“Check out the weird goop covering all the trees,” said Jimmy. “It looks like Starburst vomit.”
“You’re disgusting,” said Rachel. “It wasn’t here yesterday.”
Jimmy laughed. “Maybe your imaginary space aliens left it last night.”
“The UFO was real.”
“Sure it was.”
“That’s enough,” said Professor Goodwin. He didn’t have the patience for their bickering.
Every shadow in the refuge made his skin prickle, like they were being watched. This place normally teamed with wildlife, but they hadn’t seen a single bird all morning. The rest of the students clustered together as silent as the woods. Only Jimmy and Rachel seemed unaffected.
He studied the vibrant yellow and orange growth coating the tree. “Let me collect a sample then we’ll go back to the classroom.”
“I got it,” said Jimmy, as he yanked a handful of the stuff. A second later he collapsed.
“That hurt,” said a strange warbling voice. “How’d you like your skin pulled off?”
Rachel screamed and pointed at two eyes on what the professor had thought was a tree.
“What…who…?” Professor Goodwin couldn’t seem to put two words together.
The tree like creature poked at Jimmy’s prone form. “Your boy tried to mutilate me.”
“Yes, I’m a plant. You humans are so animal centric. The name is Michelangelo Bernini Trillian.”
The Professor pointed a shaking finger at Jimmy. “Dead?”
“I thought you creatures were supposed to be intelligent. He’s breathing. My natural bio-toxin just knocked him out. Now get out of my sculpture.”