by Joe Solmo
“Becky, where the hell are we?” Janice asked trying to peer out of the rain-coated windshield. The downpour was almost too much for the wipers on the ’67 Camaro to handle, even on the fastest setting.
Janice turned the old AM/FM radio down, silencing The Cure’s Friday I’m in Love. She gripped the handle on the door as the classic muscle car traveled down the dirt road that led seemingly nowhere. “Easy! If you get a scratch on this car your dad is going to kill you. I still don’t know why we couldn’t just go to the lake like we normally do,” Janice said scooching her butt on the recently redone black leather seats.
“You don’t have to tell me, I remember when I dropped my ice cream in his ’50 Chevy. I couldn’t sit for a week,” she replied. “Last time at the lake was too close. Out here no one will see us.”
“I still don’t know why you think we should hide it. We are happy together, that is all that should matter,” Janice said placing her hand on Becky’s shoulder. “I think my parents would understand.”
“Maybe yours would, but my father sure wouldn’t. To him I am still daddy’s little girl who should wear pink and like horses and boys. It’s only for another few months, then we graduate and we can leave this tiny town and start over in a new city. Did you hear back from any of the schools you applied too yet?” Becky asked as she navigated the car down the old logging trail. Years of misuse has let some of the underbrush grow back and come close to scraping the custom paint job on her father’s prize possession.
“How much further is it?” Janice said adjusting her seatbelt that cut across her large breasts. She tucked the cross strap behind her for comfort.
“It’s been like ten years since I’ve been here. But I don’t think it’s much further. You remember Veronica? Her mom brought us hear hiking once in the girl scouts. There are traces of Native American painting and shit on the walls in the caves. It will be a cool place for us to be alone,” Becky said.
“Really alone,” Janice said planting a kiss on Becky’s neck. Beck slammed on the brakes bringing the car to a halt. “What’s wrong? Don’t you like my kisses anymore?” Janice said playfully.
“It’s not that. We are here. Well it’s on foot from here, anyway,” Becky said.
“We have to walk in this shit?” Janice said looking down at the peep toe heels she was wearing. “You didn’t tell me we would have to walk in the mud to get there.”
“I got it covered. Don’t worry, Becky said and reached into the back seat. Her breasts nearly escaped her tube top, exciting Janice. A backpack materialized in her hands and she placed it between them. She drew an old pair of sneakers and socks out of the bag. They shared a shoe size, something they had learned in junior high. They began to wear each other’s clothes shortly after and soon they found they had feelings for each other. Being from such a small town, they knew no one would understand so they kept it quit, pretending to just be best friends, but they were so much more.
Janice still remembered the first time they kissed. It was just a dare. They were still hiding their feelings for each other at that point, but as soon as their lips touched, Janice’s heart skipped a beat, and it hasn’t caught up since. Becky was her whole life, her reason for getting out of bed every day and she couldn’t wait until they could tell the world. Until she could wake next to her soulmate every single day.
“What would I do without you?” Janice asked, and actually meant it.
“Probably chase after Justine. She has bigger boobs than me,” Becky joked squeezing her own breasts.
“You know it’s more than just physical, right,” Justine said. She was always afraid that was what Becky thought. She was never good at expressing herself and sometimes a quip, usually about sex, was how it came out.
“I know, babe. Now change those shoes so that we can get going,” Becky said and killed the engine. She put the keys in a small pouch on the front of the blue backpack.
“What else do you have in there?” Janice asked as she tied the sneakers.
“A surprise for us,” she said and reached into the backseat again. This time Becky pulled out two cheap plastic rain ponchos and a flashlight. The rain was coming down so hard it made the forest look like night had fallen already even though dusk wasn’t for a few more hours yet.
Janice opened the door and hopped out, nearly falling onto the muddy forest floor. A slight scream from the other side of the car let her know Becky wasn’t having an easier time of it. She ran around the front of the car in the driving rain. “Where to, my love?” Janice said over the sound of the rain pounding on the metal of the car.
Becky pointed towards a gate and headed towards it. She didn’t have a key for it, but it was the woods, you could just walk around. She hoped once they got into the woods, the trees would protect her from the rain, but the rain proved too much for the leaves above. She was glad she put the backpack on before the poncho.
Janice caught up to her and slipped a wet hand into her own. With a squeeze she led her forbidden lover into the forest based on a ten-year-old memory.
