Me, Will, Tessa, and Gabin went over to Gabin’s house for the night, and decided to have the bonfire we’d planned for the previous weekend. Before we could even start, Will took a small nap on the couch, and ended up just falling asleep.
First, Gav tried to make this little lopsided teepee of splinters, but that wouldn’t stay lit, we we just ended up piling a shit load of newspaper to get it started. Once the fire was nice and roaring, I tossed in some fireworks that I had gotten the previous weekend. They shot sparks and smoke in every direction, which made Tessa jump like a startled cat.
We’d been chilling around the fire for some time, when Will came out of the back door and sat with us. In his half-groggy state, he started saying like “you know what the best thing to do is? Just smash someone’s face in with a flaming piece of wood with nails in it.”
We all sat there, silently staring at the wood burning in the fire, taking in what he had just said.
“But the best thing to use is a crowbar, that’s the best way to keep hobos away from your campsite,” he added. I looked at Tessa, and she looked at me with an expression of “get a load of this guy.”
“…I think I need to go back to bed…” Will muttered, and then he left.
The next morning, Will left before we woke up, and Gavin made siracha eggs and rye toast for me and Tessa. Unfortunately, neither me nor Tessa like rye bread. I tried one bite of mine to confirm that I didn’t like it, and Tessa didn’t even touch hers. When Gavin questioned our dislike of the rye, we just bombarded him with rye rhymes one after another. I started the insanity off:
“You tell me to eat this rye, I ask you ‘why?’”
Tessa caught on and was quick to add “I cannot deny that if I eat this rye, I might just die!”
We were visibly getting to Gav, with our unending rhymes.
“If I ever said I liked rye, it would be a lie, in fact, I would probably cry.”
“Alright! Enough with the damn rye!” He shouted.
Later in the day we went for a ride in Gabin’s dad’s boat. Initially we just toured the harbor, then we docked at a Toppers Pizza. When we got off the boat to head into toppers, there was this really awkward family getting off a boat near us, and the mom was yelling at the teenage daughter. We pretended not to look at them.
It was super crowded inside of Toppers, but it was really nice. It’s probably higher class due to all the people by the docks being rich. Inside there, I used for the very first time one of those touch screen soda machines with like a million different flavors. I got cherry vanilla Coke, and Gavin and Tessa made some weird super nasty mixed drinks for each other.
After that we went out and did some donuts just outside the harbor. I think we reached about 30 knots top speed.
When it was time to come ashore, Gavin’s dad said someone had to grab the dock.
“Rob, you wanna grab the dock?” Gavin asked me.
“Sure, but you’ll have to tell me what that means,” I replied.
“Dude, just grab the dock.”
We got real close, and bumped against the dock. I climbed up on it, and turned around, wondering what came next. I noticed the boat was slowly drifting away.
“What are you doing!?” asked Gav hysterically.
“Someone throw him the rope!” Gav’s dad exclaimed.
Tessa grabbed the rope, bunched it up, and tossed it out, with the entire length of it landing in the water. Gabin had to row the boat back to the dock, and tie it up. “Why didn’t you grab the dock?” he asked.
“I not only grabbed the dock, I was literally standing on top of it, that’s about the most grabbed it could get,” I replied confidently.
We got back home, and later that evening we heard something going on over at VC, right across the street from Gab’s. We decided to go over and check out whatever it was. It turned out to be a soccer game. This was no peewee soccer game, though, it was grown men going at it. I saw one guy check another guy hockey style. Tessa was the most into it, due to her Guatemalan heritage. “Cross the ball, cross it! Come on!” she screamed.
They had some nice cheerleaders too. They wore orange and blue, with ribbons in their hair. We pointed out which ones were our favorite. I liked three brunettes that were in a triangle formation on the far right. Gavin liked a girl with long blonde hair near the middle. “Hah, Gab over there try’na get at Rapunzel,” I joked at the group.
After the game was over, we noticed this big foam platform on the far end of the field, likely used for pole vaulting. Me and Gav climbed on top of it, picked up these big foam pieces, and used them as weapons to battle each other. My piece of foam looked like an ’80s landline phone, and it was taller than me! Gavin saw Tessa trying to act inconspicuous on the field, so he grabbed a foam lance, and charged at her with it.
Suddenly, we heard this loud whistle. “HEY! Put that back!” a man called from the other side of the field.
“Yes sir!” Gavin called back. We laughed at him.
We went around to the other side of field, and lit the mini tank firework that I had gotten a week prior.
“Is it going to make a loud noise?” Gavin asked.
“Well, on the warning label, it says it rolls forward, shoots sparks, and has a loud report,” I replied.
I lit the thing and stepped back. It shot a bunch of sparks out the front and make a crackling noise.
“Is that it?” I thought.
