lock stared at me as if daring me to pick it. "Bring it on,"
the lock says. I fight the lock's power. But then, I give into the
temptation of the lock. I remove a bobby pin from my back pocket.
My sister's, actually. I start toward the lock, then realize it is
already open. Ha-ha, lock. You can't get me in trouble. I quietly
feed a battered-up tennis ball into the crack of the door. It rolls,
thumping along. Then I grab a walkie-talkie from my jacket pocket.
I press a frozen, raw, red finger onto the black button.
to Cam. Zac to Cam". I lift my finger and impatiently wait for
here. What's the 4-1-1?" Cam's voice crackles through the machine,
breaking what had seemed like years of static.
in. You come. I'm at Door Sixteen." I waited again.
right over. Bye." Suddenly out of nowhere, Cam appears. He moves
like a cat, quick on his feet and quiet. We both enter the house.
Cam shuts the door behind us. I don't know why. We are now in total
darkness. Cam and I step blindly, groping for a light switch, but
there seems to be no electricity. That's when we hear footsteps. Thumping,
thumping, all the time getting closer. We hear a man's voice.
shut the door? Aw, c'mon, we don't got no electricity in here!"
The man is getting closer. We see a bright beam of light. A flashlight.
The man is searching for the door, coming closer and closer. We are
about to be discovered when I hear Cam's whisper. I can't understand
him, but he senses that and takes my hand, pulling me roughly from
where I stand. Right in the nick of time, too. As I leave my spot,
it is swallowed up in the bright, fluorescent beam. Cam dives behind
a stack of boxes, then pulls me with him. The beam changes directions,
coming even closer to us. I feel sweat beads trickling down my forehead
and neck. I clutch my walkie-talkie very hard. I imagine my knuckles
going white inside my pocket. I shiver, and yet I am so hot. The beam
turns our way. The footsteps thump even louder than before in my ears.
The moment I've been dreading comes. The man spots us. We quietly
and cautiously move away, so cautiously, I tell myself. But the man
really sees us now.
you two! Get back here!" He lunges and reaches for my pant leg,
but I wriggle free.
Cam shouts. And we take off sprinting. Cam and I run through the deserted
alley behind the house. There was nothing but more clunks and thumps
of the man's boots, and his many calls.
Joey, we got two kids here! Two li'l' punks, Joey! We gotta find 'em,
Joey! Joey!" The man's voice sounded frantic. Suddenly, I felt
a sharp tug on my sleeve. I whip around in alarm, thinking it's the
man or his friend, Joey. But it's only Cam. Cam motions behind him.
I look. It is his black back pack. He turns around to dig in the pack.
While he is, I stare at him questioningly.
is wearing army green cargo shorts and bedraggled black sneakers.
His faded white Guns 'n' Roses t-shirt is stuck to his chest with
sweat, and from where I stand I can see his ribs going in, out, in,
out heavily as he breathes. There are tons of bruises and one too
many scrapes on his tanned legs from playing lacrosse with me at the
Deering Soccer Field Complex.
now he is frantically mapping his sweaty, dark, shaggy bangs from
his blue eyes as he digs in his bag. Finally, he finds what he's looking
for. It is a piece of paper, and two baseball gloves. He studies the
paper for a moment, and then stuffs it back. He turns back around
and points to the back window.
he whispers, "is the perfect window." I stare at him, puzzled.
He hands me a baseball glove and a Boston Red Sox cap. He throws on
a cap identical to mine and grabs my hand, leading me to the back
window. Cam looks both ways, then climbs through the window carefully.
Once he's in, he motions for me to follow. I climb in as well. Now
we're in. We hear footsteps again. This time, it's more footsteps.
More than before. The man has people with him. Crap. This is not good.
Cam leads me behind a stack of crates and cardboard boxes. The people
are coming closer. Cam and I shrink down behind our crates and boxes.
The people are coming ever closer. We shrink down more. They turn
the corner. They can almost see us. We hear voices.
Officer Bradley, two punks were in here. I don't know what they did,
but they did something. That I'm sure of." I freeze. The police?
What? Cam and I are going to get arrested? The man and two officers
are in our eyeshot. I shift my foot. Once of the officers points at
our spot. "There! There's something over there!" The man
and second officer start towards us. The first officer follows, switching
on a flashlight beam as he went.
the man says. Officer One asks us to step out. Cam pushes past me.
were just searching for our ball, Mr. Officer. Just searching."
Cam tugs at his Red Sox cap for effect.
the officer sighs, "I don't want to do this to you boys, but
unless Scotty Fitzgerald here decides to drop the charges, I'll have
to take you down to the station. But it's up to Mr. Fitzgerald. Mr.
Fitzgerald?" Mr. Fitzgerald steps up.
charges are what, Officer Bradley?"
and breaking and entering, sir."
then, press the charges!" Mr. Fitzgerald announces.
boys, I'll escort you to the car. Let's go."
and I look at each other. Then, we drop our gloves and run again.