So you are afraid to fight? Perhaps you fear that you are not strong enough?" a voice said.
Anna, Fred, and I peeked out from the skinny bamboo trees we were hiding behind. In a small clearing we saw two angry-looking guys dressed in ancient-looking Chinese robes. They were both holding wooden fighting staffs and looked ready to rumble.
"Not strong enough?" the second guy replied. "I'll show you strength. HEEYAAH!"
He swung his fighting staff at angry guy number one. The end of the staff smacked into the ground with a thud. Angry guy number one had vanished into thin air.
Suddenly he reappeared right beside angry guy number two.
"AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!" Angry Two screamed as if he'd seen a ghost. He dropped his staff and fled in shock.
"Go to your village!" Angry One yelled. "Send me your best fighters and I will test their strength."
Then he picked up the other staff on the ground. He looked a little disappointed that the fight hadn't lasted longer.
"Is there no one in China who is up to the task?" he said to no one in particular. He tossed Angry Two's staff into the air, sending it flying in Fred's direction.
"Ow! Hey!" Fred yelled. "It's raining weapons." He picked up the staff that had just smacked him on the head. "Hey, Joe," he said, showing it to me. "Look at this cool fighting staff!"
Fred swung the staff wildly and struck his best kung fu pose.
"Maybe you should put that down," Anna suggested.
I gave Anna a look. It was her fault we were in this mess—stuck in the middle of a forest in ancient China with Fred waving a weapon and an angry Chinese warrior guy five feet away.
"This is all because you went digging in my things," I said.
"Well, I wouldn't have dug," Anna said, "if you'd just told me what wushu is."
"Silence!" a voice screamed.
Angry One had spotted us. "You," he said, looking at Fred. "You will go first."
Fred looked at his staff and then back at the angry guy who was now in a fighting stance. "Something tells me we're not playing stickball," Fred said.
Angry One pulled his knee into his chest and then slid in Fred's direction. Fred ducked. Anna and I dived back toward our bamboo hiding place.
Fred tried to stand up, but suddenly Angry One was an inch from his face.
"Wha . . . ?" Fred cried.
"You are fast, my friend," Angry One said. "But not fast enough."
"KYAAAAAAH!" He whipped his staff at Fred, who fell to the ground.
Anna and I ran to Fred. "Are you okay?" I asked.
No reply. Fred wasn't moving.
"Wake up!" Anna cried.
Angry One looked down at us with an evil stare. "I have finished off your friend," he said. "Who is next?"