The air was bacon-thick. April’s stomach roared and she froze in her tracks. A lull in conversation told her they already knew she was there, however, so she peeked an eye around the kitchen corner. Nick was waiting. The smile didn’t reach his eyes when he grinned and drew his finger across a throat studded with bright red welts. “You’re dead,” he mouthed.
April slowly raised her middle finger.
Her brother’s oldest friend sat alongside, shoveling scrambled eggs with one hand and raking at mosquito bites with another. Two buddies she didn’t recognize had their backs to her, one similarly afflicted but the other unhindered. Zach caught her eye at the head of the table and offered a crooked smile. He wasn’t scratching either. Wink.
She gasped and yanked her head out of view, slammed her back against the wall.
Her mom’s voice, lost inside the oven: “April, that you?” A pan clattered to the stovetop and cinnamon prickled April’s senses.
Why did it have to be sticky-buns?
Not even that buttery, iced delicacy could lure her into the dragon’s jaws, though. On her way out the back door, she spotted Nick’s backpack slouched in a corner. She donned her purple hoodie and slung the bag over her shoulder in one fluid motion, skipping down the steps in pairs before the slamming door cut her mother’s call short. Jogging through a stand of elm trees, she fished around a padded inner compartment and caught a granola bar, pronto.
She sighed and ripped it open. “Such a prepared Boy Scout, Nick.”
The morning was cool; she settled the pack on her shoulders and plunged her free hand into a cozy sweatshirt pocket.
“Huh?” Her brow creased, April unfolded the crumpled slip of paper. “Meet me at Forest and Hemlock, noon. Zach.”
This flash fiction is a part of the Blogging From A to Z (April 2015) Challenge. A new installment arrives every day in April, following the alphabet; check the calendar below to see which letters post on which days. Read more about this blogfest HERE.