Keep Calm and Disillusion

Wondering why the world didn't end in 2012? Well it did. You just don't of know it. I
f you're reading this now, it means we've saved humanity.
Or at least you.
So who are we? We're just a couple of average Australians, hoping to save the world and win a normal future. But not just hoping - no,we're fighting.
Because in a world where rejecting reality can enslave you to invaders, we refuse to dream.

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3. Chapter Three: Jacob’s Second Installment, in Which There is a Drama.

Chapter Three: Jacob’s Second Installment, in Which There is a Drama

Very clever, Yeti. I noticed the way you managed to describe me without going into great detailed descriptions like I did. Are you trying to make me feel bad for my lack of literary skill? Cos it’s not working, okay.

                I’m trying to keep calm and not feel bad.

                So anyways, we made our way up to the main hall for supper, all the while listening to Tom and Yeti go on about their great victory, and how awesome they were. Made me sick, I tell ya. What was worse was, when we got to the main hall, the place was so full it looked like we wouldn’t be able to get to the counter to get our food for ages, so I practically starved while waiting for it.

                Somewhere in between me starving and Yeti getting me a hot chocolate to shut me up – and a hot chocolate for Thomas and her to celebrate their ‘teamwork’ (sickening words, especially when used of Tom) – 40 walked in.

                And he didn’t look happy.

                He didn’t look angry either. In fact, he didn’t look anything. He just looked…. Gone. It was like he wasn’t there. And – go figure – I couldn’t work it out for the life of me.

                ‘Tired already?’ I asked when he sat down at our table.

                Westley made no response. Not even a smart-alec, snappy reply as he usually did. All he did was fold his arms on the table, thrown down his head, and act dead. Or asleep, depending on how dramatic you want to be.

                I shrugged and drank my hot chocolate in peace. It was quite well made, really, but I suspected that wasn’t the reason I was enjoying it so much. The only thing I wasn’t enjoying about it was the fact that Yeti had gotten one for Thomas too, but that didn’t even make any sense.

                ‘I can get you a hot chocolate.’ Yeti offered to Westley, who finally shook his head. I expected him to say something dramatic like, ‘my life is over,’ but he didn’t. Maryette didn’t press him, and instead left the table.

                There was giggling from a table across the room, and – turning – I saw a cluster of girls. Or, rather, I giggle of girls. Nikki was at the centre of it all, which was hardly unusual.

                Rolling my eyes and turning back to my company, I was surprised to see WD had looked up. Then, after gazing longingly at the stupid twits (or at least Nikki, their ringleader), he collapsed into his former position.

                ‘Get over it.’ I said, not really sure what his problem was now.

                Yeti returned, with a hot chocolate for Westley. ‘You look down.’ She pointed out the obvious. But she seemed to be sympathetic, as if she had an inkling something was wrong. Had she seen something I hadn’t? Did she know something I didn’t? ‘Chocolate has been scientifically proven to cheer people up.’ She continued. ‘And to make them more romantic….’

                Westley’s body suddenly shook, and a small whimper barely escaped. Yeti stopped speaking at once, her mouth agape.

                ‘Westley?’ Thomas asked, completely frozen. Girls crying he could handle: most of the time it required that you tsked and hugged, and it was usually over nothing important. But a boy? Our brother? And Isaac wasn’t anywhere to be seen, as usual. So it was up to me.

                ‘This is great.’ (Sensitive, I know). Then, leaning across the table, I began whispering furiously. ‘Westley, stop it! You’re in public. Westley are you… are you crying?’

                ‘I’m sorry.’ Westley moaned, but his body was still racking with – grief or melodrama, I wasn’t sure. ‘I’m trying to stop.’

                ‘What the heck happened!?’ I asked, voicing the thoughts of Yeti and Thomas perfectly. ‘What on earth is this about?’

                ‘I don’t want to say.’ Westley said eventually, his crying becoming more hysteric. In a desperate attempt to save our reputation (whatever that was), I jumped over Yeti, out of my seat, and pulled Westley towards the back door. People were staring, so I tried to look bright and happy. Westley’s face wouldn’t be easy to catch a glimpse of anyway.

                I pushed Westley outside aggressively, and then glared at him. Not that he could tell, cos it was pitch black.

                ‘What on earth are you doing?!’ I shouted as loudly as I dared. ‘Are you trying to cause a drama!?’

