The students huddled miserably in their cabin, unable
to sleep due to the fact that they were all far too scared to even blink, let
alone turn out the light and close their eyes. The only sleeping person in the
entire cabin was Mr. Bronston, who was currently snoring loudly on the bottom
bunk of a bed in the corner.
Atyur gave a small shudder.
"That story was so scary!" he whispered. Everyone
nodded in agreement.
"I know! I mean, the eye was like, always watching
him!" Mrkrawk quaked. A sudden snap coming from outside the cabin caused all
the Pets to jump in terror.
"Ack! What was that?"
"Maybe it was the glass eye coming to watch
"What do we do?"
Everyone turned his or her head in Zarrelian’s
direction. The Ixi had been the one who had shouted, nearly rousing Mr. Bronston
out of his slumber. Zarrelian seated himself on his pillow.
"Okay, now, I know you’re scared… so am I. And
obviously, there’s something menacing outside of our cabin." He spread open
his hoofs. "I mean, come on! We heard a snapping sound! What more proof do you
need?" Atyur clawed at his face in anxiety.
"But what do we do, Zarrel?" He cried. Zarrelian
punched one hoof into the other.
"Simple. We do the most logical thing… we run
outside screaming like headless Pedackles into the forest and hide there. That
way, whatever’s outside the cabin will only be able to paint Mr. Bronston ghost
without the brush, and we’ll be completely safe."
A roar of approval tore from the throats of
every pet. Zarrelian led the charge out of the cabin, all of them screaming,
as the Ixi had so aptly put it, like headless Pedackles. They stumbled blindly
into the menacing forest and scrambled up one of the trees.
Hardly daring to breath, the pets sat on one
of the tree’s boughs, crouched underneath the rustling foliage. Zarrelian grinned.
"We’ll be safe here, guys. Glass eyes can’t
climb trees!" the Ixi hissed. The pets watched with bated breath as a shadowy
figure shrouded in darkness swept up to the deserted cabin, and entered. Atyur
"For a glass eye, that thing is pretty big!"
Mr. Torrent gasped in shock and released his hold on the mug of steaming hot
chocolate, the hot beverage splashing on to the cabin’s floor. The Kacheek had
entered the cabin just to check on the students, just to make sure that they
were okay. Every year, the students had been fine. But not this year. So where
were they? He allowed his gaze to rove around the sparsely furnished cabin before
coming to rest of the sleeping form of Mr. Bronston. The Kacheek growled under
his breath and stomped over to the peacefully slumbering Draik, shaking him
"Andy! Wake up!" he hissed. Mr. Bronston yawned
and groggily sat up, blinking blearily as he glanced around the cabin.
"Marcus! What’re you doing here?" the Draik
asked, rubbing his eye with one paw while massaging his aching wing with the
other. Mr. Torrent jabbed a spotted paw at the empty beds.
"Your students are missing Andy! And you know
why? It’s because your stupid story scared them!" he roared. Mr. Bronston coughed,
drawing his covers tighter around his scales to keep out the cold evening air.
"Sure, Marcus. You expect me to believe that
when students get scared they go parading around the woods in the middle of
"This ain’t no pajama party, Andy. They’re MISSING!
And it’s all your fault." The Kacheek cursed under his breath. "I knew they
should’ve fired you when they got the chance." Mr. Bronston’s eyes watered.
"What do you mean?"
"You’re a lousy teacher, Andy! And you can’t
even keep an eye on your dumb students." Mr. Torrent spat. The Draik snarled,
jumping out of bed and pulling on his coat.
"I’ll show you, Torrent! I’ll FIND those pets,
and comfort them too!"
With a vicious hiss, Mr. Bronston turned on
his heel and stormed out the door, determined to relocate his Pets. Mr. Torrent
remained in the abandoned cabin for a few moments before grudgingly jogging
Mr. Bronston immediately regretted not grabbing
a flashlight before venturing out into the woods. It was black as pitch, and
not even the moon, hanging in the inky black sky like a polished silver dollar,
could provide any illumination. Instead, Mr. Bronston had to rely on his own
fire-breathing powers to light his way. The Draik grabbed a smoldering branch
from the fire pit and alighted it with his fiery breath, pleased at how bright
the flame was. He held it at an arm’s length and continued on his way, plodding
clumsily through the forest.
From the top branches of the tree, Atyur spotted a strange figure and raised
his orange-furred maw to the sky, releasing a low howl and signaling an intruder.
Zarrelian turned from his post in the cross-section of the tree and peered out
into the darkness, frisking his small tail from side to side in excitement.
Atyur approached the Ixi and crouched down next to him.
"Do you see who it is, Zarrel?" the Lupe asked.
Zarrelian shook his head.
"No, but my Ixi instincts tell me that he —
or it is evil. Grab the pinecones and prepare to attack." Atyur nodded
and hailed for the other Pets, who came scrambling down the tree, armed to the
teeth with pinecones of varying sizes. Zarrelian held up his hoof.
"Okay… wait just a little longer. Yes, that’s
it… just a little closer…" Down on the ground, Mr. Bronston obliviously strayed
within throwing distance of the student laden tree. Zarrelian grinned wickedly.
"Okay, fire at will!"
With a ferocious warcry, the Pets hurled their
pinecones, striking Mr. Bronston quite a few times on the cranium. The Draik
tottered for a moment on the forest floor before finally loosing his footing
and toppling down to the ground, out cold. The pets cheered triumphantly and
leapt off the tree, revealing in their victory. Mrkrawk, who had the best night
vision, quickly stopped celebrating when he recognized the unconscious form
sprawled amidst the leaves and twigs.
"Stop!" the Krawk shouted. "It’s Mr. Bronston!"
"So… you’re saying that Mr. Bronston was the
glass eye all along?" he exclaimed in an astonished tone.
His fellow students just stared at him. The
Ixi sniggered sheepishly, glancing nervously around.
"Joking, only joking…" he assured. At that exact
moment, Mr. Torrent came jogging through the forest and over to the crowded
Pets. Upon seeing Mr. Bronston’s limp form, the Kacheek chuckled and shook his
"Poor Draik. Oh well, he’ll be happy to know
that we’re leaving tomorrow…"
Mr. Bronston was extremely grateful for the busses that the Neoschool principal
had sent to pick up the students and their teachers on the last day of camp.
The Draik sighed contentedly as he leaned back in his cushy seat, appreciating
the cool breeze from the open window that played across his scaly face. A sudden
tap on his shoulder jolted Mr. Bronston out of his reverie. He whirled around
to come face to face with non other than Mr. Torrent. The Kacheek grinned.
"Another successful camping trip, eh Andy?"
he chuckled. Mr. Bronston rolled his eyes.
"Sure. Let’s just count not loosing any students
as successful," he replied sarcastically. The Draik was already anticipating
a dreadful, small-talk dripping conversation, but luckily, the bus rolled up
in front of the Neoschool, the front doors swinging open as it came to a complete
stop. The Pets clambered off the bus, chatting and shoving as they fought to
be the first to exit. Mr. Bronston strolled leisurely out the doors, picking
up his suitcase as he went.
The Draik grimaced as he caught sight of the
Neoschool principal standing off to the side and wringing his paws distractedly,
dying to know how the camping trip had gone.
"So how was it?" the Poogle anxiously asked.
Mr. Bronston sighed. Where to start? He recalled all the crazy misadventures
of the trip, and finally managed to compile all of them into a single, all-answering
Author’s Note: A shout out to the wonderful Smudgeoffudge, who was kind
enough to le me use her Krawk, Mrkrawk, in the story. Thanks, Fudge! =)