Sam gave Willie a hard push, sending him sprawling.
“All right, Andy, he’s all yours,” he encouraged.
Andy slowly walked up to Willie, “You gonna fight me or not?”
“Not,” he answered, picking himself up off the ground.
Andy turned, “He’s not gonna fight.”
“So?” Exclaimed Gabe, “Hit him!”
Andy marched right up to Willie and balled up his fist, but Willie looked him in the eye. It wasn’t a challenge. He didn’t smile. He just waited.
Thirteen-year-old Hildi Barnum has faced a lot in the last six months. She saw her best friend shot, was held captive, twice, and then was wounded by the murderer, Emmit Romney, before being rescued. The ordeal robbed her of a normal summer vacation with her best friend, Willie Cooper.
Now, with a new school year beginning, comes the chance at a fresh start. But a new face has joined her eighth grade class, Andy Porter. His father has taken on the project of restoring the old Crenshaw mansion in Ridgeview. He brings tales of strange happenings at the old house, the sight of a grisly suicide fifty years ago. But what troubles Hildi is not the rumor of paranormal activity, but the reality that Andy and his brothers are bullies of the most dangerous sort. Moreover, she questions Willie’s response to being the target of their assaults when he refuses to fight back. Has her brave friend suddenly become a coward? Or is he up to something else that takes far more courage?