The adventure continues.
Eugene and Levi were both emitting horrifyingly girlish screams. It was a mighty good thing they were alone so that no one could witness their very unmanly, pathetic fate. The bear was now trying to climb up the tree! They were dead. So very, very dead. Eugene would never be able to see his daughter grow up, Levi would never even meet his child. They would never see their wives again. It was over. All over. What a tragic fate!
"Levi," Eugene stopped his screaming momentarily.
"What?" Levi squeaked.
"How do you not know that there's food in your pocket?"
"Look, your highness, probably don't remember what it's like to be a normal commoner, but we don't have like sixty maids washing all our clothes every day! Sometimes things go unnoticed!"
"Of course I remember what it was like! Just, now we're going to die because of your food!"
"Look, I'm sorry, OK? But can we not fight during our last moments?"
He had a point. Eugene closed his eyes and waited. It was only a matter of time. Soon they would be gone. Eugene did not want to die again. It was a terrible experience the first time. He probably would not get a second chance this time.
Then the bear roared loudly as if in pain. Eugene opened his eyes slightly and looked down. The bear was walking away. The bear was walking away! What had happened? Who cares? The bear was leaving! They were going to live!
Eugene suddenly realized that he and Levi were clinging to each other in some sort of strange embrace. They hastily released each other from their grip and frowned uncomfortably. Eugene could hardly believe that he had actually sunk low enough to cling to Levi during what he thought were his last moments.
Why had he been screaming in the first place? Oh yeah, because Levi did it first. The next thing he knew, he was screaming too. And very high pitched girlish screams too. Yikes... what was wrong with them? Clinging to each other and screaming like little girls? Not good.
"No one can know about this," Eugene warned his companion.
"Right!" Levi agreed, just as flustered as Eugene was.
They gave each other distrustful looks and wiped their hands on their pants. Levi looked down to the bottom of the tree. "What happened?"
"I'm not sure," Eugene said, looking down as well, "It sounded like it got hurt, then it just left."
Levi began climbing down the tree. "So much for trying to avoid detection," he said sarcastically.
"Hey it wasn't my fault the wind changed direction out of the blue!" Eugene said defensively, starting to climb down as well, "It also wasn't my fault you had food in your pocket!"
Levi rolled his eyes. "Well, we'd better head back so that the king doesn't leave without us or something."
Although still slightly miffed about almost dying, Eugene agreed. They began to head back to the place where they had left the horses. The three horses were tied to a tree. The king's and Levi's horses were grazing on the wet grass while Maximus sat beside them, keeping a wary eye out for possible predators. Was there ever a moment when that horse was not alert and actually relaxed?
All three of the horses looked up as the two men as they approached. The king was not there though. "Well, we might as well wait for him here," Eugene said.
Levi nodded and they both sat on the ground. They sat there for quite some time brooding over their recent humiliating experience in the tree, before they heard a sudden slam of metal hitting metal. Their heads shot up, searching for the source of the noise.
"What was that?" Levi asked.
Eugene's eyes fell on the box trap sitting a considerable distance from them, the trap door was closed and there was something inside it. "I think it was the trap," he said pointing.
Suddenly, they both did not feel like complete sissy failures anymore. They could at least go home with a prize. No one had to know about their misadventure with the bear. Levi broke their momentary silence, "We should go see what we caught."
They got to their feet and began walking towards the trap. "What do you think it is?" Eugene asked, "A rabbit? A badger?"
"Maybe even a fox," Levi almost smiled at the thought.
The idea of bringing back something as rare as a fox was an ideal thought. The two men internally beamed at the prospect. The anticipation grew stronger as they neared the cage. There was something in it. It was black, that was all they could tell. Well, that wiped fox off their list. Maybe it was a rabbit. A rabbit was still a respectable prize. However, that idea was also eliminated as they got closer.
"It looks like a cat," Eugene said, studying it.
"I think it's a badger," Levi said.
