The four teens entered the good ol' Rust Bucket.
"All right ,troop. Buckle up! We've got a two-day camp to enjoy!", said a jolly Kevin, climbing into the driver's seat.
The four teens shared the same grin.
Julie read out the check list as Ben and Gwen verified it —
"Comics, novels,…..Physics?", exclaimed Ben , whilst he rummaged the box.
"Eeeewww!", sang the boys.
"He-he ….sorry guys…couldn't help it! ", apologized Gwen.
"Anyhooo! Books,check..umm..ah! fishing equipments?"
The whole idea was Gwen's.
Gwen was talking to Grandpa Max about how the four of their lives were complicated ; all the alien –busting, and space traveling, then the transition from adolescent to adult ( they were now 16) and not to mention the studies getting tougher .Grandpa suggested that they might as well go and relax a few days and leave alien busting to him and his team of plumbers. Then Gwen had a swell idea . Camping!
Grandpa Max was kind enough to lend the Rust Bucket for two weeks ,provided that driving was done only by Kevin , who was more aware of the sophisticated technology hidden in the labyrinths of the large van.("Besides", grandpa Max added, "Don't let Ben even near the steering wheel! The kids a moron at driving!" he had laughed. He'd rather trust an ex-con, twice mutated, hot- tempered enemy-turned-friend hunk who is no relation, than trust Ben with driving !)
So now, they had 14 days of relaxation in front of them. "Ready, guys ?", yelled Kevin from the driver's seat .
"Yeah !", came the chorus and Kevin hit the road.
Ben sat in one of the seat, looking out of the window, whilst his right arm was
around Julie ,who read a book.
Gwen was also reading a book , every now-and-then watching Kevin, who was glancing at intervals ,narrow-eyed at the hero and his girl friend .
"Wow!... Its like the weather has planned itself to be pleasant for our camp, right?", smiled ,the ever-cheerful and gentle Julie.
"Yeah! Now that you mention it..", agreed Ben, "Gwen. could you-.."
"Already on it !" ,said Gwen , as her eyes glowed pink, scanning the weather.
"Its just as Julie said ! Great weather….successful camp!"
A 45min journey and Gwen suddenly yelled " WAIT !, Stop right here ,Kevin! I can feel a really comfy spot for camping ! Its got a lake and a waterfall nearby! Its even got a good clearing to sleep in !", her eyes pink again.
"That's all I need to hear !" ,said Kevin, screeching the van to a halt.
Another half an hour and everything was set.
They decided to set the food near the lake.
Kevin helped Gwen flip burgers on the portable barbeque stand. Julie was to squeeze the 10 lemons for a lemonade when-
"Aw, dang! I forgot the squeezer !", pouted the girl, shrugging at the lemons she cut in half.
"Who needs a squeezer when you've got Humungusaur's fingers ?", said Ben.
Soon enough , a cheerful Julie held the large glass jar as the large alien squished each lemon-half between his thumb and index finger, without an effort.
"Thanks!" she squealed , rewarding Ben, who turned to human , with a kiss on the cheek.
A specific amount of water and four spoons of sugar and all the teens rushed at the sound of Julie tinkling the glass jar with the spoon, to signal 'come an' get it , guys !'
Ah! What a homely scene ! Kevin felt that they were in some other world ; no tedious fighting, only kick back an' relax, each teen doing whatever they pleased.
"I'm goin' for a swim !", declared Kevin, who emerged out of the Rust Bucket,
in a pair of knee-length black shorts.
"I'm soaking up some sun !", declared Ben, wearing blue shorts , sitting on a large blanket he spread on the ground.
"Come on ,Julie, lets read and relax.", said Gwen , setting up two beach chairs. She wore a black swimsuit , a pair of black shades and a straw hat, with a book in her hand.
Julie was dressed the same ; only her dress was red, and she had no hat.
"Wow ! I feel so independent ! Even though I haven't studied for next week's test!", sighed Julie smiling.
"There's a lot you've missed ,Julie !", said Kevin, from the lake.
So the day passed slow and beautifully, the entire 24 hours just for them. They would bath in the waterfall, light campfire at night , relate stories of the younger days, and such stuff.
Oh by the way, the sleeping spots were quite peculiar. They found this clearing in the woods near the lake. This clearing was oddly circular , and even had a partition in the middle, made of bushes, like a wall.
"Perfect !", Gwen had exclaimed, "Now the boys can share the right side as your room , and the left will be for me and Julie !"
"Agreeeed..", yawned Ben and Kevin unanimously.
The third night .
Ben was unable to sleep.
He decided to leave his sleep at the mercy of the atmosphere. He listened to the night breeze, the crickets chirping relentlessly, and when he looked at the sky, he saw the large silver moon, and wispy clouds flit across it. Then for no reason, turned and looked at Kevin, who slept soundly on the sleeping bag , three arm's length away from Ben.
And he slowly drowned into a dreamless sleep.
Ben had slept for maybe an hour, when suddenly he felt a funny sensation on his left leg, below the knee, on the side.
At first it was tickly. What ever it was, it was moist and cold, it seemed to be pulling at his skin and tightening as well. Ben turned in his sleep ,moaning with confusion.
After sometime, he finally awoke in irritated disturbance. He sat up.
Fumbling in the dark, he pulled up his left leg, rolled up his pant-leg upto his knee, and peered at the tickled spot.
It took a few moments for his pupils to adjust in the dark, but once it did, his eyes went wide at what he saw. Ben paled.
"Aaaarrgghhh ! Get it off! Get it off ! Get it off !", he squealed shaking his leg. It was a good thing Gwen and Julie were far too asleep to awake, unless a bomb explosion shook!
"WHAT THE ?", exclaimed Kevin, raising himself on his elbows, scowling with a pair of sleepy brown eyes.
"Wurrghh…gyaaahhhh!", was all Ben could squeal with disgust, as he pointed to at the bare skin of Ben's leg, pale under the moonlight.