“It really isn’t that far from here, maybe twenty minutes,” Becky said. “There is a big rock that looks like a big ass. Once we see that, we are close.”
“Figured you would like a big ass!” Janice said.
“I like your ass just the way it is. Come on, the faster we get there the faster we can get dry,” Becky said.
“Odd way to phrase what we have planned,” Janice joked.
“Ha-ha, babe,” Becky replied and climbed over a fallen pine. She helped Janice over the slick bark. The cold of the rain was starting to settle in as they hiked the path, and their conversation came to a halt shortly after. The next few minutes went on in silence until they reached a stream that crossed the path. A worn plank of wood crossed it, worn with age and weather. It looked sketchy if the plank would hold for their crossing.
“Ok I really remember this. We are almost there. The ass rock should be just up there. We could probably see it from here if the goddamn rain would let up,” Becky said.
Motion. There was definitely motion. What would be out in this weather? Even the deer have holed up somewhere, it thought. It put out a furry paw farther onto the thin branch and moved closer for a better view. It looked down on the two shapes as they passed below. A bright yellow, he couldn’t place it, but the sounds they made sparked a memory. It took a few minutes for its sluggish brain to access the right path. Hibernation will do that. It did remember a time, last hunting season where it came across these monsters. It cocked its head and watched as they walked towards the natural cave system it called home. It jumped from limb to limb, racing the strange bipedal creatures back to its lair.
“Here’s ass rock, just like I said,” Becky said. I wish I brought Dad’s polaroid too. Could have gotten a picture with it,” she joked.
“Didn’t he just get that? He probably wouldn’t have let you take it anyway,” Janice said from beside her.
“Yeah, your right. If I remember there was a bunch of evergreens…Oh there they are. We are here!” Becky said excitedly and took off for the trees.
“Wait!” Janice said and chased after her. There was a moment of panic when she lost sight of Becky, but all was well when she peeked out of the branches of the young pines. Now she could see behind them was a rock wall, about twenty feet tall. Becky was peeking out from a hole in those rocks. Together they left the rain for the shelter of the cave.
Becky’s flashlight came to life, illuminating the stone walls of the cave. It seemed that a tunnel continued back into the ground. On the ground was the ancient remains of a fire pit, Janice noticed as she shed the poncho. “Now what?” She asked.
“Now we get a fire going, and get dry,” Becky said pulling some wood and paper from the backpack.
“Oh, you’re trying to appeal to the pyro in me, aren’t you?” Janice said pulling her lighter out of her pocket and doing a few test flicks to make sure it still worked.
“I know you so well,” Becky said and took Janice in her arms. She kissed her, feeling the coldness of her lips from traveling through the woods.
“Inside and out,” Janice responded in a whisper, then shivered.
“Let’s heat this place up,” Becky said and grabbed the lighter from her friend. In a moment the cave was light by the orange light of the fire she created. She looked around the wall for the paintings she remembered as a kid, but didn’t see them. She did see some asshole had spray-painted “Jack was here,” though. She sighed. People just like to ruin stuff. Nothing was going to ruin this trip though. Their time was too precious together to waste.
Becky sat down next to Janice and held her hand. She was glad the warmth was coming back to her lover. She leaned in for a kiss. A moment passed and the two started to forget about the world around them and the only thing that mattered was them, this moment, the feelings they had for each other.
Becky felt Janice’s hand slide up her leg and over her zipper, making her hold her breath in anticipation of the carnal pleasures she was expecting. It wasn’t long until Janice undid the button and zipper and slid her slender fingers between cloth and flesh.
Becky moaned as Janice kissed her neck, her lips no longer could as they were engorged with blood flow in the heat of the moment. She returned the neck kisses to Janice, kissing towards her immense cleavage. She could feel her breasts pressed up against her and she wanted nothing more than to feel them slide down her own chest as her lover kissed lower and lower and….
It scuttled out of the rain, shaking its furry body to shed the water as it’s large eyes adjusted. It cocked it head and turned its ears towards the strange sounds it heard from within. The firelight made it wary to get closer, but after closer inspection it realized the two creatures were preoccupied. It scurried from shadow to shadow as it crossed the largest chamber of this branch of tunnel. It made it unnoticed and disappeared down the tunnel.
“Janice?” Becky whispered.
“Yeah Becky?” Janice replied as she turned in her lover’s arms, placing her face on Becky’s breast and looking up into her beautiful blue eyes.
