Kris picked her way steadily through the brush, mindful of snakes, spiders, and any other creepy things she'd rather not think about. Kelly was a few steps in front of her. They hadn't spoken much since their previous altercation. Kris wasn't sure what Kelly's mood was right now, but she felt fine to be the rear guard anyway. So long as Kelly kept her informed of any reptiles heading their way. She glanced up at Kelly and watched for a few moments as Kelly doggedly kept a good pace going, seemingly in control of the situation.
Even as she then studied as many shadows and dark spaces as she could as she passed along, Kris could not have noticed that she was actually being watched, from some distance away.
"Yeah Case..it's me... the blonde and the brunette are headed down river. They're probably looking for the one that ...went for a swim..!"
He smiled an ugly smile to himself. Then listened back to the response.
He continued walking as he listened.
"Yeah, well they aint going far... I think your friend is round here someplace too...there's going to be quite a party, heh heh!"
"Okay boss... will report back in thirty minutes. Over and out." He clicked the radio off and resumed his steadfast tracking of the quarry up ahead. Not long now, girlies, not now, he thought gleefully to himself. Nothing like a bit of bitch bashing on a fine and sunny afternoon! He began to hum to himself a little. Yet as he strode on, little was he aware that he himself... was also being watched...
Kelly looked back at Kris, to see her keeping pace behind her without much problem. She paused and Kris looked up.
"What's wrong Kelly? You hear something?" Kris became a little more anxious. She wiped the hair out of her eyes and eyed Kelly, expecting some kind of more bad news.
"Kris... haven't you noticed? We've hardly said two words to each other for the last hour...I thought we'd cleared the air?" Kelly looked pained. Something had just prickled her bottom.
The helicopters engines then suddenly whirred into life and it rose like a gleaming huge canary up right before Kelly and Kris. They stood gob-smacked as it then rose right over their heads and headed off towards who knew where...the writing Tash-a clearly visible on its tail.
Kris and Kelly watched the yellow bird until it was too small in the distance.
"Well!" Kelly exclaimed, shocked.
"Oh boy!" Kris exclaimed also, still shading her eyes from the sun.
"Where the hell did that just come from?" Kelly exclaimed, putting her hands on her hips in frustration. Kris grimaced.
"I dunno Kel... but it looks like we're sitting ducks out here still... we gotta find Tiff...and we gotta find cover ... fast!"
Kelly nodded. "Yeah, let's keep moving huh? I don't want any more nasty surprises like that... I like my pants on me just the way they are!"
Kris giggled. "Hey Kel... keep yer pants on, I couldn't swallow any more hurt pride!"
Kelly turned in an answering grin. "It's okay Kris, I get the point. Now... which way...?"
"As the crow flies?" Kris shrugged, and winked at Kelly. Kelly sighed then took the lead again, following her previous chosen path.
Tiffany and Jill somewhat unsteadily kept their arms around Sabrina as they helped her along, trying to cover a little ground before nightfall.
Even if none of them had any idea whatsoever where they were going...away from the tigers right now seemed a good idea.
"Do you guys... know where we're going?" Sabrina stuttered out in a half whisper. She was not entirely confident of Jill's survival instincts in a situation like this. And the other girl...what was her name? She had no idea about her!
Jill grunted with her efforts. "No Bri, I have absolutely no idea where we're going!" Jill said in exasperation.
"I have no idea where the hell we are... what the hell we're doing here... where we just came from...or where the hell we're going! Okay?" She stopped then, and Tiffany stopped to, all three of them taking a breather. Sabrina grunted in pain.
"I need to rest...!" She gasped. Tiffany and Jill looked at each other then lowered Sabrina gently to the ground.
"Okay..." Sabrina whispered. "It's okay... Jill,... calm... down!" She muttered between breaths. Tiffany sat down beside her.
"What happened to you... Sabrina?" Tiffany asked gently. Sabrina seemed to be the only one who was carrying such injuries. None of the rest of them were.
