Tapity tapity tap.
A barrage of small gravel pebbles assaulted a second story window.
"Oy! Benji, I know you're up there!"
Benjamin sighed, opening his is window. Looking down, he saw his best friend Mark. He shook his head.
"How many times do I have to tell you? I don't like being called Benji." He was very picky about matters like this.
Mark shrugged. "Doesn't matter what I call you, just c'mon!"
"Where are we going?"
"Who cares! Y'gotta get out, get some sunlight. You'll get all pruny if you stay up there and read all day!"
Benjamin looked longingly at his book on the window bench. He was at a really good spot. Besides, the temperature was too hot for his tastes.
There was always something wrong with the offer to come do something besides read. If someone wanted to go for a bike ride, he'd say the chain on his was snapped; if someone else wanted to go fishing, he'd mumble something about having to wash dishes. Besides, it was too hot.. Baseball? "You know how bad my aim is," he'd say.
And it was true. Everyone on the block knew it.
But there was something that made him decide to put down that book, get his bike and follow Mark.
"I'll be down in a minute," he called.
"Hurry up, r'I'm gonna leave without'cha!" Mark swung his legs over his bike, threatening to pedal off.
Benjamin thundered down the stairs and out to the garage. By the time he walked his bike out, he could barely make out Mark ahead of him.
"Hey!" he cried, stumbling to get on his bike. "Wait up!" He pedaled after his friend.
"Hurry up slowpoke!" he called over his shoulder, laughing. He turned into the woods. Benjamin headed after him, but now he couldn't even see Mark ahead of him.
Finally Mark was long gone, and Benjamin was exhausted. He tumbled off his bike into a leaf pile.
Or what looked like a leaf pile.
In a flurry, his glasses were knocked to the ground, his arms pinned to his back, and a rough hand over his mouth.
"Y'gunna come witus, y'unnastan'?" a gruff voice hissed in his ear Benjamin nodded, his blurred eyes wide with fright. "Ineresting thin', y'unnastandin' From wha'I know, y'unnastan' quite a bit..."