friends always said that he was a poor sport, and Evan couldn’t say that that
was a lie.
always sour and salty, but especially when it came to video games. He had to
win, or he would be pouting all day.
fact, after a marathon session of the latest co-op fighting game, Evan had
spent so much time crowing that all of his friends were sick of it.
know, one of these days, Evan, your competitiveness is going to be the death of
you,” One of his friends, Jared, said, in the middle of packing up his stuff.
for his part, laughed, shrugging it off like he always did.
no way of knowing that the next day, a Friday, he would be in for the nastiest
surprise of his life.
awoken by a flashlight shining in his eyes, and he swore quietly.
the fuck? What’s going on?”
friends, Jared, Diana, and Fabiola, were all ringed around his bed, ski masks
covering their faces. The only reason he even figured out it was them was
because of their muted laughter.
on, Evan,” Jared said, grinning wickedly. “Surprise road trip!”
was how Evan began his weekend, stuffed in the backseat of Fabiola’s compact.
He was the second tallest in their group, and he suspected that his friends had
done that on purpose.
are we going?” Evan asked, for what felt like millionth time.
you not hear the part where we said that was a surprise?” Fabiola asked
from the front seat, passing out snacks from the plastic bag in her lap.
was driving, so she held his chips in her lap, handing them to him whenever
they hit a stoplight.
meanwhile, noticed that the terrain had changed from the lush green hills of
California, and the land gradually flattened as the day passed.
after what seemed like forever, they stopped and parked. Evan spotted a sign
that said Welcome to the world-famous Salt Flats of Utah!
himself, he found himself laughing. “Okay, guys, you got me!”
but the saltiest flats for our most sour, tangy friend. You’re like a surprise
side of ranch,” Diana said, and Evan snorted, blushing at his friends’
come all this way, all in the name of a prank. They might as well see the damn
took pictures with their phones, and the other three began to walk back to the
some reason, Evan felt a tug in the pit of his stomach, and his feet stayed
rooted to the ground. He couldn’t figure out why, but he didn’t want to leave,
not just yet.
friends were in the car, figuring out seating arrangements, when Evan saw the
vision that made him think he was losing his mind. The salt on the flat plain
moved, coalesced into humanoid figures, and they were staring at him as if they
walked forward and gave Evan a blank, empty smile.