(originally written 7/18/08)
Two hours later, the Terrible Trio had gained fourteen recruits (Leo had fashioned makeshift water guns out of the free water bottles near the pool by using a push pin to poke holes in the plastic caps) and approximately forty enemies. Jinx had rallied a group of girls against them, and astutely took the high ground (the upper decks) in order to drop water balloons on the Trio and their recruits.
“Damn,” swore Jay. “Where’d they get water balloons?”
“Just concentrate on dodging,” advised Derek, ducking under the staircase that led up to the balcony where it all started, and where Jinx had stationed her troops.
“Does it matter?” asked Leo, standing out in the open. “I’m pretty much soaked already.”
At that moment, a water balloon fell from above and burst on his head. Jinx’s laughter drifted down to them.
“Correction,” amended Leo. “Now I’m soaked.” He aimed his water-bottle gun at the upper decks, and was rewarded by a shriek and an angry yell.
“Come on,” said Derek. “We’ll make a break for the pool. I saw some towels there.”
“Sounds like a plan,” said Leo, rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet so that his shoes squelched pleasantly. “Maybe we should call it a truce soon.”
“This soon?” asked Jay. “What time is dinner anyway?”
Derek glanced at his watch. “In fifteen minutes. We should probably change, too.”
“Oh damn,” said Jay, looking down at himself. He examined the Roosevelt Academy: My name is… card in his lanyard, which was now bleeding ink that pooled in the bottom of the plastic sleeve that held it. Gingerly, he pulled his plastic student ID key card out from behind the welcome card. He went over to Leo and wrung out the edge of Leo’s shirt over the card to rinse it, then wiped it sort of dry on his own pants before shoving it in his back pocket. “Yeah we should probably change at some point.”
They peered out from under the staircase, and made quick work of spraying anyone they saw before sprinting out to the pool.
“They’re heading for the pool!” yelled Jinx behind them, and soon they heard the pounding footsteps of pursuers.
“Make a break for it, guys!” Derek yelled to the rest of their team as he launched himself at the wrought-iron gate surrounding the pool. He was going too fast to stop and open it, he realized. At the last second, he gripped the gate with both hands and managed to vault himself mostly over it. He pushed off with his feet and landed hard on the pool deck. Jay and Leo had followed, Leo staying behind to open the gate for their team. The bulk of their recruits got through, but it was too late to close it again before Jinx came streaking past and tackled Leo with all the force she could muster. He tried to fight back, dumping the contents of his water-bottle gun on her head, but she was stronger than he expected. Jay and Derek came running back to help, but Jinx gave one final shove, and Leo went tumbling into the pool, clothes and all. He managed to grab her arm, though, and she fell in after him.
Jay and Derek were laughing uncontrollably when the pair surfaced. Leo was grinning at his small victory amidst his defeat. Jinx sputtered with amused indignation and made her way to the pool’s edge.