“Don’t forget to read the next two chapters in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing,” said the teacher, Mrs. Smith. “We’ll be talking about those chapters tomorrow during English.” The class groaned as the bell rang. “Have a good day, boys and girls. See you tomorrow.”
“I hate reading,” Mia grumbled. “It’s stupid.”
“Don’t let Mom hear you,” Masen snickered as he packed up his bag.
“Yeah, yeah,” Mia sighed. “Do you have anything after school today, Mase?”
“Nope. I’m looking forward to going home and playing on the PS3 with Owen. We’ve got some zombies to kill after school,” Masen smirked. “You?”
“Karate. It’s my first lesson. Wish me luck,” Mia said as she slid on her backpack. “Mom tried to convince Kyra to join us but she had cheerleading practice at the high school. She made the team and they are starting to learn the cheers for next fall.” Mia wrinkled her nose at the mention of cheerleading practice. “I refuse to be one those girls, Masen. They’re so … so … girly.”
“Mia, you’re a girl,” Masen deadpanned as they left Pleasant Hill Elementary School. Mia smacked Masen playfully on the arm. He just shrugged and they continued along their usual route home. As they were walking, Masen felt like they were being followed. He kept turning around, but saw nothing.
“Dude, what’s your deal?” Mia asked, arching a brow. “I thought you got over your fear of trees that eat you. You need to stop watching The Wizard of Oz.”
“I feel like we’re being followed, Mia,” he replied, rolling his eyes. “I thought we were not going to talk about that. And it was the throwing of the apples that freaked me out. I hate apples, not the trees. You had nightmares about the witch. Not the green one, the one in the bubble. We couldn’t blow bubbles for like a year, Mia.”
“You are crazy. I just want to get home,” Mia shrugged. She began walking faster while Masen slowed down, determined to figure why he felt like he was being followed. Is it the trees? Nope. Not going to go down that road. Stop it, Cullen. Though, he checked every bush, every tree and every turn, he found nothing. He was almost home when he heard low whimper.
“What is that?” he asked, searching around his surroundings. I knew it wasn’t a tree!