Runner – Part 18

This is the second to last chapter of my serial narrative, “Runner.” I will be posting the finale on July 18.

Here’s a link to Runner – Part I if you haven’t read that yet.


Part 18

Angel slammed the door open when she reached the top of the stairs. I heard the two Hatters shout at us. We shoved past knots of people and headed for the door. The party continued around us.

Angel and I burst out of the front door and had almost reached the street before the bouncers on the porch reacted. The two Hatters from the basement shouted at us and tried to chase us. But we were too fast. Our pursuers soon stumbled to a halt, red-faced and barking expletives.

I started to slow down, but Angel grabbed my wrist and pulled me along.

“We need to get off this street before the police get here,” she said.

“What? Why are the police coming here?” I said.

“I had Evan call them.”

We cut through an alley and onto another street. I heard police sirens howling in the direction of Travis’s house. We looked at each other and suddenly we were laughing — we had walked into the dragon’s den and survived. Together, we jogged back to the House.

The town had finally calmed down. The police arrested Travis and two of his housemates for possessing of cocaine and methamphetamine. So far, none of them had said anything, but the police knew they were part of a larger organization.

Shake disappeared as soon as he was released from the hospital. I don’t think anybody knows where he went.

Paulo left the town early in case the Hatter tried something. We had one last, big party at the House before Paulo left. Deacon bought some pizzas at Pizza Express in Cadiz.

Evan said, “This is finals week. Right now.”

It was a good night. At one point, Deacon raised his can of Arnold Palmer and asked for our attention. He smiled at us.

“I’m glad we have this time together before we say good-bye. I will miss all of you. But this is truth: A seed must die before it can produce a harvest. The New Athens club will end, but this is just the beginning.”

Deacon raised his can of Arnold Palmer. We raised our plastic cups, glasses, and beer bottles.

“Run free,” he said.

“Run free!” we cried.

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