I woke up that morning, dusting myself off as I started to walk again, realising I was getting thirsty. I didn’t think too much of it as I started to just walk, I could boil water if I found a pond, but with what? I shook off the thought for now as I kept walking, maybe I could find a discarded water bottle since people like to throw away their trash wherever, with my luck I would find one, but not for a while, so I kept walking until I got unbearably thirsty and was trying to find anything that could hold water at this point, soon finding well in my case, a miracle. I grabbed it as quick as I could and wandered around until I found a lake, pond, some type of water, soon doing so as I gather up in the bottle and trying to make a small fire once more, putting it over the fire as I let it boil for a while, once it’s done doing so, I drink it so quickly, I already need to refill it. After many times of drinking and boiling the water I go on my way once more, I take in the scenery as I sigh, nothing really seems out of the norm, just looks like a fall day more than anything. As the hours pass by, I stop, taking a break. A sigh escapes my lips as I just sit down where I am. Though I soon see what looks like headlights to my left. I stop, slowly standing up, hiding behind a tree as I observe what is going on. It’s the same people from a few days ago. They had their truck again and have flashlights again. Great they start walking towards me now. I try to stay hidden near a bush by the tree. I hear the voices more clearly, talking about a missing kid, probably me, I have to think quickly, until I hear another voice, a woman, well that’s what it sounds like anyways to what I can understand. “Anything?” She asks, “No” a males voice says as she lets out an annoyed sigh, “Alright then, let’s head back to the city and figure out what to do there.” She says as the male agreed with her, footsteps slowly fading away in the direction of the truck, truck doors slamming closed then the truck itself driving away. I sigh in relief, staying there for another minute or two before finally getting up and walking with my water bottle in my worn-out sweatshirt pocket. It looks about five pm now? I don’t know, sometime during evening is all I know. I keep hearing rustling in bushes guessing it’s bunnies and other small animals. Finally, I start to feel drowsy, sitting by a tree, and falling asleep. When I wake up, though, I feel something pressed against my neck, I don’t move, scared as adrenaline runs through my body as I slowly open my eyes, seeing someone above me, knife at my neck. I was about to say something until I felt their hand clamp down onto my mouth. “Don’t say anything and follow me” The voice said, I couldn’t tell their gender, it also didn’t help since their voice was muffled a bit by the handkerchief. I slowly follow them as I gulp, they’re leading me on where to go with the knife by my throat still. Soon I see what looks like a handmade hut built as I raise an eyebrow. We soon get into the hut as they let me go, telling me to sit down on the ground, I do so, not wanting to get my neck sliced. Finally, I speak up, “Who are you?” I asked as they looked over at me, finally taking off the handkerchief, along with the hat. I finally get a better view of my “kidnapper” “My name is Braxton” “Ah, so you’re a boy” “Looks like it, doesn’t it?” Braxton snaps out at me as I gulp, I need to learn to stop being a smartass. “What’s your name?” His question makes me snap to reality as I speak up. “Jackson, how long have you been out here?” “About four months,” He says as my mouth drops, “What’s going on? Why are people looking for me?” So many thoughts start running through my head as Braxton tries to calm me down then speaks up. “The government wants people. I think they’re experimenting on all of us, using like shots and stuff” he says. I stop then finally look up at him, he has green eyes and brown hair that’s down to his shoulders, his face is dirty along with the clothes he’s wearing. “Why did you take me here?” I ask, finally breaking the silence, “I saw you wondering yesterday, so I followed you.” “How come you haven’t been found yet?” “No one usually doesn’t come out this far in the forest” “That’s why you’re camping out here?” Braxton nods to my question as I still sit there as I sigh a bit. So much is running through my head. “Can you lead me to the city” “That’s really risky, why do you want to go?” “I want to find my family” He scoffs at my answer as I get up. “What?” “If anything your family is probably part of whatever is going on in that damn city” Braxton says as I just stand there, arms crossed. “Do you have any idea why I ended up in the woods?” “My guess? You probably got the shot they give people, but you may not have been affected by it, so you probably ran,” he nods as it hits me, Military grabbed the whole family, but everything else is a blur at the moment. “I guess that makes sense...” I say, “All I could think of “Braxton states, silence falling over as I speak up again, “How old are you even?” “Seventeen, Eighteen tomorrow, what about you?” “Sixteen, my birthday isn’t for another month, I think, if it’s October” He nods confirming it is. “Then next month” I say. “You can stay with me for tonight. I’ll pack you some water and food in the morning, and some other things, though I should probably teach you some things then let you go when you’re ready” Braxton says as I nod, thanking him, guess he is nicer than I expected, soon he’s teaching me things I probably wouldn’t even know that I would need for what was soon to come.