Yoko’s pounding footsteps broke the natural balance of the forest, giving the earth below an artificial heartbeat. Had he lost it? Leaves blurred by in a spectrum of color as his pale, wiry frame dodged a path through the foliage on instinct. Not aware of anything except for the singular, vital need to survive. It was an all too familiar state.
White hair streamed behind him in a long flow, dirty and littered with bits of plan. The simple look he wanted to take and be sure that he was no longer being hunted was too great of a risk. If his eyes weren’t forward he could find himself in even more danger.
Ragged breathing hitched when his arm brushed against a spongy tree limb, misjudging his proximity to it when he subconsciously gave a, much more, dangerous plant a wide berth.
The raw and punctured skin on his forearm was the reason he was in this situation. How both Lavien and he missed the little floating Plodo frog before they were practically on top of it, was now just a painful mystery. The ballooned creature had exploded as soon as Yoko disturbed it’s flight, sending it’s small spines into the arm he had raised to shield his face. A highly effective defense mechanism for such a small creature, used to protect the marshy territories they called home from the hordes of other creatures that were larger than them.
They were just lucky there had been only one. Hundreds of the amphibians would converge in the same location, and there was no escaping the destructive cloud those little bodies could produce. But still, the unexpected attack caused far more damage than the single death of a Plodo frog typically would. The pained cry that was forced passed Yoko’s chapped lips was an unnatural sound on the land of only lizards and plants.
It was that sound that led the nearby Archos to them.
Joshua swung open the creaky closet door, digging for an old pair of sneakers, left over from his high school days. His wife had asked if he ‘really’ needed them a week prior and he only now remembered the conversation. He found the shoes, but his eye were drawn to his old skateboard. Man, he couldn’t remember the last time he used it, but the memories that surfaced from the depths of his life brought a smile to his face.
Maybe he would take it out again, just around the block. The school kids around the neighborhood would probably laugh at him, but he didn’t care. One more journey for old times sake; that is what he would call it. He sat in the foyer, nodding like a bobble head doll to his wife’s questions on the appearance of an old love. He told her never to mind, he was just going to go out for a little bit.
Sneakers squeaked on the polished floor as they waited for the bodies to thin out. One by one being called forward from the line of scrutiny. Until only five remained. The same five as last time… and the time before that.
Knuckles rapped on a clipboard. “Well boys,” the graying teacher stated. “Looks like you five are a team… again. Feels just like High school ‘all’ over again, huh?”
The four divided teams were given different color jerseys and a shiny new ball before heading to their designated courts.
Neck muscles strained to look his, much taller, opponent in the eyes. Rion was not surprised by the overconfident smirk he found. As the coach pointed out, nothing had changed.
“You shrimps ready to get you’re asses handed to you?”
The events that played on the monitors were numerous. Some… good deeds. Some… definitely not so good. And a few had Rommy wondering what had become of humans throughout the years. But, with his plain black coffee mug set in its normal spot, the man leaned back in the reclining chair, ready to start his evening of ‘people watching’.
His job was to spot anything out of the norm and warn those who would take care of it. A duty suited for a security guard getting up in his years. The younger guards could have dirty work. He had paid his dues after thirty-two years, his special order chair had been ‘earned’.
Now his working evenings were spent in front of three monitors, watching the events on each as if they were his own TV channels.