                ‘It’s already been done!’ Westley shot back, having finally gained control of himself. His voice was still incredibly whiny, and even high-pitched, but that was normal. ‘It’s already been turned into a drama.’

                ‘What happened?’ I asked again. Then, sighing, ‘let me guess: you were told to guard the flag, you failed, someone insulted you, and now you’re upset.’

                ‘I don’t want to tell you.’ Westley said again, turning away. But I could tell he really did want to, which was why he wasn’t walking off.

                ‘Why not?’ I asked impatiently, wishing Westley hadn’t come on camp. Wishing I hadn’t come on camp – the food wasn’t even any good. The only good things were the Evans, and maybe the Hughs….

                … the Hughs.

                ‘Is this about Nikki?’ I asked, surprising myself. Westley turned around to face me in a minute, his permanently sunken eyes wide in terror and surprise.

                ‘You heard, didn’t you?’              

                ‘Heard about what?!’

                ‘What I said.’

                There was a long pause then. You could almost hear a pin drop. And, despite the fact that it was one hundred percent dark, Westley still knew my face had dropped and my spirits had sunk to rock bottom.

                I was horrified.

                ‘I gather you haven’t heard.’ WD moaned, realising his mistake.

                ‘You didn’t.’ I managed at last. ‘As if you would! W, how could you be so stupid!?’

                ‘I was desperate!’ Westley shot back. ‘She’s spent the whole camp flirting with Tim, the Kiwi, and he seemed to like her, so I thought I’d do something before it was too late!’

                ‘Are you insane?! She’s fifteen. Fifteen! And a complete gossip – Westley, you’re never going to live this down!’

                Westley’s lack of response told me he already knew that.

                I sighed, and tried to feel sympathetic for my brother. But I honestly couldn’t. I felt angry. So incredibly angry. He had made everything worse – one thousand times worse. Maybe even a million times worse.

                I told him so. I had a little rant, until he finally snapped and screamed back at me.

                ‘Just stop it, okay?!’ He cried, hardly intimidating since his voice whined. ‘I know it was stupid and badly thought through, but it’s done, and I have to live with it.’

                ‘We all have to live with it!’

                ‘You don’t understand!’

                ‘No, I don’t! Westley, you’re nearly an adult. Surely you could have worked out this was the stupidest thing you’ve ever….’

                ‘Shut up!’

                The ‘conversation’ was about to get really nasty, when the door opened and light came flooding towards us. I saw Westley’s tear-stained face, and his eyes, burning with frustration. I saw just how close I’d come to him, and felt a little ashamed at how confrontational I was being – only Westley could do this to me.

                Turning around, I saw it was Yeti, and sighed in relief. She’d probably be on my side, but – as a girl – she’d be able to sympathise with WD too. She was the peacemaker, and boy was I glad to see her. She’d be sure to come up with some great idea, like make Westley tell Nikki he was just joking, and had been paid 50 bucks to do so, and she’d be able to convince him to do it. I couldn’t.

                ‘You guys are taking a while.’ She interrupted, holding out her phone. Checking its clock I saw that yes, we had taken a while. ‘People are whispering like mad out there. Except for Nikki. She’s not whispering.’

                Looked like Yeti had either worked it out or heard about it.

                ‘Which one?’ Westley said, and it was perfectly clear what he meant.

                ‘Both.’ Yeti replied, which didn’t make much sense.

                I took a step towards Maryette and began whispering to her so 40 couldn’t hear. ‘Can you talk to him? I think he’d listen to you.’

                ‘I don’t think so.’ She returned. ‘I hardly know Westley. He wouldn’t trust me.’

                ‘Trust you? You know everything as it is!’

                She shook her head and sighed. ‘There’s always something else, Jake.’

                I flinched at the nickname – no-one ever called me Jake, and it was strange. But then I got back on track. ‘So what should I do then?’

                ‘Leave him be. Something tells me he’s got a lot to deal with right now – be nice to him, okay?’

                I felt incredibly angry with my brother, and Yeti’s presence wasn’t exactly soothing. In fact, it was almost aggravating. But – as she often did – she spoke with such certainty that I couldn’t help but acknowledge there was a least a bit of sense in her words.

                I realised I’d been staring into her blue eyes – counting the splashes of dark green and noting the gold – as if trying to read her mind. I could tell when she was lying – I’d worked it out through cheat – and I wanted to know if she had some secret plan behind what she was telling me.

                But she showed nothing.

