After I hide my diary in (location here), I go downstairs to find Ryan lacing up his sneakers.
"Where are you going?" I asked.
He shrugs, "Nowhere in particular. Anywhere but here."
I sigh. Of course, I'm going to have to follow him. It's the only sensible thing. If I don't, maybe some aliens might steal him like they probably did the rest of the human population. But, that's just a guess. Anything could have happened.
But I don't really want to be alone.
I throw on some shoes and follow him out onto the sidewalk. The sky is clear, and the day is getting very warm already. I don't see why he wants to be out in this heat.
"Let's go to the park." he says out of the blue.
"Why?" I kick up some of the dry dust.
"Because I said so. Now, come on." He gets into the school bus, parked in the middle of the road, and waves me in.
It's an oven inside. I gasp for breath and start opening all the windows. Ryan watches me with an amused expression in the mirror.
"Well? Start driving! It's hot in here!" I snap. The heat is getting to me.
"Maybe it's because of you..." he mutters.
"What?" I yell, breathless.
"Oh, nothing!" He grins.
"I heard that!"
"Then why did you say, 'What'?"
I roll my eyes and groan. But I also feel a little smug in his remark. It could go in two directions... did he insult me or try to flirt?
We get to the park without another word. We get out, and what we do for the next who-knows-how-long is just too boring to talk about.
When we find ourselves quietly swinging on the swings, the sun has made the world so hot I start to ask Ryan if we should go back to the house.
"Hey, do you think---" I'm cut off by a very odd sound.
We both stop swinging and listen... there it is again. A deep, rough hissing. Not like a snake, but like a crocodile maybe.
"What the heck?" Ryan says, "Hello? Anyone out there?"
"Shh!" I say, "I don't think that's a person!"
We get off the swings and look for what made the noise.
It comes again, louder and more threatening.
"Run," Ryan rushes his words, "Felicia, run. Get to the bus. Now."
"What? What is it?"
I follow his eyes. Standing under the trees, is a creature. It's not like any I've ever seen. It looks like a cross between a vulture and a volciraptor... you know, those dinosaurs on Jurrasic Park that opened doors. You get the idea.
Well, this thing looks at us with golden eyes. It has to be at least six feet tall. It has long, scaly legs with talons on each toe. The head is naked, bald like a California Condor. The beak is lined with teeth. It seems to grin at us.
"Run!" Ryan says again.
I start sprinting toward the bus, and Ryan is just behind me. I hear the beast hiss again and look behind us. It slinks out of the shadows and the sun falls down on its yellow and brown scales.
We get into the bus before it can follow us. Ryan closes the doors and helps me close all the windows.
"What the crap is the thing?!" he yells, watching it walk towards us. It looks over the bus, as if trying to guess its strength.
"I don't care! Just get us out of here!" I scream.
He sticks the key in the ignition and starts driving. But he doesn't go toward my house just yet. Instead, he turns the bus and hits the monster, crushing it. I hear it scream and roar and the bones crunch under the tires.
"There. It's dead." He mutters, mostly to himself.
I've never been so thankful for Ryan.