“Crazy, wake up! We need to get ready!” Claire shouted in Crazy’s ear. Crazy fell out of her bed and hit her head against the stand next to it. “Claire, what is it?” Crazy asked rubbing the back of her head. “Today is the day! We’re going on our tour of the forest today.” “I almost forgot! That is today isn’t it?” “Yep, we better hurry. The guide will be here in two hours.” “I hope it doesn’t rain today.” “Don’t jinx the trip!” “Alright I won’t.” Everyone was getting ready as fast as they could. They were excited for the whole tour, almost everyone. “The guide should be here in a few minutes,” said Skip as he looked at his watch. “This better be worth it,” Maria sighed. “This is optional Maria; you don’t have to go,” said R. “I’m not staying here by myself! I’m going with you guys!” Maria then grabbed onto Skip’s tail and held on tightly. “Please let go of my tail.” “No, you guys might leave me.” “Are you feeling alright comrade?” R asked Matt. “Yeah, I’m fine.” “Are you sure?”

“I’m sure, but I am going to keep my guard up.” “The guide is here!” shouted Sherry. The group walked outside to find an average height mongoose wearing a small hat, standing next to a van. “You must be my group for today; my name is Dayo, I’ll be your tour guide this evening.” “Hi Dayo, do we get chicken during this trip?” “I’m afraid not. You should eat before we leave,” said Dayo. “I already ate. I just want chicken for the road.” “I’m sorry, but food isn’t aloud during the tour.” “Don’t mind him, he’s addicted to chicken,” said Amo. “Oh, well then; are you guys ready?” “We’re all ready,” Skip smiled. “Then let’s go!” Everyone sat inside the van. Dayo called someone on his cell phone before pulling out of the resort. It only took ten minutes before they arrived into the forest. Dayo parked the car at the entrance of the forest. “Why are you parking?” Maria asked.

“The rest of the tour is on foot miss. Come on now,” Dayo said as he hopped out. “I don’t want to walk! Take me back to the resort!” Maria whined. “We are not going back Maria. You’ll have to deal with it,” Skip said as he pulled Maria out of the car. The little wolf pouted and crossed her arms. “Alright, before we enter the forest, I have a few rules that you guys will have to follow.” “Great, there are rules,” sighed Maria. “Rule number 1: stay close to the group. Rule number 2: don’t ever step off of the path. Finally, rule number 3: enjoy the tour.” “So it’s a rule that we have to enjoy this tour?!” Maria asked. “It’s not really a rule Miss.; just something that I like to say.” “Maria, stop complaining,” said R. “Fine! I’ll just try to enjoy this ‘wonderful’ tour.” “I’m sorry for how our friend is acting. She’s never really satisfied.” “It’s quite alright. I’ve had many kids act like this. Now let’s start.” The group entered the forest, with Skip dragging Maria along. Fairly then pulled out a camera from his pocket and started taking pictures. “Is that the new camera you bought back in Petropolis?” asked Chito.

“Yeah, I want to take a picture of everything here. I really need to take a picture of the resort when this is done,” Fairly said as he started taking pictures. Maria eventual snatched her tail out of Skip’s grasp and slowly started walking on her own. “Dayo, there aren’t any monsters in this forest is it?” Claire asked. “There aren’t any monsters in the forest Miss. Besides, as long as we stay on this path, we won’t have to worry about anything,” answered Dayo. Claire gave off a sigh of relief. Moments later, a rustling sound could be heard from within the bushes. “What was that?” asked Claire. “Could be the wind; don’t worry,” Dayo said as he continued to lead the group farther down. The rustling sound then became more and more frequent. Matt turned around and saw a dark figure go through the bush. “What is that?” Matt asked aloud. “What is what?” R asked.

“I saw something going through the bushes.” “I’ll go check it out!” Maria shouted as she jumped out of the trail. “Miss, what are you doing? Get back here!” “I’ll come back after I find out what Matt saw!” Maria shouted. “…Do we have to follow her?” asked Ralph. “I’ll bring her back. Skip, maybe you can help me catch her,” Matt said as he walked into the bushes. “Wait up; we’ll be back in a few.” “Please hurry, there are some dangerous creatures here…” Skip eventually caught up with Matt and they tried to look for Maria.

The two yelled her name but there was no answer. “Where could she have gone off to?” Matt asked. “I have no idea; but what did you see in the bushes anyway?” “I saw something…I couldn’t make out what it was.” Suddenly, a scream was heard just a few feet away from where the two were standing. “That sounded like Maria.” “Sounds like she’s in trouble, we better hurry!” Skip said as he followed the scream. Soon after, a huge rustling sound came from behind Matt and Skip. “Maria, is that you?” Skip asked looking around for the small wolf. Suddenly, a large tail came from out of the bushes and knocked Matt away. “Matt! Alright…that can’t be Maria.” Skip looked all around but couldn’t find Matt or Maria. “This is just great. Matt, Maria!” Skip then heard Maria scream again, but this time it was cut short. “…Maria where are you?!” Skip waited for an answer…but nothing came. Skip continued to look and he eventually found Matt lying on the ground somewhat dazed. “Matt, there you are.” “…Did you find Maria?” “No, I just heard her scream. I can’t find her anywhere.” “… That thing, whatever it was, hits pretty hard. You think she might have found her way back to the others?” “She could have, I guess we should head back.” The two headed back to the path and saw that everyone was gone. “Where did everyone go?” Skip asked. “You don’t think that thing came by here do you?” “I hope not; maybe they continued down the path.” “I don’t see why they would do that, but we really have nowhere else to go.” “MARIA NO!” a voice shouted from ahead.

“That sounded like Claire! Come on, we have to hurry,” Matt said as he started to run towards the scream. Suddenly, everyone else could be heard screaming for help, but they were all coming from different directions. “Matt, it doesn’t sound like everyone is together.” “Claire sounds closer though, we have to find her.” “What does that thing want from us?” “How am I to know that? Claire, where are you?!” “I swear this trip couldn’t possibly get any wo” “Skip, where did you go?” A hand then reached out and pulled Matt into the bushes. Frightened, the cat quickly pulled out his sword until he noticed it was Claire. “Claire, I thought I told you not to do that to me?” “I know and I’m sorry; but keep your voice down. It might here us,” Claire whispered. “You mean the thing I saw earlier?” “Yes…I don’t want to be here anymore.” “I’m sure you don’t. Where’s Skip?” “I’m right here,” said Skip. “Ah, I was afraid that thing caught you.” “Claire, we heard you scream earlier, what happened?” “I saw that monster drag Maria away. I wanted to try to help, but I was too scared. When the monster came back, everyone ran in different directions. Me and Kat wanted to stay near the path just in case you guys came back.” “Where is Kat?” asked Skip. “He left to go see if he could find anyone else… but he’s been gone for a while.” “We can’t just sit in one place Claire, we’ll have to go on without him,” replied Matt. “But he said I needed to stay here. What if he comes back and I’m gone?”

“Skip’s right Claire, we can’t sit here. We’ll probably end up meeting him half way.” “..Ok…but I’m hiding behind you guys,” Claire said as she jumped behind them. The three went farther away from the path; eventually they found Kat exhausted, leaning against a tree. “Kat, are you ok?” Claire asked worried. “I’m fine Claire. I couldn’t find anyone. I thought I was being chased by that monster earlier, turns out I was just running away from a bird. So I just stopped here. Sorry if I worried you,” Kat gasped. “I’m just glad you’re ok. I managed to find Skip and Matt though.” “I see that. I don’t think we should stick around here,” Kat said while looking around nervously. “Alright, I guess we can keep going; but I’m still going to hide behind you guys.”

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