Chapter 25

"Good morning Shane"


The scene Alex woke up to after Shane had said he would take over for awhile and then had fallen asleep himself without waking Alex back up went something like this: Nick had climbed up the tree to Shane's branch and shoved him off. Shane, being tied to the tree, was now upside down. Nick took advantage of this to drop down to the branch below Shane's so that they were at eye level. Shane was still yelling and going crazy until Nick gagged him with a sock. Shane tried to pull it out but Nick had a rope and was already tying Shane's arms and legs together. Once that was done, Nick took another coil of rope off his shoulders and tied it around Shane's waste while he squirmed. Nick looped the new rope tied around Shane's waste over the branch above, then, while grasping the new rope tightly with one hand, he drew his katana and cut the old one holding Shane in the tree. Shane fell three feet then stopped. Nick slowly lowered him down, Shane kicking and wiggling the whole way. Nick stopped Shane's descent down the tree at about five feet from the ground then tied the rope to another branch. Nick turned toward Alex as he dusted off his hands.

"Wasup?" Alex said with a yawn.

"Nuthin much" Nick replied.

"Ah" Alex said "same here"

"Well" Nick turned away "see ya"

"Hey, wait up" Alex said as Nick started down the tree.

In just a short bit they were at the bottom of the tree next to Shane.

"Mmmmmmfffffff!" Shane's cries were muffled through the sock. Nick just smiled and walked away, Alex followed.

"Is this normal?" Alex asked.

"Ya" Nick said "pretty much"

Nick and Alex crossed the clearing to camp in silence. When they arrived Alex found out that everyone else was still asleep. Nick walked over to James and leaned down to tap his shoulder. Nothing happened. Nick tapped again. This time James stirred and woke up.

"What's going on?" James asked sleepily.

"Shane's gonna be a little bit late for today's breakfast is all" Nick said "nothing important"

"Oh" James smiled "payback?"

"Yup" Nick frowned "took hours to get back to sleep"

"And Austin?" Alex asked.

Nick was about to say something but James interrupted.

"I'll take care of that" James said.

Nick went around waking the others up while James got ready for the day and Alex walked over to his backpack. It was stuffed, even with half its contents on the ground. Alex was just then considering purchasing a new one when he saw the two crystals he and Jack had found. He looked over at Sparky who was still half asleep.

"Heads up!" Alex shouted.

Sparky's hands flew up to as best a combat stance as a half asleep person can muster. Alex tossed the crystals toward her which she barely saw in time to catch. She did, however, only catch one. The other hit Paris's head as he sat up in the sleeping bag next to Sparky's.

"What's for breakfast- ow!" was Paris's words exactly.

"What's this?" Sparky said. Then, realizing what they were, she added: "ooooooo, thanks"

"No thanks" Paris said laying back down.

Austin had walked up and turned Alex around. He looked puzzled.

"Where's Shane?" Austin asked.

"I dunno, probably up in a tree or sumthin" it was halfway true at least.

"Yo, Alex" Jack said "what are we doing today?"

Alex thought for a moment. "We should probably wash our clothes, I'm wearing my last pair"

"I don't feel like it today" Jack mumbled.


"Cuz" Jack said "we're about to go fight the toughest person in the world in three days, laundry just doesn't sound interesting compared to that"

"Well" Alex considered his options "we could pay somebody to do it for us"

"Like who?" Jack asked.

"Like somebody in that town over there" Alex pointed.

"Weren't you there day before yesterday?" Jack tried to remember.

"Ya" Alex answered.

"Oooooo" Jack exclaimed "or we could beat up a Bully and have him do it"

"No" Alex said "that wouldn't be protecting anyone"

"It'd protect us from laundry duty"

"Real funny dude"

"What're ya'll talking about?" Paris had walked over.

"Laundry" Alex said "and how to avoid washing it"

"Well" Paris said "there's a lady in town that does it for us… for a small fee"

"See!" Alex pointed at Jack "told you!"

"Whatever" Jack busied himself with breakfast.

"We're all out of money though" Paris said grimly.

"What's ours is yours" Alex said.

"Thanks" Paris's face lit up "what do ya'll got?"

"Nuthin" Alex said.

Paris frowned. "Wow, that's really helpful"

"Ya" Alex smiled "I know"

James walked by. "I'm gonna get some water, be right back"

"Where's the water?" Jack asked.

"There's a lil stream back here in the woods" James said.

"Lemme come I'm thirsty" Jack said "I'll help you carry it back to be boiled"

"Sounds good" James said and walked off with Jack.

"So" Alex said "wanna go get the lady to wash our clothes?"

"We have no money" Paris said.

"But Bullies do" Alex said.

"Ah" Paris said "I like the way you think"

"I don't!" Shane was back.

"Hi Shane" Alex said "how was your morning?"

"Not good" Shane whimpered "jeez dude, I got rope burn everywhere!"

"Wanna help us get our clothes to not smell like week old waste product?" Alex grinned.

"Sure" Shane said "so long as I'm away from Nick for awhile"

"Hi Shane" Nick said from two feet behind him.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!" Shane ran off into the woods.

"Meet us in town!" Alex yelled after him.

"Got it!" Shane yelled back "Aaaaaaaaaagh!" Nick almost got him.

"He's retarded" Paris said.

"It can't be that bad" Alex replied.

"I honestly can't tell" Sparky said.

Alex and Paris laughed.

"While ya'll are out" Sparky said "get everyone's clothes done"

"Sure" Alex said.

"Dangit" Paris said.

After collecting everyone else's dirty laundry and packing it into two backpacks, Paris and Alex left down the road to town.

"This is a well used road" Alex observed.


"So" Alex explained "this is where we'll get our money"