"Ugh..." She squinted across to Tiffany, trying to take in little breaths. "I didn't want ...to go quietly... go ...figure!"
"Oh!" Tiffany then felt terrible for asking. Her heart thumped a little as she imagined what kind of thing could have taken place. Then her thoughts were interrupted as Jill flopped down next to her.
"I don't feel so good!" She complained, running a hand through her damp sweaty hair.
"Jeez, Jill..." Bri wheezed. "Now… what's...wrong?"
Jill scowled her best scowl at her friend.
"Oh gee thanks Bri! Take up all the sympathy why don't you?" She stood up again and walked over to a tree, to find some shade, then shucked herself down and rested against it, closing her eyes.
"Dammit!" Sabrina muttered under her breath. Tiffany stayed beside Bri, bewildered at this little outburst. She wasn't really sure what to do or say next. Weren't they good friends or something?
"Hey...guys... don't we like... need to stick together here?" She tried.
Sabrina grunted again and seemed to nod. Tiff cast a glance over to Jill, who now seemed to be completely ignoring both of them. Great.
Now what? Piggy in the middle. Just the way I always get it, she groaned inwardly.
"Here..." Sabrina reached out an arm to Tiffany. "Help me up, would ya?"
She gave Sabrina a doubtful look.
"I thought you wanted to rest?"
"Well now I don't!" Bri snapped. She still held her arm out and Tiffany sighed, taking it and helping a very pained Bri back to her feet. Then Bri let go.
"Thanks..." she uttered more softly, then wobbled her way across to Jill.
Jill felt her shadow fall across her eyelids and opened her eyes, looking up.
"What?" She seemed...almost hostile, Sabrina thought, alarmed.
"Hey Jill... sorry okay...?" Sabrina tried a reconciliatory gesture.
"No! It's NOT okay!" Jill snapped also. "I have to get stuck on this stinking island after losing my race cuz some Goddam idiot decided to kidnap me for God only knows WHAT reason..."
Jills temper was in full flare now. She struggled back to her feet and rounded on Sabrina.
"...then I have to put up with you being sick n' injured n' all... I try to help you, look after you, run around after you... and all I ever get is your stupid snidey comments all day..." Jill paced back and forth in front of Sabrina, letting rip now. Tiffany's mouth dropped open as she stood in shock, watching Jill launch such a tirade against a fragile Sabrina.
"... and then there's the Goddam flies, the Goddam wild animals here... there's nothing the hell to eat...!" And at this point Jill gave Sabrina a warning glare. Sabrina looked innocent and held her hands up defensively.
"... and I am so tired, I smell bad... my Goddam hair is so awful...I got a headache the size of the chip on your shoulder...!"
"JILL!" Sabrina interrupted, shouting as much as she could manage without breaking her whole ribcage.
Jill stopped pacing then and looked at Sabrina.
" I DON'T CARE!" She shouted back. Then Jill took to her heels and walked away, past Sabrina, her face flushed and sweating, her eyes flashing with anger and resentment. Sabrina tried to grab her as she passed, but Jill shook her off and hurried away, away from both of them, and disappeared into the brush. "JILL!" Tiffany called out also, and started after her.
"Don't! Leave her to cool off!" Sabrina called back. She sat down where she was, and Tiffany stood looking to where Jill had disappeared.
She bit her lip and looked back at Sabrina. Oh great! Jeez, I would rather have Kelly and Kris back any day, than these two moaning minnies! She decided sourly.
Jills head felt too hot. Her whole body felt like it was in a sauna. Which it was, in the race suit she was impractically stuffed into. She swished some branches out of the way as she stomped away from her companions, too agitated to be bothered with anyone right now.
She was way too hot, so very thirsty... and... she stopped dead. What the...?
Right in front of her, stood a very, very large lady, who had obviously heard her coming and seemed a little startled by Jills presence. Jill was more than a little startled herself.
