And the adventure’s back! I feel like a talk show host sometimes. And here we have the adventure stories involving multiple endings and dangerous perils. Choose wisely, for there be dragons beyond them there boarders.
Okay, sorry, had to get a bit of shenanigans out of my system, but seriously, this piece was fun and random to write. Hope you enjoy =)
Today’s the day you’ve been working toward for months. Although the sky hangs overcast and the morning holds a gloomy gray in the air, you walk down the boardwalk with your shoulders back and your head high because, in your hand, you’re holding your final payment from the Sheriff.
You caught your last bounty that morning. Months you’ve tracked down criminals, with one goal in mind, to buy the chunk of land for sale on the far side of town. On it you plan to build your new home and work a small field and produce just enough to trade for anything else you might ever need. You never have to track down another person or haul them in for payment. No more wandering for you.
The money clinks softly in your pocket and you close you fingers around the coins to keep them from making any more sound. No need to announce your good fortune.
The bank’s just opened when you arrive and you step through the door with a barely controlled smile.
The door’s swinging shut when you hear it. SPLAT.
You pause mid step. With the door now closed, the sound’s softer, but you still hear the repeated. Splat, splatsplat, splat, splatsplatsplat…
You back step and crack the door open with a shoulder blade. And SPLAT, against your face.
You give an ‘ugh’ and quickly step forward again to let the door close.
“Did you know,” you announce to the three bank tellers on the far side of the room, “that it’s raining frogs.”
They look up and their identical looks of skepticism could make them triplets.
“Just saying,” you shrug and approach the right hand teller. You pull the Sheriff’s payment from your pocket as you move and say, “Deposit for my account,” like raining frogs isn’t anything unusual.
The woman doesn’t look down at the coins you place on the counter. She points, “You’ve got a bit of, um, slime, on your face.”
“Oh,” you wipe your cheek with a sleeve and, sure enough, the fabric comes away with yellow slime. “Like I said,” you smile, “frogs.”
She swallows. “Really?”
You nod, with your smile in place, and point at the coins for deposit. Nothing could ruin this day.
The door opens and, with it, you hear the almost solid splatsplatsplatsplat of a deluge of frogs. When you glance at the newcomers, several small, colorful amphibians hop their way in around the people’s feet.
You’re still looking at the energetic frogs when there’s the heavy Cha-chack of a shotgun being charged.
Your gut knots and you raise your eyes from the floor to find four people, each holding shotguns. Two of them approach the counter and sling potato sacks at the tellers.
“Fill ‘em up,” one says.
The Sheriff’s last payment still sits, gleaming, on the counter between you and the third teller.
A frog lets out a ribbbbet.
“Frogs,” you mutter.
“What’s that?” one of the robbers point his gun at you.
“Frogs,” you nod toward a green and red, glossy backed critter hopping toward his foot. “That one’s probably poisonous.”
He grumbles and kicks the frog away. It splats, unharmed, against the wall, before ribbeting to the ground where it starts hopping toward the man again.
The little amphibian seems determined to reach the robber and he’s not the only one hopping determinedly toward one of them.
Frogs chasing bank robbers. Interesting.
You eye the robbers. They’re all relatively short, wearing hoods and heavy clothing that you mistook before as rain gear. Now you see it just serves to make them nondescript but doesn’t actually protect them from rain. Splotches of color, like someone threw paint blobs at them, cover their heads and shoulders. The man’s boot, where he kicked the frog, boasts a red and green smudge.
Perhaps the clothing protects them from the frogs.
The slime didn’t harm you, so maybe these people aren’t human.
That’s a lot of guesswork, though.
With full potato sacks, the robbers back away toward the door. They haven’t touched your payment, so you don’t move.
Then one of them spies the gleaming coins and greed glistens in his eyes.
Let Him Take the Coins?
Fight with Frogs?
Raining Frogs-Fight with Frogs
You worked for years to earn enough for your little parcel of land and now this two-bit robber wants your hard earned payment.
No way are you okay with that.
As he approaches, you back up in a non-threatening gesture.
That close to you, you see he really is short, and you’re not a towering individual. The bulkiness of his clothing also covers very broad shoulders and what looks like the bulges of bovine ears under his hood. Those bulges move warily.
He’s definitely not human.
Around his feet hop a couple of the frogs. They seem to be trying to hop into the gap of his pant leg but he’s moving too much and they keep missing the narrow target.
His hand comes down on the counter to sweep the coins into his sack.
You stoop down, grasp a squishy frog and pitch it into the robber’s face.
He screeches and drops the potato sack full of money. It hits the floor with a crash and glittering coins scatter across the floor in all directions.
The robber stumbles and his hood falls back.
He’s ugly. Truly misshapen with a bald head covered in blotchy colors, big, rubbery ears and warts everywhere.
The teller behind you gives a horrified gasp.
Where the frog smacked the robber’s skin, steam rises and bubbles blister his flesh. He wipes at the slime frantically, trying to clean himself with his sleeve, but his movements are shaky and he gets slime onto his hands as well. Immediately the skin there blisters and lets up steam. There’s a hissing like an egg dropped on a hot skillet.
You grab another frog and pitch it into his face, driving him backward. Two of his companions move up beside him and you start pitching frogs faster.
But there are four robbers and only one of you. By the time you have a chance to look around for the last man/ghoul/whatever thing, it’s too late.
He lands on your shoulders like two tons of brick and you hit the floor with an ugh!
Although he’s small, he weighs enough to equal a horse.
“More for the offering,” he says in glee. The others chortle in hissing, high-pitched delight.
