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

mray2174: I did like this story. I would totally recommend it to a friend, but it didn't seem like a book. Your writing style reminded me of a fan fiction writer, always adding in tiny details and making things like "Oh, my name is [name that no one would ever name a child] and here is my life story. Oh, d...

Savannah Lopez: Overall it was a riveting story to read, beside punctuation and a couple of typos that could not easily found, I would definitely recommend this story to everyone I know.

Amanda Benson: Good plot and great character's

Wendy Zoellner: Very good story. I enjoyed the plot and found it to be intriguing. I am hoping that Return of the beast is just as good. It will be the next book that I download.

Christy Idol: This is an awesome story. I want more written. I want to know what happened to Kohl and know who Zac Snow is. There's a lot of questions unanswered. I WANT MORE CHAPTERS. Grammar and spelling and verb tense could use some work but overall, great story.

Barbara Mundy: Some good twists and turns, great read and well worth reading.

Tobi Temitayo: NiceIt is extremely Captivating. I really enjoyed it, the update is important.

Jen Strege- Carney: I have enjoyed this book. It was a bit different and definitely not something you can predict because it's been written on different books. This is my first book I've read from this author.

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fafa: One of the rare books where I didn't skim any chapters or skip straight to the end. All the characters were so well defined and likeable that I actually want a freakin sequal!

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