David saw the web of tangled pine branches covered with fresh snow and screamed, “Woohoo! It’s a snow house.”
“Yeah! Snow house! Snow house! Wait, what about Mike Rundle?” Janey said.
“Oh crap!” David stomped his feet hard on the frozen ground. “I forgot about Rundle-bundle. That chunker isn’t far behind us. He’ll be here any second. We have to barricade the door!”
“David! Mike’s our friend. We can’t lock him out of the snow house.”
“Look Janey, it’s cool that you’re so nice to him but that kid’s just different. I don’t like him. No one does. He’s weird.”
“You’re the one who’s weird. You read weird comic books and write those creepy stories about girl robots who wear bikinis.”
“Mike Rundle may look different but you are different.”
“Well you’re a boy, Janey. You dress like a boy. You talk like a boy. You probably even like girls.”
“I like girls better than I like you, dork.” Janey punched him square in the chest.
“Ow, dammit!” David fell backwards onto a patch of hard ice. “I’m gonna kill you, Janey.”
“It’s going to be hard to kill me if you’re already dead!” Janey jumped on David’s chest and they rolled into the snow, punching and kicking each other until a gust of wind blew a sound through the trees.
They stopped fighting and stared down the path through the forest.
“Where are you guys? Helloooooo!”
“It’s Mike!” said Janey.
“Yeah, but he sounds like he’s still a ways off. Get off me so we can hide.”
“No! We’re not going to hide. I’m not letting you up until you promise to be nice to Mike. You have to treat him like everybody else.”
“No way, get off!” David struggled to get up but Janey pinned his arms with her knees and sat on his chest.
“Mike doesn’t know how to fit in. None of us do. We’re all weird, especially you, with your sicko robot dancing girls.”
“God, I swear Janey, I’m so gonna kill you. Let me up so I can kill you.”
“Not gonna happen. Now promise to be nice to Mike or I’ll give you a wicked pink belly,” Janey said, as she pulled up David’s shirt and slapped him hard on the stomach.
“Owww! No, please.”
“Here it comes, David, a nice salmon belly.” She smacked him again.
“Yeoww! Okay stop, don’t do it.”
“What are you going to do?” she said.
“Be nice … I’ll be nice.”
“To who?” Smack.
“Ooww! To Mike, I’ll be nice to Mike. Now stop it and get off me.”
“Okay, but you promised.” She rolled off him.
“God! You’re such a jerk. I swear I hate you sometimes. Now help me up,” David said, holding out his hand.
Janey pulled him to his feet. As they brushed the snow from their clothes, they heard the sound of branches cracking under heavy footsteps. They turned around to see Mike Rundle standing in the snow house doorway.
“Hey guys. Awesome snow house,” said Mike. “Can I come in?”
“Sorry Mike, this snow house is password-protected and you don’t know the password,” said David.
Janey punched David’s arm. “He’s right,” she said. “It is password-protected and only two people are allowed in the snow house at the same time. If you guess the password, you can come in and one person has to leave.”
“Can you give me a clue?” said Mike.
“Sure,” said Janey. She grabbed the bottom of David’s shirt and yanked it up to his shoulders.
“Ouch! What a pink belly,” said Mike.
“Congratulations, Mike,” said Janey. “‘Pink belly’ is the password. David, you have to leave so Mike can come in.”
David pushed Janey away and pulled his shirt down. “You suck, Janey.”
“You double-suck with cheese. Now get out of here, pink boy.”
“I’ll get you, Janey. You just wait,” David pushed past Mike and stomped off into the forest.
“Don’t worry about him, Mike. He’s kind of a jerk. Come in! Are you hungry? I have a couple of sandwiches in my bag.”
Mike smiled. “I have hot chocolate in my thermos.”
“Hooray! Let’s have a feast.”