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Stealth Ambush MAG
I felt like a ninja: silent, invisible, and stealthy. I had the advantage of surprise. I wasn’t alone either. There were six of us closing in on our target. I had memorized our plan and knew exactly where to go. We were staying low, the rigid grass and thorns scraping our legs. The lights from the house blinded us and thunderous music hammered through our bodies. In range now, we dove for cover and readied ourselves for the attack.
Earlier that day, relaxing around the outdoor fire pit after a long day at the beach, Hilary, Barrett, Molly, Ben, my sister, and I had roasted marshmallows. The sweet smell of campfire and s’mores wafted through the air. Hilary and Barrett live in Pennsylvania but spend a week or two every summer next door. Ben and Molly, our long-time friends, live just down the street. It was toward the end of Hilary and Barrett’s stay, so we were trying to think of a crazy adventure to top off the week. And then Barrett dreamed up the craziest, most exhilarating idea we could ever imagine. So big that we could barely wrap our brains around it. But there was no time to lollygag. If this plan was going to work, we had to move fast.
The group huddled around the faucet, meticulously readying our arsenal. We were clad in dark shorts and T-shirts and sporting old running shoes. Although it may have been a bit overkill, we rummaged through old Halloween costumes in search of black face paint. This would be the highlight of the vacation, and nothing could distract us from the task ahead. Finally we got everything ready for battle, and we took off, disappearing into the shadowy night.
The full plastic bags were cumbersome, but that didn’t matter. We were on a mission. Finally we were there, ducking behind low bushes and manning our positions. College kids were everywhere, entering and exiting the house through sliding doors.
Then the first balloon was launched, landing with a smooth sploosh on the front porch. The war had begun. We turned, expecting to need to take off at full speed to escape. After the first few steps, we realized no one was after us. What a relief. None of us wanted to leave this college party we had invited ourselves to. After all, we had two whole bags of water balloons and throwing just one would have been a disappointment. But why had no one chased us? Surely someone must have noticed the balloon.
The six of us hurled balloon after balloon, yet the partiers seemed not to notice. Our hearts began to sink. What was the fun in bombarding a house with water balloons if no one noticed? With only a handful left, our best shooters took aim. I led off with an arched toss. It seemed to hang in the air forever, going over the trees, the house, and the fire in the backyard until it finally landed. Seconds later, there was a scream.
That was my cue. I knew it was time to get out of there, but Barrett and Ben had other plans.
“Come on, Ben, we gotta get closer!” whispered Barrett.
They threw their balloons simultaneously, resulting in two direct hits to the house. The party had gone dead silent. And then … they were after us.
Four of them, to be exact. At the time I would have guessed it was a hundred. They were men in very good shape and extremely fast. When I say fast, I mean fast.
Our one advantage was knowing the lay of the land. We headed in separate directions, too scared to look back and only hoping to confuse them. Separating hadn’t been enough, so we wove around trees and dove between low bushes. Finally, dizzy and gasping for breath, we stopped to rest. I turned, fearing I would be staring into the face of one of the livid pursuers. Knowing we couldn’t outrun them, we took cover under a shrub. As our hearts pounded with the fear of being captured and pummeled by athletic twentysomethings, we heard the angry search party storm past, swearing as they went.
When we felt it was safe to leave our brushy cover, we triumphantly staggered back to our camp, our adventure becoming more heroic with every step. It wasn’t until we reached the safety of our backyard that we realized we had been playing with fire and could easily have been badly burned. What we thought was a funny plot, we realized later, had been quite a dangerous idea. In the end, no one was captured by the angry mob, but the next day we all woke up with the worst case of poison ivy we had ever had!