The Great Outdoors
by AJ

"Hey, Sam." Ainsley walked up behind Sam as their hike came to an end and they were returning to the campsite.

"Hey, Ainsley," Sam smiled.

"Did you have fun on the hike?" She asked, sitting down next to him on the ground near the center of their campsite.

"Yeah," Sam nodded. "Especially the part where you and Donna took rocks and sticks and things like that that you found on the trail and threw them into the woods, pretending to be scared, as if it were snakes making the noises."

Ainsley laughed, "I liked the part of the hike where you saw a squirrel climbing up a tree and stopped everyone to say, and I quote, "look at the tree going up the squirrel."

Sam shot her a look, "Are you going to keep bringing that up?"

"You bet," she grinned.

"Uh, guys," Donna broke into the conversation. "Not to change the subject or anything... but, has anyone seen Josh?" Donna looked all around the campsite, but there was absolutely no signs of Josh anywhere at all.

"He was right behind me," Toby answered, turning around to find Josh not there. "Uh, Josh?"

"Okay, leave it to Josh to disappear on us," CJ muttered.

"What if he didn't just disappear, what if he's lost?" Donna asked.

"Josh?" CJ called out loud as she looked back at the trail they had just taken on their hike. "Josh?" she repeated, a hand up above her eyes, as she looked far off into the distance.

"When is the last time anyone saw him?" Sam asked, taking Ainsley's canteen and drinking from it.

Ainsley slapped Sam and stole the canteen away from him, "He was in front of me when we stopped to see the deer."

"What about when we saw the tree going up the squirrel?" CJ asked.

"Okay. Not even funny, CJ," Sam responded quickly.

"I thought it was," CJ grinned.

Donna shook her head, "Now that you mention it, I don't think he was with us anymore at that point."

"We should split up and go look for him," Toby said.

"Good idea," Donna ran a hand through her hair.

"I'll stay here in case he comes back," Sam offered.

CJ nodded, "Donna and I will go this way and look for him," she pointed to where they had started their hike.

"I guess Toby and I will go this way, then," Ainsley said, standing up and pointing to the spot in the woods where the trail they had taken came to an end.

"Hey," Sam stood up.

"What?"

"I brought some walkie talkie's with me... They have like a two mile range. There's four of them..."

"Where are they?" Donna asked.

"Right over here in my bag," Sam moved over to the guys' tent and went inside. A moment later, he returned with three walkie talkie's in his hands. He handed one to CJ, one to Toby and kept one for himself.

"So whoever finds him, inform the rest of us with the radio."

"Right," CJ said, then picked up a canteen full of cold water from a blue cooler. "See you guys later," she said as she and Donna began to walk towards the start of the hike.

Ainsley then turned to Toby, "Let me just grab my canteen."

Toby nodded and then reached down for his baseball cap. After putting it snuggly onto the top of his head Ainsley was standing in front of him, ready to go.

Part 13

 

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