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Orphan X

By Gregg Hurwitz All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller

Trial By Fire

Evan’s twelve- year- old body is stiff in the cushy passenger seat of the black sedan as he is driven in silence. His cheek is split and his temple bruised. Blood slides warmly down his neck, mixing with panic sweat. Raw skin rings his wrists where the handcuffs were.

His heartbeat thunders in his chest, his head.

He uses all his will to give nothing away.

He has been in the car only five minutes. The leather smells expensive.

The driver has given his name, Jack Johns. But nothing else.

An old guy, at least fifty- something, with a wide, handsome face. He’s built square like a catcher and has a baseball squint to match.

Jack tugs a handkerchief from his rear pants pocket, fluffs it out, and offers it across the console. “For your cheek.”

Evan looks at the fine linen. “The blood’ll stain it.”

Jack’s face registers amusement. “It’s okay.”

Evan wipes his face. He was the smallest of the kids, the last one picked for sports. It was only through a savage set of challenges that he found his way into this seat, that he’d managed to get himself chosen.

None of them had known what to make of the Mystery Man when he materialized at the edge of the cracked basketball courts, eyeing the boys as they’d played and fought. Hidden behind Ray- Bans, dragging his fingers along the chain- link, smoking cigarette after cigarette. He walked slowly, never in a rush, and yet every time he seemed to vanish as quickly as he’d appeared. Theories abounded. He was Chester the Molester. A rich businessman looking to adopt. A dealer in human organs on the black market. A recruiter for the Greek mob.

Evan had been willing to take the leap.

He has been taken out of circulation as surely as if he’d been zapped off the streets by a flying saucer.

Trial by fire, yes— a recruitment of some sort, but for what, Evan still has no idea.

All he knows is wherever he is heading now has to be better than what’s behind him in East Baltimore. His stomach gives off a rumble that embarrasses him even here, even now. He glances at himself in the side mirror. He looks malnourished. Maybe where he’s going, food will be abundant.

Or maybe he’ll be the food.

He works up his nerve. Clears his throat. “What do you want me for?” he asks.

“I can’t tell you that yet.” Jack drives in silence for a time, then seems to realize that his answer isn’t satisfactory for a kid in Evan’s position. “I may not tell you everything right away,” he adds in a tone that stops shy of apologetic, “but I will never lie to you.”

Evan studies him. Decides to take him at his word. “Am I gonna get hurt?”

Jack drives on, looking dead ahead. “Sometimes,” he says.

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Further Recommendations

DarkWolf .12: Very interesting plot! Had me up for the entire night. Keep up the good work 👍

Lacey Eder: The stories remind me of the chilling 2 sentence stories on Reddit. Creepy, but not too scary and short. There were a couple of spelling errors throughout, which probably should've been taken care of beforehand. But, if this were available on Kindle Unlimited for $1-5, I'd consider buying it then.

Andrea Norton: This story was so well put together. It was suspenseful, the storyline flowed perfectly and it was full of interesting twists and turns. I found myself getting very involved in the story and read it in just a few hours. I'd really like to read more of this author's work!

Kashaf Azmat: The concept is excellent everything is well defined that you can picture the whole scenario which makes you feel connected to the plot and this is the thing that catches my eye and this what i am looking for in every novel.Keep it up

briggy1998: I really enjoyed the book, even though I had to skip a few lines, because at times it could get a bit disturbing🙆🏻😅What I would have liked is if you could have given a bit more insight into jack's and fiona's relationship, especially the epilogue was a bit short 😬Other than that an amazing story!

More Recommendations

C.K. Bachman: Just read the first chapter. Love how the main character thinks and is conflicted over his wife and the trickery he uses on her.

europeanlove: I gotta hand it to you. I love reading. I read books everyday. When the book is good I can read it in probably 13 hours. Your story was amazing. Great prose, very imaginative. Incredible dialogue. I am deeply impressed. Keep it up.

Ali Albazaz: I started reading "Caged" few hours ago and I'm on chapter 7 now. Caged is definitely one of the most addictive stories I've ever read. Thank you so much for writing this novel.

Chy Clayton: "pitiable thing, much like the Native American"Blatant racism doesn't deserve a single star. Wow, what a turn off. I read the first chapter and found it to be affected and forced, much like the opening analogy.----edited 5/1/15------Yesterday was unpleasant.The attacks here have been removed al...

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