The Runaways

October 5, 2009
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The Runaways
Exactly one week ago my parents died. It had been a usual Friday night for us, my brother and I hanging out at home while our parents went to the bar. We lived in a small town called Wauchula, which only had one bar in the whole town. Fog had filled the air that night, while my parents drove home. 12:03 am; that was the exact time the BRRRRRING pierced my ears. A man named George called asking to talk to me. I was confused, I never got phone calls but he said it was urgent. His voice was full of sorrow as he talked slowly. “Kale, I’m doctor George. Y-o-o-ur parents got in a terrible accident tonight.”
“Are they okay?!” I yelled at the top of my lungs, crossing my fingers.
“I’m very sorry Kale.”
“NOOOOOOOOO!!!!” I cried out, drops of water drizzling down my cold face.
“I’m very sorry. As my research stated you and your brother, Chase have no relatives left. Tomorrow morning at eleven the orphanage will take you to live with them. Everything will be okay, I’m sorry.” Then he hung up. After I told Chase, tears were raced down our faces like running faucets. That night, as he slept in my bed, I restlessly lay awake thinking of the orphanage. That word brought tears to my eyes as I thought about the piercing screams of children wanting to get out and go home. I heard that the beds creaked when you even lay foot on them, the floor boards rattled, kids wailed and screamed, babies cried their eyes out, the food tasted like rotten eggs, and everywhere you looked were kids, clothes, or toys. Overall, the rumor was that it was a pigsty.
Before the sun came up, I had come up with the plan. Chase and I were going to run. Run until we were safe. We were going to leave at first thing in the morning. I didn’t think about how Chase was only seven and I was only thirteen; how difficult it would be. While Chase slept, I packed one backpack with lots of food, an outfit for each of us, two water bottles, a five-dollar bill I found in my dad’s wallet, and a picture of my parents. Quickly, I had jumped on top of Chase to wake him up.
“What now?” He said yawning, his eyes filled with eye boogers, stood staring at mine. His face was weary but he gradually and hazily sat up.
“Come. Were leaving”
“Bu-u-u-t where are we going?” the look on his face was completely lost, searching for an answer.
“No questions. Let’s go.”
Moving at a snail’s pace he eventually made it out of bed. Arising over the hills was the beaming ball of light. Reds, yellows and oranges shimmered in the sky. The sidewalk glistened in the light, as if a pixie had just sprinkled glitter all over the town. “Chase, grab your bike, I’ll get mine.” We hopped on our bikes and pedaled off into the murky morning. I still remember how tough it had been to leave, knowing I would never be back. Leaving all of my memories behind, but I knew it was time to grow up. We had pedaled all morning until noon, when I decided we were both dog-tired; our legs full of pain, we had to stop. By then we had made it through three small towns and into Tampa, which was striking to the eye. Buildings towered over the streets, people played on the sand-filled beaches, the ocean twinkling in the sunlight. I knew the orphanage would now be looking for us, we had to hide. Chase spotted a calm, deserted apple orchard. Trees, draped with rotten, brown, soggy apples. Their juice dripping into the grassy field below. We slept under one of the shaded trees and awoke at three. Urgently, we ate our food and had a little water, trying to pace ourselves to savor as much as possible.
As we treaded on through the cracked dirt, the sun pounded down on our sweaty, sticky bodies. About ten miles later we had found a nice quick shop. The rows of scrumptious food, drawing in my weary, desperate eyes. Food had never looked so good in my life. I ran in with the five dollars and grabbed some moist, chocolate chip cookies and two more ice cold waters. We downed the cookies and I knew we were going to need more soon, now was my chance. Tip toeing back into the store; I stuffed some candy, granola bars, and beef jerky in my pants pocket. Just a little more, I thought. Snatching some chips I heard a man yell “Hey kid put that back!!!” Dashing out I yelled at the top of my lungs, “Chase!!!! GO!!” That was a mistake. I leaped onto my bike and we rode away. Looking back, the salesclerk had stopped chasing us, but was on the phone. Oh no, he knows Chase’s name, and will notify the police. Five minutes later I heard the police car, we threw our bikes into some bushes and hid behind a quantity of trees. Pretty soon the sirens were gone, but I knew they would still be on the lookout for the two criminals, escapees. If we can just make it to the next big town and find a train and take it to California we could stop running. My friend, Joey lives there. We would stay only until we found my great great Aunt that was still alive, but no one knew where. Hurriedly, we continued on to Orlando.
Three days later, we arrived. Our legs cramped and aching, scraped and bruised, our faces covered in dirt. Luckily, we had found a stream and filled our water bottles up, although we were still almost to the point of dehydration. After getting away with the first stolen items, I knew I could easily get two waters. Going into an aged, muddled, grimy gas station I grabbed two waters and darted out. We started on our bikes again with the faint sound of the salesman yelling “Kids get back here!”
Finally over the hills I spotted train tracks. We raced to them and sat waiting. At last, a train came from the near distance. Standing aside, we waited for the caboose. Eventually it rolled by, and we grasped hold of the rusty poles and sprung aboard, leaving our precious, shiny vehicles behind. The view was stunning, the sun glistening onto the great depths of the ocean. The dirt around us had turned into bright green hairs dancing on a giant’s head. Hours passed, and the train came to a halt. We had made it to California! The air was fresh, and the sun dazzled in the morning sky. Never going back, we were safe and sound. I had gone to a nearby information center and asked for them to phone the Franklins. They called them; I spoke to Joey and each of us still in one piece, made our way to their house. I couldn’t believe we had made this enduring journey.

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