To fourteen year old Evan Christopher, the night was a stage on which his story would be told. A forbidden world that, while his parents slept, drew him like a pirate to the sea. The magic portal to this realm, his first floor bedroom window. Metal-framed and sideways sliding, he had oiled it to a hush. The only sound a gentle scraping as it slid on its track, an incantation that brought forth his favorite music. The rhythm of crickets. The dialogue of frogs. Insomniatic birds. The distant wash of city traffic. The occasional whoosh of car tires on wet pavement, rising and then falling away on the highway near his home. A beautiful, chaotic symphony of promise.
Ready now. 1:00 AM. It was time. One sneaker on the threshold, hands braced on the chilly frame, he hoisted himself and teetered on the precipice. There by the wall his trusty bike, gold and glistening in the light of the gibbous moon, conspiratorial, waiting for him. Somewhere out there was a place he'd never been. Something he'd never done. He believed danger was a beast that, though it might touch him, would never taste his blood. Fearing nothing, he leapt once again into the abyss.