My fiance and I started this as a series of e mails and then fell in love with the idea.
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We sat around the camp fire uncomfortably quiet. Jimmy had just finished a very anti-climactic ghost story that had no conspicuous plot that I could discern. This weekend was going to be a disaster. One week ago he had called me up with the brilliant idea of going camping. This was going to be the weekend that Jimmy was going to romance Kimberly our rather flighty and shallow but good natured friend. I had tried to explain to him that Kim was never going to be interested in any outdoor activities and he should definitely come up with something more her style. But no he insisted that it be camping and just Kim wouldn’t suspect anything I was to go along with an old friend of his named Ed. It was terrible from the start. Kim complained the entire way to the spot, and refused to carry anything but the bug spray and one of her bags.
So there we were. Ed struck me as odd from the moment we met. He seemed to be on edge like he was waiting to be attacked. He would barely say anything and after about a half dozen wishy washy answers to my questions I gave up trying to make small talk with him.
The sound of cracking twigs caught my attention and I looked up. There on the presuppose of the fire light I saw a Giant Vampire Guainía Pig. It stood four feet at the shoulder about six feet long and on further expectation I saw that there where at least four of them with more further back in the woods from the sounds of the shuffling.
I quickly pocketed our matches, my lighter and knife. I dumped my back pack out and hurriedly threw back in it two pairs of jeans a shirt the condiments bottles as well as the bread we had brought for sandwiches. I gave Jimmy the canteen and threw a flash light to each person telling them that they are going to need those. I put all the wood on the fire and told everyone that once the smoke started to billow we were going to run. After this I took the pillows and sleeping bags and threw them on the fire as well. Got to love synthetic fabrics they smoke like the dickens. As soon as the black vapor began wafting up we ran into the woods since the Giant Vampire Guainía Pigs were blocking our way back to the car.
As we ran I realized that there wasn’t much of a wind and that smoke wasn’t really going anywhere ‘so much for constant cover’ I thought. We had only gotten a short way before I spotted a pig off to the right, Kim screamed as it charged her. I was getting ready to vear to her when Jimmy came in a and took a swing at the thing. He landed a solid blow but a flash light came apart and its batteries went flying. Fortunately the creature was stunned long enough for them to get away.
We tried to stick together which worked for a little while. I ran after Kimberly with Ed right on my heels and Jimmy bringing up the rear. We watched as her flash light faded into the woods ahead, she might be prissy but damn that cheerleader could run. We ran blindly for a few minutes not really paying attention when we finally realized that we have lost complete sight of her light, and then on top of that Jimmy’s labored breathing in no longer coming from behind. Ed and I stopped for a second, he turned out his light and whispered,
“What do we do now?”
I whispered back “splitting up is a big stupid idea.” I sighed. “Let’s go back a little and see about Jimmy.”
We walked as quietly as humanly possible back to where we last saw Jimmy. As we snuck back, picking our way in near total darkness, the acidic smell from the campfire still hung in the air and made me want to gag. In my attempt to keep my dinner down I nearly tripped over Jimmy as he lay there on the ground with a gash in his forehead and a broken tree branch stuck in his big curly fro. He came to with a start, swinging his flash light in a defensive manner. Sadly the thing had been reduced to little more than a plastic cylinder with a spring at the bottom.
“Who, what, how? Where am I? Did I die?” He stammered as he sat up.
“Dude, calm down. It’s me and Ed. I’m thinking you knocked yourself on your ass. Are you ok?”
I didn’t wait for him to answer. I immediately started checking him for injuries. He had a gash on his forehead that was mostly superficial and had already stopped bleeding; it was more bruised than anything. There was also a rather deep abrasion on his forearmthat was bleeding freely. Ed used some water from the canteen to clean the wound and the sleeve of his flannel over shirt to make a quick but well tied bandage the seemed to stem the bleeding, after this he helped Jimmy to his feet and they both looked at me like I was supposed to give them direction.
I was still looking at Ed pretty amazed. That binding was too good to be something he had copied from a movie.
“How do you and Jimmy know each other?”
“Me and Jimmy went to skill center together.”
I want to ask him what that was but just then we heard squeaking sounds coming from nearby. I make a mental note to delve further into skill center should we make it out of the woods alive.
