>> Saturday, February 7, 2009
It was Friday before Ama’s plan could be put into action.
Their parents were called. Jason had a much harder time with his mom than Ama had with her mom.
“Geeze!” Ama had said after his long phone call with his mom . “No wonder you’re such a baby. Don‘t do this and don‘t eat that!” She leaned back to laugh at him.
“I am not!” There were no good retorts for being called a baby especially when Ama was involved. Jason just wanted the adventure. “When do we go?”
“Hold your horses.” Ama began stuffing snack bars and a bottle of water into her back pack. “We can’t go too early, or the grown ups will wonder what we’re doing out. If it’s a little dark, they might not notice us. Besides,” she said as she chuckled to herself, “I want to see if you’ll actually make it.”
The sky was turning orange before they started out.
By the time they reached the edge of town, it was dark. Jason refused to admit he was scared though he hadn’t ever been out when it was this dark before.
Suddenly, Ama broke into a run. There was no time to call for her to wait; she moved much too fast. Jason ran after her just as she disappeared into a bush. Branches scratched along his face as he hastily followed, his breath coming quickly.
When he finally caught her, she stood looking at a lake in the distance. Jason was too out of breath to say anything. Ama patted him on the back, “Just another test. You passed!” She smiled at him in a way that was reassuring until he asked the question that was playing on his mind now that they had accomplished their first goal.
“So what now?”
“I dunno. We wait.” With her announcement made, Ama sat down on a near by log.
Jason sighed and sat down next to her. He examined his now muddy and scratched shoes. His mother would have questions about that, but then he hadn’t really liked these shoes anyway. He wanted a pair of Captain Hero shoes that lit up when you walked. His mother had promised he could have those next.
Ama drew in her breath. They hadn’t been sitting there long, but she put a hand on his arm. “Did you hear that?”
He shook his head, and then he heard it too. The sound of leaves crunching underfoot reverberated in the distance. Silently, Ama stood and motioned for Jason to follow. The sound was far off, but it bounced around the clearing so that they couldn’t tell from where it came.
Ama picked a large willow tree to stand behind, and Jason stood behind her. “Keep an eye out behind us!” She whispered fiercely at Jason, clearly frightened as much as he.
Jason watched the trees behind them as the sound became louder. Whoever was walking through the forest didn’t care about behind heard. In fact, they were talking! There were two voices, somewhat low, but clearly two voices. Jason thought he might recognize one.
Jason turned around so that his back faced Ama who was peeking around the tree. It was rather dark, but he was sure he was seeing something moving through the trees. “Ama…”
“But Ama…” Jason willed his voice to steady itself as he tried to get Ama to turn around. The voices had stopped, but the noises were suddenly much louder and seemed to come from in front of him.
He was rewarded for doing the job she told him to do with a blow to the back of his skinny arm by Ama's elbow.
Jason didn’t say anything again after that. Their new visitor greeted them with Ama’s full name in the kind of warning growl that Jason thought only their own parents were allowed to use. “Amália Marie Centowski.”