpfully.
"Look," Brandon replied, glaring across the circle at Evan. "It was my idea to go camping, and my idea to go camping here in what is, like, the spookiest forest in the world. So if none of you have big enough imaginations to be the least bit scared when I tell a totally awesome ghost story? Hey, that's not my problem."
Mara shifted uneasily. "Look, I think maybe we're all getting a little too involved in this whole 'scary story' thing, so why don't we -- "
"I've got one."
Ken had been pretty quiet all day, so when he spoke up now, everyone looked toward him. He was still sitting on his blanket, shoes removed and set carefully by on the grass. He was staring straight ahead, whether into the fire or beyond it, Brandon couldn't tell.
"I've got a story I could tell," Ken went on evenly. "It is a tale of sorrow and vengeance, of horror and loss. It is not -- " His eyes narrowed. " -- for the faint of heart."
"Showoff," Brandon muttered.
"It begins on a night much like this one..." Ken began...
"...and the heads were still there," he finished up some time later. He rose from his seat, calmly slipped on his shoes, and nodded to the rest of the group. "It's pretty late, so I think I'm going to turn in now. Good night, everyone." A flashlight clicked to life in his hand, the circle of light dancing ahead of him as he made his way across the campsite and into his tent.
For a moment, silence.
"So," Evan said finally, in an almost unrecognizable voice. "I'm never sleeping again. How about you guys?"
The opening bit came to me when I first saw this rerun come up yet again; the rest was written after a night spent watching about four episodes of the anime series I'm currently working my way through on Hulu. All the character names and personalities in the story are at least partially based on characters from this particular series, although I had to take some liberties since I'm not *actually* writing about, say, the hilariously neurotic son of the Grim Reaper.
At least I'm not taking the liberty of putting up a rerun without even admitting it's a rerun, though.