Grace Petersohn '24
As we trekked through the larger-than-life pines we heard Zac calling out the code word from behind us. I and the others quickly fell to our knees to listen. We heard him once more call out the sacred word. Apple. We had been found. We scattered all running as fast as our young legs would allow, dipping in and out of the pines getting the needles stuck in our hair and between our socks and shoes. The opposing team had spotted us. Chasing after us with their blinding toy story character-themed flashlights and colorful toy laser pointers. This was just a game of manhunt but to me and my cousins, it was far more. A game of intense strategy, boundaries, and planning. A game of sprinting for your life or crawling to keep hidden. The map was simple, the boundaries starting with the large black gate at the far end of my grandparents' driveway and ending with the pond hidden behind the towering pine trees. The other team was closing in with Ben and Elle going opposite ways and trapping Zac. With Zac being our most experienced teammate gone we didn’t have much of a chance. Zac came up with all the code words and hiding spots without him our team was lost. Paige and I suck together running towards the gate but are found and trapped by Anna blinding us with a neon yellow laser pointer. We had no shot so Zac forfeited and we played again to try and avenge ourselves. We succeeded and showed off our victory dance by whirling around in a circle until becoming dizzy enough to fall onto the lovely soft grass. We continued to play switching up the teams now and then. It was our escape from the real world not that we had anything to escape from considering it was summer and we were just kids. We could play for hours on end or just until our grandparents appeared on the porch in their soft pink and blue robes yelling for us to come in and hydrate ourselves. We would then sit on the rough wooden porch hoping not to get the occasional splinter. We looked like a family of little ducks all in a line. I would then proceed to gulp down a Capri Sun fruit punch like it was the last I would ever have. We would all talk and laugh and tell stories until curfew. We all felt at peace doing what we loved with those we loved the most.