“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Dawn screamed for the fifth time.
We dangled upside-down from a large tree branch. We were only a few feet from the ground, but we were high enough that it didn’t matter, really. I couldn’t reach the ground, and because we were tied together, we kept bumping into each other. Ropes wrapped around our ankles, leaving us to sway back and forth.
The seasons change quickly where we lived. It seemed just like yesterday we were sweating in that creepy swamp. But today, I could feel the cold air rush over my skin as we swayed. Goosebumps covered my arms.
Zana Rain was sleeping next to the tree. She was zero help. How could she sleep at a time like this?
“Maybe you should watch where you’re going!” I yelled.
“Maybe I should watch where I’m going?” she retorted. “You’re the one who couldn’t stop bouncing around everywhere. Bouncing and dancing! If you could just stay still for one minute, we wouldn’t be hanging here in this stinkin’ tree!”
“But, I’m sooooooooo bored! We’ve been walking forever, and we don’t even know where we’re going. You keep saying we’re not lost, that you know where this old guy lives, but I think you’re lost. Lost, lost, lost, lost, lost!” I wanted to stomp my foot and throw a tantrum, but since I was still dangling from a tree, that wasn’t going to happen!
“You’re going to do this now? Really!”
I could sense my sissy rolling her eyes at me.
“It’s not like you have more pressing things to do!” I yelled back.
“Okay, okay. Let’s just take a deep breath and think this through. Can you reach your ankles?” she asked.
“Don’t you think I’ve already tried that? You tried it too! This is hopeless,” I ranted rather dramatically to my sissy.
“Okay, here is what we are going to do. I’m going to hold onto you and try to swing us back and forth until one of us can grab ahold of that tree.”
“Seriously?” I asked, completely unconvinced her plan was even possible.
“Do you have any better ideas?” she asked, wrapping her arms through mine.
Before I knew what was happening, Dawn and I moved quickly through the air, side by side, up and down. I didn’t want to admit how sick I felt after hanging, and now swinging, so I didn’t say anything at all.
Sissy’s plan was working! I could almost touch the tree! We swung so fast, though. It was then I realized how bad this plan was about to go. As my body rushed back towards the tree, I lifted my hands to protect myself and slapped the tree trunk, spiraling away from it. I thought for sure I was going to throw up. I was going to get a face full of bark if I didn’t do something.
Thankfully, at least for me, I wasn’t the one who was facing the tree anymore.
“What are you-” Whatever protest Dawn had in mind, slamming face first into the tree cut her off. I had to give my sissy credit, though. Her tiny arms wrapped around the tree, and she held on with all her might.
“You did that on purpose!”
Someone was laughing at us! I looked towards the ground and saw another demon bunny standing beneath us, hands on his hips, cackling at our expense.
He was rather funny looking, actually. His hair was three different shades of blue, and I couldn’t tell if it was natural or some kind of weird style he’d done up himself. His red shirt and green pants just didn’t look right at all, and I had no idea what color his boots were because mud completely covered them. Not unlike my own.
“What are you laughing at?” I asked the boy whose clothes matched even less than my own.
“I was just wondering if you actually knew how silly you both look right now,” he replied.
He stood directly below us and raised his hand into the air. He was about the same height as me, which at the moment was a blessing because I thought he was going to poke or tickle us. Or both. He couldn’t reach us even if he wanted to. Perhaps it was only a figment of my imagination. After all of the tortuous tickling fights with my sissy, I couldn’t help but cringe at the memory.
I looked to Zana Rain for help, but she was still snoring. Some help she was. What if crazy, evil creatures attacked us? She’d nap through it all without a care, wouldn’t she?
“You’re one to talk,” I countered.
“Will you please help us down?” Sissy asked him nicely. It irritated me that she interrupted our spat, but I wanted to get down just as badly as she did. She didn’t have to go and ask nicely, though. He made fun of us!
“We don’t need his help. We’ve got this!” I told her matter-of-factly.
“Ah, well if that’s the case, I’ll just run along,” he said.
“Wait, wait, wait! Don’t listen to her. Please help us get down from here. Please … please help us,” Dawn begged.
“Well, since you asked nicely,” he retorted.
I didn’t like the look on his face. He was trouble! I could tell! The way he pranced around without a care in the world while we were hanging upside-down from this stinkin’ tree! He bent over and reached down to the ground. I didn’t see what he was doing, but it couldn’t be good. Right?
“Look out beloooowwwwwwwww!” he yelled, and his voice sounded like a giant screaming in a forest.
The next thing I knew, I was on the ground holding my head, huffing and puffing. That little snot nearly killed us! Well, not really. After all, we were only a few feet from the ground.
“What is wrong with you?!” I yelled at him, hopping up into a crouched position. “Look out below? What? Do you think that’s funny? How about a little warning next time tough guy! Huh?”
“A simple thank you will suffice,” he said as he smiled at us. He held out his hand to my sissy, and for some reason, she took it and stood up. How annoying.
“Thank you,” she said. “I’m not sure if we would have ever gotten down from there without your help.”
I huffed. We could have figured it out. Ourselves. Without him.
“You’re welcome, but you might want to watch where you’re walking. You see, this trap wasn’t for you. I was hoping it would help me catch my dinner. So before you go stomping off into my forest, just keep that in mind, will you?” His arrogance didn’t amuse me at all. Maybe someone should show him that he wasn’t all that.
“Your forest? What makes you think …” I stopped to think for a moment. “This was your trap?! You’re the reason we were in this mess to begin with!” I lunged forward, trying to tackle him to the ground, but he was faster than me.
He laughed again, and that only infuriated me more. He dusted his hands off on his pants and walked away.
“Hey, where are you going?” I called after him.
“You’re too noisy, and I’m hungry. I’m hittin’ the trails! See you later!”
“Wait! What’s your name?” Sissy asked him.
He didn’t bother to turn around and look at us. He kept walking away and shouted over his shoulder, “My name is Brandon.”
And then he was gone. Just like that.