Hi, guys! It’s me again (I don’t know who else it would be, actually). And yes, I said ‘again,’ because this is my third post in a row! Isn’t this consistency getting boring? I really should try to write less often.
Well, this is the second part of my youth-group-with-superheroes-because-that’s-not-random-at-all story! If you haven’t already read it, I’d recommend checking out the first part of this story before reading this 😉 Anyways, enough of my ramblings. On with the story, and I hope you all enjoy!
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Faith started to lower her forcefield towards the ground. Not wanting to wait, I leaped off, spreading my large purple wings, and flew to the ground, perching on one of the large, old couches situated closer to the stage and watching with amusement as everyone gathered for games, several of the older counselors getting together to melt the giant ice slide in the middle of the room and make enough space for us to play whatever games they’d planned.
It didn’t take too much longer for Faith and Ethan to join me, settling in on the couch beside me. Once everyone was settled and the room had been mostly cleared up (though there were still a few puddles, leaves, or burnt patches here and there), Pastor Jackson appeared on the now ice-free stage, grinning.
“Hey, guys!” He said, his voice once again amplified.
“One of the counselors can make people’s voices louder or quieter.” Ethan explained in a whisper.
“Is everyone excited for youth?” Pastor Jackson called out.
A loud chorus of cheers rang out through the room.
“Awesome!” I wasn’t sure if it was possible or not, but somehow his grin got even bigger. “We’ve got some great games for you tonight! Now, because it’s still relatively light out, we’re going to start with Manhunt-”
He was temporarily cut off by a series of cheers, along with a few quieter sounds of disappointment, after which he proceeded to lay out the boundaries, then appoint two boys to be the ‘hunters.’ One of the boys looked fairly ordinary, but I recognized the other as the kid usually called Smaug, whose large, scaly dragon wings would give him a big advantage during the game. Beside me, Ethan and Faith both groaned.
“What?” I whispered, though I had a feeling I knew why they suddenly looked so glum.
“Mason has x-ray vision and enhance s-.” Faith began to explain. However, she suddenly stopped, her mouth still moving, but no sound coming out. I frowned, but then my thoughts were interrupted as Pastor Jackson cleared his throat, getting everyone’s attention.
“Thank you, Abigail.” He nodded at one of the counselors, who was staring intently at the group of kids spread out on the couches. “As I was saying, Mason and Smaug will be the ones running around trying to tag you guys. If you get tagged, come back up here.” His eyes twinkled with excitement. “You’ve got a 60-second head start. Go!”
Suddenly all the noise that the one counselor had somehow stopped came flooding back as chairs scraped and the group of kids took off towards one of towards one of the many exits from the gym, some flying, others running, galloping, or simply disappearing into thin air.
Faith grabbed my arm, tugging me with the mass of people racing at the door, Ethan following us. I dashed out one of the side doors along with many of the kids, rushing through the Church as they headed to the large field they had out back.
Several stayed behind to try and hide in the Church, but my friends and I ran out the back doors, since Faith seemed to have something of a plan for not getting tagged during the game. I started to slow down once we were outside the Church, but Faith kept on running, rounding the corner of the old building before stopping.
“What’s… the plan?” I asked, trying to catch my breath.
“Keep moving?” Ethan suggested.
“Sort of. We need to find a good hiding spot outside where Smaug won’t notice us from above. Mason will probably search inside because of his x-ray vision and enhanced senses, and Smaug will be searching the skies or outside. So if we stay under trees or bushes, we should be good.”
I nodded, beginning to shift from one foot to the other in anticipation. This was going to be so much fun! A sudden, loud, voice broke into my thoughts.
“The game is starting in three…” Pastor Jackson’s extremely amplified voice began. “Two… One…. Go!”
For a few seconds, nothing happened. Then I heard as the back doors flew open, and Smaug came flying out, heading straight up into the sky, where quite a few kids had been soaring about while waiting for the game to begin.
My friends pulled me into the shadow of some large bushes, where we crouched to avoid being seen. Peeking through the green leaves, I watched in amusement as Smaug (armed with a bright blue pool noodle) flew after several other winged kids, attempting to tag them out.
“Can’t you just create a bubble around us?” I whispered to Faith. “Then we wouldn’t get tagged.”
“That’s no fun.” She whispered back. “Plus it would be cheating.”
She probably had a point, but I still felt that it would be a valid way to win the game.
