Chapter 8 (Written by Flash2002)
As Nicholas and Griffin got their boards out of the RV, Gustavo and his siblings ran over. “Can we see your boards?” Gustavo nearly squealed, while Lorenzo stood back trying to look cool, and Olivia rolled her eyes at her littlest brother.
“Sure thing,” Griffin said. “Ok first lesson, check your boards for any defects or scuffs, then make sure you wax them properly. Nicholas has helped me do that a million times. He can show you, while I go to beach to check out the waves. Nicholas, help the kiddos for a bit, ok?”
“Sure thing, buddy. Walk that booty down to the shore and then hurry back up here so we can get started.”
Griffin approached the lifeguard stations and signs were up: No Swimming or Surfing Allowed. Griffin walked up to the lifeguard. “Hey, what’s going on? Why is the beach empty and the flags up?”
“There are bad rip currents and undertows today. We are just taking precautions. We don’t want anybody getting hurt.”
“Alright. Thanks for info. My group is going to be very disappointed, though.”
As Griffin made his way back to the campsite, he thought about how much he liked Nicholas. He wondered what to do, because he didn’t want to lose his best friend in the whole world. “I’ll just play it by ear and drop some hints from time to time and see where it goes.” He thought to himself.
Nicholas saw Griff walking back toward the RV and shouted, “Hey there, captain. Ready to teach us a thing or two?”
Griff frowned. “No. I’m very sorry, everyone. The beach is closed for today, because of undercurrents and riptides. It’s just too dangerous out there.”
“Oh no! That’s bunch of poop!” Gustavo yelled.
“Sorry, little dude, but tell you what. Go change into some hiking gear and we will walk some of these awesome trails.”
“If mom heard your potty mouth, you wouldn’t be hiking anywhere, little bro.” Lorenzo snickered as the three siblings ran off to change clothes.
Inside the RV, Nicholas let out a sigh of relief. “Haha! I don’t have to swim or surf!”
Griff cut him off, “Never fear, we will do it another day, soon. That is a promise. Besides, I checked out the trail maps last night, we are gonna have a fun eight-mile hike today!”
“Just kill me now, Griff! No way! Eight miles? You’re going to be the death of me, you know that, right.”
“A little exercise never hurt anybody, Nicky, my boy. Now grab the first aid kit, snacks, water, and the machete. We might need it.” Griffin said, hiding a smirk.
“What? Why? Is it going to be dangerous? And quit with that “Nicky” business before I have to hurt you!”
“Promises, promises. But, yeah, we might come across the mighty bearaggosa. It’s a very, very mean species and it’s new to this region.”
“Knock it off, Griff, or I’m not going!”
“Oh, you’re going. Even if I have to make you by slapping your butt the whole way there and back! Plus, we don’t want to let the kids down do we?”
“I guess not. Let’s go.”
They all met up and headed out on the long and winding trail along the beach and then up a hill and into a wooded area. About four miles in, they spotted some animals in the distance. Gustavo snapped some really cool pictures, and Nicholas complained that his back, feet, and neck hurt. “I need to rest up and eat some of our snacks before I go on.” Nicholas said, starting to plop down on a rock.
Griff yelled at him, “Stop, Nick! Don’t sit there!”
About the time that Nicholas plopped down, everyone heard a rattling noise, and Nicholas’ eyes got wide with fear.
“Don’t move. I got you.” Griff said quietly. A big rattlesnake was in attack mode, ready to strike. Lorenzo grabbed a big stick and gave it to Griffin. Nicholas, on the verge of a panic attack, was scared and pale and looked like he was about to faint. Griffin used the stick to hook the snake and pin its head down. “Hurry, Nicholas, move now!” Nicholas got up and started to run back to camp without even glancing behind him.
“Hurry up, guys. Let’s get out of here and head back to camp. It’s going to get dark soon.” The group made it home, down the trail. “Goodnight, guys.” Griff said.
Gustavo ran up and hugged Griffin. “Will we see you and Nicholas tomorrow before you go?”
“I’m not sure, but maybe.” Griff turned and went inside the RV.
Inside the RV, Griff found Nicholas laying on his bed. He was shaking and whining about hurting. “I’ve never been so scared in all my life, Griff, I hurt everywhere from running. Thank you for saving me from that snake!”
“That’s what I’m here for. To look out for you the best I can. Now lay down on your tummy and I’ll help relax your muscles.”
“Ok. That sounds good.” Nicholas rolled over and Griffin got on bed, straddling his friend to better give a thorough massage. He started rubbing Nicholas’ shoulders and neck, really working on them.
“Oh my goodness, Griff, that feels so good.” Nicholas nearly moaned.
Griff worked his way down Nicholas’ back and legs and even his feet. He considered asking his friend to turn over to give a full massage, but he noticed that Nicholas had drifted off to sleep. Happy he helped relax his buddy, Griff headed to the shower to take care of a certain aching muscle of his own. He chuckled to himself and wondered when Nicholas might need another massage.