Alex shut his eyes tight. He could feel the steel grip of his step-dad’s hands, smell his reeking breath. His body tingled at the thought of the painful bludgeoning he was about to receive.
But it didn’t come.
Alex felt another warm breeze blow his hair and he winced, sure it would be the calm before the storm of blows. But it wasn’t.
Opening his eyes, he spied a hilly meadow instead of the inside of a gun cabinet. His disbelief turned into relief and a maniacal laugh escaped his thin frame. A white jackrabbit startled and took off across the hills. Knowing that snowshoe rabbits should not be white in the summer, and thinking maybe his step-dad would be proud of him if he brought its pelt home, he chased after it.
The white fur flashed over the crest of a hill and was gone. Stealthily approaching the spot, he peered over the top. A steep cliff met his gaze. His heart hammered in his chest. Surely the rabbit was dead at the bottom. Peering dizzily down, he saw a curiously moving circle.