#2 (continued)

You bolt from the breakfast table, snatch your bag off the floor and nearly punch the screen door off its hinge in your escape. You sprint wildly down the sidewalk, panting from the weight of your bulky bag. After a few blocks, you sit on somebody's steps and put your head between your legs to catch your breath.

"Your folks have been looking for you," a voice says.

Huh? You look up, gasping. It's one of your neighbors. She's pulled to the side of the road in her car.

You bolt. She makes a U-turn. You hide behind a building. She drives slowly by, then circles the block three times at a crawl. Maybe an hour later the street is quiet. Must be after 9 a.m. now. You cautiously step out and look around.

Low clouds rolled in overnight and dropped a dark roof over your town, obscuring the morning sun and draining color from the landscape. The quiet buildings, the empty streets, the grass in the park, all shades of gray. It's like walking down the street in a black-and-white movie. Even this red brick building on the corner ? usually so bright ? looks faded like it's been run through the washer too many times.

What are you going to do? Your folks are calling everybody in town. Your friends, the big losers, are more worried about getting in trouble than helping you. Well, you're not their problem, anyway. You wanted to be on your own, and you're going to make it on your own. If they don't want to help you, screw them. Maybe you ought to just disappear and let them wonder where you went. They'll wish they'd helped you when you asked them to.

There's really nothing else to do but go away, is there? But how? You squeeze your eyes tight. You're trying to turn your brain on, but it's no good. You can't think.

There's only one smart thing to do. Wise up. You've got no money, no plan, nowhere to go. Go home now.
Go to #6.

Go out by the highway and hitch a ride out of town.
Go to #7.
home page
buy the book
about the author
a note for