It took a long time, but they finally did it. They didn't stop running until they left that godforsaken place far, far behind.
"Okay, okay," the boy gasped. "I think that's far enough."
"No, we have to... we have to keep going," the girl insisted, jogging in place. "I can still see the lights."
He reached out to hold her shoulders, to try to steady her. "We need to rest, he told her quietly. His breath misted in the brisk air. "What are we gonna do if they find us, huh? Who's gonna fight them off for me if you're too tired?"
She let out a quiet giggle. "You're right. You need me to protect you."
He scoffed and gave her a light push. "I didn't say that. Look, we can walk on a little more, but after that, we rest, okay?"
So they did. They walked until the sun slipped below the horizon, the sky glowing red and orange. The last few rays shone through the trees around them before fading away. Darkness settled down like a thick blanket.
It wasn’t until they had found a decent shelter that the full weight of what they had accomplished came over them. They sat in silence for a while, listening to the cheerful chirping of crickets.
“So what happens next?” the girl asked.
The boy thought about this for a minute. “Whatever you decide.”