"Alright Ladies! Grub time! Come and get it!"

Skatt's entrance startled all of us. Quickly I nudged the crutches beneath the bin of water, dropped my bucket and followed Derrick, Damian and Zach over to where Skatts was laying out the food. The bastard gave a nasty grin as I looked over lunch hopefully.

"What, prison cuisine not good enough for you boy? Here."

I groaned slightly and took the sandwich from Skatt's hand- it resembled turkey I think. Food here sucked. Chewing as fast as I could, I wolfed down the shit sandwich without gagging too much, and then reached for a can of soda. Over at the hot tub, Diego Tracy and Jong were gingerly peeling off their muck pants, though in Jong's case, it didn't really matter. I moved away, guarding my drink as he came racing over sloshily. "Jesus I'm starved." he stated, grabbing the nearest sandwich with a greenish hand.

Tracy frowned. "That's blasphemy." He mumbled into his lunch, before taking a big bite.

Suddenly the kid's eyes bulged. Spitting out what he was eating, he began clutching his throat, looking around wildly. Skatts pushed past us. "What's the matter?" he gruffed, "Cat got your tongue?" he was joking, but he looked worried. Tracy made a frantic gesture to his sandwich, now on the ground, and rasped out a few words.

"Peanut...butter...."

"Aw fuck." Skatts spat. Grabbing the choking Tracy by the collar, he dragged him off the pool deck and out into his truck hollering "No one fucking move from this pisshole or you're dead. I'll be back. Keep draining the tub." Then he sped away with a rather blue-faced Tracy in the passenger's seat. We all just stood there in a shocked silence. Finally Diego, chewing, broke the silence.

"This food is really fucking nasty."

"Yea," I agreed, meeting his knowing gaze. "Really fucking awful."

We all took the opportunity to grab seconds and get into Skatt's open office to grab some of the candy left from the vending machine incident. Then, sitting Zach in the tree as a lookout, we all lay on the plastic chairs and pigged out. "I hope the little bastard is OK. Figures he'd have a peanut allergy, the fucker." Derrick remarked nonchalantly. We all agreed halfheartedly. Jong blew a huge bubble and then popped it on his face, mixing the pink with green slime on his nose. "Anybody got any cards?" he asked, picking gum off his face and popping it back in his mouth. No one did, but three minutes later, the Asian remembered that he did, and we started a game of poker, using M&Ms and Skittles.

We had just lost all of our candy to Damian, who swore he didn't cheat, when Zach's shrill whistle pierced the air. Quickly we threw the trash into the bushes, grabbed buckets and donned the muck pants. Zach had just climbed down and-after a few seconds of persuasion- put on Tracy's uniform, when the brakes on Skatt's truck squealed to a stop. Soon footsteps were heard coming in through the locker rooms. As we quickly started working again, Skatts appeared, along with a very sheepish-looking Tracy. They headed over to Skatts' chair, where the man sat down and motioned Tracy to come join us. Noticing our curious gaze, Skatts jabbed his finger at Tracy. "The son-of-a-bitch can tell you."

Tracy, with tears in his eyes, grabbed a bucket.

"It wasn't peanut butter. It was salami."

The rest of us just rolled our eyes as Skatts ordered Zach to give Tracy his pants. Zach obliged willingly and Tracy sank into the hot tub with a sploosh. The seven of us then started working again. Skatts watched us for a minute, looking with particular disgust at Tracy. Then he took a big swig from his beer can next to him and settled back, hat over his face. I glared at him, imagining horrible ways for his demise, but Tracy's voice cut through my fantasy in a whisper.

"He'll be out soon."

Ten minutes later, a loud snore escaped Skatts. Tracy gave us a little grin as we gaped at him, and then back at Skatts. Then finally, Damian chuckled.

"How many'd ya put in his cup man?"

"Just one for now. He'll be out for a little less than an hour."

Fishing into his pocket, Tracy pulled out a little bottle of sleeping pills. "I found them in the office." he explained as we gawked, insisting, "I'm in here for a reason too. I got caught lifting something."

"What was it?" asked Jong. Tracy fidgeted.

"A... well a WWJD shirt..."

The groan was unanimous as we emptied our buckets and tossed them under the awning. As Jong and Diego stripped down, I flashed a small grin at Tracy. "Good job." I commented. Then an idea struck me. I turned to face the rest of the guys. "Anybody wanna look for that chick?" I asked, only half-joking. There was a silence. Then Diego let out a small nervous chuckle, followed by Derrick and Zach.

"Aww, did you boys really miss me that much?"

The laughter died away as we all whirled around to face the pool. There she was, leaning on the side of the pool again, half- submerged in the water. She gave a small smirk as we stood in silence, her face looking too damn smug for my liking. My hands instinctively reached for something-a broom, a bucket- that I could use. Nothing was around. The girl's smirk turned into a glare.

"So where are my fucking crutches you bastards?"

"You're crutches?" echoed Zach, his mind obviously starting to work again.

"Yes my crutches you idiot. What are you stupid?" she hissed. We all stood there, pretty much answering her question with our shocked silence. Then Diego, with a sudden stroke of mentality, spoke up smoothly.

"Ya know, you're pretty cute when you're angry."

The girl's glare lightened, but she didn't collapse into a fit of giggles as most chicks did when faced with Diego. Instead she stuck out her tongue- revealing a huge-ass metal bar in it.

"Sorry boys. As tempting as I am, I don't think you want to cross species at such a young age."

This comment brought Jong out of his stupor. "I TOLD YOU!!!! WHAT DID I FUCKING TELL YOU!!!! SHE'S A FUCKING ALIEN MAN!!!!" he screamed, jumping up and down in the process. The rest of us made a grab at him, looking fearfully at Skatts and then back at the girl. She just laughed, and drew herself out of the pool.

"Not exactly."

Jong had stopped writhing by this time. He just stared. So did the rest of us. The girl looked pretty damn normal from the waist up- with a rather skimpy green bikini top on I must say. But she didn't have legs. She had a tail. A huge silver fish tail.

That's right. This chick was a fucking mermaid.

Suddenly Skatts let out a large grunt and sat up. We all jumped, and the girl slid backwards into the pool. Just before going under, she turned back to us.

"Don't fuck with my crutches."

Then she was gone, with a little splash. We all raced over to the waters edge, but there was nothing there. Not even a silver scale floating on the surface. Exchanging glances, we didn't even have a chance to speak before Skatts gave a loud belch, finally opening his eyes. By the time he stretched and glanced at us, we had already started working again, looking very hot and tired. But inside we were all thinking the same thing. This was going to be a long summer.

OK, hands up. Who honestly did NOT see this coming?! I guess it's obvious to me, as the writer. Duh.