It all started when I saw the Australian Snipe.

    I bet I know what you’re thinking. What the hell is an Australian Snipe!? Well, let me tell ya, at the time, it was my worst nightmare.


    “DEMI!!” My best friend, Stephanie, yelled at me from across the hall. I’ve known her since 2nd grade when some jerk 5th grader stole her basketball, and I punched the dude in the face. Good times, good times.

    I slammed my locker shut and jogged halfway up the space between us, while she scooted her way through the sea of students.

    Stephanie has lightly tanned skin and dark brown eyes, which were hidden behind her black-framed glasses. Her hair is barely touching her shoulders, framing around her face, black with blonde streaks, her bangs uneven across her forehead.

    “Hey, Steph. What’s-

    “Are you gonna enter the Sequim’s Got Talent?” She cut me off. I sighed. Should’ve seen this one coming.

    “I don’t know. Maybe…”

    “Oh, come on. Your drumming skills are pretty much the coolest thing around.” Now I couldn’t deny that. Sequim is the most boring town in the history of boring towns.

    Or so I thought.


    Tom the Amazing and his Dancing Raccoon had just left the stage. Yup, that’s right. I was about to go up on stage in the Sequim’s Got Talent with Stephanie’s band as the drummer. Okay, seriously. Sequim’s Got Talent? According to all the other acts that had passed, Sequim has no talent.

    I quickly turned to the mirror in the backstage dressing rooms and checked my makeup one more time. My hair is bright orange with dark red and white streaks at random spots. I was wearing bright red skinny jeans, a black t-shirt that said ‘I <3 PARAMORE’, black high top Converse (that were unlaced, by the way) and a red scarf.

    Steph rushed over with the rest of the band and helped apply another coat of charcoal colored eye-shadow to my heavy lids that often blinked down over my deep brown eyes. We all turned to leave, but the door opened and two guys walked in, blocking our way.

    One of the two guys was wearing a black t-shirt with faded gray jeans. His hair was blondish-brownish and all messed up, part of it almost falling over his muddy brown eyes. He looked my age, but I didn’t think I’ve seen him around before.

    The other one had tan skin, such dark brown eyes they almost looked black, and midnight black curls that were cropped short on his head. His glasses were slightly smaller than Stephanie’s, and on his skin were a light blue coat, outlined with white, and normal, everyday blue jeans. I thought he was in me P.E. class, because I remember seeing him getting pelted by dodge-balls the other day.

    “Umm, excuse us, we have to go out on stage and perform.” I said, taking a step forward.

    “Oh, I’m sorry, but you can’t do that.” The one with the glasses said.

    “Uhh, excuse me?” The keyboard player, Tiffany, asked.

    “And why is that?” Stephanie added as she crossed her arms. The two mysterious guys stood there for a moment before they answered.

    “Pipe leak.” The blondie finally said.

    “Psh, yeah right.” I scoffed as I pushed them over and the girls and I went out on stage. We took our positions and started to play Ignorance by Paramore.
    And that’s when it happened.

    There was a weird vibration under my feet, and I had a feeling it wasn’t because of the music. Caught off guard, I lost my rhythm.

    “What are you doing?” Tiffany hissed past her microphone.

    “There’s something under-

    I got cut off by a loud crushing sound and a giant hole forming in the middle of the stage. People started screaming and running out the nearest exits as weird, high-pitched animal shrieks filled the air. The girls fled the stage but I stumbled back in surprise, and there was another crushing sound as the ground fell from underneath my feet and something wrapped around my ankles and tried to pull me down into the hole.

    My hands gripped the side of the giant hole as some invisible creature, which was obviously giving the odd shrieks, tried to pull me down into it. The two guys appeared at the right side of the stage, which was the side I was facing, sporting glasses that looked like those 3-D ones you got at the movie theaters, and two, large, silver type things that looked oddly like big water guns.

    “TAKE THESE!” The one with the seeing glasses shouted as he threw one of the 3-D looking glasses over to me. I reached one hand up in the air and grabbed it, and then fell deeper into the hole, desperately holding on with my other hand. At first I fumbled with the glasses, but then shoved them on my face.

    I was so shocked and horrified at what I saw, I couldn’t even find my voice to scream.
    What I saw was the face of a giant, poison ivy green scaled snake face with narrow, bright yellow eyes and a mouth-full of sharp white fangs.

    My arm flew up and hit the creature in the face, and it flailed back and let go of me in surprise. Shocked, I let out a scream as I started to fall down with it, but something grabbed onto my scarf, and some instinct I had caused me to grab the other end, right as I was about to fall to my death.

    Eye-glasses guy pulled me up, and I fell, shocked, onto the ground.

    “What is that thing!?!” I managed to ask with a gasp.

    “An Australian Snipe.”

