“If you did that during a zombie apocalypse, we’d all die! Dammit, Misty, get down!” I hissed, trying to tug the girl I’d been crushing on since third grade back into the trench.
“Ugh, calm down, Jesse!” Misty took a step out of my reach and continued brushing futilely at the green paint spattered across her cleavage and the low collar of her tight cropped tee shirt. She continued standing out in the open, unprotected and indifferent to her surroundings like the ultimate noob. She’d ripped off her goggles and the top of her coveralls the instant one of the snipers had taken her out. Of course, if she hadn’t insisted on leaving her coveralls unbuttoned to the waist… not that I’d really pressed the issue with her looking like G.I. Barbie.
“It’s a stupid game anyways,” her sharp voice brought me back to the moment. “Is this paint washable? Why the hell did one of your lame friends shoot me? Why the hell did we have to come here? Next time you take me out, make it something fun.”
It occurred to me that the girl standing before me and still looking like my wildest fantasy, only greener, was proof that you couldn’t judge a book by its cover. I should have known better.
“The Op is still live, Misty, get down before you get – ” well… we’ll call that a real… concrete learning experience… I winced in sympathy as pink paint bloomed on the side of her pigtailed head. Head-shots hurt. “You should put your goggles back on.”
Misty’s eyes went very wide, and her lips pressed tightly together. She crouched down beside me, and slipped the goggles back on, smearing pink down her cheek in the process.
“Show me how to use the gun again,” she said, her voice strained.
“What? Look, how about we just… go?” I’d tried to give her a lesson about aiming the gun before we’d started the Op, and she’d shown no interest. I really had thought she’d have fun. That it’d be a good chance for me to impress her with my skills. Instead, she’d grumbled and complained through the first half-hour, decided we should leave and gotten shot right in the boob while trying to drag me toward the exit.
Misty finished tying the top of her coveralls tightly around her waist, grabbed my collar and dragged me close. “SHOW ME” she hissed, eyes full of rage.
I hastily demonstrated the basics and gave her a hushed explanation of aim. She stared intently at me throughout, nodded, and rose into a crouch. “Your stupid friends’ rule is 3 shots?”
I watched in astonishment as she performed a precision tumble across an open area, came up and shot twice. Kyle yelped from a tree, and Jim cursed from behind a brick panel. She shot him twice more and stole his cover. While Jim stalked toward the exit, she sprang up the nearest wall, surprising Amber in her hidey-hole and nailing her with three shots, ran along the top of the wall and jumped down out of sight.
It was chaos. I could only track her based on my friends’ curses and yelps. She was ruthless and, based on the people stalking towards the dead-zone, not averse to shooting people in the face. Not that I could blame her.
I shot Jim when I found him sneaking up behind her, and she shot him again when she turned around. We exchanged a grin and finished the rest of the crew off as a team.
When I was sure we’d cleared the field, I cleared my throat. “Misty, I was wrong. You would totally save everyone if there was a zombie apocalypse. That was amazing!”
I had plumbed Misty’s unplumbed depths, and they were Aweome. The guys were going to be so jealous.
Misty grinned at me and replied, “You’re not too bad yourself,” and shot me three times at close range. She smirked. “You said last-man-standing, too, right? Can we eat now? Winner gets to choose, and I say Thai.”
As she walked off the field, gun raised in triumph, I knew I was in love. You really can’t judge a book by its cover.
In case you didn’t guess… no, I have never paint-balled before. Click the photo above to read more prompt submissions, or submit your own!