Not Waving

So, it’s quite late in the month, but it’s still June!  Here’s my answer to the Hint Fiction Challenge.

**

I didn’t know whose idea it was to go to the beach and, by the end of the day, I didn’t care anymore. It had been a horrible day. Half the team hadn’t even been able to make it. Chris came without Mary or Billy, who were out of town. Casey was studying for some exam, so she couldn’t come. Ezra’s fiancee had to take their daughter to the doctor, so he had come by himself, dragging Vin along because regulations said he couldn’t be anywhere alone.

After that, it had been one problem after another. I had thought that JD had the sunblock and he thought that I had it, so neither of us had any. When we got to the lake, the water too cold for anyone, except for JD. That left the activities down to hiking or boating. Marnie hadn’t dressed for a hike, since she’d expected to be swimming. Which meant we’d spent the day boating.

That had been fun for most of the day, but now I was tired and I just wanted to go home. I looked up to see Ezra and Vin walking along the waterline towards us. “Think we can go home soon?” I asked.

Ezra blinked at me. In the most irritatingly innocent, cheerful tone, he said, “But, Buck, this is fun! Didn’t you have fun?”

“I stopped having fun an hour ago,” I grumbled. I started to cross my arms over my chest, but stopped short. My arms were bright red. Hissing between my teeth, I glanced towards Marnie. Her burn wasn’t as bad as mine. I sighed. “How was the hike?”

“More like a forced march than a nature hike,” Ezra said, rolling his eyes. He waved at Vin and said, “As quiet as he is, you’d think he’d be the perfect companion on a bird watching expedition, but… his questioning was incessant.”

“What’s he doing out there?” Marnie asked, pointing out towards the lake. JD was out far enough from the shore that we couldn’t have hear him shouting to us.

I squinted briefly at the water and shook my head. He was frantically waving his arms. We were sick of the lake, sunburned, and wanted to go home. I didn’t have time for his games. I muttered, “I have no idea.” I looked towards Vin and Ezra.

Ezra had a pair of field glasses to his eyes and he was frowning. “He’s saying something, but I can’t read lips,” he said, his voice soft.

Marnie frowned. “It looks like he’s waving,” she said. She glanced up and down the beach. “Like he’s trying to tell us something – warn us about something, but… I don’t see anything.”

Vin squinted out at the water and then brought a pair of field glasses up to his eyes. “He’s not waving,” he said. He lowered the glasses before turning to look up the beach, towards the parking lot. “Come on, Ez,” he said.

As he took off towards the lot, Ezra followed him. I frowned at Marnie and then looked out towards the water once again. JD was swimming towards us now. I knew Vin well enough to know that he wanted me to stay with Marnie. After all, she was a civilian.

“What’s going on?” I asked, as JD stumbled up onto the beach, panting heavily.

“Chris was… there,” he said, pointing toward the parking lot. “I saw… someone grabbed…” he sighed and then pointed up the beach towards the lot once again.

Ezra was running back towards us. He skidded to a stop in the sand and gave Marnie a weak smile. “Dr. Andrews,” he said, “If you would be so kind, we require your assistance.”

Marnie nodded and then we were all running towards the parking lot. Suddenly, I wasn’t tired and sore anymore. “Chris,” I called, as Vin and Chris came into view. Vin stood and waved at Marnie, beckoning at her to hurry.

As we drew near, I could see that Chris was sitting on the ground, one hand set to his head. He gave Marnie a weak smile. “I told them I was fine,” he said, sounding more irritated than anything else. “They chased the guys off.”

“They escaped,” Vin said, pointing towards the empty road.

Ezra nodded. “I was able to get a good look at their license plate number,” he said, his voice soft. Grimacing, he added, “I sincerely doubt that will be of much assistance. More than likely, the vehicle was either stolen or they will abandon it.”

“Probably,” Chris said. He looked up as Marnie knelt beside him. She was looking into his eyes critically. “He hit but only hard enough to stun me for a moment. I’m fine.”

“I think you should go to the hospital, Chris,” she said, shaking her head. “You’re thick-headed, I agree, but it wouldn’t hurt to get checked out.”

He heaved a sigh and shook his head. “They’re just going to send me home with instructions to keep an eye out for dizziness and nausea,” he said, rolling his eyes. “I don’t need a doctor for that.”

“Did they say anything?” Ezra asked, as he pulled out his cellular phone. He hesitated. “Am I calling the police or the judge?”

“The judge,” Chris said. He glanced at Marnie and then grimaced. “They said that they were looking for you, but they could go through me to get to you.”

Ezra paled faintly. He looked at Vin and said, “You call the judge.” Then, he paced away from us and hit one number. It only took me a moment to realize who he was calling.

“Laura,” I said, just as Ezra was saying the same.

He nodded at me, but continued speaking with the woman on the other end of the line. “Get yourself and Naomi to my father’s house,” he said, his voice soft. “I’ll meet you there in a few hours.” He smiled faintly and said, “I love you too.” Then, he snapped the phone closed.

Chris moved to his feet. Vin was already talking to the judge, filling him in on the incident and all that had transpired. “Buck, take Marnie home.”

“You got it,” I said. I beckoned to Marnie, who stepped over to me. I gave her a weak smile. “This was not the fun day at the lake that I had in mind,” I said, shaking my head. The entire trip had been one disaster after another. The kidnapping attempt was just one more thing to add to the list.

“It’ll be better next time,” Marnie said, smiling. I blinked in surprise when she leaned over to kiss my cheek. “Maybe we can go without your friends next time, though.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. After this disastrous first date, I next imagined there would be a second. “Sounds good to me,” I said.

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