Will stumbled on the gravel road. But he couldn't stop to rest.
There was a store ahead. Old men sat on the porch, wrinkled faces motionless as carvings, only their heads turning to watch him pass. It wasn't until they were well behind that he realized his carelessness. Anyone who asked them would know where he had been.
He glanced back. No one else in sight—yet.
He turned the corner, then another, until he reached the edge of town. There. A thicket of bushes lined the open fields, dense enough to hide him.
Footsteps approached. This time, he managed to duck behind a corner before they reached him. They faded away.
Will ran for the bushes and burrowed in. In the center, there was a clearing just big enough to curl up in.
Maybe they would find him. Maybe not. But for now, at least, he could sleep.