from all directions, lights flickering in the rain.
“Over here!” one of them yelled.
“They’ve found us!” announced Tom, peeking over the top.
“Now what?” she asked anxiously.
“I’ll think of something,” he replied swiftly.
Sarah popped up to survey the situation. It looked dire. Swallowing defeat, she bowed her head.
“We’ve come so far,” she said sadly.
“I know,” he acknowledged, resting his hand on her shoulder. “But don’t give up yet.”
The police slowly circled and closed in.
“I can’t go back to Weatherly, Tom. I just can’t.” Her voice was trembling.
Desperately searching for an answer, Tom noticed the two ropes anchoring the balloon.
“Maybe you don’t have to.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’ve got another idea.”
“Trust me,” he said reassuringly and started untying one of the ropes.
“What are you doing? Are you nuts?”
“You want to go back to Weatherly?”
“Then help me!”
As one of the policemen advanced, Sarah sprang to the other side and wrestled with the second rope. The rope snapped, and the balloon launched into the air like a rocket.
Gowerstone ran up just in time to observe it disappearing.
The dense rain clouds engulfed the balloon in a turbulent whirlwind of fog before releasing it into a clear, cobalt sky.
Tom was exhilarated by the effortless feeling of soaring through the atmosphere. He peered over the side and looked out into the vast unknown. The air was fresh and crisp. Blazing stars ignited the heavens, and the clouds beneath him were washed in a dreamy sea of moonlight.