Ben stands alone watching ripples from fish break the glassy surface of the lake. Little plops sound as seedpods from the overhanging trees fall in to meet their fate. Movement on the far bank. A rabbit dashes from its cover, belts across no-man’s-land, and shoots under some bushes.
Ben looks up, squinting in the sun. Leaves helicopter around him, fluttering from their homes. Uncle Roger said he would meet Ben by the lake this afternoon. Ben didn’t know when, so he came down from his parent’s house after lunch. It is now going on three.
Crunches behind him tell Ben to hide. He scurries into the loose bushes skirting the lake. The wind has died down. There are no more plops into the lake.
It’s Uncle Roger. Ben relaxes. He’s about to walk out when he sees the thick wind of rope in his uncle’s hands. Something tells him to stay still. He holds his breath.
The voice is getting louder. Crunches sound right in front of where Ben is hiding. He moves his head to see his uncle, who catches the movement. Their eyes lock. Ben turns and runs, crashing through the scrubby bush.
He can hear his uncle’s breathing, loud and heavy.
A hand closes hard around his arm.