Today's weird dream is brought to you by a granola bar eaten at three in the morning...
I'm at a restaurant with my family. Me, Kyle, the kids, some of our cousins and their kids. Everyone is eating and talking. I smile. I love being with my family. In a dark corner, I notice a man staring at us. I can't tell what he looks like because he's got a bunny hug on and a baseball hat. Everything he's wearing is black. He takes a sip of coffee and his eyes meet mine. Somehow, I know I'm supposed to go to him.
I get up, telling Kyle the man is here and I'll be right back. He tells me to be careful. No one can see what's happening. I can tell he's watching me as I get up and head to the bathroom. A few minutes later, I hear the door open and someone walks in.
"I'm in here."
The man's footsteps enter the stall next to mine. "You're sure your family is ready for this?"
I nod even though he can't see me. "We are."
He hands me a small package from under the divider. "You have five hours."
I hear him leave and take my time exiting the bathroom with the cell phone sized package tucked in my back pocket.
Kyle exhales the breath he's been holding as I sit back down beside him. Everyone is looking at me.
"We have five hours." I pull the package out, taking the elastic off that's holding instructions against it.
The rules are simple.
1. take the packages to HIM by any means necessary
2. at least two of your team members must be at the final point
The restaurant doors burst open and a group of military guys come running up to us.
"They're coming! We have to go now! Brumby and Stinker will take the kids to a secure location!"
Everyone gives the kids a quick hug.
Emery kisses me on the cheek. "You can do this, mom."
I take a deep breath and watch as the kids grin and run to the tank they get to ride in. "Let's do it."
We run and get on our bicycles, pedaling down a back alley as fast as we can. I feel the package slipping out of my pocket and decided to hang it around my neck by the chord it's attached to. We make it to a tall skyscraper made completely of windows.
Cheryl, Courtney, and Dwayne Johnson watch as Kyle and I run into the building.
"We'll meet you in the field!" yells Cheryl before pedaling away, the three of them accompanied by three guards.
"Where is it?" Kyle stops me from getting on the elevator.
"They'll expect the elevator."
"Yeah." I head to the stairway and we start to head up.
"Here! We can travel through the vents. Bucky, give us a boost."
Kyle follows me in and passes me the gun Bucky has given him before pulling the other man up to join us.
The trip through the vents is exhausting and long. Maybe this was a bad idea. Maybe we won't have enough time. In my mind, I've been counting the turns and floors.
"Here. This is where we need to get out."
We drop into an office and quickly hide behind a large desk.
A man with green scales for skin pauses and peeks in.
"They beat us here." Bucky makes sure his safety is off and I do the same.
Kyle attaches the silencer to his weapon. "You know what sucks? They blend in. We don't."
"I have to get to the back office." I point in the direction I need to go. The lights go out and I slip on my night vision goggles. "Thanks god for Sparky."
Kyle grins. "Let's go."
We manage to slip past a couple of office workers without being detected. Bucky swings open the back office door . His gun goes off twice and two bodies drop to the ground. I kick open a closet door and shoot the manager who was hiding in it.
"It's in here." I grab the box with the symbol on it that matches the package around my neck.
I see Bucky swing his gun around to take down the threat, but not quickly enough. The building guard's gun goes off and Bucky falls to the ground. Kyle grabs a chair and smashes the window open.
"Go, Mi!" He shoots one guard and drops as he gets hit in the leg. With a grunt, he throws himself at the men in the doorway.
"Go! Finish this!" He takes another round in the chest and the last thing I see as I launch myself out of the tenth story window is his body falling to the ground.
I pull my parachute chord, knowing it's not going to do much to slow me down at this height.
"Hang on!" Sparky groans as he attempts to catch me and I smash him into the asphalt. "Bucky and Kyle?"
I shake my head and swallow hard. "Gone."
"Come on." He squeezes my arm. "We have to keep going." He stuffs the box in the big pocket on his pant leg and we take off running.
"We have to get to the field." I duck into a back alley to get out of view. Sparky peeks around the corner to make sure we aren't being followed.
"Let's go." He leads to way until we're laying behind some bushes at the edge of the field.
"Shit." Cheryl, Courtney, and Dwayne are tied to posts, surrounded by twenty plus enemy soldiers. All I can think about is shooting each and everyone of them in their scaly green faces.
"Where do we find the package?"
I look through my scope. "There. They have it sitting by our team."
"Bastards. Do they really think we're just going to stroll in there?"
We glance at each other and grin. Making sure all of our weapons are loaded and ready, we stand and start shooting.
Chaos ensues as the enemy scrambles to recoup from our surprise. Cheryl manages to get loose and tackles a panicked guard, stealing his weapon and shooting him before joining in the massacre. Sparky reaches the package and stuffs it into his other leg pocket. He quickly cuts down Courtney and Dwayne and gives them weapons.
"Come on!" I lead the way into the woods, glancing at my watch. "We have an hour!"
I try not to feel excited. We have all three packages. Now, we just have to get it to HIM.
Cheryl takes a shot to side and falls. Dwayne covers her and takes three to the back. He pushes his weapon toward Courtney. "Go."
Courtney, Sparky, and I dash through the woods breaking out into the open of a parking lot. We can hear the others behind us. A quick scan confirms we aren't going to be ambushed and we go crashing through the front doors.
HE is waiting for us, his white suit pristine as HE sits behind a table. HE stands.
Sparky and I stumble forward, out of breath, holding out the packages for HIM. HE takes them, opens them, and scrutinizes them. HIS eyes meet mine and he grins.
"Congratulations. You've done it."
Gordon Ramsay takes the secret ingredients for the best hot chocolate on earth and heads off into the kitchen to make us some.
The kids come running up to us, excited to taste the treat.
We all turn as the lizard men some strolling into restaurant.
Sheldon and the others pull off their lizard masks. "Man, these things are bloody hot."
Everyone laughs and I hand him a glass of water. Kyle gives me a hug, still wiping the paint from the paint balls off of his sleeve.
"I can't believe you jumped out of that building!" Bucky grins with a shake of his head.
I burst out laughing, remembering it. "Me neither!"
"That was kickass!"
We all sit as Gordon comes back with the hot chocolate and the only sound is thirsty slurps.
"What are you going to make next time?"
He shrugs. "It's a surprise."
"Can you make a cake?" asks Ashtynn.
Gordon shrugs. "Is that what all of you want?"
All the kids nod enthusiastically.
Sparky stretches his arms over his head. "I'm sorta glad it's the kids' turn next weekend. I'm wrecked."
The adults all agree and the teams are picked for the following weekend fun of paintaball mob boss chef adventures.