Nothing we could do about it though, so we drove back a couple miles to a scenic overlook of a ravine. We got out and my friend, Andy, took advantage of the light we had. He pulled out his pistol and started shooting stuff. He had just gotten his concealed gun permit and enjoyed the novelty of being able to carry the thing around with him all the time. Any excuse to actually use it was even better.
Andy had some new, low caliber bullets he tested out. They made almost no noise, sounding more like a firecracker that failed to fully go off. Tiny pops. He shot a couple things, a knot in a post, a rock in the distance. Fun and all, but we came to hike and sit out under the stars to complain about girls. That is how we spent a lot of our time...stars and complaining about girls. It made us feel better. It was the glue that held our friendships together. We kept dating real winners so plenty to talk about.
So, we wandered up the trail while Andy stayed behind playing with his new toys. Don't worry, Andy is a smart guy. He wasn't shooting in our direction as we climbed up the hill. He is all about safety...unless there is a cockroach on the ceiling, but that is another story.
I am know for scaring people. I enjoy it. There is something to making someone squeal in terror that makes me intensely happy. Call me sick, twisted, disturbed, or what have you, I don't care. I will keep loving it and keep doing it forever.
My friends have come to expect it. It gets harder and harder to do now. I have to think of new hiding places and crazier sounds to make. They know that if they haven't seen me in a couple minutes to be on the ready. They keep tabs on me while camping. It really is annoying how distrustful they are.
This moment gave me a perfect opportunity. A couple friends wandered up the hill. They knew Andy stayed behind. Andy would not suspect me. Problem...he carried his gun on him at all times.
I decided to go for it anyway. The sun set as we walked up the trail. I let my friends get further in front of me while I curled up next to a bush.
I am very good at hiding. I grew up playing capture the flag at night. I know how to make myself look like just another rock or bush in the moonlight.
The trick is to curl up in a ball and lay perfectly still. Tuck all your exposed skin close to your body and avoid looking toward the person you are hiding from. Eyes are easier to spot in the darkness and people tend to sense when they are being watched. Control your breathing and listen to the footsteps. Think "I am a rock" over and over again.
I could hear my friends on the trail ahead of me. They climbed higher and then sat on a rock to wait for Andy and I. I could hear them joking. "Where's Charlie? Hiding again. Well, you won't scare us!" They tossed pebbles out into the night to keep me away. To their credit, some skittered past me or bumped into my shoes, but I wasn't after them. They were safe...for now.
Andy continued up the trail, unaware of the ambush. He could hear our other friends laughing and throwing pebbles, but could not make out the words. I kept forcing myself to be a rock.
I waited, breathed, and listened to his footfalls. "Closer...come closer. I am a rock. Ignore me." I needed him closer than I would normally wait. He had a gun at his waist. I knew he wouldn't just randomly fire into the night with his friends out there, but if something attacked him (like me) he wouldn't hold back. I needed him close enough to scare him and stop him from shooting me.
"I am a rock. You will see nothing. Come closer. Closer my prey."
And closer he came.
I waited until he was maybe a foot and a half away before I rolled out of my tucked position and jumped at him.
Something else you should know about me, I do not say "BOO!" That is for amateurs. In order to truly scare someone you have to push yourself to the point where you almost scare yourself. I make screeching dinosaur noises and I run at people hunched over and off balance like a hungry velociraptor. I have made someone (you know who you are) scream and run around her car terrified in the broad daylight when she knew what was coming. I want you to imagine velociraptor sounds coming toward you out of the desert night. How would you react?
Andy reached for his gun.
I kept going, screeching at my loudest. I knew he needed time to get the gun out, cock it, and aim...time he didn't have. I had been patient, smart, there was no escape.
I did bear hug him as soon as I could, pinning his arms to his side even as he tugged on the holster. I'm crazy, not stupid.
You should have seen his terror filled wide eyes as they focused on me and filled with clarity, understanding, and bewilderment. So funny.
My friends came back down the trail laughing as they listened to us.
"I could have shot you!"
"No. I waited too long for you to be able to."
"Um...yes. You should have seen your face though."
"Anyone else would have just said BOO like a normal human being and been safe, but you come out of the bushes sounding like some rabid wild animal! Seriously, I could have shot you!"
"Nope. I'm too fast and sneaky. Bullets can't find me. It did help that the bullets you are using are barely above bb's."
"Yeah...still! I could have shot you!"
I have been punched by Adam, smacked by Nate, kicked in the face by Chad, screamed at by my wife, and nearly shot by Andy. Every scare is priceless and worth the risk...I may be an addict.