“You’ve got to help me! Somebody! Please!”
The cries were heard clearly outside, and Bluetopaz, ForgetMeNot, Shoshana and KhanMan rushed outside to see what was the matter. A girl in tattered clothing was clutching her head and groaning.
“What’s the matter?” Bluetopax asked, taking her hand and looking her over for any sign of injury.
“They’re coming! You’ve got to help me…my sister is trapped in the house, and they’re going to kill her!” She was getting hysterical, her dark eyes full of tears.
“Who?” asked Shoshana, concerned. “And where is your house?”
“My house is this way,” she said, pointing. “Come on!”
“Wait,” called ForgetMeNot, as they followed. “What’s your name?”
“April,” the girl called out. “Hurry, there’s not much time!”
They arrived at a little house that had numerous holes in the ground all around it. April put out her arm and halted them a couple hundred yards away. “Sshhhh,” she said, looking around cautiously. “They’ll hear us.”
“Who will hear us?” asked KhanMan, curious and frustrated at the same time.
“The hotheaded naked rock borers.”
“The WHAT!” KhanMan exploded, but Bluetopaz put her hand over his mouth.
“Excuse me dear, what did you say?”
“The hotheaded naked rock borers. They’re furless creatures that have bony plates on their head with so many blood vessels that they can get really hot, and it allows them to bore right through dirt and some kinds of rock,” April explained. “They’re quick. And they eat anything that walks over their burrows.”
“Hotheaded…come on, are you serious?” Shoshana asked incredulously.
“Dead serious.” The girl stared levelly at her.
“How do you know all this stuff about their heads?” FMN wondered.
“Caught one once,” April said grimly. “I dissected it to learn more about them. We were under attack. I had to find out how to fight against them.”
“So…how do you?” KhanMan asked.
“Don’t know.” She sighed. “All I can do is set up decoys so I can get out of the house. But my sister…she’s not as fast as I am. She won’t make it, and if I carry her I’m not fast enough to get past either. I need your help.”
“What do you expect us to do?” Bluetopaz asked.
“I need you to be decoys. Just long enough for me to get my sister out of there.”
Shoshana whistled. “Wow, you must think we’re stupid or something. We aren’t going to be bait for any naked whatevers.” She paused. “Well, for some whatevers we would, but not this one.”
“Please,” April pleaded with them. “You’re my only hope!”
They sighed and looked at each other. “Okay,” said FMN. “What do we do?”
They hatched a plan in which the Debs would run in a scattered pattern, enough to confuse the hotheaded naked rock borers long enough for April to get to the house and bring her sister out. They set the plan in motion, and off April went. She was indeed a fast runner, and when she reached the porch, she called to the sprinting, dodging Debs as the ground began to rumble.
“Oh…did I mention there’s really no such thing as hotheaded naked rock borers?” she giggled. “Fooled you!” Then she paused. “And I also forgot to mention that what we really do have are sand worms.” And a giant sand worm burst out of the ground and swallowed them up. April smiled, her eyes black, and disappeared.