I ducked low as Smaug swooped overhead again, then peered out again almost immediately. This was too fun not to watch. It was actually rather surprising that people walking by weren’t pausing to stare as kids soared through the air (both with or without the use of wings), sending blasts of light, energy, plants, water, and other things at Smaug, while others disappeared into thin air or morphed into wild animals.
Silently flailing her arms at me in frustration, Faith pulled me back further into the foliage.
“Do you want to get caught?” She whispered.
“I was just watching,” I protested.
She rolled her eyes, settling back into her hiding spot. With a slight sigh, I did the same, still peeking out occasionally to see what was happening.
Several moments passed, with nothing exciting happening. Most of the action seemed to be on the other side of the church. It didn’t take long for my attention to wander. I began toying with the hair elastic on my wrist, snapping it, shooting it at myself, and altogether being very bored.
“What’s-his-name is coming!” Ethan whispered, growing stiff.
“Who?” I asked, frowning.
Just then, the bushes nearby rustled, and I noticed the other ‘hunter,’ Mason, creeping towards us.
With a cry of surprise, Faith and I both leapt into the air, me literally as I spread my wings, flapping them wildly to get away from Mason. Below, my two friends scurried out of the bushes, Faith using several force fields to slow Mason as he raced towards them.
I fluttered about, only ten or so feet off of the ground, wondering if there was any way I could help my friends. However, I was quickly distracted from that as I noticed several people hurtling through the air towards me, which I guessed would be Smaug chasing several other flying teenagers. I blinked in surprise, for a second not knowing what to do.
Glancing down, it was obvious I couldn’t land on the ground again. Another girl, this one able to teleport, had joined Mason in tagging people with pool noodles. I hesitated for another second, then took off, flying as quickly as I could to get away from Smaug.
I climbed higher and higher into the air until I was almost as high as some of the low-lying clouds. Yet as I glanced down, I was frustrated to see Smaug still following me. Turning about and tucking my wing at my sides, I dove towards the ground, hoping to avoid the boy as I plummeted to the ground. For a second, he seemed startled. Then he followed suit, folding his wings to the side and plummeting after me.
Holding my breath as I dropped, I tried to ignore the ground steadily growing closer. I was not going to get tagged. I would not lose! I’d just have to hope that Smaug would spread his wings to slow his fall before I did.
Yet when I managed to glance behind myself, it seemed like he had absolutely no intention of doing so. He just kept diving after me, and the ground just kept getting nearer. I bit my lip, my heart beating in nervous, excited anticipation. The ground was barely twenty feet away. Now fifteen… Now ten…
Finally, I caved in and spread my wings, my face only a few feet from the ground. My open wings caught the air like a parachute, whipping my body around while dragging me up in the air a bit before I dropped roughly to the ground.
I remembered to roll as my feet touched down, which somewhat softened the rough landing. I really needed to work on my dives. Unfortunately for me, my roll left me off balance and rather discombobulated. I tried to start running, got tangled up in my own two feet, and only avoided falling over because of my wings, which flapped wildly to steady me.
Then something whacked me on the head, and I whirled about. Smaug smirked at me, his blue pool noodle still outstretched from tagging me. Then several kids soared past in the sky, and he took off after them, powerful wings letting him ascend quickly as he chased the others.
With a sigh, I turned back to the church and headed towards the gym, where we had been instructed to go when tagged. The room was already full of quite a few tagged kids, all goofing off together as they waited for everyone to be tagged so they could start the second round of manhunt.
The waiting took much longer than I’d expected, and I soon became impatient, pacing back and forth while I waited for some news of how the game was going. Roughly fifteen minutes after I entered the gym, Faith arrived and explained why it was taking so long.
Apparently, Mason, Smaug, and the teleporting girl (named Alexa) had teamed up to go after two particularly fast twins who were working to give the three hunters as much trouble as possible. It took, as Faith put it, ages before they caught and tagged the twins, which was why the game was taking so long.
Eventually the leaders had to call an end to it and declare the remaining untagged players to be the winners. Then they gathered everyone back to the gym to start a second round, this one with several leaders as the ‘hunters.’
Hearing that the leaders, all of whom had powers, were going to be trying to tag us had made me rather nervous until Ethan explained most of the leaders were easy to avoid. There were really only two to worry about, Maddison Blake (who could fly) and Josiah Price (who could become invisible and also happened to be very athletic).