He was bloated. It was an uncomfortable, overfull feeling that he couldn’t control. He started to head for a private area, but when he tried to move, he found himself blocked in by a group of pale youths. He had never seen them before, but he recognized the three curved lines on their biceps that marked them as gang members. The biggest of them was over six feet tall, but he couldn’t have been more than 140 pounds. Still, he was the one who stepped forward and poked Argus in the chest. Argus felt his skin give underneath the pressure, but it wasn’t quite painful. He looked around; his friends were suffering the same treatment. The gang was everywhere.
Argus stepped to the side and the youth in front of him placed a full hand on his chest to shove him back. He said nothing, but the message was clear: you’re not going anywhere. As if in protest, Argus’ stomach let out another rumble, louder this time. He could feel it shake his whole body. Feeling that, the gang leader jumped back, startled. His fellow thugs let out howls of laughter. The leader flushed and he roared in anger. It grew eerily quiet as his roar’s echoes died away. Argus saw that the entire gang was waiting for his signal.
A fist went into the air.
The arm lowered.
With a cry of malicious joy, the gang pressed forward, herding Argus and his friends in front of them like cattle. Argus ran as fast as he could with them prodding and shoving him, laughing and whooping all the way. They traveled for miles. His stomach was fit to burst, but still they pressed him forward.
He stumbled and fell, halting the progress.
The gang leader shouted and Argus heard the crackle of electricity. Terror lanced through him as he caught sight of a Taser in the thug’s hand. The leader gestured almost negligently with the weapon; a clear threat. Argus leapt to his feet and began to run. This incited the gang to scream with delight and holler as they chased him down. There were other crackles as more Tasers were brought out into the open.
Finally, after what felt like miles, the gang forced a halt. Argus was panting and his stomach was in knots. He bent over double and began to release his bladder. The sound of water splattering let him know that he wasn’t the only one. Cries of annoyance and disgust rose at once from the people in the area and the gang members howled and whooped at their discomfort. They brandished their Tasers, shooting electricity through the air as Argus and his friends let out moans of relief.
It took much longer than he wanted, but finally, Argus began to feel better. His skin returned to a normal color. The gang, seeing that, moved off in search of other victims. Argus’ friend, Ike, came over. He, too, appeared to be feeling better.
“Those winds, huh? They’re such bullies,” he said.
“Yeah. Think it’s such fun to see humans get wet,” Argus agreed.
“Shall we go drift over the ocean?” Ike suggested. The other clouds began to brighten at the prospect.
Argus considered it. “Okay,” he said, “but this time, don’t let me drink too much.”