Luke closed the basement door behind him, as the rest cautiously trekked down the stairs into the basement. Johnny kept the game close to him, while Dan and Heather looked around with uncertainty. Even as they were deep below the house, a nearby window showed that the hail storm was only growing worse with tiny hail stones gathered in a pile. As all this was happening, they couldn't help but ponder whether this mysterious weather phenomenon was a coincidence or not.
"I guess the pizza delivery is out of the equation," Heather remarked.
"If he gets here, I'm giving him a 'big' tip!" Dan declared.
"Maybe the storm will pass," Johnny assured. "Hail storms don't last that long, right?"
"So, we're just gonna sit it out here or what?" Dan asked, uncertain.
As they talked, Johnny pulled out a table from a corner and set the game on top, opening the lids.
"Or… We could finish playing the game while the storm passes."
"Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait!" Heather butted in. "You STILL want to play?"
"We might as well; got nothing else to do down here."
"Yeah, I'd rather play seven minutes in heaven… With DAN!"
"Hey now let's get ahead of ourselves," Dan backed off. "Besides Heather, you'd only have to ask."
"I was being facetious."
"Great, you two can argue about it," Johnny suggested, grabbing the dice. "While I take a turn."
Johnny rolled the dice into a 5, causing Johnny's game token to slide along the spaces. Another riddle soon formed within the crystal ball as Johnny read aloud.
"'They march and eat, and march and eat. If I were you, I'd watch my feet.'"
"I don't like the sound of that…" Luke murmured.
Johnny kicked a leg up when he felt a sharp sting causing everyone else to jump back. He reached down and pulled up a tiny creature the size of a nickel in his fingers, it's mandibles chomping fiercely and it's tiny legs wiggling in his grasp.
"What the hell is that!?" Heather shouted.
"An ant," Johnny noted. "It bit my ankle!"
"That's an AWFULLY big ant," Dan pointed out. "An ant with… Really… Big… Mandibles…"
They noticed Dan's eyed widen as they turned toward where he was staring and all at once they shared in Dan's shock.
"Oh hell!" Luke shouted, getting up a chair.
Suddenly, a mass army of ants burst through a crack in the basement wall marching towards the startled quartet.
"Whoa!" Johnny shouted, standing up as the ant escaped his grip.
"No, no, no, NOPE!" Heather shook her head, hopping toward a nearby couch.
As the four find a safe place from the floor, Luke looked around as hundreds more emerge from the darkness swarming all across the floor. Their mandibles snapped in the air looking for something to grip. And all the while they tried to keep their distance from these savage insects.
"Okay, now this is definitely not a coincidence," Dan concluded, tucking his trousers into his socks.
"LUKE, GET US OUT OF HERE!" Heather shouted.
"Do something, man!" Johnny added.
"Everyone, stomp on 'em!" Luke shouted.
Luke hopped from the table, squishing a few on the ground. The group tried to stomp on the ants, several scattering to avoid their feet. Heather hopped from the couch toward the table and onto a chair. Holding on and with all her strength, Heather hopped the chair towards a desk with a cabinet hanging over it. She reached out, opening a cabinet when she noticed some ants inside of it. She quickly reached in, pulling out a spray can and lighter, shaking off any ants clinging to her sleeve. Lighting the lighter and holding the spray can in front, she aimed for the concrete floor flooded with ants.
"BURN, YOU BASTARDS!"
Amy pushed the nozzle, causing the spray to blow against the flames spreading fire against the ants. Several ants were caught in the fire, running around, while several other ants managed to spread away from the flames. But these ants kept fighting back, as the boys felt the sting of their bites along their feet.
"Ow!" Johnny cried, holding his foot. "It's no use, there's just too many!"
Though she held her own, the sprayer suddenly wasn't shooting more flames and Heather hurled the empty canister and lighter aside.
"Damn it!" Heather cursed. "We gotta get upstairs!"
"Are you crazy?" Dan shouted. "It might still be pelting hail out there!"
