The Tree's Shadow Erin E. Olson

Under the shade of an old maple tree, Zoe breathlessly plopped to the ground. "So thirsty!" Her best friend and fellow adventurer, Liam, nodded as sweat fell from his brow. "Do you think they will find us? There is no way...I bet they don't." Zoe pulled her water bottle from her backpack and began to drink in giant gulps. Liam slid down the trunk of the tree resting beside Zoe. He knew they were safe for a few minutes at least. After all, he had pretended to run towards the barn. He knew that would serve as a distraction. "Liam, you think we fooled 'em? I can't wait to see the look on Isabell's face when we they gave up! Finally, WE win." Liam smiled. "It is about time. I hate being the team that always seeks."

Zoe and Liam had been friends since the first grade. Zoe claimed Liam as her best friend for always in front of the entire Summerdream Elementary School on the very first day. It was quite a production. She dubbed Liam as SIR BESTEST FRIEND FOREVER with her brand new special lemon scented canary yellow marker. That was Zoe. Liam, however, was not one for spectacles. In fact, Liam, would have preferred to hide in the back of the room with his books. Liam loved to read about adventures, and Zoe...she loved to create adventures. Every summer, Zoe and Liam discover unknown lands, rescue victims from monsters, slay dragons, climb mountains, time travel...at least they do until they get hot or hungry or both. They come to their tree, and escape into the shadows of make believe and magic. At least that is how Zoe describes it.

Today was not like any other day. It was not a normal Zoe and Liam Adventure Day...this was the last day before middle school. Zoe and Liam both thought their days of daydreaming and make believing had to stop once 7th grade began. After all, "We will be too old for that stuff." Zoe explained. The morning began like usual-a friendly game of hide and seek with the neighborhood crew. "I am going to miss this, Zoe. I think I am." Zoe, smiled, and pulled her black hair back into a pony tail, "Me, too. Me, too, Liam." Both Zoe and Liam were nervous for school to begin. This would mean new teachers, a new building, new everything...Zoe whispered, "One more adventure, Liam. One more?" Liam laughed as he stood to his feet gathering his backpack, "Ready." Together they walked into the tree's shadow disappearing from their place of rest.

Credits:

Created with images by dmandini - "Childhood maple tree" • dmandini - "Childhood maple tree" • Rafael Sato - "School" • Victor Björklund - "Classroom" • giovannacco - "cellular education classroom" • Pixapopz - "math blackboard education" • timparkinson - "Lights"

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