Nikki stumbled along through the jungle, getting more irritated by the minute. She didn't like walking this much, ever. She just wanted to sit down and not move for a very long time. She couldn't, however, because she'd lost the path a long time ago. One minute she was following the path, if you could even call it that, and then the next minute she was pushing through thick patches of bushes that were half as tall as she was. She was tired, she was sweaty, and the various bug bites and scratches she'd gotten on her skin were itching, and she was very thirsty. Oh, and she was carrying her day pack on one shoulder, and that really freaking big stupid sword on the other. She'd tried to cut through the undergrowth with it at first, and it was only after it got tangled in a particularly twisted bush that she realized that it didn't have bladed sides.
She fervently wished that she was back at home, watching Desperate Housewives. She wished even more that she was on Wisteria Lane, with it's perfectly-mowed lawns, large streets, and gigantic houses with lots of comfy--
“WAAAAAA!” she screamed, as she tripped over a large tree root, falling face-first into cold water. The water wasn't more than a couple feet deep so she was able to quickly push herself up, coughing, spluttering, gasping, and swearing. She hastily stood up, and took a look around her.
She was standing in the edge of a gigantic lake that as far as she could tell was completely surrounded by the jungle. What kind of moronic idea was it to have a lake in the middle of a freaking jungle without even having any kind of banks or beaches around it? She glared down at the lake, then roughly grabbed her day pack, and threw it up onto dryish land. She then grabbed the sword, and heaved it over next to her day pack. She then finally hoisted herself up by the same tree root that she'd tripped over earlier, and sat down.
Well, this sucks, she thought sourly to herself. Sighing, she pulled her day pack over to her and tugged on the zipper. It unzipped partway, then got stuck. Grimacing, she tugged harder. It still didn't budge. She finally gave it a big yank, and the zipper disconnected from one side. “Motherfucker,” Nikki grumbled to herself. She stuck her hand in and dug around for a minute, until hand found the soggy mass of Blood Price. Grumbling, she set about finding the page she was on (her bookmark had fallen out). Upon finding it, she adjusted herself on the tree root and began to read.
[April Stone, continued from Someday, You'll Go Through the Rain.]
April sat hunched over the edge of the lake with her left arm submerged in the murky water, watching the ripples she made as she swished her bag around, half-heartedly trying to clean out the vomit. She felt the bag take in water, and was oddly reminded of a toy she had when she was a child. It was almost impossible to get April to part with anything when she was younger and one of the things her parents constantly tried to get her to part with was a small, blue robot that April was now fairly sure was a novelty bottle of bubble bath an aunt had given her for a birthday present. As she remembered it, she used to fill it up with bath water and then empty it. It used to keep her entertained for minutes on end.
God, she thought. I was such a weird child.
Reaching for a bottle of water with her off-hand, April pulled it up to her face. She unscrewed the cap with her teeth and spat it on the ground next to her, next to her gun. She quickly drank the contents of the bottle and threw that onto the shore next to her, where she had kept her gun. About a half-mile before she approached the lake, April had started to throw things away when her arms and back started to ache. Her bag was practically empty when she reached the shore. All she had with her now was the map in the pocket of her jeans, her first-aid kit, a plastic container that held what was left of her food, and her colt. The colt was covered in dirt, and April wasn’t sure if it was jammed.
April hefted the bag out of the water and turned it over, shaking it until the greenish water stopped pouring out. Silt and mud lined the bottom of the bag now, but April had already decided that she would rather have a damp bag than one filled with vomit. The bag was canvas, which meant- if her jeans were any indictation- that it would take the better part of the day to dry, but the lake was nothing if not well-hidden, so April figured she had time to wait. She dropped the bag down on the wet mud and stood up, tightening her makeshift bandanna and brushing her hair from her eyes.
Then she heard something. A rustling in the trees. Not loudly, but there was definitely close-by. She tried to figure out where the sound was coming from to no avail. So she wrapped her fingers around the grip of her pistol and stood up, pointing it at the water.
“Hey!” April yelled. “Who’s there?”
April panicked, swinging the gun around wildly, her thumb catching on the thumb release of the pistol and dropping the magazine onto the ground. She ducked down to pick it back up and slammed it into the butt of her pistol. In her confusion, she had somehow failed to notice that her right arm was now the home of two thick, black leeches.