“Get back in the car,” Fox told the two
men, and they complied. “I won’t tell them
where you live, but I suggest you not stay
in the area much longer. Tell your parents
Adrian pulled on my arm trying to lead
me away, but I stayed put.
“What about you?” I asked Fox.
He shrugged. “I’ll say you got away.”
“But those two know the truth,” Adrian
Fox laughed sadly. “I am not without
sympathizers. Don’t worry about me.”
“We’ve been talking about leaving the
country,” Adrian said. “Come with us.”
Fox shook his head. “No. I’ll keep the
way safe for you, keep the skies clear.
Whatever you’re going to do, do it fast. I
won’t be able to stop them for long.”
My throat felt tight as I tried to swallow.
“Is tonight too soon?”
Fox smiled. “Tonight would be great.”
On impulse I rushed forward and hugged
him fiercely. His arms shook as he hugged
me back and I quickly stepped away.
“Be careful,” he whispered.
I nodded, not trusting myself to speak.
Fox got in the car and the vehicle pulled
away, dousing us in darkness again. Adrian
tugged on my arm and we jogged the half-mile back home. Mom and Dad were
waiting for us when we got there, bags by
the door. The Millers and Thomsons were
similarly outfitted. In hurried tones Adrian
and I told everyone what happened and
Mom started crying. Dad’s face was hard
as he listened.
“Will he stand by his word?” Mr. Miller
“Yes,” Dad said, “but we have to make
the most of this. We have already made
arrangements.” He looked at Mr. Miller
and Mr. Thomson. “Will you come with us
or go your own way?”
They spoke simultaneously. “We’ll
come with you.”
We all got in our van, tight fit though it
was, and headed for the airport. Like the
Underground Railroad operators of old, a
few pilots were willing to smuggle homeschoolers out of the country. I leaned my
forehead against the window as the sky
began to lighten, and I suddenly felt tired.
Our lives would never be the same after
this night, our futures undetermined, but
two things were certain in all the chaos.
We would fight harder than ever to
ensure the future of the next generation,
and I would never see Fox again. He had
given all he had to help us, and his memory
and sacrifice would never be forgotten.
Adrian wrapped his arm around my
shoulders and I leaned against him. My
eyes closed and I slipped into dreams of a
brighter, happier future. For the moment, I
was content. We were alive and safe,
thanks to a traitor’s honor.
Emma Spoon has been homeschooled for
twelve years. She enjoys writing, drawing,
music, and jujutsu. She plans to start
college in the fall as an art major or a
criminal justice major. This is her first
entry in a writing contest.
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