                So I sighed. ‘All right, fine.’ Then, turning to Westley, I did my best to be nice. ‘I’ll cover for you.’

                Westley sniffed, nodded tiredly, and sauntered off to the cabins. I was surprised at how quickly Yeti had managed to end the argument and turned to her gratefully.

                ‘Thank you.’ Even I felt a little calmer now. But that could have been because Westley was gone.

                ‘That’s okay.’ Yeti returned, skipping inside.

                And I smiled despite myself.

*

I managed to avoid speaking to Westley until lunchtime the next day, when he asked me a direct question.

                ‘Can you pass the cordial, please?’

                I did so grudgingly, and – when I looked up – found Yeti eyeing me sternly. Her dark blue eyes had gone ice blue, so I knew she considered her idea to be urgent.

‘Thank you.’ Westley muttered, looking about to cry.

Yeti was still glaring, and it was beginning to bug me. So I turned snappishly to Westley.

‘You’re welcome!’ I said, not sounding kind at all. Rolling my head back towards Yeti, I saw her sigh. But when I made eye contact with her she smiled encouragingly.

                It made me feel bad for not trying harder.

                People kept on passing our table and giggling, snickering, or turning away awkwardly. Only Otar, the most sarcastic person on camp, and the guy with the weirdest name, was actually brave enough to say anything.

                ‘So, W.’ He began, and I saw Westley visibly cringe. Serves him right, I thought. But I still felt defensive of him.

                ‘I hear you had an unlucky argument last night.’

                Westley only nodded.

                ‘Oh well, too bad. Hey, a couple of the guys are having a jam after lunch. Wanna come along?’

                Westley froze, and my mouth literally dropped open.

                This was impossible. Doing something completely ridiculous – something that should have banished Westley as a loser forever – was actually… was it actually?....

                ‘I don’t want to intrude…’ Westley muttered, completely fathomed.

                ‘You wouldn’t be, considering over half the guys asked to have you there. I think they feel sorry for you. But they kind of admire your courage too.’

                ‘It was stupidity.’ I muttered quietly, so quietly that only Yeti heard me. She kicked me under the table, but I didn’t bother looking up. I knew I was being unkind.

                ‘All right then.’ Westley accepted the invitation. Then, after receiving yet another invitation from yet another ‘popular’ guy, he moved tables on us.

                Don’t get me wrong: I don’t want to be popular. I don’t hate popular people. And I don’t hate people becoming popular. What I hate is people changing to become popular, or changing because they became popular. Westley would decidedly fit into the latter category, and I knew for a fact that if we let him hang with those guys for long enough, he’d change and become even more unbearable. I ate my meal silently, running these angry thoughts through my mind.

                ‘Don’t worry about it.’ Yeti suddenly said, as if reading my thoughts. ‘W’s always been like that, and he hasn’t changed yet.’

                ‘Yet.’ Was all I muttered in reply.

                ‘Jacob, come on. You should be grateful things are working out well so far.’

                Slowly, I nodded, gradually coming to see her point  and allowing it to calm my dark thoughts. ‘You’re right.’ I agreed. Then, a little more quietly and reluctantly, ‘thanks for not telling me off.’

                Yeti laughed. ‘No, just kicking you under the table: that’s how I role.’

                I grinned widely. ‘I like that.’

*

We played the weirdest game ever that evening. It was much like capture the flag, only at the start everyone was individually put into teams. And no-one knew whose team they were on.

                So the first hour or so of the game was spent walking around trying to work out who was on your team and who wasn’t, the risk being that if the person wasn’t on your team, they could catch you and land you in prison.

                My initial instinct was to hide away and never come out, but I figured that would just be boring, as that was how it was after five minutes. So I stuck my head out of my hiding spot under the hall and looked out for some-one I thought would be on the green team.

                I watched a lot of people catch others and drag some off to prison, but I didn’t see anyone who I trusted enough to ask about teams. And to my surprise, no-one else seemed to be hiding.

                I laughed to myself when I thought of Thomas. He probably had at least three flags by now, and was busily taking the last flag (I mean, who even had those flags?). Well, Thomas might have had brains but he didn’t have leadership skills, which was something I did. If I could summon myself a little army, I could win the game for sure. Because I could plan things like Thomas, though admittedly… I had to have a bit of help. I had a tendency to leave important details out. But I never liked admitting to the holes, so I’d just nod as if I’d been thinking that all along.

                ‘What team?’ A voice asked, and I beamed.

                I turned around to face the small, sharp-featured Yeti, and nearly choked laughing when I saw her. ‘What happened to your hair!?’

                ‘Bush.’ She explained, brushing her long blonde locks out of her eyes as best she could while crawling under a hall. ‘This is a much better hiding spot.’

                ‘That’s because I found it.’

                ‘Jacob, are you going to answer my question?’

                I smiled and shook my head. ‘Who’s to say you’re not going to drag me away to prison?’

                ‘I promise I won’t.’

                I looked into her eyes just to make sure – she was already looking into mine – and realised she was trying extra hard to look believable.

                ‘Liar.’ I concluded.

                ‘Jacob!’ She cried frustratedly. Then, sighing, she spilled the beans. ‘I’m red.’

                I was still staring into her eyes though. It was a strange thing… when I did it I wished I could read her mind. I don’t know what she was thinking when she stared (glared?) at me that way, but I knew what I was thinking. I also didn’t know what she could tell about me from my eyes, but I could tell a lot about her. And, surprisingly, a key aspect I was consistently getting was sadness.

                I laughed in my own peculiar way, which made her smile despite her frustration. It felt good to make her smile after being convinced that she was a sad person. ‘I’m green.’

                Yeti’s eyes widened, but she didn’t move. ‘Are you going to drag me off to prison?’

                I shrugged. ‘There’s no rule saying that I absolutely have to. In fact…’ My eyes widened and I sat up too quickly, bumping my head.

                ‘Careful.’

                ‘Yeah, thanks. Hey, so, why don’t you and I join forces? We’ll get all the flags we can and win!’

                ‘How would that work? And why am I always the minion?’

                ‘Do you want to be the leader?’

                There was a pause. ‘No.’

                ‘That’s why. And in the end we can just… give them all to my team. Come on, I’m sure we can find a green team player who wants to be red, you can switch.’

                ‘Or you can become red.’

                I nodded. ‘Ready?’

                ‘I’m never ready.’

                ‘Then we’re good to go.’

                I made to go out the front door, but Yeti pulled me back by the hood of my… hoodie. ‘Back way’s empty.’ She pointed out. So we snuck (sneaked?) out the back like scared rabbits.

                ‘Where do you reckon the flags are?’ I asked her, and she just shrugged.

                Then she sighed. Following her eyes, I saw why: Westley was sitting all by himself under a tree.

                ‘Just ignore him.’ I tried, walking off and nodding my head, discreetly demanding her to come along. But apparently I wasn’t very discreet, because she frowned.

                ‘I know he’s being dramatic, but…’

                There were footsteps, and we both froze. Turning back to Westley, we saw two people come tearing down the hill, screaming, ‘yellow team, yellow team!’

                ‘Yellow.’ Westley groaned, even though I knew he was blue. I’d overheard Tim give him his colour.

                The two ran past Westley, and straight for Yeti and I.

                ‘Run!’ I shouted, even though I knew Yeti wouldn’t. She liked to avoid running at all costs.

                ‘To where?!’ She returned, but – shock horror! – she was running. I ran after her, enjoying every minute of our sprint.

                ‘Go to the dam.’

                ‘The dam?! What’s at the dam!?’

                ‘Nobody’s at the dam, that’s the point.’

                She didn’t say anything more, and focused on getting to the dam.

                (Yeti, stop laughing and making dam jokes. I’m trying to avoid them so as to keep this ‘G’ rated).

                I don’t know when exactly, but at some point our pursuers simply gave up, so we began walking around the… pool of water…. enjoying the scenery lit up by the beautiful sunset. Birds sung quietly in the background, and we slowed down to enjoy their song. Turning to my right, I saw Yeti’s hair looked orange in the purple rays, and her skin glowed. It would have made a perfect professional picture, as she walked with her head down, looking at her feet to make sure she didn’t trip. Her long eyelashes were the only part of her that didn’t seem to be shining in the rays of light, and I realised with certainty that this was an image that would stay in my mind forever.

                I hated to think how I looked.

                (Stop laughing, Yeti. I know it was a good save).

                After about five minutes, I realised we had entered into an awkward silence. This happened sometimes when Yeti refused to speak. I don’t know for sure, but I think she was testing to see whether or not I wanted to, or how much I wanted to or something.

