I led Abbie up to the field and looked for a good place to hide. I noticed a huge bush on a rise at the side of the stadium. I smiled, that looked like the perfect spot to snipe from. Abbie followed as we ran to the top and jumped into the bush. I carefully hollowed it out in a way that didn’t show on the outside to give us more room to dodge any incoming bullets. I really hope this is like paintball. Just as I finished hollowing the bush out I heard a female voice announce the rules. “If you get hit to the point where you can’t stand, you’re dead and can no longer shoot. No shooting those that have ‘died.’ The last team standing wins! Let the practice begin!”

So this was practice eh? I started to look for a target when I realized that Abbie was still staring at her gun as if she didn’t have the slightest idea what it was. “It’s a rifle,” I informed her. Then proceeded to give her a quick run-down on how to use it and how to aim. She nodded and lay down on the ground, using it to steady her gun as she looked around for a target. I saw a group of two approaching our location. They obviously didn’t know we were here because they were looking to the side. I pointed them out to Abbie. She nodded and pointed to one of the people and then to herself. I nodded, immediately understanding her immediately and aimed my gun at the one she hadn’t pointed at. I counted to three, and we both fired a burst of three bullets at once.

Abbie’s gun flew up from the kick, completely throwing off her aim. The man I had aimed for was hit squarely in the ribs; I heard a loud crack and the man fell over clutching his ribs and screaming. I grimaced, apparently these rubber bullets hurt just a little more than paintballs. I realized that Abbie’s man wasn’t down and quickly fired off a round at him. To slow. He ducked behind a tree and fired at us. However, the bush blocked his line of sight, and so his aim was completely off. I dropped to the ground, presenting less of a target and trained my gun on the tree. Some medics raced onto the field and took the “dead” man away on a stretcher.

Once they were gone I saw the man’s head poke out from behind the tree. I signaled Abbie not to shoot and she nodded again. I waited. The man quickly stuck his gun around the tree and fired several times in quick succession. Again we waited. After several repeats, the man stuck his head around the tree. Nothing. He carefully stepped out. Nothing. He crouched and began to move carefully toward us. I waited until I had a clear shot, then fired, hitting him in the head. His head was flung back as the bullets hit him, and I fired again, catching him in the chest and bowling him completely over. The medics appeared again to take the man away. The female’s voice boomed out across the stadium again, “Two and a half teams are left.” I looked up and saw her image on a big screen. It was the slave girl who had been sold with us!”

I didn’t have time to study her because the screen flicked off and I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. My head whipped around and I saw a lone man rushing toward us. I trained my gun on him, but just as I was about to fire he raised his gun and sprayed our bush with gunfire. He must have seen our exchange with the other team. I took aim but lost it as he ducked behind a tree. I sighed. He wouldn’t be making the same mistake as the other man had.

“Abbie,” I said, she turned her head to me, “I need you to cover me, and every time that man sticks his head out I want you to fire two bursts at him ok?”

She nodded and I carefully left the safety of the bush. I did an army crawl to the bottom of the incline until I reached the cover of a tree. Then I moved up into a squat. The crack of gunfire echoed across the stadium. The guy had tried to stick his head around his tree. Then gunfire sounded again, this time from the opposite direction, not from Abbie or the other man…the other groups were skirmishing as well. I carefully began to move around the man’s tree. It wasn’t the easiest thing to not make noise and I constantly had to watch my back as I heard gunfire from the other two teams and occasionally the two, short bursts from Abbie. Eventually I got to a point where I had a clear view of the man.

I carefully raised my rifle and fired. I hit the man in the face. He flinched heavily away and tried to move around the tree, only to be nailed in the chest once, twice, three times in the chest by Abbie. The man staggered but didn’t fall. He raised his gun toward Abbie and was about to fire when I hit his legs. He fell over and blacked out. I smiled as the medics came and motioned for Abbie to quickly follow. She hurried down out of the bush and followed me as I moved toward the gunfire.

We arrived just in time to see one woman take down a man. They were both alone, and the girl’s voice proclaimed that there were only one and a half groups on the field. That meant the woman and us. I watched as the woman (she must have heard our gunfire farther back) started right out in the open and headed to the place I estimated our little bush was. I lifted my gun, fired, and watched as her legs flew out from under her. Immediately I was on top of her with my gun trained on her chest as it rose and fell jerkily. She raised her hands in surrender and a gong went off.

“The winners are Zach and Abbie!” the screen informed us excitedly. I smiled and took my off of the woman. I offered her my hand to help her up and she took it gratefully then limped dejectedly away.

“Why did you do that?” Abbie asked jealously.

“What?” I asked, perplexed.

“Give her your hand!”

“Oh!” I almost laughed and threw my arms around her. “It’s called good sportsmanship, and it is one of the things that motivated me to go to you in the van. So be grateful.”

Abbie looked somewhat suspicious, but she let me hug her and then lead her to the man who had sent us over here when we had first arrived.

The End

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