Timothy trotted along happily. His parents had finally deemed him grown up enough to walk home alone after school and, to make the day even better, he had found the perfect stick just outside the schoolhouse for counting the bushes that lined the city’s sidewalks.
“Four...” he continued, tapping the next bush.
Timothy paused and looked around. Was someone crying? He didn’t see anyone. Forgetting his game, he continued walking, slowly now, cautiously. He was suddenly more aware of his solitude, the setting sun, and the looming darkness that was soon to follow. As he walked the muffled sobs got louder. He was finally able to trace them to a small alley not a block away from his home. Now Timothy could distinctly make out that it was a woman’s voice. He felt uneasy, but, remembering his mother’s words that one should always help those in need, he s