By Gideon Christ
I hear voices—people coming up the hill, quickly approaching. Doubt flowed through my veins. I looked over at Michele, and she knew, too, we had been found. They soon came into view and saw us, too.
“Found you!” Oscar said, joy contorting his face.
“Our turn,” I replied, salty that I had been found so easily.
It was time for the hunters to become the hunted. The voices faded away, like a long-worn piece of clothing. Minutes ticked by, the intensity increasing by the second, until suddenly, breaking the silence, the phone’s alarm went off. The hints arrived through text, coming in consecutive order: dark, buildings, this is great! And I remembered the one place that fit all of those descriptions.
“Behind Greaters!” I yelled at Michele.
Michele was thinking the same thing. We both started running from the fountain we were waiting by and headed first towards the Parish Church, but Michele yelled at me and showed me a back road that led us to the block area near the elementary school. I sprinted across it and looked at the time: We had four minutes to make it to Greaters. I told Michele to speed up, and I crossed the road. I didn’t care if there wasn’t a sidewalk—I kept on running.
We arrived in front of Greaters with a minute to go. I ran in and weaved through the crowds and then went through the back door. I saw them.
“Yes!!!!” I yelled, and the looks on their faces made me feel even more accomplished.
“How?” Lily asked.
“You had twenty seconds left,” Shannon added.
Their hope increased that Michele wouldn’t make it in time, but she soon exited Greaters through the back door a little bit of time, maybe five seconds, after me.
“So one to two?” I asked.
“Yes,” Shannon replied.
And it was our turn to hide, and we went to the Art Barn. We hid behind it and waited in silence. Whispers were all that we said, and we sent our hints: half-circle, welcome pumpkin, Ben. Now all that was left was to wait. Anxiety crept up on me, and I caught a glimpse of Lily and went behind the wall.
“Where are they?” Lily asked the other two.
They ran up the street next to our hiding spot, and I saw Oscar heading up the hill. Once he passed, I told Michele I could see him and that we needed to move farther back behind the wall. Time was slowly going by, and we stood there feeling like invincible teenagers, sure that we wouldn’t be found. The alarm rang, and we walked into the clear.
“Yes!” I yelled. “We beat you, two to two!”
“One more round to decide who wins,” Shannon insisted.
“Do we have time?” I questioned.
They ran off, and we were waiting around by the Art Barn. And we walked to the memorial-looking place with a giant flag in Mariemont. And they sent us the stupidest hints: Toyota, Trump, nature. Which was all over Mariemont, and I was furious. I went up to the high school trail, thinking that would be a good hiding place for them to be, but they weren’t there. Time was running out, and I was clueless on where they could be.
“Well, we could always just go to Greaters by ourselves and leave them,” I said sarcastically.
Michele seriously agreed, but I knew that I had to play by the rules of the game we had set up. Our dread soon became reality as the alarm on Michele’s phone rang, and it became clear that we had lost. We slowly walked down from the high school and saw Oscar, Lily, and Shannon crossing the street. After that, well, I lost $15 because I had to pay for their ice creams.