"Better than being down here," Johnny noted. "Come on!"
Left with little choice, the four teenagers dashed towards the stairs with Heather bolting ahead towards the door. The ant swarm climbed their way up the stairs, some climbing along the rails. But once they were through the door, they quickly shut the door and bolted it shut.
"That door's not going to hold 'em," Dan pointed out. "I'll grab a couple of tea towels!"
Dan made his way towards the kitchen, as the others took a moment to catch their breath.
"Those looked a hell of a lot like army ants down there," Johnny noted.
"Where… The hell… Did they… Come from?" Luke asked, between breathes.
"Have you idiots not been paying attention to a single riddle that game spouted?" Heather questioned. "First it mentions balls of ice, then it hails. It mentions biting and eating, then army ants swam all over the basement. Everything that's happened in the game, it's happening for real!"
As Heather finished her explanation, Dan came back with a handful of tea towels, quickly stuffing them underneath the basement door.
"Yup, there's no denying it now."
"Hold on, guys!" Luke said, looking around. "Did it just get quiet all of a sudden?"
Confused, Johnny quickly made his way to the front door, opening it slightly. Apart from all the bits of fresh hail lying all over the street, the damage to the car, and the road flooded with water from the busted fire hydrant, the hail storm seemingly ceased.
"Well, least it finally stopped hailing," Johnny concluded, closing the door.
"At least we know these things don't last forever," Heather added.
"Good…" Luke sighed, sliding against the wall. "Because I don't think I'm ready for anymore excitement."
As Dan and Heather gathered over Luke, while he massaged his bite wounds, Johnny took the game board into the living room. The three turned to see Johnny setting up the game board with a look of shock.
"Dude, why are you still holding onto that thing after all the trouble it's caused?" Heather asked.
"Hail's been coming down on us and an army of ants attack us, and you STILL want to continue playing?!" Dan asked.
"Dude, no…" Luke spoke, as he approached. "I've been taking it easy on you, but just… If you think…"
"Guys!" Johnny shouted, interrupting Luke. "Look, I think we missed these instructions."
"What?!" Dan shouted.
"You're kidding!" Luke groaned, throwing his hands up.
"What now?" Heather asked.
Luke and the others gathered around Johnny as he pointed to some writing on the other side of the game board. Seeing it was upside down, they flipped the game circularly so they could read the inscription.
"'Adventurers beware'…," Johnny read. "I don't like the sound of that."
"Oh, move over!" Heather groaned, pushing Johnny to the side. "'Adventurers beware: Do not begin unless you intend to finish. The exciting consequences of the game will vanish only when a player has reached Jumanji and called out its name…'"
"You've got to be shitting me…" Luke groaned.
"What the hell kind of rule is that?!" Heather pointed out. "If someone straight up DIES, how do we finish?"
"Does that mean we could be in a Life or Death situation right now?!" Dan worried.
"You know what, to hell with this!" Luke said, grabbing the game. "I'm putting this in the fireplace and burning the god damned thing 'til it's nothing but ashes!"
"No!" Johnny shouted, grabbing Luke. "Don't you see? This game 'is' straightforward. The only way to make all this go away is if one of us wins the game. We started it; we finish it!"
"Fine…" Luke sighed. "But THEN we burn it!"
Just as Luke surrendered the game to Johnny, Heather slaped Luke by the back of his head.
"Earth to Luke! Did you not see what's happening here?" Heather pointed out. "For all we know, that thing has a mind of its own. We piss it off, it could kill us off just for fun! This is WAY beyond us!"
"I hate it even more when SHE might be right," Dan groaned, holding his head.
"That game has already wrecked my house," Luke retorted. "With a freaking hail storm… IN GEORGIA!"
"You do have insurance though, right?" Dan asked.
"Yes… But NOT against ants!"
"Well, least that covers one problem," Dan replied.
As they made their way to the living room, Luke quickly made his way into the kitchen and went through the bottom drawers. The gang set the game in position just as Luke returned with a hammer in his hand.
