Runner – Part 11

This is Part 11 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 1-11. Or …
  2. Read the post below. (Here’s a link to Runner – Part I if you haven’t read that yet.

***

Part XI

I stayed. My parents protested my decision at first, but I was able to convince them after a few talks. My plan was to use my extra time to apply to colleges and study for CLEP tests. Some students fled as soon as they could pack. Deacon and Evan and Angel stayed.

One afternoon, Deacon called me and asked me to come to the House.

When I arrived, Deacon opened the door and led me into the living room. Paulo was already standing in the room, his dreadlocks nestled in the hood of his sweatshirt. We nodded to each other.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Some guy near here has started selling cocaine,” Paulo said. “He’s a small-timer, selling weed and getting high with his stoner friends. But now he’s dealing crack. The only people in the coke business are the Hatters.”

“The Hatters are using the confusion to expand,” Deacon said. “We’re going to have a little talk with him.”

The three of us walked over to the house. The house was a two-story building. There was a large window on the ground floor, but orange curtains concealed whatever room was behind it.

Paulo knocked on the door, “Hey Shake, open up.”

Shake opened the door a sliver like we were a winter wind. A pungent smell flowed out of the door. It smelled like freshly cut grass. He was wearing a loose tank top that hung off him. Long, tangled brown hair.

“Hey, Paulo. Thought you were walkin’ the line.”

“I am. My friends want to have a word.”

“Yeah? About what?” Shake asked. He was staring at Deacon and me now. Deacon stepped forward.

“My name is Deacon. Listen, I’m going to get right to it. I know you’re selling crack out of here, and I can’t allow you to deal that in my neighborhood.”

Shake lifted his hands, palms open, “Whoa brother. I’m just chilling here, and you accuse me of being some kind of drug lord.”

“Shut up,” Paulo said. “Everybody on this street knows you sell pot. We know you started pushing meth for the Hatters.”

The young man’s face froze for a moment — lips parted, eyes unblinking.

“I d-don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“We know that the Hatters are supplying you,” Deacon said. “You’re in a tough spot, Shake. We can give you protection. Then you can disappear.”

A sheen of sweat covered Shake’s forehead.

“I don’t have to talk to you guys. I’m gonna close the door now.”

“Wait …”

Before he closed the door, Shake pointed a finger at us, “Nobody crosses the Hatter. No-body.”

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