“That’s what it says.”
Emma looked up and frowned. They were in Aimee Park and they were already losing light. “How are we going to find those, when the shops are over an hour away? We only have thirty minutes left.”
Stacey shrugged. “Guess we move on to the next item on the list.”
Even though Emma was nineteen today, a scavenger hunt was still her mothers idea of a birthday party. “Why didn’t mum let me plan my own birthday? We could have gone Sky Diving, or Spelunking, or even the Desert Storm Escape Room I wanted to go to. But no, we have to do a scavenger hunt.” Emma huffed and sat on a bench, crossing her arms. “I say we give up and just go to the final meeting location.”
Stacey turned and shook her head. “Don’t you want to win at your own birthday party?” she asked, putting her hands on her hips.
Emma shrugged. “Who cares,” she moaned, looking up at the sky. The blue was fading into black, and she shivered.
“What if the prize turns out to be your present?” Stacey asked.
Emma looked back at her friend and chuckled. “Then someone else is getting my birthday present. Come on, let’s go.”
Stacey frowned but reluctantly followed Emma back to where they had parked the car.
“Can we at least bring the list with us?” Stacey asked, half a step behind Emma.
She rolled her eyes. “If you have-” Emma froze, and Stacey bumped into her.
She grunted and Emma heard her fall backwards.
“Hey!” Stacey cried from the ground. Her eyes were wide, and her heart was in her throat, but not because of Stacey.
Emma stared at a mysterious man two feet away.
He was tall, with a scruffy beard, and his eyes were hard and dark. She swallowed, transferring her gaze to the pistol hanging by his side. Stacey gasped, and the man took a step closer, snarling and nodding towards Emma’s bag.
“Money.” His voice was gruff and he coughed lightly. Emma tried to move her arm to give him the bag. When it refused to cooperate, he frowned and took another step closer.
“Money!” he yelled, glancing left and right. Stacey moved past Emma and threw her own bag closer to him. He looked down at it and smiled.
Emma swallowed, and Stacey tapped her shoulder.
He looked back to Emma, and nodded towards her bag.
“Your turn.” His voice was low, and he stepped closer again. Emma retreated slightly, feeling Stacey pull the bag off her shoulder and throw it at him.
The man smiled and reached down, picking up both bags and the girls stood frozen, until he was out of view.
Stacey finally exhaled and wrapped Emma in a hug.
When she pulled away, Emma gave a half hearted smile and shrugged. “Happy Birthday to me.”
–I dug deep into my archives for this story! I’m glad I found it, but hope your Birthday’s haven’t been quite as dramatic as this.
I’d love to hear YOUR Birthday Disaster stories though – my worst one was being sick (for the 3rd time in a row) and the dog peeing all over me while I lay in bed… not fun.