"What happened?" Annie asked, after landing next to Riley and Lexi. Her two friends stood there with their jaws on the ground, staring at the bushes. "What?" Annie asked, now getting annoyed.
She whirled around to look at what her friends were entranced by. She saw nothing, but a few clumps of underbrush. Then, she saw a patch of white through the leaves. It moved. Slowly, the form of a boy became visible through the thick branches.
Annie gasped. "You there!" She called, her voice cracking embarrassingly.
The boy didn't turn but instead disentangled himself from the low foliage and ran. He ran along the cliff, seemingly unaffected by the forty-foot drop a few feet away from him.
"Hey! Stop!" Riley called. She started after him, her long athletic legs easily catching up to him. Annie jumped off the cliff and flew after them. Seeming to be weighed down by the camera, the young boy dropped it in order to run faster. Sure enough, after he had let go of it, he started to go even faster. He easily out-ran Riley and disappeared into the dark. Annie landed next to the camera and waited until she transformed back into herself to pick it up.
When Lexi and Riley came to where she was standing, they both looked relieved.
"Well, now no one will believe him," Riley said with a rueful grin.
"Ya, but that was like, waaay too close! What would've happened if he had gotten away with it?" Lexi asked worriedly.
"Nothing good, I'm sure," Annie said somberly. She held up the small camera. She clicked the button to see the photos, but a message popped up on the screen.
"The - the SD card. It's gone!" She wailed.
Riley's jaw dropped.
Lexi groaned. "Of course."
The three girls glumly sat down on the edge of the cliff, their legs dangling off the edge.
Annie glanced at her friends. "What do we do? He has the pictures!"
"There's not much we can do." Lexi said. "Let's go home. It's really late. We'll figure it out in the morning."
"Okay. I'm ready to go." Annie said.
"You comin', Riley?" Lexi asked.
"Nah, I think I'm gonna stay here a while. I'll see you tomorrow!" Riley said, still gazing out into the ocean. The two girls stood and walked away.
That's odd, Annie thought to herself as she walked with Lexi towards home. On second thought, she probably just wants to think. Actually, why don't Lexi and I just fly home? It'd be way faster and I don't think I can last much longer.
"Hey, Lexi," Annie said aloud. "Do you just want to fly home?"
"Sure. Duh, why didn't I think of that?" Lexi said, smacking herself on her forehead.
"I'll race you to the cliff!" Annie challenged.
"Only if you're ready to lose!" Lexi said.
"Okay. Ready…set…GO!" Annie called out. The two girls ran back the way they had came. Upon reaching the edge of the cliff, they whizzed by Riley, startling her badly.
"Hey!" She called, then gasped as they continued over the edge, hurtling themselves into the darkness.
Annie smiled (as much as she could in her bird state) as she soared upward, and raced Lexi towards their neighborhood. Lexi and Riley were next-door to each other, and Annie had just moved in across the street.