Runner – Part 8

This is Part 8 of my serial narrative, “Runner.”

You can enter the adventure two ways:

  1. Download a PDF from the link here. The PDF will contain Parts 1-8. Or …
  2. Read the post below. (Here’s a link to Runner – Part I if you haven’t read that yet.

***

Part VIII

Time passed. My classmates measured time by how many days until Friday, how many weeks until exams. How many months a couple had been dating. I recognized this from high school. But now I felt separated from the cycle.

I continued my parkour training with Angel. I was surprised that it was mentally rigorous. I knew it would be physically challenging — but I didn’t know it would be mentally tough.

You’ve been waiting for this part of the story. How it all fell apart. This is the real story of [redacted] — raw and unfiltered.

I can tell you. I was there.

It was March, two months before graduation. On a Friday night, the school’s alternative paper published a story saying [redacted] might lose accreditation next year. Their source was a trustee that had accidentally let the information slip to one of the paper’s reporters.

Normally the university library was open until midnight. But on that night, the library closed at 9 p.m. and security guards escorted students outside. The honor students and bookworms were infuriated, but most of us were too drunk to notice. The administration had cancelled classes on Monday because of “preventative building maintenance,” and the campus was preparing for a wild three-day weekend.

Saturday began quiet, but questions were being asked. A student posted on Twitter: “the library is still CLOSED! whats going on??”

I remember when it happened. I was sitting in my dorm room alone on Saturday evening because my roommate was out partying or something. A male student stepped into my doorway and said, “Check your e-mail.”

He was gone before I could ask why. I opened my school e-mail and saw a message from the university president. I stared at my screen, trying to absorb the news.

We are deeply sorry to inform everyone that [school name redacted] has been forced to close its doors. The remaining classes of this semester are cancelled. We will make every possible effort to provide information that will help our students complete their programs of study at an alternative university. Please watch your e-mail for further information.

I texted Deacon and the other Pathfinders: “did u read the email?” Evan responded almost instantly, “Ya. things r gonna get crazy.”

The news hit the campus like T-12 Cloudmaker demolition bomb. Facebook and Twitter exploded – it was like election night. We began to piece together the puzzle. This was when students realized that certain buildings were locked and barred, including the library and the president’s office.

Everyone wanted to know why the school was closed, but the administration was silent. Eventually, I called my parents that night and told them the news. My father was angry. I promised to forward him the e-mail from the president.

The campus was restless on Sunday night, a city the first night after a military coup. Everyone was angry and confused. I lay in bed with my stomach clenched and finally fell asleep sometime after 1 a.m.

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1 Comment

  1. What do you think will happen next?

    Reply

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