"Don't Let Them Catch You" is told from the viewpoint of seven-year old Kaitlyn. Her big sister, Brandy, age fourteen, is supposed to pick her up from piano lessons but doesn't. There's been a kidnapping and Kaitlyn is understandably scared. The kids at school have been warned of stranger-danger but we find out that "strangers" are sometimes under one's nose. The story is touching and well-done with suspense. The seven-year old POV is believable yet not cliched. Immediately we know the youthful POV. "He has a car and there's a long rope coming out from it that you can't see because it's made of a special material that's invisible. And the rope has a loop on the end of it. When you step into the loop, he drags you in like a fish." The foreshadowing is also well-done.
Patterson's debut collection is due out soon. "Don't Let Them Catch You" was first published in The Iowa Review and is included in the 2014 issue of Pushcart Prize XXXVIII: Best of the Small Presses.
Pushcart Prize home page
an interview, St. Albans School, with Molly Patterson