Unfounded

When I was ten I played hide and seek with some kids in my neighborhood. There was this one little kid, Brucie, who kept getting found first because his hiding places weren’t very well thought out. He was maybe around 7 or 8 and he started to cry a little because he was so bad at the game. I tried to calm him down by telling him he had to be more creative in his hiding. Standing behind a small tree wasn’t enough. Inside things or under things was good. My stupid little pre-adolescent brain attempted to give this little crybaby a lesson in concealment like I was the head of MI5. Well, we started to play the game again and Brucie got this look on his face like he was going to crack this thing. As he trotted off down the street I heard him mutter, “I’ll show ’em all. They’ll never find me.”

And he was right. We never saw him again. Being kids, we stopped looking after about 10 minutes, figuring he’d gone home or something. But we saw cops at Brucie’s house that night and Missing posters popped up around the neighborhood the next day. His family moved away about a year later. They never found Brucie.

I’d like to imagine that some day, decades from now, somebody’ll be doing some yard work or renovating a garden shed and find an 80-year-old Brucie stashed away in a hole in the ground or behind some lawnmowers and rakes. Still hiding. Because, as he said, he’d show us all.

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