Maxwell Carter is attacked by Thomas Wread. He recruits the boy into a rebellion.
All it took was fifteen seconds to ruin my life. I had been having an ordinary day. I was texting my friends, then the lights flickered out. My phone screen went dark, and I couldn’t turn it on. Fear coursed through me. I began to count the seconds, seeing how long the lights would remain out. One… Two… Three. I heard a scratching near me. Four… Five… Six… A chill crept up my spine. Seven…. Eight… Nine…. I felt I would soon be out of time. Ten… Eleven...Twelve… I wasn’t ready to die. Thirteen… Fourteen… Fifteen… The lights flickered back on, and I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding. On my wall, black bold letters had been drawn. There was a message: “ I’ll give you a chance to run.” I jumped up, and began running.I didn’t know what the message meant, but I was not willing to find out. I pounded down the stairs, wishing my parents were home. I flung open the front door, and began down the street. As I ran, I heard steps nearing me. I looked back and saw a hooded figure.. The figure was gaining on me. Fear was coursing through my veins, pushing me to go faster. I tripped on a rock, unseen in the dark park. I cried out, and fell to the ground. I landed with a thud, my head slamming into the concrete. My head swam, and a ringing filled my ears. I faintly heard the figure running closer till they were right next to me. I hardly made out the dark figure of a man, crouching down in front of me. He swore under his breath, and pulled me up by hooking his arm under my neck. Panic flared through me, and I began to squirm in his grip. He held on tighter, forcing me to remain still. My vision finally cleared, and I looked at the man. Blood stained his arm, and I realized it was from my head. I looked the man over. He reminded me of an elm tree. Thin and smaller than many other trees, but stood firm and strong. Under the lamppost trying to banish the dark, his skin looked a rich olive color. His amber eyes were searching my face, alit with concern. A strand of black hair hung in front of his face, and he blew it away. Again, my vision blurred, his olive skin mixing with the black hoodie. The world continued going out of focus, until it went fully black..
I woke up in my bed, shaking. Surely that was just a nightmare. I sat up, and felt a wave of nausea pass over me. I grew dizzy, and decided to lay back down. I felt an uncomfortable lump on the back of my head. I prodded it, wondering what it was. I realized it was a bandage. It wasn’t a dream. I turned to the side and stared blankly at the wall. Then I noticed the letter. It was in a white envelope, and had a wax seal. The seal was black, and shaped into a skull. I tore open the letter, curious.
Dear Maxwell Carter,
Sorry for the fright I gave you the other day. I would say it was an accident, but you know it wasn’t. I have been assigned to you. I can’t say how yet, not here, in case they read this, but I will come to you again. I know your parents are away till Saturday evening. Which gives you three days to do something for me. I want you to write a note, saying you are leaving your parents. Then you will come to the park near your house for more information. Saturday morning , by 11:10. If you fail to arrive, I will assume that you do not want to be included. And I will have to kill you. The choice is yours.
I set the letter down in surprise. I knew I had to go. He threatened my life, and I was not ready to die. I pulled out a pen, and began writing my own note. One to my parents.
Mom and Dad,
If you are reading this, I am gone. I know, super cliche, but I am. I felt it was time for me to leave the nest. Start my real life. Away from you guys. I assume it will take awhile for you to notice my disappearance, but when you do, don’t look for me. I will be far from here, and well, I won’t get anywhere sheltered by your millions of dollars. One day I’ll come back, I know I will, and I can only hope the door will be open for me.I am going to go be great in the world, I don’t know how, but I will.
I set down the letter, and felt a great wave of sadness wash over me. I was going to be leaving the only home I had ever known.I was leaving my mother. My sick mother. Hate for Thomas flourished. I dug out my phone and looked at the date. It was Saturday. It was almost noon. My heart started pounding. I was already late. I pulled on my sweater and raced out the door. In two minutes, I reached the park where I was attacked. At the bench sat my attacker. I presumed he was Thomas. Today he wore a loose maroon hoodie, and black jeans. I cautiously walked over to the bench when he turned around,”Good morning.” He seemed happy, and peaceful, not like when I saw him last night. I asked him what was on my mind,” Why didn’t you leave and,”kill me”?” He chuckled,” I checked your cameras at your house. You had hardly woken up. Wouldn’t be fair to kill you.” I shot a glare at him,”You have cameras in my house?!” He laughed, a musical sound, making my heart twinge with unwelcomed glee,” You weren’t just picked out of the blue, Maxie.” My face heated and became about as red as Thomas’ sweater. I stuttered my next line,” That’s what my mom calls me.” He grinned,” I know, but you still need to come with me.” The tension that had just left me, flooded back in in surges. My hands trembled as I forced out words,”Where?” The smile never left his face, as he stood up and grabbed my arm,”Lunch. I’m starving.” I let him pull me along as nerves bundled in my stomach. We walked to a diner, where a waitress named Jodie greeted us,” Hello, want to sit down sweethearts?” Thomas pulled a charming smile that made the 40 looking woman melt,” Why thank you, I’m sure my friend appreciates it too. Right?” When I said nothing he added,”Sorry if he’s a little quiet, doesn’t get out of his house much.” I wanted to sink into the ground as I forced a stiff smile and shrugged.” Jodie led us to the table and gave us to menus,”Sweethearts, just ring when you need me.” She winked at Thomas and left to tend another customer. As soon as she left, Thomas broke out into laughter and didn’t stop till he started coughing. He playfully punched me in the arm,”Your face. Are you that awkward?” I choked out of my embarrassment,” Yeah. You nearly killed me.” He grinned,” Because I am the most threatening person in existence .” I glared in agitation. He was annoying, and if my life wasn’t on the line I wouldn’t be on this stupid lunch with him. I’d be at home, playing video games. Hanging out with my family. Trying to get a girlfriend. Normal me stuff. The waitress came back a few minutes later and asked what we wanted to drink. I got a diet pepsi, while Thomas asked for hot tea. I didn’t expect him to be a tea person. I didn’t expect him to be in my life either. The waitress brought back our drinks, but before I could order for myself, Thomas stepped in,” He and I will have two ceasar salads. Thank you.” She scribbled it down and went off to the kitchen. I stuck my tongue out at him,” I dislike salads.” He shrugged,”Get used to them. Come Monday morning it’s all you get to eat at lunch.” My heart sank a little. He just confirmed that I would be staying, that I couldn’t go home. Thomas looked me over and patted me on the arm,” It isn’t all that bad with me. I have a pretty nice apartment downtown.” I shoved his arm away, and when the waitress brought back the salad, I chewed it through with discontent. The bland flavor matching my lack of current emotions.
We finished the meal and left the diner, as Thomas hailed a cab. One came quickly and he handed the driver a paper with what I could assume was an address. We arrived shortly, in an unrecognizable neighborhood. He led me into a building, then into an apartment I could only assume to be his own. True to his word, he did have a nice apartment. Mahogany wood flooring shone through the light of big windows. The walls were painted a soothing gray, and the house was cozily furnished. The home also looked like one of a normal person, but Thomas was far from normal. He attacked me, and threatened me. I hovered by the door till he motioned me in. He showed me throughout the house. The house had two bedrooms, but only one bathroom. The rooms were decent sized, but nothing like the place I lived in. When I finished the tour, I practically bolted to my room, locking the door. I slumped against the wall, wishing I could go home. I went up to the window and admired those outside. They were free. After an eternity of standing by the window, I collapsed in the bed. I began dozing off till a soft tap rang on the door. I didn’t answer, and instead pulled a sheet over my head. Surprisingly, the tapping desisted, and I finally fell into a dreamless sleep.