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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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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

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rachelrainford6: This probably has to be one of the best books I've read on here. I read it quite quickly and I'll have to say the story took a turn towards the end that I did not see coming. The topic discussed in this book such as life really gave me a new insight and I realize that it is taken for granted.

Someone: This was a fun, entertaining read. Although the novel wasn’t stylistically polished, and although the first couple of chapters struggled to hold my attention, the rest of the novel was engaging and beautifully done. You had me fooled until the end. The rest of this review will contain spoilers fo...

Rachel Mc Donald: This was an awesome book a real page turner couldn't put it down . The characters all had a good back story . I love these kind of books and would read it if you decided to write a follow up book . Excellent work

CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...

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harry142018: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.

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