With bags now on backs, they all turned to continue the trek.
“Does anybody see what I’m seeing?” Miriam asked, stopping in her tracks. The others had too as well.
“If you mean we’re the only four people standing here, with none of our other schoolmates in sight, then I’m seeing exactly what you’re seeing.” Elaine looked as far ahead as she could and saw nothing but trees, mountains and the hint of trails here and there.
“We can’t just stand here,” Miriam said. “How far could they be anyway? We didn’t stop too long. They must be just around the corner.” She began running down the trail, the bottom of her boots leaving clear, grooved tracks in the hard earth, while her toes kicked up dust.
Elaine, Kimberly and Susan, perhaps not knowing what else to do, began to run as well. They ran past tall pine trees, brown-gold and green grass and shrubbery, barely noticing what they passed. They came to a clearing and stopped, barely able to catch their breath….
At the clearing, several trails presented themselves, most leading into what looked like denser woodlands.
“What are we going to do?”