Episode 21: Scavenger Hunt
Amber the Unicorn-Girl and William the Werewolf walked side by side down a winding path to meet the contestants in a meadow. "You may be wondering which of us is returning," Amber said. "It’s William."
The remnants of Tribe Depths, Dedrick (centaur), Ranzkin (gnome) and Paige (zombie), cheered.
"Just great," Gorm (mage) mumbled sarcastically to Kailen (fairy). "Four from Depths against the two of us."
"Before we begin, I need your votes for who goes on the altar. Two of you will be in danger of leaving the island this week."
Ranzkin voted for Gorm.
Dedrick voted for Kailen.
Paige voted for Gorm.
William voted for Paige.
Gorm voted for William.
Kailen voted for Dedrick.
"Wow," Amber said reviewing the results. "We’ll need an eagle name-drop for the second contestant again." After the eagle dropped stones with missives attached, Amber untied the first one. "Nope, this guy’s already on the altar." She opened the next and nodded. "The two contestants on the altar, one of which will be sacrificed by the viewers this week, are Gorm and Dedrick."
"This weeks Immunity Challenge is called Scavenger Hunt," Amber continued. "You’ll each be given a random list with three items you must find and bring back here." She passed out the lists. "You can begin now!"
Gorm glanced at his list. "Oh this is going to be easy."
"You said it," Kailen replied, refolding his slip of paper.
Ranzkin smiled and winked at Dedrick. The players ran for the woods, shoving each other to take the lead. Something moved in the brush ahead.
William stopped and smelled the air. "What’s that?"
The others slowed as an animal growled. "Woolss?" Paige asked.
Ranzkin shook her head. "I don’t think it is wolves."
Five scavengers, four-legged, tusked, meat-eating beasts, emerged from the shrubs. Saliva dripped from their gaping mouths.
"I don’t think these are native to the island," Gorm said.
"Oh I get it," William said. "Scavenger Hunt. It’s more than finding things." He laughed before running straight at the pack. The monsters charged him but before colliding, William leapt over them into the brush and disappeared among the trees.
Only one scavenger stopped to relocate its prey. The rest continued toward the other players. Dedrick stood in front of Paige, lifted Ranzkin from the ground, then turned and kicked a beast with his hind legs. The animal squealed as his skull fractured and face bruised. Defeated, it ran. The others seemed reluctant, perhaps hoping for an easier meal.
Kailen shouted from the nook of a tree where he’d taken shelter. "Nice one, Ded."
The centaur didn’t have time to respond before Kailen took off in search of the contents on his list. "Good luck," Ranzkin called, jumping down from Dedrick’s hand. "I’ll take you off the altar if I win."
"Be careful," Dedrick called. He began looking for a shelf mushroom, an acorn and sap from a grapevine.
If Paige’s heart beat, she might have a heart attack. Her first run-in with a scavenger early in the show had been terrifying. Attracted by her smell, the thing wanted to eat her. She ran back to the meadow while the others plunged deeper in the woods. In her rush, she smacked into a young tree, sending a shower of debris into her hair.
The scavengers hunted her friends under the dense canopy for now, but there was no guarantee they wouldn’t seek her scent in the sunlit meadow.
"What are you doing back so soon?" Amber asked. "You found everything?"
Paige shook her head. "Scavengers."
Amber’s eyebrow raised. "Really? The producers of this show are a blood thirsty lot."
Paige reviewed her list. A yellow bonnet flower, a blue feather and a maple leaf. The field was full of flowers, including a small clump of yellow bonnets. When she bent to pick one, a grass bird nest came free of her tangled hair and dropped to the ground.
"I was going to ask if bird nest hats were the new thing on the island." Amber giggled.
Paige barely noticed the teasing. She stared at a blue feather stuck in the nest. If she dared return to the forest for a maple leaf, she could win this competition.
"You still have stuff in your hair," Amber said, reaching out and pulling twigs off of Paige. She dusted the last of the debris from the zombie’s back.
"Annks," Paige said.
"No problem," Amber replied. "Let me see your list."
Paige sighed and handed the paper to Amber. No use trying to go back in with those scavengers. They might rip her up pretty good, and then she’d really die in her one hour a day of being human-alive.
"Oh my goodness, Paige," Amber cried. "You’ve won!"
Paige’s brow furrowed. "Nooo. I cannt gooo back in ooodz. Don’t avv leavv."
Amber picked up something from near Paige’s feet. Smiling, she showed her the maple leaf. "You brought it out in your hair."
Paige didn’t take anyone off the altar. You choose who will be sacrificed and go home this week. Vote Contestant 1 for Gorm the Mage, or vote Contestant 2 for Dedrick the Centaur. Which one leaves? You Decide!
Writer for Soldak
I love Paige. Of course I also loved Christina. I really liked Eadric, Lina and Nessa too, so me loving her doesn't mean she'll have more of a chance! I'm getting excited about who's going to win! There are only 2 weeks left!
Writer for Soldak