Hiding Places

Hi all! I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything lately. I’ve been surprisingly busy with school. So far I’m loving the writing program. My professors are very outgoing and seem to love what they’re doing. There are only ten to twelve people in each of my classes which is pretty cool. It makes it feel much more personal. I was nervous that it would take a little while for me to get back into school mode considering I’ve been out of the classroom for over a year, but I got right back into it like no time has passed. I’m taking a contemporary lit class as an elective and a fiction workshop class. I have the workshop tonight. For that, we had to follow someone around long enough to write down twenty physical characteristics. It was awkward, but I managed to do it without getting caught. I guess I’ll find out later what we’re going to be doing with that.

If you’re interested in what I’m reading right now–not for school–I’m reading 1Q84. I’m only 150 pages into the book but I’m already hooked. I love the writing style. For my writing class, I have to pick a writer that we’re going to closely follow, like a mentor, and I might choose Murakami. We’ll see, though. I’m extremely indecisive and will probably change my mind twenty times before I run out of time and pick anyone out of necessity.

Anyways, this post is coming from a prompt: Hiding places: What was a favorite hiding spot for you as a child playing hide-and-seek? Enjoy.

Hiding Places

He was never able to make up his mind. It always got him caught. Well, he could make up his mind, but his solutions were never practical. He wished he could hide in the clouds, or up in the tallest tree in the yard. He’d be up so high, no one could see or hear him. He wouldn’t have to be quiet or still. No one’s eyes were good enough. But he had a fear of falling. He could climb to the top, but one look down would scare him. The sky couldn’t be an option. Underground, he’d think. He could dig a tunnel underground, to China if necessary. Three seconds left. Now what? All the good spots were taken. No choice now but to hide under the slide. Totally hopeless. And it happens every time. He feels cursed. How is it so hard for him to make up his mind?

He sees the potential in everything. There are no limits in his mind, but in this world, he’s surrounded by them. They make him feel as if he doesn’t belong. He’s curious about everything. How things work, why they don’t, can they work, do they want to? Time’s up. He isn’t even under the slide. He’s so embarrassed, he thinks about leaving, but he was already spotted. Now it’s his turn to find everyone. Being so terrible at hiding gave him lots of practice at seeking. He’s very good at finding people. It takes him just as long to find everyone in their best spots as it took for his friend to find him in the open. He can read people better than they read themselves. He knows where to look based of how they act. Everything’s a metaphor, but he doesn’t understand that yet. He’s eight. To him, it’s life.

Johnny is in the bushes again. His body is too big to fit, and a sharp branch poked him in the side. The noise was too loud to be anything else but Johnny. He likes going in there because he likes to feel small. He’s the leader of their group–not by choice. We picked him. We need someone to do it. How else would we get by? But going for the leader is never wise. Johnny, even though he hates his title, has to hold himself up to it. He’ll be out for blood. He’s going to make a point of getting revenge.

There’s one spot that always works. It can’t be used often. Only on special occasions. Otherwise everyone else will catch on. The timing has to be perfect, too. It’s tough to get into the spot. Eventually he has to get out, so everyone will see where he is, but they can’t know how to get there. He makes it look like he has no idea what’s going on, and everyone runs off laughing, knowing they will get to hide again.

Ten minutes go by and no one found him yet. They’re all looking at this point. It only takes two for them to give up. He wants to drag it out as long as possible. It takes everything in him to keep quiet. He wants to burst out laughing. At one point, he’s afraid he might suffocate from holding his breath for so long. He looks up at the sky and watches a plane fly overhead. He silently walks over to other side and looks down on the trees in the front yard.

Reality sets in soon after. He has to get down. He screams for help. They look up and see him on the roof. They’re amazed and confused and full of laughter. They run inside to get Johnny’s father. When they finally get him down, they ask how he did it. He ran inside and snuck onto the roof through the window in Johnny’s room. But he doesn’t say that. As scared as he was, he thinks about how good it felt to finally be the winner. And to win in a spot he always dreamed about. All he says is I don’t know, and suggests something else, like basketball or something.

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