>DO NOT. TURN AROUND.
I don't need to, I already know what's there.
This isn't how it happened before.
Before, Officer Brosseau had found us, and shone her flashlight in my face. I'd yelled "Aaah! Ghosts!" and had frozen in fear. It was Sam who said, "No you idiot, it's the cops! Run!"
Not this time.
> Punch it in the snout.
> Or you know run.
I grab her, and we go.
Before, I'd managed to follow Sam for maybe a dozen heartbeats before I tripped over an abandoned chair. I had been looking back, trying to see what was following us, and I hadn't seen it.
Sam had kept running, leaving me, and Officer Brosseau had stopped.
I'd spent the night with the police. I was so embarrassed, and ashamed, and I couldn't think what to do. So I just stuck with our original story. I told them I was a camper at Adventure Camp and I'd gone out to the bathroom and gotten turned around in the dark.
"What were you doing in the old factory?"
Trying to find a phone to call for help.
"Why don't you have your cellphone? You kids are always on your cellphones."
We're not allowed to have them at camp. We're supposed to be learning leadership skills while appreciating the endless and ever-changing bounty of nature.
"You're remarkably well prepared for a walk to the bathroom. You've got two bottles of water here, granola bars, oranges…"
We're going on a canoe trip tomorrow. I just wanted to be ready.
"Was there someone with you? Officer Brosseau thinks she might have seen another girl."
No. There was nobody with me.
"Is there anything you'd like to say?"
Pllleeeeeeease don't call my parents!
>Do you think you have to save Sam? Are you affecting your and her real timelines?
I have no idea.
Ahead of me, in the dark, Sam found enough breath to start to scream.
Screw it and screw time travel.
This time I knew the chair was there. This time I didn't need to look back. I knew exactly what was chasing me.
This time I jumped it.