After only a year of knowing each other, the two became two peas in a pod. With Ben going over to the Pilick house every weekend, the two would play video games, go outside, or even go out to eat with Charlotte's parents.
One sunny day, Ben and Charlotte were in the backyard planning to play catch for a change.
"You sure about this?" Charlotte asked only a yard away from Ben.
"About what?" he asked getting in position to catch the ball.
"You can't throw well," answered Charlotte.
"Y-yes I can!" claimed Ben stomping at the ground while the tips of his ears burned.
"Whatever," Charlotte giggled throwing the ball to Ben.
As Ben caught the ball, he tried to hide his annoyed glare.
He accepted most insults, but when they came from Charlotte, Ben felt a deep need to prove her wrong. He obviously didn't hate her, but something really pushed his buttons whenever she would lob an insult or two at him.
Narrowing his eyes, Ben gripped the basketball until his knuckles were white. He knew he could throw far enough if he tired; well, farther than Charlotte.
"I'm going to throw it far," he called backing away," get ready!"
Charlotte gave a thumbs up as she moved her feet apart. Ben wound back his arm, raised his knee, and squinted his eyes, determined to get a good throw. He swung his arm forward with all his force. The ball launched out of Ben's hand and went up in a wide arc. Once landed, though, it bounced off a lawn chair behind Charlotte and ended up behind the brown picket fence that ran around the edge of the backyard.
The two stood in silence. Ben gave the fence an astonished gaze while Charlotte fell on the ground laughing.
"Yeah, that was real far!" She yelled.
His blood boiling and face burning, Ben stomped up to the fence trying to find a door to the other side.
"Are you trying to find the secret passage?" Charlotte asked.
"Secret passage?" Ben questioned.
Charlotte gave a nod as she walked up next to Ben. She put her hands on the fence feeling around individual pickets. She stopped when her fingers reached a small hole in between two pickets.
"Here," she confirmed pulling the two pickets apart to reveal a small opening.
Ben looked through the whole to find a large yard that ramped up near the backside. He continued to scan the yard to find the bright orange basketball in front of an aged, red dog house.
"I see it," called Ben.
"Where?" Charlotte questioned bumping Ben's head out of the way.
As Ben rubbed his head, Charlotte's usual perky face soon deformed into a terrified expression.
"I-it's there?" she whimpered.
"What's wrong?" Ben asked.
Charlotte looked up at Ben looking like she seen a ghost.
"There's an s-scary dog there," she warned," it's very dangerous."
"How?" scuffed Ben.
"It ate a whole squirrel a couple days ago!" claimed Charlotte," I heard the dog barking then it started to eat or chew something!"
Ben gave a gulp as his own smug grin disappeared along with his confidence.
"Well," he started," we have to get the ball, so we'll just have to be careful."
"Can you even fit?" asked Charlotte.
"Can you fit?" chuckled Ben.
Making unbreaking eye contact with Ben, Charlotte went head first into the hole and slid through as if she was covered with butter.
"My turn," muttered Ben.
Ben tried to follow what Charlotte did, though his head didn't quite fit. He then tried feet first which, difficult it may have been, got most of his body through. When it came to his head, though, it took some pulling and pain.
Once the two were on the other side, they scanned the yard for the apparently dangerous dog.
"Maybe he's sleeping," whispered Ben.
"I-I don't know," whimpered Charlotte trying to hide her fear.
"Don't worry," assured Ben patting Charlotte's head," we'll be sneaky ninjas."
Charlotte gave a giggle before the two began to tiptoe to the other end of the yard. As they tiptoed, Ben glanced around to find them passing a chewed up... something lying on the ground. He gave a deep gulp as the two continued.
They reached the ball to find a large German shepherd sleeping just behind it. The shepherd's breath barely pushing the ball. Charlotte tapped Ben's arm and motioned to the ball. Shooting a nervous glance back, Ben reluctantly reached out his hand.
Ben's hand twitched when a wave of the dog's warm breath went over his hand. His hand shaking, Ben quickly scooped the ball up. With the dog seemingly in a deep sleep, Ben gave sigh as he handed the ball to the relived Charlotte. As if to jinx the two, though, the dog's eyes opened and started to widely move.
Ben and Charlotte froze as the dog suddenly stood on all fours. There was a long, tense moment of silence between the three. When the dog finally began to bark, Ben and Charlotte gave yelp as they ran back to the fence.
As the two ran, Ben glanced over his shoulder to find a large german shepherd angerly barking and running after them. When Ben looked back at Charlotte, she tossed the ball up to Ben. Before he could question what she wanted, the two slammed into the moldy picket fence.
"Throw it!" yelled Charlotte.
Ben tossed it up over the fence.
"Nice one," Charlotte muttered.
"Hurry!" Ben yelled opening the hole.
Before she could go through, Charlotte took one glance back to find the dog only feet away. She froze as she watched what she thought would be her end.
"Charlotte!" Ben yelled.
She didn't respond; her eyes were locked on the slobbering dog chasing after them. Ben groaned as he forcfully pushed Charlotte through the hole sucessfully colapsing the two pickets back together.
"Ben!" Charlotte cired.
"It's fine!" assured Ben backing away from the fence," I'll just-"
He looked back at the dog to have it jump onto him.
"Ben!?" cried Charlotte.
He didn't respond.
Ben was seemingly preoccupied with an eighty pound, three-foot dog licking his face.
"Ahh, okay," muttered Ben trying to slide away from under the dog.
He eventually escaped from the dog's grip to find it playfully climbing up on Ben.
"Okay, okay," laughed Ben trying to stand.
The dog sat in front of Ben having its tongue out as if ready for a treat. Ben looked around to find a bag of dog food conveniently opened. He stuck his hand into the bag to pull out one or two treats. Ben looked down at the dog to find it focused on the treats. Ben threw it slightly to the dog's side just to have the dog quickly move its head to catch it in time.
"Cool," chuckled Ben throwing the next treat toward the dog," aren't you a good dog?"
As Ben kneeled down to pet the dog, the gate behind him swung open.
"Ben!" Charlotte called.
"That was unlocked?" Ben questioned.
"You're okay," realized Charlotte running up to hug Ben," h-how?"
Ben stood to the side to show Charlotte the now calm and friendly dog.
"He's not as mean as you said he was," Ben answered.
Charlotte gave a weary glance down at the dog before looking back at Ben. The dog gave a loud bark making Charlotte jump behind Ben.
"Are you still scared?" he questioned.
"It... I don't like it..." muttered Charlotte clinging onto Ben's arm.
Ben gave a laugh as he pulled his arm away and took the ball from Charlotte.
"Come on," he called running into the yard with the dog chasing after him," let's play catch!"
"Are you still scared of dogs?" Ben asked kicking his feet up onto his desk.
Charlotte gave a small nod as she stared dead straight back at the webcam.
"I don't see how, honestly," Ben commented sitting up.
"They're loud, big, and scary," Charlotte argued in her soft voice.
"And they call me the wimp."