After hastily packing all her clothes and other miscellaneous necessities, Marie zipped up her backpack and sat on the edge of her bed, mind filled with thoughts. At first it was where it was that she was supposed to go; she didn't recognize where these people were. It went from that to just the monstrous task of getting out of the house.
She looked out her bedroom window to the world outside. The night was clear with a full moon, illuminating the summer world below her. She saw the barn and the horses and cows out grazing and sleeping in the fields below. She wondered how far it was exactly to the city from her small dwelling in the country.
She looked at the storm drainpipe beside her window and thought a bit about that. It could be like a firepole, as her daddy called it when describing a fire escape if the house ever caught fire. She smiled at the memory but soon shook her head. She remembered back to when she was little, thinking it was like a firepole on the playground at school and slid down and broke her leg. Momma was worried sick and so was daddy but also because that night, a bad storm hit and her antics from earlier had broken it clean off. Daddy spent a long time repairing it and assumed running away to help a stranger she knew nothing about nor where she even was would be a good excuse if it broke again.
Marie tip-toed to her bedroom door and looked underneath to see if there was a light on. There wasn't and daddy's snoring reassured her of her parents' sleeping. She jiggled the handle softly and creaked the door open as small as she could to slip out. She flinched every time the old floor creaked beneath her and tried to slowly step down the old oak stairs.
As she walked on the loud step, as she called it as a youngster, it groaned in protest to her weight and she stopped dead to see if momma heard her. Sure enough, she did.
"Marie, is that you?" she asked sleepily.
"Yes momma. Don't worry, I'm just thirsty," Marie lied with a drawl to her voice, as if she were half asleep.
"Alright but be quick about it," she replied and soon drifted off.
Marie sighed in relief and padded softly into the kitchen below. She opened the fridge to see a few carrots left still there after last night's carrot stew. She grabbed one and walked to the kitchen table. She scribbled a note to her momma and daddy trying to explain the situation:
Dear momma and daddy,
Don't worry about my disappearance. I've gone to go help a friend far off. I'll be okay and I'll be back before the harvest, I promise.
She knew it was no excuse for what she was about to do but she didn't know what else to do. Marie placed the note on the table and slipped out the door, locking it shut behind her.
Once she had made it out of the house unnoticed, Marie walked over to the horse field with the carrot in hand. A little black painted pony looked up from the grass at her with a little whinny before trotting over.
"Hey Poppy," she said to the little equine. Poppy whickered in recognition and tossed her mane at Marie's approach. She looked interested at the carrot then to her owner as if to say she was hungry for it. Marie gave a small laugh and fed her the snack with a pat on the neck. "I'm going on a bit of a trip. I'll be back soon though, ok girl?" she said but the little horse didn't seem to mind. Once she saw Marie was out of snacks, she turned back towards the herd and moseyed on back. Marie leaned on the fence with a sigh and got off onto the dirt road beside the pasture. Once she said her silent goodbyes to her home and family, she walked out onto the highway and towards the general direction of the nearest hamlet.