"Hey! Now who the hell are you? What are you doing in here?" Jill demanded quickly, her temper still up. "Are you spying on us?"
The large lady smiled sickeningly. Jill really didn't like the look of that smile, and didn't like the look of the gun she withdrew from her trouser pocket either.
"Okay chicken, just take it nice and easy..." The big lady said.
"Hey..." Jill held her hands up a little. "No need for that thing! I just came in the trees to cool off a little! I don't need any trouble!" Jill glanced behind her, thoroughly annoyed, and could catch a glimpse of Tiffany and Sabrina sitting down.
"In fact, if you want trouble, lady, go and give those two some for me! I don't need them! I got nothing to do with them!" She pouted, then drew an arm across her forehead.
"Jeez I'm so hot! Hey, you got anything to drink?"
The large lady narrowed her eyes at Jill. Was this chicken for real? Didn't she have any idea what kind of trouble she was in? But then a thought struck her. Mmm, this could be useful...
"Hey, girl... sure, I gotta drink. Want one?" The large lady bent and lifted a canister that Jill hadn't seen, off the ground. Her eyes grew wide in anticipation and she hurried on over. But as she approached, she wrinkled her nose in disgust. Gah, the woman needed a shower even more badly than she did! Oh my god, what kind of a rank smell was that? She had never smelled such bad BO. But Jills thirst overrode the need to gag, and she took the proffered drink from the woman.
"Hey thanks!" Jill took a couple of swigs, then handed the drink back. It was luke warm, but oh so nice!
"Better?" The lady eyed Jill more closely. Jill nodded. The lady was still holding a gun on her. Jill looked at the woman in return. Well, she sure didn't seem the wilderness-trekking type to Jill. She looked like she would be more at home behind the counter of a patisserie! Oops Jill... now now!
"Better! But ... really...any need for ...that?" Jill looked down at the weapon, and then watched in relief as the woman smiled again, then put the gun away.
"Hey," The large lady began, "so what's your name, chicken?"
"You can call me Aggie." Aggie turned and looked back through the bushes she had been trying to see through before Jill's arrival on her little patch.
"I think we're being followed ..." She then bent and picked up a pair of binoculars from her feet. Jill wondered with a grumbling stomach if she had a food pouch stashed down there too. Maybe she should show some manners and wait...or...maybe not...she crept closer, pretending to peer through the bushes, but actually, cast her glance down, searching for more sustenance.
"Yeah," Aggie continued, briefly checking through the glasses then looking back at Jill.
"Someone's definitely coming. So... your little friends over there..." Aggie swung her head in the opposite direction, "they're not your friends any more, huh?"
Jill quickly drew her gaze back up from the ground.
"Uh...them? I..." She faltered, not knowing how to reply. She felt trapped by them somehow. A feeling of being watched by them had been growing with her for some hours now. She really wasn't sure who she trusted any more. She looked at Aggie.
"I don't trust 'em!" She said emphatically. "All I wanna do is get of this rotten island... and all they wanna do is run around looking for more trouble!"
Aggie smiled that sickening smile again. "Hey, chicken...I'll help you get out of here.. you think you could help me? Then we can both get out of here." Aggie took her gun from out of her pocket again, and Jill got nervous.
But Aggie actually gave Jill the gun.
"Here, chicken... now's your chance..."
Jills eyes widened again. "Oh hey... I don't think I can kill anybody...?" She blinked in surprise at the big woman, who seemed to want to keep referring to her as 'chicken' - even though Jill had told her, her name.
"Hey, girly, calm down! I don't want you to kill anyone! I don't want to kill anyone either!" Aggie added, trying to sound sincere.
"Oh, then what...?" Jill looked down at the pistol in her hand. It felt... good actually. She felt a little more... in control.
