12 : RACE FOR YOUR LIFE

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Camping Tip #1 : Death (yours or someone else's) can really put a downer on the whole trip, so try not to die. 


Callie and I hop over the fence with ease - cheerleading for two years has its perks - whilst Jack and Oliver clamber up the fence. Oliver trips and falls unceremoniously onto the grassy floor. He curses as Jack helps him up and we sprint towards the house. Adrenaline pumps through me as I run in the narrow alley between the house and garage. Callie, Jack and Oliver quickly follow behind me. The front porch lights flicker on when we come to the driveway. I half-expect to see Flo Jo and Crud to be standing on the patio with shotguns but it's thankfully empty. The black SUV is parked a few feet away and we head straight for it.

"It won't open!" Oliver says as he rattles the handle of the car door. "Fuck! Where are the keys?"

Jack shuts his eyes for a second, opens them and then points to the house, "I saw Flo Jo drop them in a bowl in the living room when we came."

My mind moves at a million miles a second as I rattle through our options. "Okay, I'll go get them," I say, "You guys watch out for Flo Jo and Crud."

I turn and run up to the house. "Wait," Jack says.

I pause on the patio and glance back at him, "What?"

"I'm coming with you," he says, "Oliver look after Callie, we won't be long."

I open my mouth to protest but I don't want to waste time arguing so I just sigh and nod. If anything goes wrong I have the shotgun. Yeah, I don't exactly know how to use it but the sight alone should keep Flo Jo and Crud away right? I raise the gun as I open the door and we step into the darkened hallway. The floorboards creak and the spring wind sweeps in. Jack and I walk into the living room. As he starts searching for the keys, my eyes land on the vase Oliver broke. The pile of teeth are still there, I swallow and find myself hoping they're not human teeth again.

"Got them!" Jack said, jangling the car keys in his hands.

"Okay-"

A high-pitched scream pierces the air. Jack and I turn and run out of the house to find Callie and Oliver, they have their backs pressed against the cars. Callie spots us and points to the fence. Jack and I follow her finger and I gasp when I see the bear. It's standing by the fence, staring resolutely at Callie and Oliver.

"It's Patricia," Callie says.

"The fucking bitch followed us!" Oliver says, "Can you believe that? It's actually stalking us! Can this trip get any wierder?"

Callie hits his arm, "Don't call Winston's mother a bitch!"

"OW! She is a bitch!" he glares at her, "Damn it! You know what? I've had enough of your abuse, Callisto!"

For a moment we all just stand still, eying the bear and letting the bear eye us. Movement snaps into Jack as he tosses the keys to Oliver. Oliver just about manages to catch them. The bear growls and Callie screams. Oliver yanks the door open. He jumps into the driver's seat and Callie jumps in after him. A second passes before the engine roars to life but Jack and I are still standing on the patio having a stare down with the bear.

"Patricia!" Callie shouts next to Oliver, "Where's my baby? Where's Winston? You damn bitch! I trusted you! I....I loved you!"

"Now you're finally seeing the light, Callie!" He grins and then looks over at us. He leans out of the car window, "Hey! What the fuck are you waiting for? C'mon!"

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