                ‘It’s so beautiful.’ I mused, gazing over the water. I hoped she’d take this as a hint to start talking, but all she said in reply was, ‘yes.’

                Have you ever had one of those moments when you want to speak so much that everything just flies out of your head? That was me that moment, and either Yeti was having the same problems (which I doubt), or she was refusing to speak because she was tired of choosing the topics. I was betting on the latter.

                That meant I was, in effect, being punished for something, but I didn’t know what. That sent me into a quiet internal argument, where I questioned everything I’d done since the beginning of camp.

                ‘I’m so tired.’ Yeti mused, which wasn’t unusual. She said that a lot in awkward situations like this, and often they led to somewhere else. But, like I said before, I was suffering from speaker’s block and could think of nothing to say. And – judging by the way Yeti had used the phrase ‘I’m tired’ – it was beginning to look like Yeti didn’t know either.

                Which meant I wasn’t being punished. So I relaxed ever so slightly.

I turned to her, smiling as best I could, but wringing my hands behind my back. ‘Wanna race?’

                She laughed. ‘You’ll just win.’

                ‘I’ll give you a head start.’

                But she took off before I’d even finished my sentence.

‘Cheater!’ I cried, before running after her; but I was laughing so hard that I could hardly move at all, and by the time I’d caught up with her (she had to stop so I could), I had a massive stitch.

                ‘Thanks for stopping.’ I panted eventually, in between fits of laughter. Honestly, it wasn’t even that funny. It was just so out of character for Maryette. That was all.

                ‘I didn’t stop for you.’ Yeti returned. ‘I stopped because of that.’ And she pointed to small group of leaders, four of them, each one holding a flag.

                Jackpot.

                I stood straight and tall and put on my thinking face. I don’t know what that looks like, but supposedly I have one.

                ‘All right,’ I began, ‘let’s….’

                (What? What do you mean I speak deeper when I’m being bossy? I wasn’t being bossy, I was organising a siege! And I do not speak deeper. I’m not… I’m not bossy!)

                I finished whispering my plans and turned to see Yeti smirking at me. ‘Done being bossy?’

                I nodded, but I didn’t like hearing that. I heard it quite a lot, but this was the first time I’d heard it from Yeti.

                (Okay, fine maybe it is true).

                I didn’t like hearing it from her.

                Maybe because she was bossy too.

                (Shut up, Yeti, you know it’s true. No, I will not go back and edit that out. Bossy).

                We began phase one of our plan, which was a little vague really, seeing as we didn’t know if the leaders could send us to prison or not. Yeti stepped out into the open first of all.

                ‘A person!’ Tim cried, looking pleased that his game hadn’t totally flopped. ‘Which team are you on?’

                ‘Does it matter?’ Yeti asked, not rudely, but cluelessly, as if to say: ‘please help me. I’m the small, young, clueless blonde girl who doesn’t know a thing about anything’. She used that trick a lot come to think of it.

                ‘Yes.’ Tim answered her question. ‘You’re only allowed to take the flag the colour of your team.’

                She flinched. ‘Then how do you get the other teams’ flags?’

                ‘You have to steal it off them.’

                ‘But all four flags are still here.’

                ‘Yeah. Annoying, I know. Looks like your team will win by default. Which team are you on?’

                ‘Red.’

                Tim eagerly handed her the red flag, and Yeti ran off (after thanking him). I stepped out next.

                ‘Green.’ I said, even before Tim asked.

As he was handing me the green flag, I was surprised to hear footsteps behind me. I knew Yeti wouldn’t be stupid enough to try for another team’s flag, so it had to be another person. Another person as smart as us? Unlikely.

Turning around, I saw Westley and sighed.

‘Stalker.’ I muttered.

‘It’s true.’ Was all WD said in reply. Then, turning to Tim, he said, ‘I’m blue.’

                ‘It’s true.’ I muttered, at the same time as Tim sung, ‘aba dee, aba die’.

                I ran off, because I didn’t doubt for one minute that W would try and steal my flag off me. I didn’t know if Yeti still trusted me enough to have waited for me, but I ran to find her anyway.

                I ran at a brisk yet constant pace, enjoying the cool summer breeze and the beautiful scenery yet again, basking in the sunlight and reveling in my own happiness. I closed my eyes momentarily, and played back the camp’s highlights in my mind: Maddy and Justin filling Nikki’s water with salt that morning (priceless). Yeti laughing in shame when she realised the back of her hand wasn’t the side she thought it was.