Aggie took her by the arm and walked with her towards Sabrina and Tiffany, yet still under cover of the trees. From where they stood, Jill
could here Tiffany muttering something to Bri, and Bri nodding in approval. There. They were talking about her! What were they saying? She couldn't make it out, but she decided it wouldn't be anything good. Her fingers tightened around the revolver. No-one was going to push her around here any more. She was getting out of here and that was that.
"No, chicken, I don't want you to kill them," Aggie cooed in her ear, "I just think me and you have been led into this trap by... " she nodded in that direction, "...them. And the others who have been following me." Jill nodded her own head in agreement. "Hey, come to think of it..."
In her own mind, Jill began to add three and three together and come up with ... not even the remotest correct answer.
So! They WERE spies! Her abductors...and now they had been keeping her close to spy and gather information! Jills anger bubbled again. Alright! Time for some action. Jill began to move forward again, but was stopped by Aggie.
"What are you doing, chicken?" There was a little mean light in Aggie's eyes but Jill chose to ignore it.
"I... what do you think I should do, Aggie?"
"Well, I think for now, we should find something to tie them up with, and wait for the others to arrive..." Aggie seemed to give the matter more thought. "Then, when they do..." Aggie smiled her putrid smile once more "...we'll have ALL our chickens in one coop!"
Jill nodded again, in a little gesture of triumph. Then she looked around for some vines. But Aggie had wandered away and seemed to be rummaging at the ground for something.
"Her girlie, over here...look what I found when I got here!" She stood up and produced some rope from nowhere in particular.
"Oh hey! Where did you find that?" Jill was far to interested in the rope itself, to worry about where it came from, actually.
Aggie tossed it over to Jill and she caught it. "Now lets go round us up those chickens!" Aggie motioned for Jill to move, and she walked slowly out of the trees, followed by her companion.
Tiffany heard the movement and looked up - then sighed with relief that Jill had returned. But then her relief turned to intrigue as she saw Jill had a gun and some rope.
"Hi...Jill...you're back!" She smiled enthusiastically. Sabrina looked up casually. But Jill didn't smile, as she approached. Then someone else came out of the trees, and now both Sabrina and Tiffany were on full alert. Tiff helped a weary Bri back to her feet.
"Jill...!" Sabrina croaked. "Who's your ..?"
"Shut up Bri!" Jill barked, ominously.
"What?" Bri felt her gut wrench. What the hell..?
The woman behind Jill drew level with Jill and smiled, folding her arms.
Tiffany looked at the large woman and felt that she should know her from somewhere...but where the heck...? But just what the heck was Jill playing at? Tiffany moved forward to talk to her but Jill then waved the gun right at her.
"Don't move! Both of you...stay right there and don't move!" Her tone was full of menace now, and both Tiffany and Sabrina could just only stand open mouthed in shock.
"Hey there chicken!" Aggie called out jovially, to Sabrina. "Enjoying the sunshine?"
Sabrina's blood froze in her veins. No! That voice... she levelled her gaze at the big woman, the one who had her ... taken down. Her heart thumped, as she realised something else too. It appeared that Aggie had somehow gotten Jill on her side.
"Jill...!" The warning in Sabrina's voice was loud and clear. "What are you doing? What are you doing with...her?"
"SHUT UP BRI!" Jill suddenly shouted, in the silent clearing. "Just SHUT THE HELL UP!"
Sabrina flinched, and so did Tiffany. This was too much.
"Hey now, want me to tie up our little girlies ...Jill?" Aggie purposefully used her name. "These are the ones that have been using you... these are the ones that had you kidnapped, you know, Jill..." Aggie almost sang, in a taunt.
"No Jill, don't listen to her! It's her! She's the one! She had me beaten! Don't you see?" Sabrina tried to get Jill to see sense.
"Oh take no notice of that chicken, Jill! She's suffering from heat stroke." Aggie purred, continuing to taunt.
"Tie them up Aggie!" Jill ordered, and locked eyes with Sabrina. Aggie took the rope and moved over towards Tiff and Sabrina menacingly. And just then, in crystallized in Tiffany's mind just who this Aggie was. She gasped in disbelief. Sabrina stared back at Jill in her own disbelief, as Jill held the gun on them without remorse.
