"--and flora, that's plants, and fauna native to Colorado. Dude, it isn't that bad."
"The last time I went camping I was dragged into the forest by a madman who wanted to 'bond'."
Bright grins. "Your dad's weird. Mine just tries to watch football and hmms at the wrong times."
Ephram trips over a tree root and curses. "God, give me flora and fauna any day over that."
"Come on," and Bright hauls him up. "Football's better than hiking around for senior biology, isn't it?" He checks the map, his watch, and squints at the sky. Ephram keeps plodding one foot in front of the other on the clearly marked path. "Why couldn't you do this with the class, anyway?"
"Was sick," Ephram tells him. He adds, "and Amy and Laynie are both in biology, and fun as things are I didn't feel like being in a position where the relatively stable peace could erupt into homicide in a place where one or all could hide the body."
Bright follows. "That made no sense, dude, you're rambling." He studies the sheet with 'nature guide' at the top carefully. "I never took bio. it always seemed hard."
"It's just the one science where the labs are optional," Ephram says, and trips over another tree root. "Except this one."
"Why'd he bring you into the middle of the forest?" Bright asks suddenly.
"I dunno." Ephram tries to remember the last time his father dragged him out for bonding. "Crazed parenting. It's like he'd want to get it all done in one weekend." He pulls a few leaves off a random bush; maybe he won't completely fail. Maybe not, anyway. "There was this one time, though," Ephram starts. "We had a deer in the backyard."
Bright nods. "We get'em all the time. Usually they wander home on their own."
"This one was really far away from home," Ephram says. He narrowly misses a tree root. "Really far away."
"You take her home again?" Bright asks him seriously.
Ephram knows Bright's become his best friend because he doesn't even think