“Ten, Twenny, thirty—“
The kids at home base were barely giving me enough time to get to my hiding spot.
I was ‘It’.
“ONE HUNERT –Here - WE - COOME!”
I was wedged against the chimney recess.
“ONE O”CLOCK NO GHOST”
I put my hand over my mouth. I was so excited I crossed my legs .
In the dark summer night I recognized the tall silhouette of Brandon.
He wasn’t with the group.
“THREE O’CLOCK NO GHOST”
He snaked an arm around me with a hand on my—
FIVE O’CLOCK, NO GHOST!
I felt sick.
I ducked and twisted. Ran.
Part II: Ghost!
I had tagged one of the little kids - -against the unspoken rules. The littlest were too scared to be “It” in playing “ONE O”CLOCK NO GHOST”. I was panicked—I wanted the light from the street lamp at base over the dark hiding place I had been in.
“That was lame –“
I watched tall,sauntering Brandon return to base. I could still feel his hands on me.
I looked at little Rita. She was excited.
I felt sick.
“I hear MOM.”
“I din’t hear”
“You’re too short to hear.”
I realized Brandon was always “it.”
Brandon. He was older but hung out with the pre teen crowd. Until they figured him out.
A girl died in a fire in our neighborhood - -that was before we moved in.
He dated my older sister—once.
We would grow older and the challenges of teen years would move us away from games of tag and hide-n-seek. And Brandon.
The year we left this Littleton childhood, Brandon was convicted of murder and arson. He burned down a university dorm and two girls didn’t make it out.
Were the girls raped? Like before? Who do you ask?