    “An Australian what?” I asked in confusion.

    “Australian Snipe.”

    “What the hell is an Australian Snipe!?”

    “An Australian Snipe is the largest and most dangerous snake alive.”

    “Snake part monster!!” Blondie corrected as he walked around the left of the stage, keeping his strange gun pointed down wherever he walked.

    “Well, why don’t they just call it an Australian Snake?” I asked, ignoring the ‘part monster’ part that blondie had said.

    “I don’t know. Maybe because Australian Snipe sounds cooler than Australian Snake--”
    Blondie started to reply, but got cut off by the Snipe coming out of the ground where he was standing, and curling itself around him, picking him up in the air with it.

    “JAKE!!” Eye-glasses yelled as he ran forward and pointed the gun at the Snipe.

    The Snipe didn’t like that.

    It let out another one of its odd shrieks and picked him up and started flailing around with him, too.

    I had to do something.

    I stumbled over to my drum set and ripped off one of the symbols, held it in a Frisbee position, and threw it at the Snipe. It hit it directly in the left eye, and it flailed over to one side and the Jake guy accidently dropped his gun. I darted forward and caught it.

    Before I could do anything else, the Snipe opened up its mouth and some weird light came from the back of its throat. My eyes widened and I somersaulted over to the left, avoiding a giant, solid gold bullet that planted itself into the ground.

    I stood back up and aimed the gun at the Snipe’s head, pushed back some weird lever thing and pulled the trigger. Some giant force went for the head and pushed me across the stage.

    The Snipe blew up, and strange, bright orange goo flew everywhere, covering almost every inch of the right side of the stage, and Jake and the other guy.

    “I think I found out why they call it a Snipe.” Jake said as eye-glasses raised his head and then dropped it back in the goo.

    “Nice work, Destiny. I think we’ve found ourselves the new member of the group.” A mature voice stated from backstage. We all looked up to see a man wearing a black suit walk out onto the stage.

    This man was black, had beetle black eyes (don’t freak out, there’s still the white in the middle and surrounding it) and dark brown hair, cropped short. He sort of reminded me of an older version of Will Smith.

    “Mr. Smith.” Both the guys stood up and nodded to the man. Woah, how odd.

    “Jake, Aaron.” Mr. Smith addressed the two boys.

    “Err, do you mean me?”

    “Yes, I do mean you, Miss Destiny Rock. This is an official invitation for you to join the elite monster hunting group in the local high school.”

    “Okay, two things. One, I go by Demi, not Destiny. Two, there’s a monster hunting group at my school!? Wait, monsters are real!?”

    “Yes, monsters are very real. And also yes, there’s a monster hunting group at the school, but we are hidden. Nobody knows that monsters really exist. They think we are a hip hop dance club.” Mr. Smith smiled and chuckled. “And we will call you Demi for now on.”

    “Holy s**t…monsters…” I muttered as I slowly set my stool back up and sat down on it.

    “In case you haven’t noticed, you just killed one of the most dangerous monsters ever, Einstein.” Jake sneered.

    “So? Are you in or not??” Aaron pressed. My eyes darted from him, to Jake, to Mr. Smith.

    “Finally. Something totally not boring happens in this town.”


    Snapping out of my flashback, I hop around my tiny bedroom to the window while pulling my 2nd knee-high, black and white striped sock over my right leg. Using my elbow to push up the un-locked window, I yell ‘JUST A MINUTE!!’ down to the honking, rusty, peeled off paint in the color of black pickup truck.

    Throwing my pale green, shoulder strap backpack over my shoulder, I fly out my door, down the stairs, and bolt through the front door.

    My shoeless feet slip on a piece of ice when I run out. Jake rolls his eyes and reaches his
    hand down to help me up.

    “I’ll be fine myself, thank you very much.” I snap, the ‘thank’ sounding more like a hiss. He grabs my elbow anyway and tows me to the truck. I jerk out of his grip and climb into the backseat, him into the passenger.

    “Okay, we gotta hurry if we wanna catch this thing before school.” I tell my fellow monster hunters--and sadly best friends--as Aaron pulls out of the driveway. “That means going more than one mile per hour.” Jake snickers at my joke, and Aaron casts me an annoyed look in the mirror as I slip on my Vans lying below my seat.

    “It won’t take that long. Hell, it’s a stupid snow monster!” Jake remarks.

    “It may be, but look what it did to the town.” Aaron waves his hand around Sequim--
    drowning in snow--as he turns off of my street and heads to Hurricane Coffee downtown.

    “Yes, I could use a hot coffee to start my day!” Jake grins as he rubs his heavy gloved hands together. It’s near the end of October, but yet, a snow storm came over last night. And what caused it, you ask? Yup. A snow monster. Good, you were paying attention! Apparently, it’s called Mortel Neige. I’m pretty sure it means ‘Deadly Snow’ or ‘Dangerous Snow’ or something like that in French.

