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Wilderness Survival For Dummies

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“Becs! Stop, your hands are cold!” 

 

Shelby squealed as Becca Gilroy, her best friend of all of time, stuck her ice cold hands up her shirt. 

 

“What, can’t handle it?” Becca laughed, tongue stained blue from the Slurpee she's drinking. 

 

Shelby swatted her away, scrambling off her bed to escape. She stood at the end of the bed, faux seriousness off put by her red stained mouth.

 

“You’re a monster, Becca Gilroy, and you’re no longer welcome in my good Christian house.” 

 

Becca just cackled as she took another slurp of her drink, uncaring of Shelby’s white sheets. No matter how many times Shelby told her, Becca was still a bit of a mess. It’s one of the things Shelby loved most about her. 

 

She collapsed onto the bean bag with a relieved sigh. The strange combination of ice cold hands and close proximity to her crush was doing a hack job on her heart. 

 

Becca slurped the last of her slushie and jumped from the bed, only to wedge herself next to Shelby on the bean bag. 

 

“Mmm, you’re always so warm…” 

 

Shelby’s heart went haywire as Becca looked up at her with a wide grin, ignorant of her friend’s racing heart. 

 

Shelby kissed her. 

 

She launched herself off the bean bag, terror seeping into her veins with a vengeance.

 

“I’m so sorry, I--I didn’t mean--” 

 

Becca stood and took Shelby’s face in her hands. 

 

“Shelby, it’s ok. Really.” 

 

The shorter girl got on her tippy toes, question in her eyes as they leaned closer. Shelby nodded, breath erratic, and they were kissing again.

 

It was like fireworks. Lips meshed together, messy and urgent, as Shelby backed to her bed, knees hitting the end and forcing her to sit. Becca stood between her legs as her hand dug into perfect blonde hair. Tongues pressed together as it got more and more intense until--

 

Shelby woke with a gasp. She was in her room. It was dark. And Becca had one arm thrown over her stomach. Shelby stared at her lips for a long time. She went back to sleep. 

 

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Toni woke with a groan, the chill permeating her every bone. It was early morning from what Toni could tell. The thick trees that constantly surrounded them left a lot to the imagination. 

 

Martha was still snoring away as Toni rose, the need for a bathroom break beating out any good sense to cuddle up to her best friend and sleep forever.

 

She walked for a couple minutes before finding a good spot to go. As she was washing her hands off in a nearby stream, her break was interrupted by none other than the spawn of Jesus herself. 

 

“Oh! Toni I didn’t know you were out here…” Shelby said, her attempts at a casual demeanor failing spectacularly. 

 

“Ok? I was just pissing, don’t freak out Princess.” She wiped her hands on her pants and pushed past the blonde. 

 

“Language.” 

 

Like usual, it only took one word to get Toni mad. 

 

She whirled, getting in Shelby’s face for the second time that day. 

 

“Excuse me?” 

 

To her credit, Shelby was completely calm in the face of Toni’s rage. Annoyingly so. 

 

“Language. God doesn’t like it when you swear.” She answered, voice sweet as honey. 

 

Toni’s chest heaved as she tried to keep from exploding. 

 

“Do you think I care about that dick?” She spat. 

 

Shelby recoiled slightly, scoffing as if hating God was straight up blasphemy. Which is… actually what it is, but Toni couldn’t bring herself to care.

 

“Toni, God made all of us. He’s perfect and-” 

 

“And his followers make it known to me on a daily basis that I’m hated and unloved by him, just because I like girls. So, tell me little miss perfect, why-” 

 

With every word she stepped closer and closer, backing Shelby into the tree behind her. 

 

“Should. I. Care?” She could feel Shelby’s breath across her face, uneven and stuttering. She smiled, finally glad to break through that annoying stoic optimism. 

 

“What? Nothing to say?” She leaned infinitesimally closer, reveling in Shelby’s dilated pupils and heaving chest. Her mouth opened and closed, any attempts at a rebuttal failing. 

 

“That’s what I thought.” Toni left the other girl pressed against the tree, face red. 

 

Shelby knelt by the stream after a while, using the water to cool her face. It didn’t do much. 

 

“What the fuck?” She whispered to the woods. The trees didn’t answer. She sighed and followed Toni to the camp, hand clutched around her cross the whole time. 

 

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“Alright, it’s time we make a solid plan.” 

 

Dot stood in front of the group, ready to put her heavy tv watching to use. They sat in the mud, huddled in a group in an attempt to ward off the early morning chill. 

 

Martha and Toni were pressed tightly together next to Fatin, who was dressed in an impressively clean leopard print sweatshirt. Shelby sat next to Nora, who was scribbling in her notebook and throwing worried glances at Rachel. Shelby was just as shifty eyed, and kept staring at Toni for reasons that were beyond Dot.  

 

“We gathered all we could from the bus before the flash flood, but now we need to start scavenging or else we’ll run out of food and water soon.”

 

Fatin already had her hand up for questions.

 

Dot ignored her.

 

“We don’t know where we are or how to get home because of the flood, so I think the best plan is to find or make shelter.” 

 

Fatin was getting persistent. 

 

“We also need to find a vantage point so we can see if there is any civilization near us.” 

 

Fatin began clearing her throat loudly.

 

Dot sighed and rubbed the crease between her brows. They were going to die. 

 

“Yes, lady in the leopard.” 

 

Pleased, Fatin plastered on her fakest smile.

 

“That sounds really unappealing and I am exhausted, so for those reasons, I’m out.” 

 

Dot leaned down, got a nice handful of mud, and held it up to the group. 

 

“Do you guys want to be sleeping in mud every night? We need to move, or we’ll freeze to death or get eaten by a bear.” 

 

Fatin leaned her back against a tree and began to check her nails. 

 

“I’m doing just fine here, thank you. I mean, look at my designer jacket, it still looks brand-” 

 

The hunk of mud splattered across her chest like...well, a handful of wet dirt. 

 

Fatin gawked as Dot wiped her hands on her pants and continued to address the group. 

 

“Now that that’s over, Rachel I want you to take Shelby and Leah to go find a vantage point while the rest of us scavenge and collect wood for fires and shelter. Fatin’s makeup mirror will make a great signal.” 

 

“Don’t you dare.

 

“We'll meet back there--” 

 

Dot pointed through the tree line to a small clearing up ahead.

 

“And camp for the night. Got it?” 

 

Everyone nodded and began to move, even Fatin, who was still mourning her gucci. Nora approached Rachel nervously.

 

“I’m coming with-” 

 

Rachel didn’t even spare her a glance, choosing instead to wrap the mirror securely across her chest.

 

“No you’re not. Three’s enough.”

 

Nora shook her head, adamant. 

 

“No it’s not! What if you have to split up? Four works best and you know it.” 

 

Rachel rounded on her sister, eyes intense as she grabs Toni by the arm and drags her over. 

 

“Look. Now we have four. Happy?” 

 

Toni met Shelby’s eyes and frantically shook her head.

 

“Nope, no way, I’m not coming with you.” 

 

Rachel called Leah over and began to lead the group off.

 

“Yes , you are.” 

 

“But Martha--” 

 

“--Will be fine, she’s got Nora, Fatin and Dot. Now get your ass moving or else.” 

 

Toni floundered for a moment. She really did not want to be stuck with Shelby, but she also didn’t want to get stuck on Rachel’s bad side. 

 

She followed the others with a sigh.