PROMPT: His hiding place had been discovered. What on earth was he going to do now?
He could always wait for them to come. The Big Boys usually did after their rat caught a scent. But Justin was of the mind he’d rather not be at the treehouse when they came a-knockin’. That’s what they called it anyway.
Bishop would say, “Don’t make us come a-knockin’.”
And even though Justin wasn’t quite sure what that means, especially in today’s world-one so jammed packed with camera doorbells and electric locks–he figured he’d rather not deal with it.
So, Justin grabbed up his backpack, the one with the twenty-sided-dice patch on it, and slung it over his shoulder. He threw down the rope ladder and swung down it, one foot, one hand, ofter another. Some people thought rope ladders were difficult or dangerous. But Justin knew you just had to know how to use them right. If you did, they were an impregnable defensive tool. Well, at least they were unless the Big Boys came a-knockin’, because the Big Boys might bring fire, if they did Justin would be in the field of in the tree with nothin’ to protect him at all, and that field looked mighty dry this summer. It always looked dry in summer.
His feet hit the ground and he began to run in the same direction as the Rat. The Rat had once been his friend–like way back in kindergarten. He didn’t know when the Rat had gone over to the Big Boys, but he had, and the Big Boys were high school Freshmen and last year, when Justin was in 6th grade, and the Big Boys were in eight, they’d torched his books real bad, and his campaign notes so that he’d had to try and recreate them all (not the books, just the notes), but his mom said she couldn’t afford new books, so he’d just have to borrow a friends, even though he’d told her he couldn’t and he told her nobody had the same books as him and as the DM he had to have those specific books. She’d just given him one of Molly’s books on spaceships and science–which was cool. Justin knew there weren’t very many women in science and spaceships and things, even though it was 2020 and lots of people thought sexism wasn’t a thing, but it was–but his older sister’s science books wouldn’t help him tell a story about myths and legends, even though it might. It couldn’t for him.
In the tall grass of the field, Justin swept his hands out and kept running. It felt good somehow, even though he was scarder than shit. It felt good to run and climb and be outdoors, even though he also liked to be indoors.
He came to the dirt road and looked down it. There was no signs of the Big Boys yet. It still might be safe to go that way if the Rat hadn’t been able to find them.