The end loomed in sight, but then what?
Brad abandoned trying to crawl up the cliff. Instead, he bounded up by a series of launches, covering ground even more quickly. His hand slapped down on the top, all too late for his liking. He rolled over and broke into a sprint. At the same time, he twisted and lobbed his final explosive grenade over his shoulder. It hummed, rising in pitch as he tore ahead for a fallen log and dived over. With his hands over his ears, he flattened himself to the ground just prior to the grenade erupting. The initial explosion, ushering in a cacophony going on for several seconds. Brad assumed he heard and blast echoing.
His eyes stung from a cloud of debris; more shattered rock than smoke. As the cloud thinned he walked through and stopped by the cliff’s edge to peer over. A fresh sandstone face showed beneath his feet where the grenade had broken it away. More of the new surface revealed itself in the cliff wall, going down to the ground. Movement on the ground, denoted the last of the carnivorous horde melting into the landscape.
“I couldn’t have done all that,” he whispered.
It then occurred to him that the grenade had caused a landslide, collecting the horde on its way down. That explained the collection of boulders at the cliff’s base.
“You made it,” said Teyata, making Brad jolt.
He watched in a daze as she ambled by him to look intently over the edge.
“I’ve got to admit I wasn’t sure, but I should’ve known you would,” she said, leaning over. “You’re loud though; I’ll give you that.”
Brad ripped the goggles and mask from his head, scowling.
“Oooh, the man-kitten’s sulking.”
Without warning, she pecked him on the cheek.
“Feel better now?”
“No,” he said, still scowling.
He pointed at his lips. “Kiss this,” he ordered.
Grinning, Teyata leaned closer and kissed him passionately before pulling away and looking deeply into his eyes.
“Now do you feel better?”
“Yes,” he said, face still screwed.
Teyata snorted at first, breaking into a titter, then raucous laughter. After a few moments Brad’s indignation eroded, before he too joined in the mirth. For the best part of an hour, the duo laughed, abated into silence, then attempted to adopt serious faces. Their attempts at seriousness would last a minute at best before one of them grinned, bringing on another bout of laughter.
Lisa enjoyed the moment so much, she played it twice.