Home (3) by E. Pugsley

E. Pugsley

Chapter Three

This cannot be happening! I started to spiral for the second time this morning, when I heard a sound. A deep voice talking to someone I couldn’t hear. I couldn’t quite make out what either one was saying, but I wasn’t going to wait around to find out. I remembered passing a small ditch by a fallen tree last night. It was only a few yards away and the trunk of the dead tree was more than big enough to conceal me. I started making my way over there as quickly and quietly as possible.
   I was about half way when I spotted Angelo. He was idly picking berries, evidently oblivious to our impending doom. I couldn’t risk him talking when he saw me. So, I snuck up behind him, put one hand on his mouth, the other around his waist, and carried him to my hiding place.
   It was not unlike what I assume it’s like to give a squirrel a bath. He never stopped struggling. Even once we were in the ditch and he had seen it was me, he frantically pushed me away.
   “What’s the big idea?!” He demanded far too loudly for my liking. I really hope we weren’t within earshot of whoever they were.
   “Shhhh,” my brow furrowed as I brought my finger to my lips.
   “Is this some sort of payback for leaving camp without telling you? Because I was gathering food so we don’t starve to death,”
   “Shh!” He was still talking far too loud and his sarcasm was starting to really get to me.
   “Look, I’m not the one who didn’t grab enough supplies…” Oh. My. God. He was still talking!
   “Shut up and listen!” The sharpness of my hushed tone caught his attention. I pointed just above the trunk to where I could once again hear the menacing voice.
   Angelo’s eyes grew wide as he suddenly understood the circumstances that lead to his ‘kidnap’.
   As they drew closer it became easier to make out what they were saying. The one with the deep voice was trying to convince the other one of something. The other one didn’t say much and when he spoke his voice was low and sure.
   “I swear I heard something out here, it was probably the coyotes again.” I heard him turn to leave.
   He was cut short by the quiet one. “Coyotes don’t scream. Someone’s here.”
   They continued their search. The one with the deep voice was bigger and his breath seemed laboured as if they’d been walking for a long time. His feet hit the ground with a thud every step he took as he meandered about, but every step the other one took was a carefully calculated risk.
   Regardless of the size of the big one, I was confident I could leave a fight victorious. I turned to Angelo and gestured that we should attack. Angelo tilted his head slightly to the right and shrugged his shoulders in confusion. I gestured again and mouthed “attack.” This time he understood, but he shook his head in disagreement.
   “Why?!” I mouthed.
   “Because!” He shot back.
   Our silent squabble was becoming more intense and my hand gestures had turned slight violent. This had gone on for an obscene amount of time and neither of us was willing to give. He thought we should wait them out, and I thought we should punch them out, never the less we needed to make a decision.
   I shadow crossed over the log, we were too late. I prepared to fight. Two large eyes peeked over the top of the long at us. My pulse quickened.
   I was just about to throat punch him when he said, “it’s just some teenagers Pa, they were probably just looking for a place to…” he trailed off but one can assume what he was thinking.
   The careful one joined his companion in a throaty chuckle while they examined us laying in the ditch. They laughed for a minute longer then walked back the way they had come apparently satisfied with the new meaning behind the nocturnal noises.
   I breathed a sigh of relief but couldn’t help but be discussed by the dirty minded hill billies we’d just encountered.

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