    “We’re not here to get pleasurable hot drinks, Jake. We’re here to--

    “Get pleasurable hot drinks to put in the gel vaporizer to shoot the monster with.” I cut in, smiling at how fast I caught on to and learned all the monster stuff.

    “Yes, exactly, because it’s made up of cold particles, so it will--

    “I have a question.” Jake cuts in, “If this is my truck, how come you’re driving it?”

    “Because last time you drove it, when Aaron tried to shoot the Kaiju, you got distracted by a ‘FREE PIE’ poster on the wall of the bakery and we drove straight into a light post.” I say, starting to grin.

    “Then backed up into a newspaper stand,” Aaron adds, laughing.

    “And straight into the bakery.” We both finish in unison, now cracking up.
    Jake rolls his eyes, “Oh, come on! It was a simple mistake! And how often do you see a sign for free pie!?”

    “That is true.” Aaron admits.

    “And guess what we got that day!” Jake prompts, expecting me to answer with the word ‘pie’.

    “Not the Kaiju, I’ll tell ya that.”

    “But Smith was happy when he got that cherry pie.” Jake, like always, tries to get something good out of one of his mistakes.

    I shake my head but still can’t help smiling as we pull into a parking spot in the parking lot inbetween the hair salon, Christian book store and the local coffee shop itself, Hurricane Coffee.

    We all get out of the truck, go over to the back of it, remove a sheep covered blanket (don’t ask) off of the bin full of monster hunting gadgets. I grab the Pulsating Gel Vaporizer,--invented by non other than our tech nerd Aaron himself--hook it on the top of my black skinny jeans and let my black scrunched up jacket fall over it to cover it up.

    The Pulsating Gel Vaporizer is used against monsters that are made of vapor/liquids are use vapor/liquids as their defense, attack, ect. We load the weapon with the liquid/vapor opposite the one the monster is/uses and, voila, bye-bye monster!

    “Twelve large cups of coffee, please.” I order at the counter. The employee gives me a strange look but taps it into the system anyway.

    “That would be thirty dollars, mam.”

    “Thirty!?” I repeat, shocked.

    “This is twelve large cups we’re talking about. Yeah it’s thirty.”
    I turn to face the boys standing behind me and say, “I paid for the damage at the bakery, Jake, you pay for the coffee.”

    “What!? Why me!?”

    “Because you never do anything else! So take it as your one time to be useful.”

    Jake mutters to himself as he steps up and reaches into his pockets and lies the contents on the counter. “Okay, let’s see, I got…a half piece of Juicy Fruit…a couple quarters, dime and penny…a bunch of lint…my English assignment that was due last Tuesday…ah! Here! Oh no, wait, that’s a slice of salami.”

    “Why the hell do you have salami in your pocket!?” I ask.

    “I dunno. Maybe I was hungry and rushing to go to some dumb play at the theatre.” He spits back, referring to the Shakespeare play put on at the local theatre last Saturday that I made him go to.

    “That was not dumb because Damien was in it!” Damien is my crush--has been since 6th grade, and I am now a Sophomore--and the main reason I (well, we) went to the play in the first place.


    “I have no money.”

    “Oh please.” I step forward, reach into his front coat pocket and take out his DC wallet, then wave it in his face before taking out a 50 dollar bill. “Wow, Jake. I’m surprised you were able to hold onto this much money for this long.”

    “I’ve only had it since Tuesday.”

    “My point exactly.” I reply as I hand the money over to the employee, then ask, “Can we get change in 5s?”

    “Sure.” She replies happily as she grabs the money, then turns to bark commands to her fellow co-workers.

    “You suck.” Jake growls at me.

    “I know.” I grin and my eyes wander around the store. The boys talk about Hilary Hewitt’s total wipeout in P.E. last Friday--I gotta admit, it was pretty damn hilarious--as I look at some of the mugs, cups and bottles they have on a shelf.

    “Hey Jake, do you think you could buy me--

    “No.” Jake replies immediately, not letting me finish my sentence.

    Frowning, I turn to Aaron and say, “Aaron! Do you think--

    “No, Demi. Not today.” I pout and put the red and black flower designed water bottle back on the shelf.

    “You’re drinks are ready.” The employee calls from the counter.
    We all walk over, I pick up the drinks and receipt, and Aaron replies, “Thanks!”

    “Anytime!” Then she looks over her shoulder and gives her friends an ‘I hope they never come back EVER’ look.

    “Well, they have great service!” Jake says and we all laugh. I’m closing the door and walking down the steps, then slip on more ice, the coffee tray clutched between my hands as my head dives backwards for the ground.

