To my surprise a branch coiled itself around my hand, and I stiffened.
I had to be hallucinating.
"Um, Thing, is it just me or is a plant holding my wrist?"
He glanced at me and froze.
"Don't move, okay?"
"Or what?" I huffed, "This shrub is going to eat me?"
"Actually, probably just a leg. She was recently fed."
I stared at him and tried to free my hand, only to feel the branch cinching tighter.
"Okay, okay, you win." I replied, "Very funny joke. Now get this thing off of me."
"It's not a joke."
"So..." I started, "How does one escape a man-eating bush then?"
"You don't. You're supposed to leaf it alone to begin with."
I narrowed my eyes.
"Seriously? That's it."
I pulled out a switchblade and, before Thing could reach over and stop me, I sliced clean through the tendril holding me prisoner.
"See?" I said, holding it up, "Easy as-"
I couldn't finish my sentence. Branches whipped out and around my waist, pulling me backwards into the hedge.
I tried to protect my face as I was yanked into the brush, but soon my hands and feet were bound.
"Why, you little...weed!"
Okay, my insults were suffering a bit. Bear with me.
"Don't use your powers!" I heard Thing yell, "Just stay put!"
I was being pulled into the depths of a monstrous plant and he told me to 'stay put'?
And people called me stupid. When they did, they usually didn't live to tell the tale.
The plant used a little more force and I fell, trying my best not to think about how undignified I felt.
Beaten. By a plant. A PLANT.
I felt myself being jolted up and realized in horror that I was about to be pulled into a gaping hole in the ground that looked suspiciously like a mouth waiting to devour me.
I scrabbled at the dirt, trying to free my hands. I kicked and bit at my restraints to no avail, feeling instead the impending closeness of my doom.
And then I was free.
I looked up to see Laila holding her sword, looking amused.
"You touched the hedge, didn't you?"
I looked around, shocked, to see that the plant had let me go.
"That...malicious beast attacked me!"
She shook her head, clicking her tongue, and gave me a hand to get me to my feet.
"I'm afraid you are a bit worse for wear, friend." Laila grimaced, "You should go to the camp at once."
Thing emerged from the foliage, panting.
"I thought I told you to take care of the new addition." Laila laughed, "Try not to lose her this time."
She walked off into the reaches of the bush, the foliage opening and closing behind her.
"Okay, let's go."