We watched from the dark, abandoned suburban house, through the glass door which led to the backyard. A huge shadow appeared first. It was then followed by a much thinner smaller one. If they got too close they might see the flashing lights of the computer. Their voices bounced around the empty neighborhood, disrupting the old silence which had claimed this place. A jolt of fear spiraled into my heart.

“Wait here,” I said to him.

Kimbo nodded nervously clutching and pulling on a handful of his hair. He looked as if he was going to throw up. He watched me step out the back door. I felt my breath quiver and my palms get sweaty. I straightened my posture and pretended to crack my neck. That’s what people who knew what they were doing did.

The shadows turned from black silhouettes to dim details across the yard, only a small sloped fence separating us. I recognized the two almost immediately as Dayton’s lackeys. This must be near their hideout if not next door. Finally, we were one step ahead.

The bigger one was the size of a truck and had hardened scabbed skin which looked like a disease. His name was Christopher, I think. Dayton had sent him a couple of nights ago to kill me and Samaria, in which he failed miserably . . . Well, he did kill Samaria, I’ll give him that. Anyway, despite his size and surprising speed, he is as dumb as he looks.

The thinner one was extremely pale (or even blue?) and had weird scars up both sides of her head. I had seen her before, but did not know her name.

It was two of them. Just two. I can outrun two. Absolutely. I summoned all my power to take control of my voice.

“Sup, guys.” Nailed it.

Their heads snapped in my direction. The thin one cursed as they broke into a sprint towards me, spitting words on the way. The second their feet hit my side of the fence I bolted. I didn’t stop as I ran down the abandoned street. I heard their footsteps. I felt their breath. My lungs burned. The road was hard and hurt my knees. Running was not my style. I tried to distract myself by thinking through our plan.

I would lead Dayton’s lackeys away from Kimbo, who hooked up the four-ton six-part computer. Within an hour, he could find the exact location of Eli’s signal, and therefore Eli. Then we’d round up the gang and blast Dayton’s neighborhood to hell.

Poor Eli. I thought about what Dayton may have done to him.

I’d do it for him. Run and feel like garbage. Get away.

Yeah.

I can’t fight them. I have to distract them. I have to keep going. I’m fast. Lightning. I can take it.

“Stop running and face me!” I heard the thin one huffing behind me. “Are you a kung fu kid, or what?!”

Ha.

“This is huff wrong, this lnxdkgihe . . . ”

I couldn’t hear her, I must have gained ground. Neither did Christopher because he responded with a loud, “WHAT?”

“I SAID THIS MUST BE A TRAP, DIMWIT.”

Uh oh. This is true. But I had to keep their attention.

“Then give up! Or do you need daddy Dayton to tell you that?” I yelled over my shoulder.

Then thin one swore me out. Just a couple of blocks and I could duck into a yard and hide. Far enough away from Kimbo. Buying time. I felt my feet almost trip. My heartbeat was in my ears. My breathing worsened. Then, I had an idea.

I skidded to the right into what I assumed was an open yard. The burning light of the street lamps didn’t reach behind the house. If I can’t see neither could they. They have a two-way radio to their base; if I could somehow take them, I could use it and purposely alert all their allies to a random section of the neighborhood. That way, everyone’s attention would be on me and not guarding the base (wherever it was), then, once Kimbo locates it, there won’t be anyone to stop them. Not the greatest plan, but I wanted to take out Christopher and Thinny-Blueskin before backup comes on their accord.

I darted into the darkness, praying I wouldn’t hit some invisible wall or tree. That’s when I realized the panting behind me had ceased. Did they stop? I kept running in the blackness when a noise startled me. The growl of a monster. Bright headlights appeared a few yards in front of me. No time to react.

The front of the armored jeep hits me. My spine snaps as air is forced out of my lungs. I’m thrown to the moist ground. My eyes try to see past the blinding light of the vehicle. Ringing pierces my ears and I worry about the pain I hardly feel. Gasping, I awkwardly flip onto my stomach finding out that all I could do was use my arms to pull the grass in front of me. It reminded me of Kimbo’s constant hair tugging.

I was going to scream for help, but who would hear me? These houses had been empty for years. I saw the shadows of my two pursuers finally enter the yard. They slowed down at the sight of the vehicle. I heard the car doors open, and knowing I wasn’t going anywhere, I painfully shifted my back and neck so I could see them. I saw my left leg was spun the wrong way.

A handful of people got out of the vehicle. I fixed my eyes on one: Dayton Grey. He gave me a kind of pity look, “Can’t do much with a broken leg, huh, kid?”

“You,” I didn’t know what to say, my body was finally telling me how much pain I was in, “are such a nerd.” I spat blood out in his direction.

This made him laugh as he pointed at Christopher then at me. “You were supposed to kill this one. Make it up to me by… hmm… breaking the other leg, kay?”

My brain processed that sentence slowly. When I realized what he said I struggled on my three working limbs. My body roared like I was on fire. I felt Dayton’s boot slam the back of my head. Then everything stopped.

Rhya Voskuil is a sophomore majoring in Animation at SVA. “I hope you enjoyed my funtime story,” Rhya says. “I’ve always been interested in the combination of storytelling and art.”