"If we're going to play this game, I'm playing it safe."
"Me too!" Heather added, hiding under the coffee table.
"Bloody coward," Dan muttered.
"Bloody 'smart'. If that hail storm returns or something else comes up, I'm covered."
"Not if it comes from beneath you."
"YOU shut up!"
"BOTH of you shut up!" Johnny shouted. "Now who goes next?"
"I'm rolling!" Luke confirmed, taking the dice.
Luke rolled the dice till it rolled into a four. As Luke passed the final two spaces, another riddle was formed from within the crystal ball.
"'Beware the floor on which you stand, the ground is quicker than the sand'."
No soon as Luke finished reading, he screamed when he felt the floor suddenly drag him down. He looked down realizing the floor has transformed into quick sand, as the others jumped onto the couch and Heather scrambled from underneath the coffee table.
"Luke!" Dan shouted.
"I hate it when I'm right!" Heather groaned.
"YOU'RE right?! I was the one who said it'll come from beneath!"
"Guys, would you shut up and do something?!" Luke cried, panicking.
"Luke, don't struggle!" Johnny calmly instructed. "This is exactly what happened on 'Man vs. Wild'. The more you struggle, the faster you sink! Just remain calm and we'll get you out!"
"Okay, okay. I'm calm... I'm calm..."
"Now, slowly reach down, grab your leg and lift it out."
Doing as instructed, Luke thrust his arms into the sand and reached down till he felt his leg. Slowly, he pulled his right leg with all his might.
"Good, now the other one!" Johnny instructed.
Just as before, Luke reached down, grabbed his left leg and slowly pulled it through the sand.
"Okay, now we're gonna try and pull you out!"
"I got a hold of him!" Dan shouted, grabbing Luke's arms.
Johnny wrapped his arms around Dan's chest, as Heather did the same to Johnny.
"Okay, everyone pull!" Johnny shouted.
The three kids pulled with all their might as Luke could his feel body slowly slide through the sand. All the while Luke closed his eyes, silently praying to be free.
"Come on, come on, come on, come on..."
"Just stay calm, Luke!" Johnny assured. "We almost got you!"
"Slowly but surely, Luke's body emerged from the quicksand as his friends kept pulling with all their might.
"I'm calm… I'm very calm…" Luke spoke to himself. "I am very… Very calm…"
"You don't look very calm," Dan noted.
"SHUT UP, DAN!" Luke shouted, sinking back. "You have no idea how calmly mad I am!"
"Easy, big boy!" Heather shouted. "We're getting your ass out of there!"
"All together, guys!" Johnny instructed.
"On the count of three!" Heather shouted back. "1... 2... 3!"
With one great heave, the three friends successfully pulled Luke from out of the quicksand, which suddenly faded from the living room floor. And yet there still remained a bit of sand from below Luke's waist, as he took a few deep breathes following that traumatic experience.
"You alright, buddy?" Heather asked.
"Fine, very fine," Luke replied, taking deep breathes. "I need a drink."
"Okay then," Heather nodded, pushing Dan aside. "Go get him something heavy!"
"Why am I getting it?!"
"You jinxed it by saying it'd come from beneath, YOU get him a drink… NOW!"
"FINE!" Dan huffed, tilting his hat. "What'll you be having, Luke?"
"I don't care… I'm just saving it for that game…"
"So Johnny, you want a coke," Dan offers. "Or… What, Coke?"
"Do you have any Diet?"
"I'll see if there's any left."
Dan turned and walked into the kitchen, as Johnny and Heather helped Luke onto the couch.
"I wasn't thirsty anyway!" Heather called out, sarcastically.
As Luke settled onto the couch, Johnny picked up the dice then held them up to Luke. He looked at the dice, then back to Johnny, to the dice then Johnny. Both times, Luke didn't quite get the gesture.
"You rolled doubles," Johnny pointed out. "You get another turn."
"Fuck…" Luke cursed.