While his companions gather up the fallen coins, he ties your hands behind you and throws an extra potato sack over your head. It smells musty. Maybe the potatoes that used to hold it turned moldy.
Offering? You wonder as he forces you to your feet.
He pushes you forward and a moment later you’re outside getting hit by splatting frogs. Deluge is right.
Your captures grumble.
Stay Quite for Now?
Make Their Lives Difficult?
Raining Frogs-Make Life Difficult
These creatures ruined your day. This perfect, lovely day of realized dreams. A vindictive part of you simply wants to ruin their day in return.
Although your head’s covered with a potato sack, you have no trouble telling when you’ve left the bank. Frogs splat against your head and shoulders in an unceasing rain of amphibians. They fill the air with ribbits and croaks over the general, thick splatting sound their soft bodies make against the ground.
You wait until you’re away from the bank and out into the street before you let loose on your four captors. With a shove of your hip, you push the right one far enough away that you can kick his legs. Luck’s with you. The kick connects solidly although with the hood you can’t say where.
You guess near his knee because he screams and crumbles to the ground. He continues screaming in a gargle like show of agony.
You don’t question your luck when he doesn’t rise. Instead, you shift to attack the creature on your left.
He sweeps your legs from beneath you and you hit the ground with a thud that rattles teeth. The potato sack slides to the top of your head and you shake, making it fall away completely. You’re just in time to see the creature aim a kick. As his leg draws back, you snake your feet around the leg holding his weight and pull.
He falls and huffs when he hits. His hood falls off and within seconds, frogs cover him.
You stare, shocked, steam hisses and frogs croak but when they clear away from him, there’s nothing left.
A quick glance confirms the first robber suffered a similar fate. You can’t remember when he stopped screaming. It all happened in such a blur.
You meet the eyes of the last two, and shudder. Inhuman fury turns their already ugly faces to masks of pure hate.
They shriek and race at you.
You try to roll away but your hands are still bound. The first kick hits low on your spine. The butt of a shotgun barely misses your temple.
A part of you wonders whether to be thankful or frustrated that they don’t just shoot you but as more and more kicks connect, you loose any thought except trying to protect your body.
You pull your hands and arms around your face and curl into a tight ball. Another kick rocks you onto your back.
Two things hit your pain-addled brain. One, your hands are free, and two, you just rolled onto a shotgun.
You gab the gun and pull the trigger.
One of the attackers staggers and falls to his knees and, because of his short stature, this puts him into easy reach of the jumping frogs. They swarm him and he disappears.
When you look up, you freeze. The last creature holds a shotgun. You’re faced off, each holding the weapon on the other.
Time slows for a subjective minute. Frogs hop behind your last opponent like they’re encouraging you. Several land on top of each other and before long, you realize they’re stacking themselves behind him to reach his head. It’s the oddest thing you’ve ever seen.
You’re not sure if the shot you took at the other creature hurt it or just knocked it over. All you know is the frogs definitely hurt it.
Stall for the Frogs?
Raining Frogs-Stall for the Frogs
The shotgun might not harm him and, if it doesn’t, all you’ll do is anger him further while he’s got a gun of his own. And you know his bullets will hurt you. Erring on the side of caution seem like the smarter way to go.
The creature’s eyes narrow and he sneers. It’s an ugly expression beyond just the contempt, with teeth the shade of moss and jagged edges that remind you of a saw blade.
“Not fast enough,” he mocks in a guttural voice.
“Perhaps,” you say with a shrug and give a scornful smile back.
He backs away by a step.
“Hold right there,” you say. Somehow you sound more confident than you feel but the confidence must sound convincing because he stops moving.
You hold a relieved sigh. He almost knocked over the tower of frogs fast growing behind him.
The creature leers but there’s uncertainty in the expression. You’re at a standstill and you both know it.
You kick several frogs at him.
He flinches. Boom! The gun in his hand rocks back, almost hitting his face.
You flinch as the shot whistles past your head and chunks of brick fly off the corner of the bank where the shot slams into it. They spatter the ground, mixing with the solid splattering of frogs. There’s red and yellow and green splotches all over every area of exposed skin on you.
Spooked from the gunshot, the creature spins to run and comes face to face with a tower of frogs.
You could swear the frogs grin in glee as they jump onto his face and work their way into his hood.
He shrieks like his companions and disappears in a flood of frogs. You watch, horrified and fascinated by the odd sight.
And then the last robber’s gone. Not eaten, not burned by poisonous frogs, just gone.
There’s a deafening quality to the ribbits of all the frogs and then, poof, they disappear too. You glance around to find everything except the money the robbers tried to get away with just gone.
Sunlight hits the street like it’s smiling on a perfect, uninterrupted summer day. Slime drips from your face, so the frogs were not a figment of your imagination.
And there are bags of money laying on the street.
You gather it all, making several trips, to return it to the bank.
“So what happened?” The sheriff asks later, eyeing your colorful skin.
You tell him. Straight truth.
He scowls and moves on to the tellers.
Their stories aren’t any more convincing, so you come up with a story about four robbers that ran away and he sketches out wanted posters for four very ugly fugitives.
Every time you see those posters you giggle in hysteria. There’s just something crazy funny about it.
You become known as the crazy person who owns the land just outside of town, but just like the town drunk, the people accept you and you continue to giggle every time you see a wanted poster.
Perhaps it was all the frog slime that scrabbled your brain. You don’t know and don’t really care. Life’s just more fun this way.
Yay! You defeated the robbers! And got your parcel of land although you might be a little addled in the brain. =)