“I think I might just love you,” she said.
“You just figure that out?” Janice asked as she sat up and looked around for her shirt.
“Yeah. I mean I wasn’t sure until you just rocked my world,” Becky said with a smile and put two more small logs on the fire. They wouldn’t have enough wood for much longer, but the romantic fire served its purpose, Becky thought.
“Well I’m glad I could help. You know, part of the team,” Janice said as she slipped her shirt over her head. Just then there was a mewling sound, they both froze.
“Did you hear that?” Janice asked.
“Yeah, what was it?” Becky asked.
“I don’t know, you were the goddamn girl scout,” Janice said placing a cigarette in her mouth, she lit it and took a long puff. “Did it come from farther in the cave?”
“Well it wasn’t one of us!” Becky retorted and grabbed the flashlight, shining it down the tunnel that lead to farther in the earth. Two eyes light up in the beam.
“What the fuck is that?” Janice asked.
“I don’t know,” Becky said backing up and slipping her bare feet into her shoes.
“Is it a bear?” Janice said taking another drag off of her cigarette.
“It’s like a foot off the ground,” Becky said gaining enough courage to take a few steps closer.
“Well maybe a baby bear, like a cub or whatever,” Janice said.
“I don’t think so,” Becky said and crouched down. “It’s ok. You can come out here, we won’t hurt you,” she said to the pair of unblinking eyes watching them.
Soon the eyes were joined by another pair, and then two more. The mewling sound was getting louder and a more frequent. The first pair of eyes moved closer and Becky could finally see the creature that belonged to those eyes.
“I…I have no idea what it is. Well besides cute,” she said going to her knees. She set the flashlight down on the stone floor of the cave and patted her thighs. “It’s ok. Come on.”
“Are you sure it’s a good idea to call to it?” Janice asked and crouched next to her lover. Aren’t wild animals dangerous.
“Well look at it. Does it look dangerous?” Becky asked as she looked at the creature now ten feet away. It’s brown and white striped fur illuminated in the flashlight. It’s big green eyes made it looked like a toy more than a creature.
“It kind of looks like one of those red pandas,” Janice said in a whisper that was full of wonder.
“Yeah, I guess so,” Becky replied and then held her breath as the creature came closer. The other ones were moving a little closer too. That dark spot around his mouth kind of looks like George Michael. I’m going to call him George. Come here George,” Becky called out. She held her hand out to the creature.
It moved close enough for Becky to feel it’s whiskers scrape across her fingers. It rubbed it’s face against her hand and it felt so soft. Then it mewled again. The others behind it, mewled in response.
“Are you ok, Becky?” Janice asked.
“Yes. This is awesome.”
The first one mewled again, this time the others harmonized with the first, and they all mewled together.
“So cute. They remind me of those things in that movie that we went to see when we were ten. The things that turn into gremlins,” Becky said and slowly moved her hand to pet the creature. “It’s ok George, don’t be afraid.”
“Mongos?” Janice asked.
“Mogwais! What the hell is a mongo? Isn’t that the guy from Blazing Saddles?” Becky asked and they both began to laugh.
“Oh yeah, ha-ha!” Janice said and put her cigarette out on the cold stone ground. She put her hand on Becky’s shoulder. From this angle she watched as her lover picked the animal up and clutched it to her chest.
“It’s ok George, see,” she said and petted it. It’s mewling grew a higher in pitch, the other creatures matched the key change. “See, Janice, he likes it.”
Janice’s lips parted in a smile and she placed her chin on Becky’s shoulder. “It is really cute. I wonder how many there are in the cave.”
“Ouch,” Becky said and took her hand off of George’s back. It had blood on it. “What the hell cut me?” she asked. Suddenly all the mewling stopped and every creature began to sniff the air. With almost twice the volume as the mewling the creature in her lap screeched showing a row of sharp teeth. Becky backed her head up in confusion, wondering what she did to upset George.
Suddenly spikes shot out of the fur on its back, sides, and forehead. The sharp protrusions easily penetrated Becky’s soft flesh. As she fell limp into her lover’s confused arms she watched as a tide of these animals charged from the darkness, each bearing the same type of teeth that she now felt biting into her legs.
Janice pulled away in horror, looking into the lifeless eyes of her lover, as the creatures devoured her flesh. Her worst fear came true, she was going to be alone for the rest of her life. But at least that wasn’t going to be long…
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