I looked from Luke to Max and back again. "How do you know you can kill it with regular weapons?" I asked, thinking of silver bullets for werewolves. "We actually thought of that, but we actually did a google search and came up with the answer" Luke said. I stared at him for a few minutes "you googled it?" Luke's face flushed red and he began to stutter "well..ye..ye..yeah it's..a..a..." "it's a Wendigo" Max finished impatiently and shot Luke a disapproving look. "Wendigo's hunt at night and keep victims alive and feed off of them for days. Defeating them is easier in daylight and their biggest weakness is fire" Max explained. "Ri..rig..right!" Luke chimed in. 
"So we are going to wait till the sun comes up and go out there with blow torches and lighters and cook it while it sleeps?" I asked. "Yes" Max said. "Ok, I can get behind that but one problem guys, where does this thing hide out, or live or whatever?" The both were silent. I rolled my eyes and sat down on the dirt floor. "Seriously? You were going to go in blind?" I shook my head. 

"New plan, since you guys were at least smart enough to bring a woman on board, I am taking over. We wait until the sun comes up and we start a search, what do we know about this thing? It doesn't like sun, so I would look for caves first. We have to stick together though, we are weaker separated so this could take longer than planned." I paused and looked at both of them. Max had a crooked grin "I am so turned on right now" he said and I punched his arm "shut up!" I rolled my eyes. 
"So we are limited to blow torches? Please tell me there's some here and you don't have a useless arsenal here" I asked Luke, who smiled "of course I have blow torches, I am more prepared than you guys give me credit for" I smiled at that "good man" I said slapping him on his back, which pushed him forward a few steps. I found this slightly discouraging but let it go. 

Luke jumped up and started grabbing weapons down from the wall, Max and I looked on silently. His arsenal was pretty amazing. "Do I dare ask where all this came from?" I asked. Luke paused a moment, looked down at his hands "no you probably shouldn't ask" I smiled, I couldn't help it, I didn't push the matter any more. "How much time till sun rise?" Luke asked. I looked at my watch "4am already, feels like it should be earlier, time flies when you're reuniting I guess" I said "just missing one.." Max added. 
Luke sighed and stood up "do you guys not remember anything?" He sounded exasperated. I shook my head and Max said "what do you mean?" 
"I mean Becca, I miss her too, I really do, but if she were here today do you know what we would be doing? Gabby would be trying to calm her down from a panic attack and we would be trying to figure out how to do this and keep her safe at the same time. I don't mean to be an asshole, but she was taken because she was the easiest target" his words stung a bit, but what stung more was he was right, she would be holding us back and putting us all in danger. I nodded "you're right, but she was still our friend and she's dead now. The least we can do is avenge her death, make this mean something. If we don't all make it back then at least we don't die in vain" I said. They both nodded and Luke went back to his weapons. 

Max nudged me "do you think we should help?" I smiled "nope he seems to have a system, let him do his thing" "good I wasn't really wanting to anyway" he laughed and put an arm over my shoulders "I forgot how short you are" he teased, patting the top of my head. "That's why we are using you as the lookout, you can watch over the tops of the trees and let us know if something is coming" I nudged his rib cage playfully. Luke overhead and stopped in a fit of laughter. "Oh come on man, don't encourage her" Max laughed with him. 

Spirits were high, even with current situation, it felt good to be around them again. 
Just then we heard a loud Thump above us. We got instantly quiet. "It knows we are down here" Luke whispered. "Can it get to us?" I asked. "No not tonight, it has maybe an hour and a half till dawn, not enough time to find its way in" Luke answered. "Are you saying it is intelligent enough to figure out how to get in here?" I was liking this less and less. "Well, yeah. It used to be human, it still has human intelligence" that put a knot in the pit of my stomach and all the air sucked from my lungs like he just sucker punch me, I sank to the floor. 
Worried, Max crouched down "hey are you ok?" I met his eyes "no but I need a minute to process all this" he gave me a sympathetic smile and patted my knee "ok, just don't pass out on us, we need you. You're clearly the brains of this operation" I smiled "you're a quick study, I knew there was hope for you" I teased. Max stood up and laughed "there she is". 
Luke shook his head and laughed. "You guys are so stupid, the perfect couple, everyone knows it but them" I felt my face turn red and I didn't want to look at either of them. Finally Max said "well I guess we will have to look into that when we get out of here" I looked up and met his eyes, I quickly looked away and blushed. Max put a hand on my shoulder and laughed "lets go kill a monster first" 

I felt foolish, Max had always had a crush on me and I knew it, but I "friend zoned" him back then and I actually felt guilty for it. 

"Guys it's been quiet up there for a while, should we worry?" I asked moving on from the previous conversation. Luke stopped and listened for a minute "what time is it?" He asked "it's a quarter after 6" Max replied. "It's gone then, the sun should be rising now" Luke seemed to be in a trance collecting weapons and stuffing them into a duffle bag. "One question, how do we find it's hiding spot or whatever to kill it?" I asked. Luke let out an exaggerated sigh "I am 99 percent sure it sleeps in the cave on the other side of the island" he said without looking up. There was a long uncomfortable silence until finally like muttered softly "guys grab a flame thrower and anything else just in case" we silently did what we were told and followed him out of the bunker. 

We followed him across the island, he was looking a lot like Rambo and I was having a hard time not giggling, then Max shot me a curious look I pointed at Luke, who was now entering the forest, and whispered "Rambo" Max grinned and whispered back "you better not let him see you laughing at him or he will break out the potato gun and chase you down" this sent me in a new wave of giggles. 

There was a loud screech or scream (it really sounded like both) my giggles died in my throat and l began walking as silently as I could in the direction Luke went, Max was in tow, he looked nervous. We came to a hill, lay down on our stomachs and peek down. Nothing. "Where the hell did Luke go?" I asked, more to myself than Max. "I have no idea, there's nothing down there" max answered. 

"Hey! Max do you have the binoculars in your back pack?" I asked. He took his pack off his bag and put it on the ground "I think I have some but I better check" he rambled on nervously. I was calmly watching the things that he took out with shaky hands. "Here it is, I knew it was here" Max beamed. I reached out my hand and he handed over the flashlight. I looked it over, looked up and said

 "let's go find Luke...again. Then let's go kill a monster"

I holstered my flame thrower and started down the hill to the caves. And possibly, death.

Published by Liz Zemlicka