                That moment in the sunlight with Maryette, birds flying in the background…. I realised I couldn’t remember what they looked like. I hadn’t paid much attention to them at the time.

                ‘Raa!’

                I jumped and then play-slapped Yeti, which just showed how put out I was. Touching wasn’t really something I did.

                ‘Do you want me to scream?’ I asked, and she just giggled. ‘Come on, let’s go.’

                I began running again, still completely happy, but no longer reveling in it. Actually, I was even happier now, as Yeti – one of my only friends in the world – hadn’t dumped me. She’d waited for me.

                ‘So we’re still friends?’ She posed the question that sounds a lot deeper out of context.

                ‘Yes.’ I confirmed. I noticed she didn’t even bother to look into my eyes to see if I were lying or not. She just nodded and skipped happily beside me.

                She seemed a lot younger than she was when she did that.

                ‘W has the blue flag.’ I said after a while.

                ‘Ooh, one of us could win!’ Yeti squealed, and I realised she’d switched over to hyper tired. So I laughed along with her.

                ‘W’s not going to let us catch him. He’ll be determined to win to ‘prove’ himself or something, when in fact he rode on our…’

                I stopped. I was saying way too much. It was true that I trusted Yeti, but I wasn’t sure I trusted her that much. Or was I not sure if it was right to trust her that much? I shook my head confusedly and walked on in silence.

                I knew what she was going to say next. She was going to suggest we let Westley win, just to be kind.

                After five minutes, I gave up and turned to her almost angrily, as if she’d actually suggested the thing.

                ‘All right!’ I cried. ‘We’ll let him win!’

                Yeti frowned. ‘What?’

                ‘That’s what you wanted isn’t it? We’ll let Westley win to perk him up.’

                Yeti smiled at me warmly. ‘That’s nice, Jacob, but that’s not what I was thinking.’

                I paused, and she did too, just to keep up with me. Because she didn’t want me to feel left alone… because she didn’t want to be left alone. ‘Really? What were you thinking?’

                Maryette giggled again. ‘I was thinking Westley didn’t stand a chance against us.’

                That satiated my arrogance, I suppose, because I liked hearing it.

                ‘Don’t hand it to him,’ Yeti continued, ‘or he’ll hate you. You have to make it seem like he won the flags fair and square.’

                Now she was satiating Westley’s pride; something that I didn’t like at all. But at the same time, if I were going to be nice, I may as well do it properly. Give him something to sing about, why not?

                ‘Fine.’ I grumbled. ‘But how do you suggest I do that?’

                ‘I don’t know, Jacob. But you know what I do know?’

                Her eyes were unusually bright now, like they were when she lied, so I began to suspect something was up. ‘What?’

                ‘Try and guess.’

                ‘Is this a riddle?’ I persisted, to which she only shook her head to say, ‘just guess.’

                We were standing in the middle of the path beside the dam – hardly a ‘safe’ place to be – but I was so intently curious it didn’t even occur to me at the time.

                ‘I don’t know!’ I cried at last. ‘What do you know?!’

                Suddenly, Westley rounded the corner and tore past us. Looking down at my hand I found the flag was gone. And so was Yeti’s.

                I turned to her, somewhat annoyed, making that face she liked to call a zelver…

                (What do you mean it wasn’t? Oh, it wasn’t annoying enough was it? Well how’s this? Okay, enough face making. Back to the story.)

Westley had stolen our flags. Turning to Yeti I said, ‘smooth. Only Westley actually did steal mine.’

                ‘Only cos I let him.’ Yeti returned. ‘Come on, let’s run.’

                She got another head start, but this time I caught up easily because I wasn’t laughing. Fortunately though, Westley was a fast runner, so we didn’t have a chance of catching up to him. Instead, all we did was run after him screaming, ‘give us back our flags!’

                He just ran on, pleased with himself.

                ‘So,’ I asked in between running and attempting to breathe by swallowing huge amounts of air. ‘What do you know?’

                Yeti only laughed, which confirmed in my mind that she hadn’t had any idea what to say next. ‘I know…’ she began, just to reply. ‘…that I don’t know much.’

                I chuckled and did not contradict her.

                The car horn sounded as we cleared the dam, entering into the bush, and Westley stopped running at once.

                ‘I won!’ He cried, and I wanted to be sick.

                I surprised myself by smiling and giving my brother a crushing man-hug instead

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