Jamia woke to the sound of a loud crash. She quickly jumped up before grabbing her backpack and her younger brother’s hand.
“Leave me alone, Jamia,” Julian mumbled.
“Get up idiot,” she hissed, “They’re here!” As soon as the words left her mouth, Julian was up, with his own backpack in hand.
He then allowed her to drag him through the upstairs of the abandoned house they had been calling home.
“How did they find us?” he asked urgently.
“How am I supposed to know?” she demanded.
They dodged a hole in the floor and jumped over some small obstacles. One piece of debris caught Julian by the foot, and he slammed into the ground and tumbled down the broken-down stairs.
“Are you okay?” She stopped moving and bent down to help him.
“Yeah, but keep moving!” he replied, re-taking her hand and pulling himself up.
The crashes from up the stairs grew in volume. Jamia looked over her shoulder. She saw ten gray-haired adults standing near the top of the stairs. They pushed and kicked everything out of their way as they walked slowly and deliberately closer to the stairs, creating the crashes.
“Sh*t.” She whispered under her breath.
Why had she been hoping it wouldn’t be them? Of course it was them. It couldn’t have been anybody but them.
They watched Jamia and Julian, anger and hatred in their stone-colored eyes. As they shoved the debris out of their way, they stared right at Jamia and Julian’s blood-red hair and eyes. The marks of their identities as outlaws in a world ruled by those lucky enough to be born with gray hair and eyes.
Jamia looked away from the Grays, still feeling their gazes burning into her head. She kept running, with Julian right behind her, trying to speed up without tripping over the random chunks of ceiling, wall, and other furniture strewn around the floor of the almost completely open first floor of the house. Jamia threw herself through the sliding-glass door that led to the backyard. The grass was an ugly brown color and litter was scattered around the small piece of land. Jamia pulled Julian through the hole she had made in the glass door, and they continued running. A few seconds later, she heard the glass door smash to pieces. They were catching up. She ran for the thick greenery in the back of the yard, where it connected to a dense forest. Julian sped up, forcing Jamia to follow his lead.
When they reached the edge of the forest, the Grays were so close, one of them managed to reach out and grab Julian’s jacket, ripping a shred of fabric from the clothing.
Jamia could feel the branches hit her face. They cut into her pale skin. She could feel the blood moving down her cheek. She released Julian’s hand. He ran in one direction and she ran the opposite way. Forcing the Grays to split into two groups of five.
As Jamia ran, she reached into her backpack, pulling out her weapon. A small box with a launcher for sleep darts. It was all they had managed to grab from their old house before they had to run. Two small sleep dart launchers that could have the lids removed to replace the darts inside. Both she and Julian had extra darts in the small zipped pockets in the back of their backpacks.
Once she had the box in her hands, Jamia turned around and proceeded to run backwards. Focussing on each of the Grays behind her. They were still walking as if to say ‘we don’t even need to run to catch you, filthy blaze.’ The hate in their eyes was so obvious. They wanted to arrest her, maybe even kill her for looking different. They didn’t do this to Blues, or Greens, or Yellows, or Browns, or even Pinks. This was what they did to Reds.
Jamia pointed the box in front of her. She slammed her thumb on the button closest to her. The dart hit the closest Gray to her in the neck, and he fell.
Once all the Grays were lying on the ground, Jamia turned around rapidly and continued running. She had to put a decent amount of distance between herself and the 5 sleeping Grays.