>“Hello?” said a voice, so unfamiliar that Simon could see it. His heart stopped, and all he saw was the voice, one word with spiky letters jumping through the night, erratic like a striking snake.
“Hello?” said the voice again. “Is everything alright?” It had an accent, high-strung and velvety.
Simon stood as still as he could. Everything now was perilous. These people were not his parents. Reality snapped back like a rubber band against his skin. This was danger. Two strangers in the dead of night in a place nowhere and anywhere. Simon tried to run, but he couldn’t move. Run then hide. Hide then run. The torchlight hit his face. Boot noise on the gravel. He already knew he was dead.