Prelude to Hunted

There was a loud crash in the hallway.  I jumped out of bed, grabbing my gun as I went into a crouch.  I steadied my hands and moved my finger over the trigger as the door creaked open.  Jonathan ran inside and flung himself into my arms.  I squeezed him tight before pushing him behind me.

“There’s someone downstairs, I think,” he said.  “Did you hear that noise?”

I nodded quickly.  “Jonathan, we have to leave.  You have your backpack?  Is it fully stocked?” I asked him.  He was always forgetting to check it but he nodded and I breathed a sigh of relief.  There was so much we would have to leave behind but I’d known that risk when we first decided to stay here.  It was only a matter of time before we were found.

“You ready?” I asked him.  He grabbed my hand and we stood together.  I picked up my large pack next to the door and flung it over my shoulder.  I tried not to notice that I was only wearing a sports bra with my pajama pants.  There was no time to worry about that.

“Stay behind me, no matter what,” I told Jonathan and he moved to my back without saying a word.  We moved slowly out the bedroom door and into the upstairs hallway.  I could hear rustling downstairs.  Someone, or something, was going through the house.  It could just be other survivors.

Or it could be them.

We moved across the hall and into another bedroom.  I had rigged an escape route the first night we decided to stay in the old house.  I closed and locked the door behind us.  I went to the window and quickly undid the two locks holding it in place.  Pressing up, the window creaked and I cringed.  The noise downstairs suddenly stopped and I knew we were made.  Throwing caution to the wind, I pushed on the window as hard as I could and it flew open with a bang.

“Go as quickly as you can, Jonathan.  When you hit the ground, just run to the stream, okay?  I’m right behind you.”

He climbed through the window and started down the ladder just as the banging started on the bedroom door.  He was only halfway down but I had to go.  Hopefully, the ladder could hold both of us.

I chucked my pack out the window before crawling through and carefully placed my feet on the rungs.  The bedroom door burst open and a huge man raced toward me.  I slid down a few rungs but he reached out and grabbed me by the wrist.

“Who are you with?” he asked, spit flying out of his mouth.  I glanced down at the ground.  Jonathan was already running toward the woods.  I tried to pull out of the man’s grasp but I couldn’t budge.

“Who are you with?” he screamed.  I had no idea what he was talking about.  I wasn’t with anyone except my brother.  Something suddenly scratched my back and I smiled.  I’d completely forgotten.

The knife was out before I could think twice about it.  I pushed it into his throat and his eyes widened.

“Let me go.  Now.”  A small drop of blood dripped onto my hand as I pressed the knife even harder into his throat.  He quickly released me and backed up into the room.  Before he could change his mind, I raced down the ladder and grabbed my pack.  I was about to dash into the woods when I heard a new voice coming from above.

“Hey girl!” she screamed at me.  I didn’t want to but I turned, curiosity getting the best of me.  A woman was leaning out the same window, smiling at me.

“Where did you get that?” she asked, pointing at me.

I looked down at the tattoo that covered the entire right side of my torso.  The confusion on my face must have been obvious.

“Look,” I heard and I glanced back up at the window.  The woman had lifted her own shirt, revealing a tattoo on her side.  It was the same exact tattoo.

My mouth went dry at the sight.  I had been told this would happen eventually; that I needed to find the others like me.  I just didn’t think it would be this soon.

“I’m sorry,” I yelled up to her as I turned toward the woods.  I wasn’t ready.

Would I ever be?

Come Get Sloshed at the Speakeasy!

Note: I’m playing around with my last Speakeasy story entitled Hunted.
I can’t wait to start writing this book!  Enjoy!

27 thoughts on “Prelude to Hunted

  1. You are just a big tease. Yep, you can’t deny it. Dangling wonderful bits of story in front of us only to snatch them away before we are satisfied. More! I want more!!
    In other words: Good stuff, Arden. Can’t wait to read more of this story.

    1. 🙂 I had another project in mind once I finished my NaNo one but I think I’m going to have to do this one first instead.

      And you are also a tease, my friend. So there 🙂

  2. I wondered if this was connected to Hunted. Very, very cool! Excellent pacing and such a fascinating world you’re building. I’m looking forward to the book! 🙂

      1. I sometimes use the challenges to sketch out a character or a setting for one of my longer stories, so feel free to keep sharing with us! 🙂


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