“Ouch, dude.”

Shooter reacted to being whipped across the arm by a branch he hadn’t noticed sticking out over the trail. The branch in question broke off and fell to the ground. “Oh, sorry tree. I guess that was just as much my bad.” Other than accidentally dismembering a tree, Shooter felt great after the short 5k run he’d set off on. He’d climbed a rocky outcropping behind the town, thinking the view might be epic, but it was mostly just trees. Trees were cool, no offense, especially not to the one he’d disarmed, but Shooter missed the city.The country was pretty and everything, but there was a decided lack of gyms. He missed the camaraderie of his bulk buddies spotting for each other, taking wicked vids of each other to put on the instacam, the high fives when they lifted a really heavy weight and then dropped it with a yell, though Coach Sprocket had asked them to stop doing that because it was hard on the floor. He missed Coach Sprocket. He’d told Shooter he thought Mr Stroganoff was just the beginning, that he might even have a shot at Mr Schnitzel!
Coach Sprocket thought that Shooter’s greatest weakness was a strange instinct to make sure that everyone around him was able to follow their dreams without any concern for his own in the process. But that’s what friends did for each other. He was sure that once they were famous ghost hunters, if he decided he wanted to do something less scary, Angelié would totally support that. Totally.

While he ran, he’d been thinking about what Sam had said that morning. About their lack of a plan, and how all of this was to make Angelié famous. But she would share the spotlight, surely. If what Shooter really wanted was to be a famous ghost getter. Which he totally did. Totally.
Then he thought about how he wasn’t really sure if ghosts did exist, but secretly, he found the thought of them kinda scary. He knew he was supposed to be tough and everything, but Sam was right, what good is being able to punch when the thing you’re punching is invisible? It was enough to make a guy feel ingraduate. And he should know, being a high school dropout himself.

Honestly, almost winning the Mr Stroganoff contest was one of the first times he’d really felt like he’d found something he was good at. Well, that and guessing jelly beans. That was cool. Plus he got to meet that super cute bunny they had.

Shooter looked at the time and thought maybe there was a chance Angelié wouldn’t be back yet. Maybe he could go and visit the bunny one more time before they had to go out filming. He didn’t think she’d be happy that he and Sam hadn’t been to the museum, but maybe she’d found a cool spooky spot for them to film. That would cheer her up. As the red shale covered hillside transitioned to a grassy meadow, Shooter spotted some purple flowers he thought might be clover. He wondered if bunnies liked clover, and grabbed some just in case. He thought that if he was a bunny, he would totally be into clover.


Photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash