Drip . . . Drip . . . Drip . . .
"DDDDDDDDDooooooooo . . . yyyyooooouuuu think it is safe to go out?" Willie asked his friends, Jack and Calvin. Hiding in darkness, Willie was lying on his stomach on a cold, damp, rock floor.
"Ssssssshhhhhhh," whispered Calvin, stuck between his rotund friend and a rock wall. "It still might be out there."
"But, I haven't seen it in a while, and I am hungry."
"Why are you thinking about food at a time like this?" Jack questioned, as he elbowed Willie. "You just had a snack when we were at the lake."
"Well, how long do we have to wait here?" Willie asked impatiently.
Tired of being squished by Willie, Calvin suggests, "Maybe one of us should take a peek to see if it is still out there?"
"I'll take a look," Jack whispered as he crawled forward on his stomach. Slowly, he inched forward. Finally, his red Phillies cap, with brown hair poking out underneath, emerged from the cave like a turtle's head poking out of his shell. Intently, he looked left. Seeing nothing unusual, he rotated his head to the right. He still saw nothing unusual in the woods. Or is there? What is moving over there? His head freezes. Jack holds his breath. He looks closely. A bush rustles. A squirrel emerges and climbs a nearby tree. He sighed in relief. He continued looking to the right. Nothing. His eyes scan back to the left. Still nothing.
Cautiously, he climbed out of the cave. Kneeling, he looks from his left to his right. Still nothing. With his right hand, he waives for his companions to come out of hiding. "I think the coast is clear. I don't see anything."
Calvin and Willie breathlessly watched Jack emerge from the cave and waved for them to join him. Willie exhaled. Calvin moved forward first and climbed out, followed by Willie. They stood together. It felt good to stretch after being cramped in darkness, for what felt like hours.
As they stood, Jack looked at his friends, Calvin in a muddy Star Wars t-shift and Willie in a mud covered Pepsi t-shirt, "You guys look terrible."
"You don't look so good either." Looking at his shirt, Calvin continued, "My mom is going to kill me."
Willie chimed in, "My mom expects me to be dirty."
Jack pulls at his muddy red Phillies shirt, "My grandmother will just think that I am in trouble again. Now that it looks safe, what should we do now?"
Jack and Willie looked at Calvin for the answer. "Let's go back to the lake and get our bikes."
"Follow me," Jack said as walked on a narrow path down a hill. Calvin followed as Willie trailed behind. Trees and brush surrounded them as they walked. Jack and Calvin kept looking around to be sure it was safe. After a few minutes, Willie started to sing. Calvin elbowed him, "Sssssshhhhhhhh." Jack turned and glared at him.
They walked in silence.
Suddenly, Jack threw out his right arm, stopped sharply, and whispered, "Stop." Calvin collided into Jack, dislodging his hat.
Willie dove to his right and crawled under some brush.