The cool water flows over me as I plunge into the ocean. Sweat and dust cloud the water around me just as my body temperature returns to its normal level.
I begin to pull myself out of the ocean when the water behind me stirs. I notice the wind has picked up significantly and water droplets start to fall on my head drawing my attention to the ever darkening sky above me. I try to swim more rapidly, afraid of what is to come next.
A cold, slimy tentacle wraps around my leg. Chills are sent up my body. The rain is coming down harder and harder as the clouds above me swirl. The tentacle pulls me down, and I take one shallow gulp of air before I am engulfed in water.
Now, the predator is revealed to me. A giant squid is dragging me farther into the depths of its lair. I whip out two arrows and begin to chop at the tentacle. It quickly retracts. I scramble away when another tentacle swoops out from underneath me. Once again, I chop, but it has learned my trick and squeezes tighter.
My air supply is running out and I’m beginning to feel light headed. My chops are less forceful now. My vision is dimming… I make one last attempt to get to free myself and pull the arrows across each other. I sever the upper half of the tentacle and I hear an earsplitting shriek.
Gasp! My lungs inflate with air as I burst above the surface. There is now a full blown hurricane that I am in no state to battle. I rush to the shore and hope the giant squid won’t bother me anymore, it can’t like this weather any more than I do.
I catch my breath, focusing on taking deep, slow intakes of air so as to not hyperventilate. I unzip my pack with what little room I have in the sleeping bag and call Bralynn.
“Can you hear me?!” I shout into the phone, hoping she can hear me over the sound of wind and rain. “I’m stuck in a hurricane! I’m safe for now! Meet you in the mountains! Our original camp!” I listen, wishing I’ll hear a response.
Through the wind I make out, “Okay! Stay safe!” I hang up the phone and slide it into my pack.
When will this storm end? I search through my pack and find my invisibility cloak and a tarp. Should I risk putting them over me? I don’t want to venture back into the hurricane, but if I fall asleep, I don’t want another tribute to walk by and find me. Getting hypothermia from staying wet too long would also be bad. I weigh my odds and decide to depend on the boulder to protect me.
In a flash, I am out of the sleeping bag and covering the sleeping bag with the tarp and then the cloak. It vanishes from sight, and I have a bit of a scramble to discover the opening once more.
My toils now over, I allow myself to drift into sleep…