Thursday Threads Week 25

“Betchya can’t catch me!”  Jessica squealed, tearing off down the lawn.

Dane sprinted after her, arms and legs pumping. “Betchya I can!”

Their sneakers ripped through the carpet of reds, oranges and yellows that had fallen free from the trees that morning. The sky was a crystal clear azure above their heads, the telltale remnants of the first autumn chill burning away in the waxing sunlight.

Jessica catapulted into the leaf pile. “Beat ya!” she shrieked, but Dane was only a beat behind.

“Did not!” he argued, face shining with a dimpled grin.

“Sore loser,” Jessica teased.

Their carefree laughter petered away to quiet as they swam in the swell of leaves, Dane flexing his tiny fingers around the dying foliage. The moving van that was idling on the curb suddenly let out a loud honk, starling the children from their innocent silence. Dane stood quickly as his mother’s call echoed from the house next door.

“Promise me we’ll be friends forever,” Jessica whispered.

“Forever,” Dane agreed. He brushed off his clothes, leaves flying everywhere as the crushed brown fragments blew away on the breeze.

Dane waved, the golden halo of his blond hair whipping around his face as he ran toward what would soon no longer be his house. Jessica waved back, and then sank down into the leaves, tiny tears slipping down her cheek.

“Forever,” she repeated, but Jessica knew she’d never see him again.

Judge Cara Michaels said:

  Cara says: Sweet and sad. I would have liked to see a more emotionally complex ending, but I loved the rest though, so you earn the HM.

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