By: David Serra
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Maybe we should go back,” Wyatt said, “I’m getting a bad vibe, Lawson.”
I looked towards the distant lights of town. We still had another mile and a half to go. Something had him scared, his eyes were wide, and searching the woods nervously. I shrugged and we started to head back towards Omar’s house. I didn’t want to go back after the party but I stayed quiet and followed Wyatt through the woods. Wyatt is not someone who can get easily scared. So whenever his intuition warned him it was serious.
“What’s got you spooked?” I asked.
“It’s too quiet out here, you noticed?”
It hit me that it was near-silent out here, even for early autumn.
“True, the sooner we get back to Omar’s house the better,” I replied.
“Yeah, true that.”
We ventured farther through the woods when we jolted at the sound of a deep and threatening growl from somewhere in the dark. We quickly looked around on high alert. The full moon shined brightly and made visibility somewhat better for us.
“Hello,” I called out, “Who’s there?”
At first, there was nothing but silence, there was too much silence. I felt a shiver run up my spine and cold sweat beading on my forehead. We searched the woods with our flashlights. I caught a glimpse of an inhuman blur that darted through the woods. My memory was triggered at the sight.
“Wyatt, you don’t think it’s–”
A pack of four reptiums leaped out from the bushes and surrounded us, growling and hissing. They were huge and biped lizard-like creatures who arched their scaly backs and readied to lunge at us. We prepared ourselves to fight when a large and sleek reptium with a spiky frill that ran down its back emerged from the darkness and approached me.
“Veronica!” I shouted in recognition, “Back for more?”
She snarled and came face to face with me. Her muzzle inches away from my face and her breath gave off a musty and foul stench of rotten eggs and decaying meat. I stifled a cough and maintained my composure. She displayed her laser tag gun strapped to her right foreclaw with a sinister scaly smile. Summoning my strength, I dropped my flashlight and showed her my laser tag gun strapped to my right forearm. Wyatt did the same. I felt a burst of adrenaline throughout my body.
“We’ll see about that!” I cried.
“Go!” yelled Wyatt.
We both slipped away from the reptiums and sprinted into the forest. Veronica shrilled at her pack, the sound of their beating footsteps echoed behind us. I signaled to Wyatt and we split in different directions. The sounds of laser-blasts filled the air and rang in my ears.
I slammed my back against a tree, exchanging gunfire with a couple of reptiums. One of them closed in on me, I slinked away from its laser-blasts and fired back. Its gun beeped off, a direct hit. The other one shrieked and leaped at me, firing its gun wildly. I swiftly dodged the laser-blasts and ducked, just missing its long tail that lashed out at my head. I fired back and disabled its gun. The reptium tumbled to the ground in defeat with a grunt. I weaved through the trees, gun at ready. I spotted Wyatt and another reptium exchanging gunfire in tall grass. I watched from behind a tree, the reptium, and Wyatt weaved through the grass. Wyatt did a backflip out of the grass and fired at the reptium, disabling its gun. I heard rapid footsteps behind me and instinctively climbed up the tree out of range. The reptium and I exchanged fire when its gun beeped off from Wyatt shooting it. It scowled at him. He gave a wry smile and shrugged.
“Wyatt! Look out!” I hollered.
Veronica came up fast and knocked the reptium out of the way. Wyatt slipped behind a boulder. She fired like crazy at him. I tried to fire back at her but she was quick to return gunfire. Circling the tree she tried to get a good shot at me, I frantically dodged her laser-blasts. Wyatt slid out from behind the boulder and aimed at her. She spotted him and fired, just missing him when he slipped behind a nearby tree. She immediately weaved towards the tree. I hurriedly climbed down and jumped to the ground. She turned sharply, ready to fire. Wyatt leaped out and shot at her. Veronica’s gun beeped off, we took off running into the woods. She let out an enraged roar that echoed throughout the woods and made us run faster.
We came closer to exiting the woods when we saw Veronica’s starship take off into space.
“I hope I don’t have nightmares tonight,” Wyatt said.
“Trust me. No nightmare can scare me after that.”
We both nodded with a laugh. Heading for our homes we were both exhausted from the party and from saving the world again.