Runner – Part 13

This is Part 13 of my serial narrative, “Runner.” Here’s a link to Runner – Part I if you haven’t read that yet.

This post contains some PG-13 language.

***

Part 13: Skirmish

We were waiting. All four of us were sitting in the family room of the House.

Deacon had tried convincing Shake to leave town, but the young man wouldn’t listen. Shake had packed a few essentials into a backpack then we escorted him to the House. None of us has left since then.

Deacon was reading a book, The Great Gatsby. Shake tapped his feet against the floor — an erratic, discordant tap-tapping.

“Can’t you sit still, man. You coming down?” Paulo asked.

“No bro, I just want to get out of here …” Shake said.

“Tweaker …” Paulo muttered.

Suddenly I heard the screech of metal-on-metal from outside the house. Paulo cursed. We jumped to our feet. I saw the door shiver as it was struck again.

“Get the bag,” Deacon ordered.

Paulo retrieved the bag and pulled out one of the baseball bats. The door splintered around the doorknob from another blow.

The door shattered and swung open after the next strike. Two guys were outside, one of them was holding a crowbar. I saw Deacon lift a wooden bench and hurl it at the two intruders. The bench knocked down Crowbar Dude. Paulo tossed the other club to Deacon. Sometimes people try to forget that a baseball bat is a glorified club.

I heard Shake run to the back of the house. A second later, the backdoor opened and slammed shut.

“Follow him!” Deacon yelled.

I ran through the backdoor. I caught sight of him running down the street. Shake had a big head-start, but I immediately started closing the distance between us.

He looked over his shoulder and yelled, “Leave me alone!”

He ran up to the porch and bounced off the door. He opened the door and scrambled inside. I was running across the front yard when he slammed the door shut. I twisted the knob, but it was locked.

“Open the door!” I yelled.

I heard Shake say from inside, “What the hell?”

Someone unlocked the door and opened it. But it wasn’t Shake.

I had never seen this thick-shouldered male before. The young man had a puzzled expression on his face. Behind him, I saw Shake struggling in the grip of another buff guy.

I shuffled backwards, eyes locked on the bruiser. He started toward me, and I ran. As I ran down the street, I realized I shouldn’t lead them back to the House. I cut into a side road and kept running.

I had no idea what had just happened.

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