by Tami Friend
He ran toward the trees that were black as night. The air was thick carrying the scent of fear. His breath was labored, ragged in the back of his throat. Glancing up at the blazing moon, he tried to find hope in its beckoning light, something to tell him he was going to be okay.
Slowing down to a trot, he hooked a left to follow a path that led to what he hoped was safety. When he saw he was clear, he paused to try and catch his breath but then continued on. He had to get away, hide before she could find him.
Looking behind him, he saw the flicker of a flashlight scanning the forest. A whimper curled up his throat, but he didn’t want to give his position away. He heard a voice calling out his name. He quickly ducked behind a wood fence, out of the penetrating light.
“Robert James Sullivan, I’m coming out there to get you.”
From his position, he could see the enemy approach. He had nowhere to go. He held his breath as the flashlight’s beam swept by him. She approached again, this time stopping to illuminate his face.
“Robert, get off the ground. You need to come with me now.” She switched the flashlight to her left hand, holding out her right to pull him from his crouching position.
“Oh mom, do I have to? I didn’t get to finish my game.”