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Authors: Logan Rutherford

Runner (The Runners, Book One)

BOOK: Runner (The Runners, Book One)
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Runner

Logan Rutherford

Copyright Logan Rutherford 2011

Published at Smashwords

Prologue

 

H
e
is running. That is all he knows. He used to have a normal life. He
had a family, friends, and a job. In fact, before the incident, he
had just gotten his first car.

It was a sunny day. He was just getting back
from going to the movies with a couple of friends, to celebrate is
sixteenth birthday. He was opening the door to his house, when he
noticed all the lights were off. Suddenly, they turned on just as
his family and his friends jumped out and yelled “Surprise!”

That day, he was showered with gifts. Before
the surprise party was over, he got the best gift of his life. He
opened a bag from his parents, and inside was some car keys. He
realized what was happening, and he ran outside. There it sat in
all of its glory, a ’69 Ford Mustang, Red with black racing
stripes, and a convertible hood.

It was the best gift of his life. He never
thought that he would get a Mustang for his first car. He knew that
he loved his parents, his car, and his life.

Well, his old life. That is all that it is
now, a memory. Now, his life is spent running from something that
he does not even understand. All he knows is that some very bad
people are after him, and he will do whatever it takes to be free
from their grasp. Free from the grasp of the unknown.

Chapter One

 

H
is
feet splashed in puddles of water from the rain. Thunder cracked as
lightning flashed across the night sky. The storm was right on top
of him, but something else was on top of him, too. Something much
worse than the storm that is above him. He has no clue who is
chasing him, or why. The only thing he knows was what was on
written on the note that he found the day this all began, the note
that said, “
Run

The footsteps began to grow louder behind
him. He heard the shouts of the Leader barking orders to his men.
He knew the voice of the Leader of the pack that was hunting him
all too well. However, he has no clue who he is. Does this man have
a family? He doubted that. He probably had no heart, since he was
hunting after a sixteen-year-old. Maybe, he was forced to do
whatever it is he’s doing. Maybe his family was being held hostage.
He could only hope that if the Leader ever caught up to him, he
could talk his way out of whatever fate was waiting for him at that
time. However, he doubted that.

He pushed those thoughts out of his mind. He
had to focus on staying alive. The rain was blinding his eyes. He
could barely see. However, what he did see was a gas station.

He ran into the door. It was locked. He
looked inside and saw it was closed. He searched for something to
smash open a window.

The footsteps grew closer, and slowed to a
brisk walk. They knew they had him.

He grabbed a rock and threw it as hard as he
could at the window. Cracks webbed from the spot where the rock
hit. He kicked the window with full force, and it shattered under
the weight. Inside, he searched for something to defend himself
with. He has to slow them down, somehow.

He searched behind the counter…nothing. He
saw a phone, and thought about calling the police. But, he
remembered what happened last time he did that. Every officer that
was dispatched got killed. The memory brought a pang of guilt
inside of him. He was responsible for the deaths of those officers.
The probably had a family. He pushed those feelings aside, and
turned the guilt into adrenaline.

He realized that there was no running. He had
to fight. But how could he? He is fit, and he does a lot of
running. However, he does not have knowledge of any self-defense
arts, other than just swinging his fists, which will not work
against these guys.

Then, he saw it: the machine that turned on
the gas pumps. An idea began to form in his mind.

He turned on one of the pumps; grabbed a
lighter from the counter; ran to the broken window; and looked
outside. He saw the Leader and his four henchmen walking straight
for him. He sprinted for the nearest pump and turned it on. He
poured to gas on the ground all around him. He left it pumping and
threw it on the ground. He ran to the opposite side of the pumps.
The pack was almost in position. He smiled as he realized his plan
was going to work. The Leader was standing in the puddle of
gasoline, now or never. He lit the lighter and tossed into the
puddle of gasoline that was on the ground. It instantly went up in
flames. The flames followed the trail back to the pump, and the
station went up in flames.

But he was already running far, far away.

Chapter Two

 

T
he
sun was rising over the horizon. He was lying on the bed in the
motel room that he got, the night before. Normally, he wouldn’t
risk it. Nor, would he waste the money on one. But after last
night, he figured it would be safe enough to get a motel room. He
did not have to worry about the Leader or his pack chasing after
him anymore, or, at least until a new Leader and a new pack is sent
after him by whoever it is that is chasing him.

He walked into the bathroom, turned on the
shower, and got in. After the shower, he got dressed and went down
for some breakfast. Even the free continental breakfast was one of
the best that he’s had in a while. He went back to his room and
packed his backpack. He brought with him some clothes, a
toothbrush, an extra pair of shoes, a butterfly knife, and a
picture of his parents and little sister.

He looked at the picture of his family.
They’re the reason that he’s doing this. He will stop at nothing
until they are-

There is a knock at the door. He grabs the
knife out of his backpack, and the walks to the door, with the
knife held tightly behind his back. He looks through the peephole
and gasps. It was the Leader. He was standing there with his shaved
head and muscled biceps. He never saw the Leader this close up, but
he was huge: at least six foot eight.

His face went pale, and his knuckles white
around the knife. He ran to the window and looked out. There was no
one else with him. How did he survive? Is he the only one that
did?

Nevertheless, he has to think of something,
and quick. He goes to the phone, and takes it out of the cradle.
His hand hovers over the nine. Should he call 911? However, a
police officer would have to come, and he was not going to let what
happened last time happen again. Maybe the officer could just
distract the Leader while he snuck out. Then, he could call out for
the Leader and have him chase him, leaving the officer alone.

