Mama has a key, and the least she could've done, if she wasn't comin' back, would've been to leave it for us. And then I remember: the old hollow hickory, the one a few hundred feet past the clearin'. I'm eight years old, watchin' Mama slide a sweaty white string off her neck with a brass key danglin' from it, glintin' in the sunlight.
"This is our spare, and if you ever need it, it'll be right here in the tree. See?"
She places it into the hollow, where it disappears like a magic trick.
I feel safer, somehow, knowin' the key is there.
If I ever need it, if Ness and I come back, it'll be there waitin' for us.
Excerpted from If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch. Copyright © 2013 by Emily Murdoch. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Griffin. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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