“Why?” I ask, after Karl tells me to “Just go stand right there.”
“Nevermind,” he says quickly. Too quickly.
I see him check his watch. The others look on. They are huddled nervously behind a scrubby bush, just down the canyon.
Karl decides that it is the correct time. “Catch,” he says as he throws Mr. Granley’s arm at me.
I fumble the bones and they fall to the sandy ground. I reach down to pick them up, and when I straighten, Karl has dashed off to join his sidekicks.
Obviously, I am to be bait. “Bait for what?” is the question.
I swear I can hear a cricket chirping, just to set the mood. The moon has ducked behind a cloud, and a light breeze has picked up, funneled down the canyon.
I shiver slightly.
Somewhere, in the distance, a coyote howls. It’s pretty much the perfect setting now for a horror movie.
I probably would have peed my pants by now, if I hadn’t gone earlier. “Always go when you get the chance,” is what I always say.
I can hear somebody in the group whisper excitedly. They’re pointing to something upstream from me. I turn to face whatever is coming.
A light begins to flicker across the rock walls. The something is clearly jumping and bobbing about as it approaches.
It rounds the final turn and I can see clearly what it is. I stand, frozen in terror, and can only think to do one thing.
I throw Mr. Granley’s arm as hard as I can toward the phantom.