Luke picked up the dice, rolling a three. Luke's token slid another three spaces as the crystal ball revealed a new riddle from the smoke.
"'This will not be an easy mission; monkeys slow the expedition'."
"What mission?" Heather asked, an eyebrow raised.
Suddenly, they heard Dan screaming from inside the kitchen, followed by plates crashing and simian chattering.
"What the hell?" Luke asked.
"Dan!" Johnny shouted, running to the kitchen.
"Why did I ask…?" Heather asked to herself.
Heather and Luke followed Johnny toward the kitchen, just as Dan burst from the door, his head covered with squashed fruit and flour.
"I think the drinks are going to be on hold!"
"What's going on in there?" Johnny asked.
"See for yourself!"
Dan reopened the door to the kitchen and the others looked in shock as ten to fifteen monkeys were scattered all over the kitchen. The whole group of monkeys were brown-furred devils, with a dark skinned face that matches the palm of their hands and feet. They broke plates on the tile floor, stealing food from the fridge, even spilling a few on the floor creating a chaotic mess.
"Oh god, no…" Luke groaned.
"Oh god, yes!" Dan retorted.
"It just 'had' to be monkeys!" Heather groaned.
"Well, it could be worse," Johnny suggests. "They could be the kind that…"
"Don't you dare jinx it!"
"Block the door?"
"But they'll eat all my food!" Luke moaned.
"You can buy more food when this is over," Heather argued. "What you can't buy is a cure for whatever disease those things are carrying."
Suddenly, a tomato splattered against Heather's face thrown from one of the monkeys, which snickered from as it searched for more fruit. Heather's face was still with anger, as bits of tomato dripped off her face.
"Lock the door before I commit an act of animal cruelty."
Dan snickered, which Heather respond with a stiff punch to his arm. Just then, as Dan held his arm, he saw one of the monkeys open a drawer pulling out a set of kitchen knives.
"Oh shit, they've found the cutlery!" Dan shouted.
"Duck!" Luke shouted.
The group quickly shut the door, just as the monkey hurled the kitchen knives. The sharp blades imbedded through the door frame, one of which just inches from Dan's nose and one scratching Heather by the shoulder, cutting the shirt fabric.
"Phew!" Luke sighed, locking the door. "Everyone okay?"
"Nothing a few years of therapy won't fix," Heather snarked, holding her shoulder.
"That's one room never to go in again," Johnny added.
"Aggressive little bastards," Dan muttered. "Animal control will have a field day when they hear about…"
Suddenly, they heard glass being smashed from behind the door. Before they knew it, the chattering grew steadily quieter until there was nothing but silence within the kitchen.
"Dibs!" Dan shouted. "Not checking!"
"I'm not checking on that," Heather butts in, wiping her face. "And that's 'not' how dibs works."
As Heather and Dan argued, Johnny peered out the window near the front door. From where he stood, he saw all the other monkeys running out onto the street. The one up front holding the other knives, supposedly the leader, motioned for the group to split off in different directions while he led another down one street.
"They got out," Johnny said. "Not good."
"You didn't lock the back door, didn't you?" Dan spoke, confronting Luke.
"I didn't think bloody monkeys would be crashing about and wrecking shit in my own kitchen!"
"Well, they're gone now," Heather spoke. "Animal control will definitely have a field day."
"Hey, that's what I said!" Dan argued.
"Let it go, Dan," Johnny spoke, holding the dice. "Looks like it's your turn, Heather."
"No chance I can take a rain check?"
"You 'want' those monkeys spreading disease to the whole town?"
"If you're gonna put that on me…" Heather replied, grabbing the dice.
Waving her hands gingerly, Heather dropped the dice as it rolled along the game board.
"There, see: I rolled a three. What now?"
As if the game responded, Heather's token slid along the three spaces as Heather adjusted her glasses to read the new riddle.
"'His fangs are sharp, he likes your taste,'" Heather read. "'Your party better move post haste'… I swear if this is a glittery vampire, I'm going home."