There was a single, deafening pop. I quickly stomped on the tank to stop it doing anything else, and stuck it in my jacket pocket.
We wanted to do one last thing before the night was over, so we discussed possibilities. We recalled that Will informed us about a meteor shower that would be happening that weekend, so we decided to see if we could catch it. We looked up the cloud coverage online, and found our best option would be to travel as far northwest as possible.
The farthest we got was a beach in Carpenteria. We parked and got out. We noticed that the car parked next to us had its lights on. We were so confused.
“Is someone in there?”
“I think someone is in there.”
“Don’t you see them in the back seat there?”
“That’s not a person.”
“What if they have the lights on so they can see us coming and then mug us?”
“I guarantee you that the people that came here in that car are having sex on the beach.”
“You see that white thing over there? Is that a person?”
“Yeah I think that’s a person.”
“No way, that’s totally a trash can.”
“That’s definitely a person.”
“This is sooo sus.”
We headed toward the shore. It was now about 3AM. It was barely light enough for us to see the water advance and recede. The shore was dotted with shallow puddles, so we took care to watch our step. To our right, there were some houses, a few of which had some lights on. We saw the silhouettes of about 8 people come out of a house.
“That’s gotta be a house party!” said Gavin, “lets go join the fun!”
“Are you sure it’s a party? That didn’t look like enough people for a big house party where they wouldn’t notice us coming in,” I asked wearily.
“That’s why we bring the marshmallows, we will make everyone calm and mellow with the mallows, just like that one time with the tent.”
“If you say so.”
We went back to the car, and grabbed a bag of mallows, a Hershey bar, a blanket, a director’s chair, and my backpack full of fireworks. We walked toward the direction we saw the people coming from, but we couldn’t see anyone anymore. We couldn’t decide which house they had come from either. We decided to just hang out on the beach and light some fireworks.
We went in the opposite direction of the houses, towards a more deserted stretch of beach. We spread out the blanket on some sand. We were sandwiched between the ocean and some sand mounds, shielding us from view. I went all out and tossed almost every firework I had into the dark sand. They lit up wide stretches of the beach at a time; they were so bright, I was afraid that someone would think we were sending out SOS signals.
Two tall shadows came out from behind the mounds to our rear. By the time I saw them, they were already right next to us. I panicked at first, but it turned out they were just some chill guys camping nearby, on a road trip from LA. They asked us where they could get some fireworks like ours, and we talked about missing the meteor shower. As they were leaving, they made sure to ask us if we did blow, to which we replied “no dude.”
We laid there on the blanket on the sand for what seemed like hours. Gavin ended up falling asleep, and I kept scaring Tessa, (and myself), by asking scary hypothetical questions.
“What if we saw a person inside the lifeguard tower right there? What if the door slowly opened and someone leaned against the rail and called to us…? What would be scarier, a child with an emotionless British accent, or an old guy with a guttural Southern accent? What would frighten you more, a medium sized quadruped silhouette on the horizon, or a human silhouette with something ‘off’ about it? What if we saw like a tall guy like Slenderman on top of the dune, and then he came charging at us?”
It increased the effect that every few minutes, we kept hearing a scratching sound on the other side of the dunes. I checked it out once, but couldn’t see anything. We convinced ourselves that it was the camping guys from earlier doing something back there.
As we were listening intently, Tessa didn’t even noticed Gavin fold up his chair and start walking down the beach. When he was about 10 meters away, she finally looked over and said “where’s he going?”
“I think he’s trying to leave.”
Suddenly we heard a fierce snapping sound, like a pile of thick branches being snapped in half. Me and Tessa instantly looked at each other, confirming that we both had heard it. Not a second passed before we were both screaming “OH SHIT, OH SHIT, OH SHIT!” and scrambling in the sand to pick up the stuff.
Tessa started rolling up the blanket, I reached around on the ground to find my backpack, and the bag of marshmallows; it was hard to see in the thick darkness. My hand landed on a single, loose marshmallow. “QUICK, GRAB THIS MARSHMALLOW!” I exclaimed, and I lobbed the marshmallow at her with considerable force. It smacked her right in the face with a soft, dampened thud. The sound was irresistibly satisfying.
“What? Why would you do that!?” she asked, holding back laughter.
Soon, I had the backpack in one hand, and the bag of mallows in the other, and I was running alongside Tessa in the direction of Gabin. He was walking casually, he had no idea of the horrors that were pursuing Tessa and me.
When we were about halfway caught up to him, Tessa called out between breaths “A HOLE!” No sooner had the words left her mouth that my leg was in a knee-deep hole, and my face was in the sand. I knew that my time had likely finally come. I flailed in the sand, and managed to regain my footing. When we caught up to Gavin, I made sure to lob a marshmallow at the back of his head for good measure.
We ended up making it back the car, and back home, but the events of the night will never leave my mind… The day they almost got me.