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Wilderness Survival For Dummies

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Toni was fucking pissed. This wasn’t new in the slightest, but that fact did nothing to dim the rage that burned in her chest. 

 

That prissy sack of God-loving shit was stealing her best friend. 

 

Regan texted her. 

 

She was forced to join this stupid club and now Toni was stuck in the middle of the wilderness, trekking through shrubs with a bunch of random girls, no food, no water and no soap. 

 

The soap was very important due to the fact that everyone smelled like shit. Probably due to the shit. 

 

“Can we please take a goddamn breather?” 

 

There goes Fatin, always ready to be a goddamn drag. 

 

Rachel, who headed the group, didn’t falter in the slightest.

 

“This is barely anything Fatin, stop being lazy!” 

 

Shelby turned to look at Toni and then stopped, effectively pausing the whole group. Toni hated her guts. From day one of freshman year, she wanted to rip those perfect blonde locks out of her perfect head and shove her in a dumpster or something. 

 

She remembered vividly the first day she held Regan’s hand in the hallway. Most people didn’t care, but she’ll never forget the look of absolute disgust she got when she passed Shelby’s locker. After she raged-- almost breaking her hand from punching her gym locker--she cried. For hours. Even if she wanted to be angry at the whole world, getting hate, especially the quiet, insidious kind, sucked. 

 

 The stare gets uncomfortable as Shelby made her way to the back of the group and held out her hand.

 

“May I help?” She asked, eyes serious. That’s when Toni remembered she was hauling along Martha, who had a nasty sprain. 

 

“No, I’ve got this.” Toni shrugged her off, too proud. Shelby let out a little huff and moved to help anyways, getting under Martha’s other side. 

 

“What the-” 

 

“Thanks Shelby.” Martha’s grateful sigh effectively cut Toni off. 

Toni’s face scrunched in anger, ready to explode, when Rachel continued to be an intense bitch.

 

“Come on! Do none of you care that we’re in the middle of God knows where with no food, water or help?!” A vein was popping out of her neck from the strain as all the girls averted their eyes. 

 

Nora stepped forward, hand reaching for her sister. 

 

“Rachel, we’re all tired and scared. Maybe we should-” 

 

Rachel rounded on her, eyes wild. 

 

“Maybe we should, what Nora? Give up? Lie down and die like dogs?” 

 

Nora stepped back. 

 

Rachel whirled around and continued the impossible pace. 

 

They all continued on in silence for a while, only being broken by conversation between Shelby and Martha. 

 

“Thank you for helping, really.” Martha said, earnest. 

 

Shelby blushed, pushing back a lock of her hair with those strangely intact French tips. 

 

“It was no problem! You needed help, and that’s what I do. I help.” 

 

Toni snorted at that. 

 

Shelby’s eyes screamed murder, fake smile still plastered on her face. 

 

“Toni seemed tired, so I just wanted to-” 

 

Toni rounded on her, again pausing the group. Dot turned around as Toni got all in Shelby’s face. 

 

“Oh for the love of God…” 

 

“You calling me weak, Miss Pageant Princess?” Toni demanded, buzzing with anger. 

 

Shelby stayed annoyingly calm, a serene smile on her face as she used her free hand to lay it on Toni’s shoulder. 

 

“Of course not, Toni, you’re the captain of the fricken basketball team! You’re not weak at all.” 

 

Toni, surprised and ignorant on how to proceed, took a step back. Dot audibly sighed in relief as Rachel came to stand by her, angry question on her lips. 

 

“Don’t worry, crisis averted.” 

 

“You just seemed a little tired, is all.” 

 

Dot and Rachel looked at each other before sitting on a nearby log. Rachel looked just about ready to punch a tree. Dot found a cool stick. 

 

Toni was mere inches away from Shelby’s face. 

 

“You slimy, bible thumping fuck.” She snarled, and with one shove, the group dissolved into chaos. 

 

Shelby went butt first into the mud, Toni following to straddle her and pin her arms down.

 

Martha stumbled, all support gone. Leah and Fatin caught her and dragged her away from the commotion. 

 

Shelby bucked off Toni and jumped on top of her, both wrestling like it was WWE night, not a simple hike through uncharted wilderness. 

 

“Why are you so fucking angry all the time, you psycho!” Shelby yelled, struggling to keep the stronger girl in her grasp. “Just stop fighting for one second!” 

 

Toni stopped struggling, body going slack. They were face-to-face. Toni could see every inconsistency in her big blue eyes, every speck of dirt on her face. She could also see the blush that crept up her neck at their proximity. 

 

Shelby shot upright, mouth ajar as she tried to reign in her emotions. “I-um. I-” 

 

She was cut off by Toni lobbing a handful of mud in her face. 

 

Toni fully expected her to crack and finally, really, fight back. Shelby just sat back, wiped the mud from her face, and stood up. 

 

“You really need to learn how to stop acting like a child.” 

 

Shelby went to Martha and took Fatin’s spot. 

 

Rachel stood up and began directing the girls to move yet again. 

 

Fatin held out her hand to Toni, who still sat in the mud. 

 

Toni stood with a small thank you and Fatin just grinned as they began to walk.

 

“No problem, girl. Us bad bitches gotta stick together.” 

 

Toni laughed at that. “What makes you say I’m a bad bitch?” 

 

“Are you kidding me? Captain of the basketball team? You’ve probably got bitches all up in your vag.” Fatin wiggled her eyebrows. 

 

Toni’s face dropped. “No, um, I’m not that--I’ve only had, like, a couple girlfriends. I’m not very good at flirting.” Fatin laughed at that, surprised. 

 

“I’m shocked. You’re the cockiest son of a bitch I’ve ever seen.” 

 

“I have a bit too much gay panic to be smooth.” Toni laughed. “When I first saw Regan, oh god, I was so nervous, I couldn’t flirt for the life of me.” She smiled at the memory. 

 

Fatin nudged her shoulder playfully. “You seem to be doing plenty fine talking to me. And  fighting pretty girls.” 

 

Toni scoffed. “Ok, first off, you’re the straightest bitch I’ve ever met. Weirdly enough, you’re so open about sexuality, you throw off all kinds of vibes.” 

 

Fatin waggled her eyebrows again, tossing one of her braids over her shoulder. 

 

“What can I say, I do what I want. And who I want.” 

 

Toni laughed before continuing.

 

“Secondly, Shelby doesn’t count as a girl, because she’s an annoying, homophobic sack of shit.” 

 

Fatin winced. “Yeesh, I guessed from the southern accent, but…” 

 

Toni grew angry, voice rising as she went on with her tirade.

 

“You should’ve seen the look she gave Regan and I. Like we were walking garbage. I hate her and her stupid ‘good little Christain girl’ act.” 

 

Fatin opened her mouth to speak but was cut off. Toni’s glare could burn a hole through Shelby’s back.

 

“Did you know her best friend committed suicide? Like, yeah, that sucks, but rumor has it she killed herself after Shelby attacked her for being gay. I wouldn’t even be surprised with that bitch.” 

 

Fatin put a hand on her shoulder to stop her. 

 

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold it girl. That’s a heavy accusation that you’re throwing around.” 

 

Toni’s face burned, eyes filling with angry tears. 

 

“What, are you on her side now?! She’s awful, I can’t believe this!” 

 

Fatin just frowned, leaning close to look in Toni’s eyes. 

 

“Dude, what the--” 

 

“Are you an Aries?” 

 

Toni gaped, frown scrunching her face. 

 

“What the fuck?!” 

 

She stormed off, leaving Fatin to shrug and continue on at a snail’s pace. 

 

“Definitely an Aries.”