Just then, a low growl was heard and Heather saw the three boys look with wide eyes, as if there was something ferocious behind her.
"No…" Luke whispered, fearfully.
"Heather… Turn around," Johnny spoke quietly. "Slowly… And quietly…"
Holding her breath, Heather slowly turned around, and held in a gasp at the very sight before her. There on all four legs stood an enormous lion, a long scar over it's right eye and one blind eye on the left. The beast seemed to smell her fear, as it stood there scratching the floor with it's claws.
"For the love of God," Dan harshly whispered. "Don't panic."
"I'm not panicking," Heather whispered back. "YOU'RE panicking!"
"Shut up!" Johnny quietly shouted. "Don't break eye contact. If we move backwards very slow and don't look away, we can make it to the front door…"
Suddenly, the doorbell rang, drawing the group's attention and breaking their eye contact with the lion, who let out a loud and ferocious roar.
"SON OF A BITCH!" Dan shouted, dashing away.
The four teenagers burst into a run, as the lion chased the gang all throughout the house. They tipped over some chairs and tables hoping to slow the lion down, yet the beast was able to dodge any obstacle or bound over with it's legs. They went through one room, then exited through another. But no matter where they ran, the beast was only a few steps closer.
"Where the fuck do we go?!" Heather shouted.
"Quick, upstairs!" Luke pointed.
They dashed up toward the stairs, as the lion followed in hot pursuit.
"Split up!" Dan shouted.
"Right! Everyone take a room!" Johnny instructed.
Heather ran into the bathroom, closed the door behind her, hopped into the bathtub and crouched down; Luke ran toward his own bedroom, while Johnny hid in the closet. That however left Dan all alone in the hallway with those two rooms locked.
"Oh sure, leave me to be devoured by a bloody lion!" Dan shouted, sarcastically.
Dan suddenly saw the lion's shadow then quickly ran to an open doorway to the spare bedroom. Dan clicked the door shut just as the lion hopped over the stairs into the hallway. The beast stalked the area, trying to sniff out it's prey yet their scent was everywhere leaving it confused. Then the lion spotted the bathroom door slightly cracked open. Heather could see the lion's muzzle edging toward her, silently cursing herself for not closing the door all the way.
Then, using it's nose, the lion slowly pried the door open and slowly stalked his way into the bathroom, sniffing his meal. Heather peered out of the tub through the shower curtain, slowly letting out a breath as the lion searched the room.
"Guess it's my turn after all…" Heather spoke to herself.
Slowly, as not to alert the lion of her presence, Heather steadily positioned each foot on the sides of the walls surrounding the tub. Carefully, she climbed towards the ceiling. When all of a sudden, one of her feet squeaked against the tiles, causing the lion to swift and pounced toward the bathtub with a roar. Screaming, Heather grabbed the curtain rod, swung over the lion, slid on the floor, and bolted out the door, shutting it tight behind her.
Heather breathed a sigh of relief, when suddenly the lion's claws pierced through the door as he desperately tried to break it down. Heather held the door for a good few seconds, until the claws slid back through the wooden door. The lion roared his fury and anger at the situation, trapped inside the bathroom.
Another door opened, as Luke slowly peer through the small opening.
"Is it gone?"
"Not exactly, but out of it for now," Heather sighed, then glared. "You're welcome!"
When it was safe to come out, Johnny and Dan slowly emerged from hiding. Johnny stepping out of the closet, while Dan departed from the spare bedroom.
"Okay…" Johnny said, "So far, we've had ants in the basement, monkeys in the kitchen, and 'now'…a lion in the bathroom."
"Do we really want to know what's gonna come next?" Dan asked. "I don't think I want to play anymore."
"We don't really have a choice."
"Frankly, I'm tired of all this mystical board game bullshit!" Luke complained. "Let's just go downstairs, roll the dice, and get this over with. As far as this whole party goes, I'm done!"
The doorbell rang again from downstairs, Luke paused briefly and sighed.
"As I was saying… Let's get this over with, 'after' pizza."