While hiking outdoors through a prairie grass field, a voice warns Elijah and Jacob about an interlude in the building.

“ATTENTION ALL PERSONNEL,” the commanding grizzly female voice called out over a speaker. “An intruder has been detected within the building. Please be on guard and report any suspicious activity.”

Elijah and Jacob exchanged perplexed glances in the prairie grass field. 

“You heard that, right?” Elijah asked his boyfriend.

“Oh, I heard that. Where did that come from?”

Elijah scanned the vast field and shrugged. They were hiking through the area because they got a tip from some locals about a secluded waterfall worth visiting. The blue skies retracted like panels from a sports stadium, cutting off their light. They both pulled out their phones and turned on their flashlights.

“Where the hell are we?” Jacob fretted.

“Let’s double back,” Elijah suggested, gently taking hold of Jacob’s hand.

The two jumped at the sound of a laughing bark. They aimed their lights at the source–a prairie dog standing and pointing at them. They out a sigh of relief as the animal scurried away into the grass.

“Yeah, let’s head back,” Jacob replied, catching his breath.

The two jogged along the sightly worn-down pathway, not going too fast and keeping their lights on the ground to prevent tripping and giving away their location. Elijah came to a stop and pulled Jacob to crouch down with him. 

“There are some lights up head,” Elijah whispered while pointing at the pair of yellow lights. “Let’s cut through the field to get around them.”

“But what about ticks?”

“I would rather deal with ticks than bullets.”

“Fair point,” Jacob conceded. “Lead the way.”

Elijah ducked through the grass with Jacob close behind. A series of sharp, repetitive barks from the prairie dogs filled the area. The lights beamed in on the couple and marched toward them. Spotted, Elijah and Jacob threw stealth out and ran full speed. The prairie dog alarm grew louder and louder until a net engulfed the two, causing the two to fall flat. The net sparked, stunning them into unconsciousness. 

The alarm cry stopped as a pair of bison stood over them like a bipedal creature. The bison both had flashlight hats on, and one held a net cannon while the other held a tablet device.

“Good capture,” the tablet-wielding bison complimented.

“What should we do with them?”

The bison pointed the tablet at the young adults. “My scans don’t show any weapons. Let’s wipe their memories, replace it with a hike to a waterfall, and send them back into town.”

“Will do.”

Intruder Detected - art by Janine De Guzman

Inspired by the writing prompt of the warning, “ATTENTION ALL PERSONNEL. An intruder has been detected within the building. Please be on guard and report any suspicious activity.” For a twist, I thought it would be fun for whoever heard the warning to be outside and that outside turned out to be inside a building.

Hope you enjoyed this fun, short little story!