Author: Lizzie Michael
As a girl of fourteen, Lizzie thought she had outgrown all of the ridiculous variations of hide-and-seek ever created. It was a game she had spent countless hours playing as a young child; however, somewhere between twelve and thirteen years of age she lost the will to play it. Even her sister, approximately two and a half years younger, had begun to dislike the game. Lizzie was even possibly embarrassed by how long it took her to realize that hiding and being chased was a barbaric game and nowhere near comparable to the hours of fun “adults” have shopping at expensive boutiques.
Now, in Germany, the thought of childish games never entered her mind when Lizzie was taken by her friends to hike on a bright day in a densely wooded forest, which blessed them with good shade throughout the entire hike. As an American from the coast of Massachusetts, hiking was a fairly new experience. Although she did have recollections of hiking in her elementary years as a girl scout, hiking in Germany was a different ordeal entirely.
After what seemed like days of hiking (it was only about an hour), Lizzie, along with Vera, Anna, Nina and their respective caretakers, reached a ground of ruins. Vera explained to Lizzie something about them being incredibly old (the ruins, not the caretakers), but she was far too distracted by the huge rock formations to listen. It appeared to be the base of what used to be a large castle. If it had been a castle, all that was left of it were the underground passages and a few walls still standing from the first floor. After soaking in all of what lay before her, Lizzie never imagined she’d ever be prepared for what was asked of her next.
“Lizzie, do you want to play a game with us?” asked Vera, the oldest of the three sisters, she was about Lizzie’s age. “You hide and run and try to find other members of the game. You’ll catch on,” she said without waiting to hear a response, “Anna and Nina are already playing.”
Looking around, Lizzie observed that Anna and Nina were nowhere to be found. “Is it even safe to be hiding in a place like this? “ She wondered to herself, “If I had built a centuries old castle, I would have booby-trapped it.”
As the fourteen year old girl she was, it would have been ideal to use the ruins as a spot to sun bathe and achieve the solid tan she had been dreaming of. But considering that she wasn’t wearing proper sunbathing attire, and the ruins were becoming more curious to hide in by the second, she decided that hide-and-seek was appropriate to play, just this once.
In her mind, the ruins quickly transformed into a secret maze; one in which an enemy was attacking and must be thwarted. The twins, Anna and Nina, were now spies, and with their identical looks, they could confuse anyone who dared chase after them. Vera and Lizzie shared the twins as a common enemy but they also became fierce rivals. The long battle of hide-and-seek had only just begun, but a centuries old story was unfolding like a storybook. New pathways and chambers were being discovered in the highly complex labyrinth as the game raged on for hours, involving equal wins and losses for each player. Only when it was getting time for dinner did the mischief wind to an end.
Lizzie will never again underestimate a game of hide-and-seek, or at least not in Germany.