    “Woah, there.” Two arms come out of nowhere and catch me and the tray as it falls out of my hands. I look up into the hazel eyes of Damien Holmes.

    “Oh…uh…thanks.” I finally get the word out as he helps me stand up.

    “This is an awful lot of coffee you have here.” He hands over the tray and smiles, “And anytime.”

    I’m a little stunned but then manage to smile and reply, “Yeah, well, it’s for me and my two best friends, Aaron and, uh, um,” As I gesture to the boys behind me my mind totally blanks.

    “Jake!” Jake finishes for me.

    “Yeah, Jake, that’s it.” I grin at Damien and hastily add, “You did a great job in the play, by the way.”

    “You saw that?”

    “Yeah, uh, my friend and I, well, um,” My mind blanks again as I search for the name.

    “JAKE!!” He says again, becoming frustrated.

    “Yes, Jake! Jake and I saw it.”

    “Sounds like he is really your best friend.” I laugh, totally smitten, as he adds, “And thanks, by the way.”

    “No problem.”

    We grin at each other and then Jake interjects, grabbing my elbow and saying, “Well, we best be going. Don’t wanna be late for school or anything!”

    “Yeah, I have history with you two, don’t I?”

    “Great…” Jake mutters sarcastically underneath his breath.

    “Yeah! Matter of fact, we do!” I grin as Jake starts to try to take me away and Aaron takes the tray of coffee, “How odd!”

    “Yeah, what a joyful coincidence! Now let’s go.” He pulls me along as Damien and I wave to each other, exchanging good-byes and see-you-soons and such.

    “OH WAIT! DEMI!!” Damien shouts as we round the corner. We stop and he catches up and hands the Pulsating Gel Vaporizer to me. “You dropped this.”

    “Oh...OH!! OH, uh, thanks!! A lot!”

    “Yeah, no prob. But what is it?”

    “A coffee ice cream gun 3000!” Aaron stumbles across the words as he makes them up.

    “A what?” Jake and I ask along with Damien.

    “Uh, you guys know, um, our science project!”

    Jake and I stand there for a second and then go into a chorus of, ‘oh yeah!’ and ‘THAT coffee ice cream gun 3000’.

    “What does it do?”

    “Uh…” Aaron looks to us for help, but my mind is all blank.

    Suddenly, it comes to me, and I reply, “Uh, well, you put coffee in it, push a button and it comes out as ice cream.”

    “Like this!” Jake says, hastily grabbing cups of coffee and pouring them into the gun.

    “Jake! What are you doing!” I hiss through gritted teeth.

    “Look ahead of us.” Aaron and I turn our heads to see what looks like a big fuzzy white ball with short, stubby arms and legs. It has big, sharp, black claws on both and it turns it’s face up to us, and we see huge, beetle black eyes and a mouth which opened to reveal a huge creepy smile--like the cat from Alice in Wonderland.
    It doesn’t take me long to realize that that fuzzy white ball is snow, and that the snow is the Mortel Neige.

    It starts to run towards us and I exclaim, “Hurry, Jake!!” As he hurries to point it towards the monster. The Neige leaps up in the air as he points the Vaporizer up and shoots it, and light brown goo flies all over us.

    “Uh…it’s still a little dysfunctional, so we’re just gonna…uh…go fix it up now.” Aaron says as we wipe the goo off of our faces and try to get it off our clothes. Thank God it was light brown, the color of the ice cream, or else that’d be a problem.

    And thank God Damien didn’t see the monster either. “Uh, okay. See ya, Dem--

    “DAMIEN-POO!!!!!!” Stephanie runs forward, her now bleached blonde, grown out curls bouncing around her spray-tanned face.

    “Oh God.” I mutter as I turn to my two best friends. “Can we just go now?”

    “Hey, Steph.” Damien gives his girlfriend, and my ex-best friend, a kiss on the cheek. Stephanie backs away a little, wipes some goo off her face and takes a look at him. Then a look at Jake, Aaron and I.

    “Oh, hi, Destiny.” Her good mood drops as she sees me and then nods to the boys and says, “Ugly and Uglier.”

    “Wait, which one of us is ugly and which one is uglier?” Aaron whispers to Jake.

    “I dunno, but I got dibs on Ugly.” Jake replies.

    “Well, hello Stephanie. I’m sorry, but we best be leaving now.”

    “That’s what I’ve been trying to say all along!” Jake says.

    “See ya, Demi. Aaron and…um--”


    “Right…Bye Jay.”

    “Ugh!!” Jake throws his hands up in the air as he, Aaron and I start to walk away.

    After we get in the car and buckle our seatbelts, I say, “Please tell me we have extra outfits at Headquarters, and that they do NOT involve pink and a sailor’s hat this time.”