On the Play Field of Battle, Such As It Was

With his usual knack for going unseen, Alex slipped from the classroom and bolted for the outside door. A quick left out the heavy, metal door, and he was rounding the side of the building to the wide play yard. There the lady in black stockings continued to lead Janine by the hand, going slowly as if walking upstream.

Mind sprinting along as fast as his young legs, Alex struggled between perception, logic, and intuition. He began to close the distance easily but had no idea what to do against an adult, woman or not. Ideas, mostly bad ones, flitted into his mind with the passing breeze.

I should tackle her at the knees.
I could grab Janine and pull her away.
I’m going to pee myself.

Then in a moment of calm came the answer, I must cry out loud. He doubted. He double-thought himself.

Alex stopped in the pale grass and yelled, “Janine!” Reality snapped. The spell was broken. The lady in black stockings vanished, and the shadows receded once more into the woods, leaving Janine in a heap.

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