As soon as I saw the flicker of the candle in the woods, I ran down the stairs. At fourteen, I knew all the squeaky steps and how to avoid them. I also knew it was Devon in the woods and that he was running away. He couldn’t run, I wouldn’t let him. I needed him. If he ran, I would have to survive in Eldertown by myself and I knew it wouldn’t go well. Devon was the only friend I had, the only one I could rely on. If he left, I would have to leave too.  

Devon and I had bonded because neither one of us fit in. We didn’t play sports and weren’t interested in the after school clubs. I was more interested in reading and Devon was interested in acting and the theater. In a small town that thrive on Friday night lights, we weren’t exactly the ones who got invited to the after parties. 

“Devon! Devon!” I whisper yelled as I got closer to the flicker. Why had he brought a candle instead of a flashlight? Was he trying to act like the pioneers he had always been obsessed with? Maybe he was re-enacting Oregon Trail instead of leaving me alone in a town we both hated. The closer I got, the more worried I became. Maybe it wasn’t really Devon in the woods. When the fire sprang up around me, I knew it wasn’t Devon and I knew I couldn’t get out alive. 


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