He dialed the number.

“911, what’s your emergency?” The operator
said.

“Yes, I have a man who’s trying to kidnap me.
I think he has a gun.” He violently whispered.

“Okay, son, where are you?”

Sadness washed over him. She called him son.
The last time somebody called him that was the day this all began
when his dad called him that. The word echoed in his brain. He
could not contain himself anymore. Fear, hate – rage, surged
through him. He tightens his grip on the knife, and runs to the
door. He yanks it open as hard as he can and he jumps on top of the
Leader. He screams as he rapidly stabs him. He stops when he
realizes that the Leader is dead.

He does not feel sorry for him. He deserves
it, for the torment he put him through. What he’s put his family
through. He drags the body inside, and begins to search it. He
finds a wallet, a cell phone, a SD card, and a gun.

He puts them all out on the bed, and examines
them. The wallet has about 500 dollars in cash, but nothing else
that would give him answers. He looks through the cell phone; all
the recent calls were to, and from, the same number. He grabbed a
piece of paper from the desk in the motel room and writes the
number down, and shoves the paper in his pocket. He also puts the
SD card in his pocket with the paper. He will have to get a
computer. He stares at the gun. Should he take it? If it was found
on him he would be arrested. Nevertheless, it could come in handy.
Finally, he decides to take it.

He grabbed his backpack and began to run. He
heard the police sirens in the distance. He runs for the nearest
pay phone. He had a few phone calls to make.

Chapter Three

 

H
e
grabbed the phone and put in a couple of quarters. Then, He punched
in the numbers that were from the cell phone.

“Hello?” A voice said as it picked up the
phone.

“Who is this? What do you want from me?” He
said into the phone.

“Transferring. Please hold.”

“Wait, don’t you-” But it was too late. After
a series of beeps and rings, the phone picked up.

“Hello?” A man said. He had a defiant, voice,
and he talked very monotonic.

“What do you want from me?” He screamed.

“Hmm, Subject Number Seventeen. How nice to
finally hear from you. It took you long enough.”

“What? Wait, who is this?” He asked.

“My name is Marcus Wright.”

“Okay, Marcus.
What do you want from me?
” He asked.
“I’ll tell you what I want from you.” Marcus said slyly. “Over my
dead body! You’re missing the point!
You
have to figure it out for
yourself!”
“All by myself? I have been running for weeks! Over
my
dead body!” Seventeen
screamed.

“Tell you what,” Marcus began. “Let’s save
ourselves from having to deal with all these dead bodies. How about
your sister's dead body? You would like that, wouldn’t you?”

“You wouldn’t dare.” Seventeen said between
his teeth, His blood boiling with hatred for this man.

“Oh, yes I would.
Don’t
test
me.”

“Let me speak to her.” Seventeen
demanded.

“I’m sorry she’s busy at the moment. Did you
know that she turned eight today?” Marcus said as he began to
laugh.

Seventeen felt a little guilty. He didn’t
remember. But, after all that he’s been through, who could blame
him? Still…

“What do I need to do?” He asked.

“Well, since it took you long enough to get
this number, I’ll let you meet up with another person about your
age, a girl, who is on the same journey as you. Maybe then you’ll
get up to pace with the rest of them.”

“Wait, what do you mean rest of them? The
rest of who?” Seventeen demanded.

“That doesn’t matter. Be at the Graveheart
Cemetery at Midnight tonight. You will meet up with Fifteen there.
Good Luck.”
“Wait,” Seventeen started. But it was too late. Marcus had already
hung up.

Fifteen. Seventeen.
Marcus.
He was so confused.
So there are more of them? At least seventeen, if
not more.

Chapter Four

S
eventeen waited in the cemetery for number fifteen. From what
Marcus said, Fifteen is a girl.

It was five past midnight, and there was no
sign of her. Seventeen had been in the cemetery since a quarter
after eleven. He felt like he could run a marathon. He had a good
dinner with the money from the Leader, and he had taken a nap in a
car that was on a used car lot and with this new information, he
was pumped and ready to go.

“Are you Seventeen?” Somebody behind him
said.

Seventeen spun around and saw a girl standing
there. From the faint light that was coming from the moon, he could
tell that she was around his age; she had red hair with bright
green eyes. They were so bright that he could see them, even though
it was dark out. She had a tomboyish look about her. She was fit,
but dirty, and she looked completely exhausted. But, he figured
that’s how he looked just a couple of days ago. He wondered how
long it was since she slept.

“Yeah, are you Fifteen?” He asked.

“Yep,” She said. “I guess you’re my partner
now.”
Seventeen shrugged. “What all do you know?” He asked.

“Well, you like to get straight to the point.
I guess I won’t waste your time.” She sat down on the ground.
Seventeen did the same. “About three weeks ago some men came by my
house. They took my family, and told me to start running, and if I
tried to contact the police or anybody that they’d kill my family.
So I started running.”


After about five minutes, I
called the police. I couldn’t believe what was going on. I didn’t
know where I was going, or why I was running. The police found me,
but these guys pulled up in a black van and killed the officers.
They got out and started chasing me. I ran, and ran, and ran. They
never stopped coming. One day, I would be safe and the next, they
would find me, and I would start running again. So on and so
forth.”

BOOK: Runner (The Runners, Book One)
13.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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