Originally intended this chapter to be the last, but it didn't work out that way. Thanks to The Spectacular SpiderDom, Katniss15 and the guest for reviewing. Apologies to all who hate cliffhangers.
Lucy came awake with a start several hours after sunup, still surrounded by the African jungle. It had been a whole day since she and Zac had been separated from Michael and Ash, and the two had just spent a very miserable and wet night huddled up to each other for warmth, which neither had enjoyed.
Add to that the fact that the teenagers had bickered and quarreled the whole night long, and Lucy was wishing she could sleep in a whole lot longer. Alone.
Speaking of which, where is that idiot I've been stuck with, she wondered as she stretched and yawned before looking around. Zac, at that moment, had just finished taking a drink from the river.
"I've had my dip," he said noticing her awake. "I'll just head into the trees while you take yours."
"Don't bother," Lucy got up. "If I freshen up, I'll be forced to focus on my hunger again. Any ideas on what to eat?"
"Some monkeys passed by earlier, I tried to shoot one but the gun was wet. So I tossed it into the river," Zac delivered deadpan.
Lucy wasn't tired anymore, she checked her hip, and sure enough the gun was gone. In a red rage, she flew up to her nemesis.
"I could've used that," she roared.
"I figured it would be too forward to ask you not use it on me," he replied nonchalantly.
Lucy opened her mouth and raised her finger to retort, then realized he was right. "Still, surely you didn't think I would appreciate it," she finally growled.
"My dear, if you had, I would never ever forgive myself," Zac bowed theatrically, putting on an melodramatic tone. Then he chuckled before backing away from Lucy's pulled back fist.
"You wouldn't hit a coward now, would you?" he raised his hand to stop her as he began to run.
Lucy considered the statement, and decided that hitting him would be below her. So she kicked him instead.
"OOOWWW! I think I should've gone with the punch," Zac wheezed.
"If you say so," Lucy smiled in an obliging way.
Zac and Lucy were quite weary as they trudged upstream, hoping to meet Michael and Ash going the other way. Their exhaustion was in no small part due to the whupping they'd given each other a few minutes previous, Lucy having learned the hard way that Zac possessed a knowledge of martial arts to rival hers.
For a while, nothing of note happened, then there was a great deal of rustling from the bushes. A moment later, a large group of natives rushed out, one of them yelling something to the pair as they ran by.
"Do you understand what he just said?" Zac asked when they were gone. Then a thought occurred to him. "Hey, we should follow them."
Lucy shook her head. "He was saying something along the lines of 'beware'. They probably saw Ash," she theorized. Neither had the energy left to fight over this, so they continued on in the direction the group had been running from.
They hadn't been walking for long when they heard something even bigger crashing through the undergrowth towards them. "Um, that doesn't sound like Ash..." Zac trailed off.
An elephant - scratch that - a herd of elephants, burst through the trees charging towards them. They were snorting and stamping in fury and foaming at the trunks.
With suddenly lightning quick reflexes, Lucy jumped onto a tree to leap onto one of the elephants. Landing squarely on its back, she was just breathing a sigh of relief when another elephant tossed Zac into the air and onto her.
"Get off me," she shoved at him, sending them both tumbling towards the ground. Fortunately, they landed in a bunch of vines and instead of being trampled to death, they were knocked spinning into the air, the vines lashing them to one of the branches.
After the stampede had passed, the pair struggled to escape, but found that they were simply tangled together too tightly.
"I have come to an extremely important conclusion," Zac announced as the sun began to set on their growling stomachs.
"And what, pray tell, is that?" Lucy narrowed her eyes suspiciously.
"We're gonna die."
At that moment, a horde of gorillas descended on their particular tree. Fascinated and angered by the strange new creatures in their territory, they untied the duo, who dropped into a bush.
The head gorilla jumped down in front of them, looking quite displeased.
"That may not be a bad thing though," Zac mused. "Do you suppose they have anything to eat in the afterlife?"
Ciao for now.