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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #1875687
Freedom is amazing... but is Hunter truly free?
         He pushed away the branches and stepped into the clearing. It was amazing. Everything he had been told it would be. The possibility of a new life, somewhere he could be safe, was among his wildest dreams. He looked over his shoulder at his younger sister Kassandra. Her eyes were glistening with tears and she was trembling.
         "Hunter," she whispered, "Look." Hunter nodded slowly, then began grinning. He ran up to Kassandra. "In all my fourteen years I' ve never felt so- so free."
         Free. The words were magic. Kassandra buried her head in Hunter's chest. He was glad. She was so small, so fragile, but so alive. She had survived their father's suicide, their mother's abuse, and being ripped away from her family. It was a stroke of luck that they were here. After all, Hunter was supposed to be in detention facility.
         Hunter wouldn't dwell on that at the moment. He would just enjoy his happiness.
         But still, his mind kept jumping back to that one moment. The moment his world had come crashing down.

         He distinctly remembered it. His mother was passed out drunk. Fearing what she would do when she awoke, he left early.
         He dashed to the park. After wondering around for a bit, he came across a girl hiding up in a tree. "Hey, Jessalyn," Hunter greeted her. Jessalyn nimbly leaped out of the tree.
         They raced each other to the old house at the corner: 251 Willow Avenue. Hunter shivered in the frigid winter air. "Cold?" Jessalyn questioned.
         She took out a cigarette lighter and walked into the abandoned bulding. "Here. We'll build a fire." Hunter helped her collect sticks and dried leaves. Jessalyn lit the fire and he crouched beside her, fanning to help it catch.
         He looked up and shared a smile with his friend. In that one moment, he felt that, maybe, life was worth living. Then Hunter saw the time. His mom would surely be up by then. He said good-bye and left.
         As expected, Hunter's mother was a drunken mess when he got home. Hunter hid in his room and headed out a few hours later.
         Almost immediately, Hunter was stopped. "Hunter Fenroc?" the man asked. Hunter nodded uncertainly.
         "Detective Birkson," the man told him. "I'd like to ask you a few questions about the suspected arson of 251 Willow Avenue."

         "Hunter?" Kassandra broke his train of thought. "Are you alright?" Hunter nodded and waved her away.
         He escaped. He was with his sister. He was independent.
         He was free. And he was going to find Jessalyn Bell.
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