The map is parched and some parts are discolored, she regrets not having kept them from the sun. Van Holt had given them to her sixteen years ago. She still remembers the paper bag they came in, his emotionless face while they sat across from each other on the slow moving train and sound of excited school children running in the train carriage, their headmaster nowhere to be found.

She remembers hearing another voice, haggard but intent: "Don't stop to talk to anybody along the way until you reach the stump."

Kelly looks down at the first series of maps aptly labelled "THIS ONE 1st". She locates herself at the eastern edge of the forest. At a brisk pace, it would probably take her three days to reach the goal. Would she have enough to drink, much less eat?

Her last night at the house was fitful. No one had come to say goodbye obviously because she hadn't told them she was leaving for good. She tried not to think of the expressions on their worried faces when they found her abandoned room. "She's just a girl, we've gotta go find her now!" or "Without her pills, who knows where she'll end up."

She put the voices to one side under a deep breath studying the map, working her index finger across the terrain, including a river where she could find a source of water.

It's too late by the time she hears the footsteps when she notices she is still out in the open, the moonlight exposing her to whatever is observing her.

"Is anybody else out there?" asks a timid voice before a long shadow approaching her slowly. Whoever it was, Kelly thought, must be able to see her exposed along the dry creek bed.

She replays the voice of poor old dying Henry: "Don't stop to talk to anybody along the way until you reach the stump."
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This is fantastic.

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