I whispered. “Shit Kim.” Then I looked at Jimmy. “Can you walk?”
“Yea I can walk. Jog, or run… Just maybe not so fast this time?” He said with a hopeful smile.
Ed pointed off into the night almost directly ahead of us if not a little to the right. “The last I seen her was headed that way.”
“Cool. I’ll run ahead. Ed, if Jimmy falls back stay in the gap between us and try to keep track, signal me if anything happens, ok?” I took my shoe and sock off, (replaced the shoe) and grabbed as many rocks as I could find whilst talking, stuffed them into my sock and took off after Kim.
As I jogged through the forest I could hear the creatures all around me coming closer and closer with every passing moment. I tried to keep and even pace but fear drove my feet faster. I glanced back to see Ed and Jimmy doing their best to keep up, but then I broke into a clearing and spotted the silhouette of a cabin with an extensive garden surrounding it. I can see a stream just beyond. The sounds of the creatures flood back into my ears growing closer and closer, in a matter of seconds they would be on us. I had to makes a choice, run to the possible safety of the cabin leaving my friend and acquaintance to fend for themselves or turn back and see to it that we all had a shot of making it to safety.
I stood at the opening of the tree line and waited for Ed and Jimmy to catch up with the sock ready to strike. As they got about half way to me I spotted a minnesinger shadow close on Jimmy’s heels.
I yelled to him. Something stupid my ex had said to me once when I was ready to pass out from a run we had taken. “Pick up the pace Jimmy. Your only limit is death!”
I cataloged that away prepared to be embarrassed about it later and started running back toward them a little. I checked the ground for anything that I could throw since I was contingent on my sock, it was the only thing that made me feel secure and there for brave.
Jimmy screamed as the creature made its presence known. Panic fueled his speed but it was not enough, both he and the pig converged and it rammed him aside with its’ massive fur covered head. I frantically searched for some weapon to throw at the beast, and thankfully found a copious amount of stones lying not far away. I tried to skid to a stop right in front of them but my clumsyself-ended up losing my footing and skidding on my knees scraping them so nicely (if the pigs didn’t get me I would get myself I guess), but it didn’t matter. I grabbed a stone pivoted and hurtled my first missile at the monster descending on my friend, it clipped it in the ear causing it to flinch and it gaping maw snapped shut inches from Ed’s sprinting legs. I continued my barrage and another missile caught it just above the eye. It reared on my rising up on its hind legs, its talons slashed the air before it as it let lose a terrifying roar.
Ed continued his mad dash into the clearing making a break for the cabin. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Jimmy staggering to his feet confused and stunned but still alive. The beast crashed back down on all fours and I felt the ground tremble as it began its charge towards me.
I started running making a 180. I zigzagged at odd intervals to slow its progress. I glanced back every once in a while to see if I could see the boys get to the cabin. Once it seemed that I had drawn the pig too far away I make a U turn and head for the cabin myself. Only my feet started feeling numb which in turn spread across my body. I am at the end of my endurance; the adrenaline had taken its toll on my body because I had been running at full tilt for too long. It’s an effort to draw breath but I force myself into motion. As I make it half way back I could see Jimmy make it up to the shadowy dwelling. I smiled; I managed to pull it off. I saved most of my friends and even if this thing caught me at least I know they have a chance. I try to make my last effort of escape knowing that I don’t have the speed or energy to make it away from this thing it’s just too fast. I felt something sweep my legs out from under me making me tumble forward and smash into a vine laden trellis.
I rolled onto my back and watched as the creature stalked toward me. (Giant vampire Guiana pig or not they don’t look right trying to stalk.) It got within a few feet and came to a halt glaring at me. Its eyes began to water and it nose twitched. It started shaking it head and then roared taking a staggering step backwards. Then it retreated back into the forest. I’m then left in the brush grasping for air unsure of what just happened.
I raised my eyebrow and looked around with a convoluted expression on my face. I rose to my feet and my legs immediately began to tremble. I give my legs a quick once over and saw three deep gashes across the back of my calf, the blood flowing rapidly down to my bare foot and I wondered crestfallenly as the world went dark ‘Where did my shoe go?’