Lexi was an odd little girl, as little girls go. No interest in dolls and dress-up, only books and being out back in the woods. A perfect day for her was a walk in the woods to her favorite spot to relax and read one of her many books. For 10, some thought she was a little dour, but her parents brushed off the comments and figured she was just quiet.
After a particularly rough day for Lexi where her well-meaning parents forced a birthday party on her, Lexi simply couldn’t wait to get away from everyone. Stupid cake. Stupid balloons. Stupid presents. No one had even gotten her anything good, like books. It didn’t seem to matter how many times she told, begged or pleaded with her mother, she always received little girl presents like flowery dresses and dolls. All Lexi really wanted was the latest Stephen King or Dean Koontz but her mom thought she was just too young for that. She didn’t know that Lexi read them anyways. Duh, library mom. Lexi had actually become quite the Stephen King aficionado having read everything that he’s written.
Finally, after having escaped the adults’ watchful eye, Lexi makes her way to her room and changes out of the stuffy party dress and into her exploring clothes. She dons her favorite baggy cargo pants, great for carrying things and keeping the briars away, a comfy long sleeved t-shirt and her stinky sneakers. Mom’s always trying to get rid of those shoes, but Lexi puts up a fight and wins every time. Today, she packs her backpack for the trip. An apple, a book, a camera, a doodle pad. Yes, she’s quite the precocious young lady. Her doodle pad is full of palindromes: no garden, one dragon; live not on evil; dammit, I’m mad. She loves words, word puzzles and riddles.
She knows that the danger of having to go back to the party is over and so she doesn’t hesitate to tell her mom that she’s leaving. Of course, Mom has known for a while that Lexi has disappeared and has already figured out where she went and what she’s up to. Mom knows when a storm is on the horizon, when Lexi has that look in her eye, like a maelstrom of thoughts is behind those dark brown eyes. After a quick kiss goodbye, Lexi takes off for the woods behind the house……