We play in these woods all the time. I don’t know why today had to be different. We were on our way to school when Tommy said he didn’t want to go today. I wasn’t even thinking about skipping, but now that the idea was planted, it seemed like a good thing to do. We quickly turned around and headed to the woods. We knew we couldn’t go home because Mom wasn’t supposed to go anywhere today. That’s fine; we’d find plenty of things to do outside.
It didn’t take us long to get to our fort. It was well hidden but we have gone there so many times, we could probably find it blindfolded. Our swords were right where we left them. We threw our back packs off and began to duel each other. “On guard,” Tommy yelled as he swung his wooden sword around my head. Suddenly, we heard the sound of a vehicle door slamming shut. Normally this wouldn’t be alarming, but we were so deep into the woods that we’ve never seen anyone else here. We turned our heads towards the noise and then back at each other. Placing our swords at our sides and without words we decided we needed to investigate. As we were getting close, we could hear voices. We stopped at the edge of a tree that had fallen over.
From our perfect spot we could now see a black truck and three guys. One of them had his hands tied behind his back. We could hear them talking in a fast angry tone, but couldn’t make out what they were saying. They didn’t seem to be speaking English. Suddenly and without warning, one of the men kicked the man with his arms tied to the ground. The other one raised his hand, pointing something at him. Bang. The gun shot echoed all through the woods and into my chest. I’ve never heard a gunshot before but somehow knew exactly what it was. The man, who had been kicked to the ground, just fell over. I knew we weren’t supposed to be here. I started to back away. I tugged on Tommy’s jacket. But Tommy wouldn’t move. He just sat there, frozen. I didn’t dare say his name, I just continued to tug, harder and harder. Finally, he turned his head and looked at me. I could see the bewilderment in his eyes. I gave him one final tug and he began to move when Snap. His knee hit a dry twig. My head swung around back to the two guys. Was there any possibility that they didn’t hear that? No, for they were looking straight at us. That moment seemed to take forever but it was over in an instant. They started running towards us as I grabbed Tommy and ran away from them. I was running as fast as I could, dodging branches, jumping over stumps, all the while dragging Tommy with me. I didn’t dare look back but I could hear the sound of footsteps that weren’t ours getting closer and closer. Bang! Tommy’s hand slipped from mine. I turned back to regrab it and I saw Tommy lying on the ground, the man behind him still pointing the gun. I stopped running. I knew what was going to happen next. We play in these woods all the time. I don’t know why today had to be different.