"This is the last time you'll ever make fun of me...chicken!" Jill spat out to Sabrina.
He once was the king. The almighty emperor, his legacy unquestioned.
The threat was close! Those two feet monsters roamed his beautiful island. Something had to be done, and this weighted his colourful wings. Like never before his tribe was in immediate danger!
Armed only with his courage he was about to raise protective wings to his great beloved family.
But now, now he was... lost.
He had attacked the two feet monster with all his strength but he got sucked between its huge tentacles! Confused and breathless he had found himself lost between the loose fabric of the monsters skirt. When he regained his senses he found himself on the monsters nest. It was away, and had left a fire on. Heroically he decided to... make a run for it.
As he realised the monster would not come back, he understood that it was too scared to start a fight with him. He had to get in touch with his tribe, inform them about the danger, inform them about the victory against the evil intruder. He wondered among the trees but he found it impossible to reach a point he recognised. Then he stopped and prayed to the almighty Great Peacock for help.
And then, suddenly, a great yellow canary emerged from nowhere! It placed itself on the ground in front of his feet and opened it's beak.
And he now understood that this was a God-sent gift from the Great Peacock that made the sun rise and set every day and night.
Gracefully he placed himself inside and thanked the Almighty. He wondered if every, any of his ancestors had witnessed such glory.
Grateful his prayers had been answered, he allowed the messenger to set off.
And then a voice was heard in the ancient language that was unknown to him.
"Man, there's a damn peacock in here!"
"P-peeeee…er…mmm…" Kris muttered in her doze under a large old gnarled tree where she and Kelly had rested. Kelly was keeping watch while they took five minutes under some shade in the trees. Kelly furrowed her brow quizzically, looking at Kris's face. Kris was muttering again.
"Yellowmmm peeeek…sss…" Kris slurred. Kelly grinned, then decided it was time for them to get moving. She poked Kris in the ribs.
"Hey Kris! Wake up!" Kelly began to laugh.
"Huh? Wut?" Kris came awake with a start. "What… oh! We're still here huh!" She muttered sleepily.
"You were dreaming.."
"Something about… yellow uh…peacocks I think!" Kelly guessed, filling in Kris's blanks. She laughed again, then got up.
"Come on Kris, we gotta get going."
But Kris remained seated for a moment as the dream filtered back into her consciousness. Oh you have got to be kidding me… she uttered inwardly, as vivid images of colourful birds with huge tail feathers shimmered in her mind. And the … helicopter was…a WHAT?
"Oh for crying out loud!" Kris groaned loudly, then got to her feet.
"What, Kris? What is it?" Kelly was immediately concerned.
Kris began to mutter to herself.
"Gotta get outa here, just gotta get outta here…"
Kelly put her arms out onto Kris's shoulders.
"Hey Kris! Take it easy!"
"Don't tell me to take it easy!" Kris burst out suddenly. She shook Kelly off and began to pace in front of her.
"I can't stand another minute in this God forsaken place! I can't stand it anymore! " Kris began to rant.
"Goddam kidnapped? Left on a Godforsaken island with Goddam peacocks and lions and tigers and bears…oh … my?" Kris spouted sarcastically at Kelly.
"That's what?" A very bewildered Kelly asked, shaking her head.
"I'm so outta here!" Kris began to walk off but Kelly reached out and caught her by the sleeve.
"Hey Kris! Don't you walk away! We still gotta go find Tiffany!"
"Don't you Tiffany me!" Kris replied flippantly. "She can go make friends with her hemispherical PEACOCKS for all I care!" And Kris shook Kelly off and headed away, not even knowing where, she was just so mad at herself.
Kelly sighed, and trundled after her upset friend. Hen-hysterical peacocks? She wondered futilely, as she followed and hurried to catch up.