The boy sprinted into the woods. The darkness causing him to nearly trip over his friend who was already crouched just within the tree line. He dropped down next to his friend as he tried to catch his breath. The humid summer air filled his lungs, but offered him little relief. Though he was at rest his body remained tense, ready to spring into action at any moment. They could see the red and blue flashing lights at the top of the hill casting strange, jerking shadows over the field. A spotlight panned across the trees trying to find them, but their black hoodies blended seamlessly with the night. His friend looked over at him, eyes wide and nervous, begging to know what had become of their friend. Before the boy could answer they heard a voice announce over a speaker.
“We have your friend and we know who you are. Come out now! You are only making things worse for yourselves. You have no other option,” demanded the officer, his tone stern and foreboding.
The reality of the situation gripped the boy and panic welled up inside of him. He closed his eyes for a moment to steady himself. He needed time to think, but that was a luxury he did not have. Before he darted into the woods he saw the line of police cars blocking their path between where they were and where they wanted to be. The full moon and the adrenaline allowed every detail to stand out vividly in his mind. He was pretty sure this night was going to end in tragedy for them. Clouds rolled across the moon casting shadows over the landscape and his waning optimism.
He opened his eyes and looked over at his friend. His friend’s eyes darted back and forth as he weighed their two options. They boy knew exactly what he meant since they had known each other for a while and the need for verbal communication was no longer necessary. The boy scowled and slowly shook his head. Their friend had known the risk and had agreed to their terms. The first rule was don’t get caught. The second was that if you do, then you keep quiet about the others and go down alone. Their friend was on his own.
A sudden, cold feeling crawled inside the boy’s stomach and slithered up his spine. It was a feeling he learned to never ignore. The boy shot his friend a wide-eyed glance and jerked his head back towards the woods. His friend knew what that look meant and they dashed deeper into the woods. Then they heard the sound of a German Shepard barking as it ran down the hill.