Preface

"Kaitlyn!" My eyes flutter open. My mother is standing next to the couch I'm sleeping on with her soft brown eyes wide and the rest of her face set in a familiar expression. Surrounding the couch is the blanket my mom was sleeping on, a stuffed, pre-packed bag and one dresser. "C'mon, we have to go," She whispers. I groan and sit up.

"Again?" I squeak through a yawn. My mom sighs.

"It's for our safety." She says. Like she always does when we leave. I frown at her but get up and grab the pre-packed bag. I let it hang from my arm and take hold of my mother's hand. She walks towards the door.

My mother grabs hold of doorknob before hesitating. She looks back towards the dresser and releases my hand. She rushes to the dresser and grabs a small radio. My mother clutches my hand again

That's when the faint sputter of an engine makes my mom's face pale and making me freeze still: last time I heard a car-a year ago- my dad died. I begin to speak but my mom puts one finger to my lips.

"I didn't think they'd be here so quick," She mutters. She stares into my eyes and tries to smile a little. "You have to go little Lyn," I stare back at her, confused. "You've got to go, without me. Go through the hole in the corner and run as far as you can," Her voice shakes.

"But-"

"No buts. I'll meet you there." She explains. My mother starts to lead me to the small hole that I'll barely be able to fit through. She spins my back to face her, "You remember our rules, right?"

"Don't tell anyone our last name, when I can't find you, hide somewhere, where no one can find me until you find me and if someone wants to help me, I'll tell them I'm waiting for you." She nods and brushes hair from my face.

"No matter how nice they seem." I nod. The car's sputtering grows louder. "Go!" She coughs out. She kisses the top of my head and looks back. I stay put. "Please Lyn. Go!"

"I'll see you there?" I say, but it's more a question. She looks away and pushes me towards the hole.

And so I crawl through the hole and dash out, running through the tall grass that surrounds our house. The car's sputtering grows increasingly louder; with each gurgle of it my heartbeat quickens.

The car stops and I can hear my Mom's voice in the distance and I begin to wonder as I run farther and farther away. I stop to take a break when a thought pops in my brain: what if Mom made the car go away and she's just waiting for me?

I walk towards the house quietly but after about five seconds a scream pierces through the air. And it's my mom.

I run as fast as my small legs can carry me, tripping over myself multiple times. Once I get to my house it's ghostly silent. I go through the hole to find my mom gone.

She probably is just looking for me, I tell myself. She just got scared of the car and screamed, I tell myself. Think back to our rules, when I can't find Mom I hide and wait for her to find me.

So I grab the blanket she sleeps on and hug it to my chest than hide under the couch and hold it close to my chest, waiting for her to find me.