Chapter 5

"Hey you wanna do something?" Jesse asked.

"Uh, sure, what do you have in mind?" Megan wondered.

Then Jesse suggested an idea. "How about you guys and your family come with us on a hike to the top of the mountain? It's supposed to be a great scene from above."

"Sure, sounds good." Megan smiled and the Parkers followed Jesse into his trailer.

When they walked in, they found Annie coloring in her notepad. Drake took a seat next to her while Megan just pondered around. Jesse sat on the small chair just waiting.

"So, what's this picture of?" Drake tried to switch on his friendly to kids charm.

"Oh, my math teacher, she's getting eaten by a shark."

"Wow, you must hate your math teacher." Drake laughed.

"Yep. I wish she just dropped dead."

"You have a pleasant thought for a nine year old." Drake said, "I probably hate my English teacher more than you hate your math teacher. She thought I parked her car in her classroom!"

"Wow, sounds like a lunatic."

"She is. I hate Mrs. Hayfer so much!"

Then Audrey and Walter walked in followed by Josh and Jesse's parents. "So this is our trailer, and here are your kids."

"Thank you very much Cindy, William." Audrey frowned at Megan and Drake when Jesse's parents left the trailer.

"Why did you just run away from us like that?" Audrey asked in anger.

"We met someone. Mom, this is Jesse."

Audrey smiled at Jesse and shook his hand. "Sorry for all of the commotion. I'm just worried about my kids' whereabouts. So your mother mentioned some hiking path up Mount Toleca. Should we go now? I filled up water bottles."

"Well, yeah, come on let's go, do you all have sneakers on?" Jesse said. He picked up Annie and everyone walked out of the trailer.

"So you're comin?" Cindy asked.

The Parkers and Nichols nodded in response.

"Jess, why don't we split up, you guys take the Forest trail, and we'll take the River trail. We'll catch up later at the top of the mountain." William said.

"Sure, should I take Drake, Josh, and Megan with me?"

"Yeah, bring Annie too."

"Aww man, she'll make us carry her."

"Is there a problem with that Jess?" Cindy asked.

"Well, she's nine, old enough to walk herself."

"I'll give her a piggy back ride." Drake said as he lifted Annie up on his back.

"Do you have a map?" Audrey asked Josh.

"Don't worry, we have it all. See you later." Josh said as they both split up in different directions.

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It was getting dark and Josh was in front with Drake while Annie, Megan, and Jesse tagged along.

"I'm tired Jesse. Can we stop here please?" Annie begged.

"Sure." Jesse huffed in the cold air.

"Where are we Josh?" Drake solicited.

"I think we might be lost. This is not good." Josh worried.

"It's getting dark… this is really bad. They're probably already at the top of the mountain worrying about us." Megan said.

"Shoot!" Drake yelled.

"I guess if we can't find our way, we'll have to sleep here. I brought some trail mix, and some blankets. Does anyone need water?" Josh asked.

"What was that?" Megan said sternly when she heard a rustle in the grass.

"I…I don't… know." Annie shivered in fright. "Jesse, I'm scared."

"It's coming from that bush." Josh whispered. "Here take this stick."

Josh handed over a large hiking stick to Jesse who carefully approached the bush.

"Shhh… I think it's a coyote."

"We should get out of here." Drake mumbled. He took off running and Jesse, Megan, Annie, and Josh followed him.

Just as they felt far away enough from the coyote, Megan tripped over a log and cried out in pain.

"Help me! I think I twisted my ankle!" Megan yelled.

Jesse lifted her up with all his strength and sat her on top of the log.

"Here, let me see it." He took off Megan's shoes and socks and massaged her ankle and foot. "Does this hurt?" He pressed hard. "Yes! Stop!" Megan began to cry. "God that hurts!"

Just then, Drake ran over and in concern hollered, "What happened? Megan, are you okay?"

"I think I twisted my ankle. What are we gonna do? I can barely walk." Megan looked irritated.