We ran into the trees, eyes forward, as fast as we could carry ourselves. We couldn't hold on to one another for fear it would slow our progress, but I listened for his heavy breathing and his footfalls to be sure he didn't fall too far behind. I listened also for those who chased us to be sure we were getting some distance between us.
Eventually, the angry shouts gave way to the eerie silence of the forest. We slowed ourselves until we were almost tiptoe-ing across the forest floor. The full, bright moon hovered low in the sky, playing sentry to our little scene. Perhaps it was recording facts and memorizing names. Who knows to what higher authority it reports. The Sun, maybe? They meet twice a day at dawn and dusk to compare notes. I wonder what they have to say about us.
We hid from the moon under the thick canopy of trees. Random moonbeams shot down between branches and formed puddles of light against the detritus. Those were the spots we avoided, just in case. We kept to the shadows, slinking between tree trunks until the clouds rolled overhead. A flash of bright lightning was overpowered by the grumbling thunder. The rapid tattoo of raindrops on the treetops filled our minds like buzzing bees. I covered one ear and pressed the other against his warm chest until all I could hear was his heartbeat.
"What's that?" he asked, nodding toward the thick dead leaves covering the ground. Something was there, out of place, winking up at us. I brushed the leaves away, dug into the soil and came back with a handful of coins and dollar bills.
"Nothing," I whispered as I let it fall back to the ground. "Only money."
He wiped the residual dirt from my hand, kissed my palm, and held me close. We began to move once again, this time holding on to one another.