TITLE: Secrets in the Woods
GENRE: Young Adult
Bring on the straight jacket and padded room because I’ve completely lost my mind. There was no other explanation for why I was chasing mysterious lights into the woods behind my house at 2:30 in the morning. Seeing little flickering spots had to be part of a mental breakdown brought on by too many cans of Dr. Pepper and not enough sleep. Yet, I couldn’t forget that my best friend Melanie saw those same lights, so I kept going, even though I was certain I would kill myself running around in the dark.
That was all the time I had for coherent thought before my legs started burning from overuse and the need for oxygen made me gulp down the frigid night air. Mel and I had covered most of the gap between the back of my condo building and the woods already. Out my first floor bedroom window, along the narrow path between the condo complex and a rolling hill of blackberry bushes, then down through cramped trails loaded with thorns and no light, and finally out to the empty baseball fields below. Of course, Mel was up in front while I brought up the rear, but then Melanie was tall, athletic, and a member of the track team. My best quality was trying to be invisible, though I had limited success.
As I watched her run in strong fluid movements I realized all too painfully how inadequate I was - in every way.