Runaways By: Ariel Halberg

Chapter 1

Shivering and pissed, Taylor Fritzworth, walked down a dark and abandoned street. Her own arms keeping her warm. She felt the goose bumps on her pale flesh and cursed at herself for not snatching her sweatshirt when she ran out of the hell she was forced to call home.

Tiny drops of rain started to plummet down onto the cracked below. Taylor cursed as she ran for shelter under a doorway of an old abandoned Burger King.

The vibrant yellows and blues, faded to ugly browns and grays. Taylor gave up on trying to remain strong. Taylor sat down, cold and damp, and started to cry. Finally, she realized that this was pathetic. Trying to stop her damned tears she turned and tried to stand. She saw her dim reflection in the dirty glass door and froze.

She usually loved what she saw. Her beautiful round, blue, and perfectly spaced eyes. Her small nose, which had a light trail of freckles running over it.

Her full lips and golden blonde hair that was the fantasy of every boy in her school and neighborhood.

But, when she saw herself today, she was repulsed. She stood up and ran into the lobby, not wanting to look at herself any longer. The tears that still escaped from her eyes burned her face. She tried to look around . . . but the tears were getting so heavy . . . she couldn't see anything.

Finally, after what seemed like hours she managed to control herself. Now, she could finally see, and she didn't like what she did.

Dust. Dust was everywhere. She felt that every time she breathed a thick blanket of dust covered her lungs. Taylor ignored it.

Random strips of wood were everywhere. Nails coming out of each of them. Taylor started to walk around her newfound hiding place. She slid her feet, too tiered and too pissed to have any energy to lift them. As she slid around she saw there were footprints in the dust.

Her mind was too concentrated on the mysterious footprints that she didn't realize what she was doing; she slid her toe right into a nail that was in a strip of wood.

"SHIT!" Taylor yelled as she sat to take her damn uncomfortable, too small, gym shoe, to examine the damage done to her now bleeding toe.

"You know that will most likely get infected if you don't tend to it correctly." A mysterious voice warned her.

Surprised, she put her shoe back on and stood, and lost balance and fell right back down. And she couldn't believe what happened next, the voice started to laugh. Angry as hell Taylor stood up and blasted him with the fire of her hateful words.

"Listen to me, you fucking bastard! You can go to fucking hell! I have had the worst day in my entire life, you have NO right to laugh at me you little asshole!" Taylor finished by a dramatic effect she whipped off the annoying dust on her newly ripped jeans.

"Whoa, no need for that, just wanted to let you know you should get that looked at." He shot back.

Being the nosy girl she was she was curious about who this mystery man was. As she stepped forward to feed her curiosity, she heard him take a step back. God, she wished she could see him, but of course he was in the shadows, and she couldn't see shit in the dust.

"Hey," Taylor began softly, "I just want to meet you and thank you for the warning." She smiled, or tried to. And when she did, it hurt. She waited for some type of answer or movement from her mystery man.

"So . . . uh, what's your name?" she asked, desperately trying to make conversation.

"Shane." Said the voice, it sounded an adorable boy voice. "What's yours?" he asked, Taylor could tell that he was. Well, nervous.

"Me? My name is Taylor." Taylor answered. She was so glad that she was getting somewhere with him.

"Nice name." he added

"Yours too." She replied.

Silence. Silence was one of the things Taylor hated. But silence is exactly what came over them as Taylor scrambled to find a way to see him.

"Step into the light" Taylor demanded.

"Why should I?" Shane replied

"Why won't you?" She challenged.

She heard him sigh as he stepped into the dim yellow light coming in from the window. Taylor gasped. But not in horror, no, in gladness, he was, well, very attractive. She stood there and soaked in his wonderful presence.

His wide mouth, his amazingly clear eyes, and his ordinary, yet beautiful, brown hair. His tall, skinny body and his broad shoulders.

Yet the way he was dressed made him look like homeless man. His black sweats and navy blue tee were tattered and ripped. It looked as if he spent a lot of time here because he was covered in, of course, dust.

"Happy?" he asked, impatient.

"Yes" she answered in amazement.

"So, um, why did you run in here?" he asked, reluctantly.

"And why in hell would I tell you that?" she asked, angered at the direction the conversation has taken.

"Why won't you?"

"why do you want to know?"

"Why do you always answer a question with a question?" he demanded

"Why do you?" Taylor was getting really annoyed at the overly handsome guy in front of her.

"I guess I was just really curious about the beautiful girl who came running into my hide out." He admitted.

Taylor could feel her face growing hot and most likely turning from the normal pale skin, to tomato red.

"Actually, I am pretty curious about you." She told him.

And so they talked. For hours. Many hours. Hours on end!

She told him everything. She talked about her stalker ex-boyfriend, Lucas, who has been following her lately. About the one drunken night when her father murdered her mother in front of her and her older brother just two years ago. About how he said if she ever told anyone he sis it they wouldn't believe her and he would kill her, about how her hateful father blamed the murder on her loving older brother, Vince. About how she and Vince are doing whatever they can to prove that the murderer was her father. About how they weren't getting anywhere.

And he talked. About how his mother never took the time to notice him. About how he turned to drugs and drinking to block out the neglect from his mother. About how his father died when he was one. And about why he ran away from his "home" because of the 'accident' he refused to speak of.

They talked until Taylor couldn't fight her heavy eyelids any longer. And finally, she fell asleep on the overly dusted floor.