Monday, January 30, 2012
It had been more than two years since Eddie had discovered the abandoned stone cottage. He paused to listen before he turned off the well traveled path. It would not be good to have some spring hiker spot him today. He couldn’t take the chance that someone would stumble upon his hide-out now that he was so close . . . so close to implementing a plan that wasn’t the least bit evil, at least not to Eddie.
The scent of fresh dirt drifted up to his nose from the newly pawed earth at his feet. A deer or perhaps a squirrel had uprooted some buried acorns.
Something rustled behind him and he held his breath. His biggest fear was to have to make conversation with a stranger. The rustling continued and he moved forward, away from the tree with the big clump of pine branches, needles and even sticks and oak leaves that were jumbled into some kind of nest. The pine tree was his marker. The scenery along the winding trail was monotonously similar and if it hadn’t been for the nest he probably wouldn’t have found his way back to the stone cottage after that first time.
He remembered that awful yet lucky day. His cousins had turned against him. They had made a simple game of cards become a mean game of hitting and punching. Even their dog had seemed to enjoy the torture, barking and barking.
He had made his escape, leaving his cousins to tell more lies to his aunt and his mother, as they always did. Was there ever a time when he hadn’t been blamed for the least little thing? He had run and run that day until he was exhausted. Finally he had reached the two mile marker on the wooded path and realized it would be best to turn around. He was half-way back when he surprised a deer and her fawn. On impulse he left the trail and followed the bobbing white tails.
And that was when he found it. The stone shelter was small, smaller than his own bedroom. Except for a bare clearing everything around the hut was overgrown with weeds. On that lonely summer day two and a half years ago, a few weeks before he started tenth grade, he claimed the cottage for himself. And for Rebecca.
(Excerpt from Extra Scenes for EDGE OF ESCAPE)