The night has come once again for the camp of Divine Pines. Darkness covers every corner of the county, except for one part in the forest. The amber glow of the camp fire lights an area in the clearing, with the children and scoutmaster situated around it while sitting on logs. The little campers point long sticks over the fire, roasting the marshmallows stabbed at the very end. They seem to smile and laugh with the robot and dragon, as well as with the bee and mouse, having taken fascination with their story.
“Wow,” goes one kid. “That was such a good scary story!”
“My mind was blown!” another kid utters. “You four have such an interesting way of story-telling!”
“I must say,” Scoutmaster Buck comments. “You certainly enlightened all of us here. Never thought the monster was nothing more than a big softy and friendly. Also, didn’t really think it would save the poor kids. You definitely have built some suspense in us.”
“Please tell us,” says an extra child, sitting closer to the four. “How did you guys come up with such a fascinating tale?”
Echo turns to Firework with a smile, who also looks at him in the same way, then faces the children. “Oh, it was based off a true story. An experience we’ve shared together.”
“Yeah yeah!” goes Firework. “Firework and friends go through real events. Firework and friends live through all.”
“Well,” Buck utters. “I can sense you have a wild imagination about things.”
“What? Scoutmaster don’t believe Firework and friends?”
“But, it’s all true,” spurts Nectar. “The story we’ve told is based on our experiences.”
“Maybe it’s best we stop,” Cyan says. “Doesn’t seem like our classmates buy it.”
“It is possible, however,” Scoutmaster Buck points out. “Given the wild legends surrounding this camp and region. I’m just not so sure you four actually lived through-” He and the campers freeze, noticing glowing amber eyes pierce through the darkness behind the four friends. The orbs approach the kids, creeping up behind the robot and dragon.
Echo changes to orange upon seeing the children and scoutmaster’s expressions. “What’s going on with you guys?” He and the three others turn around to see the shadow lurker before them. The robot’s colors change to green as he smiles. “Hey, Buddy! Good to see you!”
“Yee!” Firework cheers. “Firework glad to see friend has come again!” The dragon holds his stick to the animal. “Care for marshmallow?” The shadow lurker sniffs it first, then takes a bite out of the fluffy treat. It smiles before continuing to eat at it. Firework smiles and pets the brown creature. “Aw, shadow lurker like marshmallow.” The creature then heads toward the bee and mouse, who both don’t hesitate to hug the little being.
“Goodness!” Buck watches with shock and awe. “You’ve befriended a shadow lurker?!”
“We’ve befriended a whole colony of them!” Cyan tells them. “They’re not really a threat at all.”
One kid points to the creature. “But… they steal food… and other kids…”
“Yeah,” says another. “They also cause trouble, don’t they?”
“We have looked into all of that during our time with them,” Echo states. “And, we’ve come to an understanding of why the shadow lurkers do this.” The kids all ponder the robot for the reason, demanding an answer from him. “They are shy creatures, yet strive for attention, trying to learn from us to figure us out. They have stolen food mostly because of the overdevelopment of society in their territories. And the abductions… Well, mostly they sought them merely for their attention and help. They couldn’t relay on the adults for this.”
“And you know this how?” A third child queries.
“I am a robot,” Echo tells him. “I am equipped with special sensors to sense one’s thoughts and feelings for my purpose. I was able to detect their emotions and their feelings.”
“Shadow lurkers misunderstood,” Firework adds. “Just like Echo and Firework were in beginning… No one knew…”
“So, you mean this whole time, the shadow lurkers were only looking for some help and attention?” asks an extra camper. “And everyone assumed they were just scary beasts?” The four friends all nod and confirm.
“My,” Buck begins. “I guess Divine Pines owe the shadow lurkers, as well as nature, an apology… and much more. Perhaps we should go to the town and inform them of the discoveries you four have made. They may want to work in some effort in protecting the shadow lurkers. I’m also thinking you four are going to get badges for this…”
“Hey, wait!” interrupts another camper. “Where are those rodent kids? If your story is true, are they-”
“No,” Nectar confirms. “They’re all right. Let’s just say they’re ‘hanging around’ with our new friends.”
Back by the lake, four figures are suspended in the trees by their underwear. They struggle to get down, but are unable to, suffering from the pain and uncomfortable feeling of tight, raised undies.
“Oh, this is uncomfortable!” spurts Barry. “I don’t like this at all!”
“You’re telling me,” Carl adds. “I’m afraid of heights!”
“Well, Rodney,” begins Larry. “Looks like the plan didn’t go so well. Seems we underestimated those kids…”
“Oh, shut it, yous mugs!” Rodney shouts. “You think I don’t know that?! When we get down from here, I’m getting new friends! Better ones, yous hear!” The boys begin to bicker and argue while still hanging by their skivvies from the trees.