“This looks like the perfect spot Dave, what do you think?” Dave couldn’t actually hear her, as he was about 10 feet behind her, carrying the picnic basket, a jug of water, 2 lawn chairs and a giant umbrella. “Dave? Didn’t you hear what I said? What do you think of this spot?” Stumbling into the clearing, Dave dropped the stuff he was carrying except the water jug. Leaning back he took a gigantic gulp of water. Looking around and wiping the sweat off his brow, Dave said, “It looks just like the other 10 spots we’ve passed. Perfectly fine for a picnic.” Dave put down the jug of water and reached into the picnic basket, looking for a cookie.
Reaching over, Maria slapped his hand away. “If you want food, you are going to have to work for it Mister.” Groaning, Dave slipped to the ground. “We’ve already walked for 2 miles, most of it up hill. Thanks for helping me up that last hill by the way.” Maria reached for his hand, grinning, “I love it when you’re frustrated, it makes your freckles merge together.” “Thanks. Thanks a lot.” Dave said as he stretched for the lawn chairs on the ground. Finally grabbing one, he flipped it open, and dragged himself up onto it.
“Did you happen to pack anything alcoholic in that damn picnic basket of yours?” Dave asked, settling into his chair. “As a matter of fact I did.” His face lighting up, Dave reached for the picnic basket again. Slapping his hand away again, Maria motioned towards the forest. “How can you think of drinking when you’re surrounded by lush vegetation?” “If by lush you mean covered in roots to stumble over, infected with bugs to poison me and filled with animals wanting to eat me, then yes, I would rather drink.”
Maria reached in and pulled Dave up out of his comfy chair. Giving him a slight push, she ran into the rainforest. “Here we go again” Dave muttered as he gave chase. For as long as Dave had known Maria, going on 3 years now, he had never known her to make anything easy. As he gave chase, Dave pulled down tree branches and vines, attempting to mark a path so they could find their way back again.
On and on they ran, through the remote rainforest. Eventually the forest gave out and they were running through the giant rolling hills. Cattle and sheep just stared as the two of them went running past. Eventually Maria either started getting tired or was feeling sorry for Dave so she slowed down and she let him tackle her. They fell together onto the soft grassy hillside, going down in a giant ball of tickling laughter.
Their laughter was quickly brought to a halt by the ominous sound of a gun being cocked. Freezing in place, both Maria and Dave slid apart on the ground. Looking up at the man holding the gun, Dave slowly put his arms up in the air. Looking at Maria, the man said “You might make like your boyfriend unless you want to be ventilated Miss.”
Giving him a stare that would boil water, Maria slowly raised her hands as well. Backing up slightly, the man gave them both a good looking over, then slowly said “Alright. Unless you want to end up as dead as that coyote over there, I suggest you listen to me.” Both Maria and Dave turned their heads at the same time to look at the gruesome sight of a coyote mid-decomposition. “The lack of Vultures around here makes Mother Nature work a little slower than normal.”
Cautiously standing up, Dave asked, “Who the hell are you?” Grinning, the man with the gun smiled and reached into his pocket. “My name’s William Carter, but you can call me Bill. Hope you don’t mind if I smoke.” Reaching into his left breast pocket, Bill fished out a cigarette, left it dangling in his mouth while he fished around in his pocket for a lighter. Lighting it, his wrinkled face curled into a smile. “You are both smarter than I first thought. But not smart enough.”
“How are we not smart enough? We’ve managed to not get shot yet, that seems pretty smart to me.” Mariah said, raising herself up off the ground. “If you were smart enough you would have rushed me while I was getting my lighter, I was distracted and only had one hand. But before you go down that line of thinking any farther, I won’t be doing that again.”
Moving forward a little, Dave brought his hand out in front of him. “My name’s Dave Grant.” Eyeing Dave’s hand suspiciously, Bill slowly brought up his hand and shook Dave’s. “I don’t see how that matters much, but nice to meet you anyway.” As Bill’s attention was on Dave’s hand, Maria launched herself at Bill’s gun arm. Reacting quickly, Bill swung his arm up and down on Maria’s neck, knocking her down to the ground. Leaning over her, he pulled her long black hair away from her neck and stubbed out his cigarette on her neck.
Stepping away from her, he spat to the side “That’ll teach you a little respect.” Dave stepped forward, the vein in his neck bulging. “I can see you’re a fast little bugger Dave, but I bet you that my trigger finger is faster. Wanna see?” It was very obvious that Dave was fighting as hard as he could to not clobber the guy. Seething in anger, the smoke almost literally blowing out of his ears, Dave stepped back and unclenched his fist.
“That’s right Davey boy. Now you just help your girlfriend up there and we’ll be on our way.” Bill motioned with his pistol for Dave to help Mariah up. As Dave picked her up, Bill said “Now, you walk that way, and I’ll follow you. Just follow my directions and nothing bad will happen.” Dave shrugged and started walking.