They were soon directly beside the trap. The animal turned its backside towards them and Eugene saw a long white stripe going down its back. It was then that Eugene recognized exactly what it was. "Levi, RUN! It's a-"
But it was too late. In a matter of seconds, liquid was sprayed out, hitting Eugene square in the chest and splattering all over Levi. The two men commenced their girlish screams again and ran as far away from the spot as possible. Eugene had smelled skunks before, but he had never been hit by one. If anyone thought just smelling one was bad, they had no idea what being hit was like.
The smell was so unbearable that their eyes stung and their noses burned. Levi's eyes were bright red and watering and Eugene was sure that his were in the same condition. They ran on, and without really thinking, dove right into a mud puddle and began rolling around in it, trying to remove the toxic smell.
For that moment, they didn't care that they sounded like little girls, they didn't care that they were rolling in muddy water, they had lost all sense of pride and dignity as soon as the skunk released its awful stench. It was the worst smell ever. Neither of them would experience anything that smelled worse.
Finally they stood up, covered in mud, moss and other types of slime and muck. The stench was still there, but it no longer burned. They trudged back towards the trap and horses, absolutely and completely disgusted. The king's and Levi's horses all retreated away from them as they got closer, and they probably would have run away if they weren't tied to the tree. Maximus, however, although rather repulsed, fell over and if a horse could laugh, that was what he was doing.
"How could life get any worse?" Eugene groaned.
He spoke too soon, because it was then that the king emerged from the bushes. As soon as he did, his hand flew to his nose, dropping the two pheasants and rabbit he was holding. "What is that ungodly smell?" he cried, "What happened here?"
His eyes fell on the two mud-covered men standing a few steps away from him. He stumbled backwards trying to get as far away from them as possible. "What did you boys DO?" he demanded through his hand.
Eugene and Levi pointed to the trap, ashamed and humiliated. "You caught a skunk and approached it?" the king cried, "What were you thinking?"
"We didn't know it was a skunk until too late," Eugene practically whined. Maximus was still rolling around, laughing. Eugene shot a glare at the horse, but he didn't mind.
The king shook his head, stuffing his nose into the collar of his shirt. "I was supposed to keep you two out of trouble! What will your wives have to say?"
Rapunzel, Amelia, and Elinor spent the day for girl bonding time while their husbands were off having their male bonding time. Even with Lily along for most of the time, they still had a reasonably relaxing day filled with fun and laughs. Now they all sat back on a garden bench near the stables, awaiting their husbands' return. They each hoped that their little hunting trip went successfully and that they actually enjoyed themselves.
Then they saw their husbands coming over the hill. Rapunzel jumped to her feet, a grin spreading over her lips. However, the grin did not last long when an awful odor reached her nose. "Ugh!" she cried, covering her nose and plopping back on the bench.
Her mother and Amelia both took a sniff at the air and then mimicked Rapunzel's actions. "Ugh!" they repeated.
Jonathan was approached the women while Eugene and Levi stayed near the stables. The women's eyes flew back and forth between the king and the two younger men, confused. "What happened?" they asked simultaneously.
The king filled them in on everything that had happened to them that day. Once the story was finished, Rapunzel looked over at the her husband and his personal guard for a moment, then burst out laughing. "The poor guys!" she cried through her laughter, "That's terrible!"
"I can tell you feel really bad for them," Jonathan remarked, chuckling slightly.
"I'm sorry, but seriously, they cannot go anywhere without getting into some sort of trouble!" Rapunzel giggled.
"What are we going to do with them?" Jonathan asked.
"Well I'm not letting that into my home or room, let alone my bed!" Amelia declared, pointing at Levi.
"I'm with you," Rapunzel said.
Eugene and Levi ended up sleeping in the stables for the next couple weeks.
Stupid ending I know, but whatever :)
So, I have made an executive decision. I asked my fans from The Paranormal if they wanted a sequel and I got a bombardment of yeses. Therefore I will be writing one which means I will be taking a break from this story for a while. After a full day of ignoring my teachers' lessons, I've got a decent plot brewing in my head. Sorry to those of you who are enjoying this story, but it's going on the bookshelf for a while.