Escape! Challenge Three: Going Going, Back Back, to Cali Cali

           “Where the hell were you?” Adrian demanded when Moira appeared from behind a booth.
            “I—I got something to eat and I was playing some games,” she said.
            “By yourself?”
            “Yeah,” she lied. She couldn’t tell them about Toby. Not yet.
            “So, you won that panda yourself?” Adrian asked, nodding at the stuffed animal Moira held in her arms.
            “Uh . . . yeah. I’m really good at games.”
            Lily came up to Moira and got as close to her as the giant panda would allow. “We were looking for you forever and you were off playing games?”
            “Not so timid now, is she?” Moira muttered to herself under her breath. Raising her voice, she said, “Yeah. After being trapped in that tiny room, I had to go do something fun. Got a problem with that?”
            Lily quickly backed off. “No, I guess not.”
            “So what now?” Jesse asked.
            “Well, we’re supposed to have the night off. Why don’t we go get some food—those of us that haven’t already,” Adrian suggested, looking pointedly at Moira. “Then we can have some fun and find someplace to crash for the night. I guess we’ll get our instructions in the morning.”
            “Hey, it’s not my fault you guys didn’t eat!” Moira said.
            “Actually, yeah it is,” Lily told her. “We were looking for you instead of eating.”
            “Well, sor-ry. Let’s go find you guys some food.” She hoped that they wouldn’t run into Toby and his team. Not that she didn’t want to see him again, but it would be hard to not go up to him and they couldn’t risk their respective teams finding out about them yet.
            Moira trailed behind the rest of the group as they wandered through the fair, trying to decide what to eat. She wanted nothing more than to go find a hotel room, maybe email Toby like she had promised, and curl up in bed. She was still trying to process her time with Toby. She was overwhelmingly happy that she had finally been able to see him in person, able to actually touch him—but at the same time, she hated the fact that they were competing against each other.
Want to read the rest? Visit for the rest of this challenge, as well as other challenge, character interviews and an exclusive short story, written by J.F. Jenkins and me!

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