Run Away

Run Away

A Story by Isaiah Moorehead

Creepy and exciting. My girlfriend gave me this idea. It took me a while to complete it, but it's definitely worth it.


I don’t know where I’m going but I don’t stop. My full out sprint turned into a steady jogging pace. I’m not even sure if I’m running with a purpose anymore.  

Am I running to get help or am I running from what just happened?

That’s all that races through my mind. This country road is so long and so empty, I haven’t seen a car in hours. Or minutes? How long has it been? I can’t think straight. The sun was just preparing to set, so only a modicum of sunlight was escaping from the sky onto the earth.

Just keep going, don’t stop, and never go back.

What do I even say when I finally make it to some sort of civilization? I’ve been jogging for so long I don’t even know where exactly in the forest his body is anymore, so how can I possibly get help? I didn’t mean for any of this to happen. Or did I? I’m not even sure anymore. At this point, there is only one thing haunting me mentally, and it’s running alongside me, keeping the same exact pace. It’s an eerie feeling that I know I can’t outrun. What just happened back in the forest went by in a blur. Right now, my stepfather is lying lifeless in the forest...and I killed him.

Run Away

Finally, I see something. It’s a bright blue and red sign sitting high in the air. “Galaxy Diner. 24 hours.” Perfect. Somewhere serene where I can sit and clear my mind. The parking lot is empty, which slightly surprises me since the clock on the outside of the diner reads 8 pm. Meaning I’ve been running for about an hour.

“Just one tonight?” asks the waitress as she came up to me from my blind spot when I entered the door. I’m so disoriented I didn’t see or hear her approach me. She’s short, probably 5’2”, with 2 puffs sitting on top of her head, sticking through her uniform hat. I can tell it’s been a busy evening for her, due to the faint yellow stains on her all-white uniform top.  Her accent caught me off guard, making me forget I was in the country. It’s my first time being in Tennessee, and it didn’t take me long to loathe everything about it. It’s no comparison to D.C.  “Sir?” She was looking at me slightly crooked.  

“Oh, I’m sorry...uh...yeah...uh, j-just one.” Stop stuttering, she’ll get suspicious. “It’s j-just me s-so one seat, haha.” Nice, now she’s onto you.

“Um, ok follow me.” We walk through the ghost town of a diner.  This place is an anachronism in itself. With its wooden walls with classic black paintings on it, leather booths full of holes, and Earth Wind and Fire playing from the speakers, I feel like I left 2017 and I’m in the early 80’s. We walk past a small mirror on the wall and I didn’t realize how messy I looked. Sweat dripping from my forehead and a hole in the sleeve of my Nike shirt. Probably from when I tripped and fell back in the forest. My dreads have leaves and a few branches in them and my eyes are still slightly teary eyed.

She shows me to an empty window seat on the other side of the diner, facing the rear parking lot. Across the street from the parking lot is more forest, making it harder for me to forget the reason why I’m here in the first place terrified out of my mind. “Um, just water, please,” I said after she asked what I’ll have to drink. She walks away and my mind is all I am left with.  Where do I go next? Should I call the cops now? God, I wish mom were here. I know that I can’t stay here too long though, I have to keep moving soon. I’m still shaking a little bit and I’m trying my best to squelch it. The last thing I need right now is unwanted attention.

Murderer! How could you? You should’ve gotten help!

This self-nagging, the voices in my head are doing is driving me crazy, and yet it’s the only voice I can truly trust. I’m beginning to calm down, but out of the corner of my eye, I see something outside. Something is running out of the woods, right towards me at full speed. I believe it’s a dog because it’s on all fours. However, there’s a small feeling in my gut telling me it’s not man’s best friend. It’s getting closer and closer, keeping its eyes locked on mine with every stride. For some reason, I can’t take my eyes off whatever this is. My heart is beating through my chest and my breathing is getting slightly irregular. What the hell is that? Just then, the creature ascends from all fours and begins running on it’s two feet. It's a man. A man with a brown plaid shirt and black overalls. Blood profusely dripping down his face from what appears to be a bullet hole in his temple, it’s hard to tell with the little amount of sunlight outside. Within seconds I realize that the man, now running at full speed towards the diner window… was my stepfather.   

I jump out of my seat and scream so loud that I’m surprised the windows in the diner don’t shatter. The place was quiet already, but now I feel as if everything and everyone in the world stopped and all eyes were on me. I hear a glass break and water splash on my pants leg, drenching my ankles and socks.  

“What’s the matter? What’s wrong?” asks the waitress behind me, looking more concerned at the glass of water I just dropped out of her hands.

“It’s him! Look, he’s after me!” I say breathing heavily and pointing to the running man in the parking lot through the window. The cooks are now all out of the kitchen and staring at me from the counter, enthralled by my hysterics.

“Calm down, sir. Who is after you?”

“My stepfather!” I say staring her dead in the eyes “I thought I killed him! I m-mean it w-was an accident b-b-but, look, he’s right th--” and I turn and realize I’m pointing at an empty parking lot with no man in sight. It was all in my head. I’m losing it. I gotta get out of here. They think I’m crazy. But I’m not!

“Sir?” starts the waitress, but I turn and do a slight run for the exit. I can’t stay there any longer. I’ve made a huge fool of myself and it’s a matter of time until they call the cops. I can’t believe I just confessed to what I did in there. And how I really imagined that whole thing. I continue my steady paced jog through this unfamiliar territory. I’m lowkey glad mom made me do track in middle school and high school because my copious stamina is extremely clutch right now. Up ahead seems like the downtown of whatever small city I’m in, or as “downtown” as this country town can get. I see two gas stations, a hotel, many small stores side by side, and, for the first time, at least 10 cars in one general spot driving to get to places. I’m beyond thirsty, so  I head for a corner store that’s not too far away to get a bottle of water.

I don’t know what I expected, but this corner store isn’t too much different than the ones in my city. Tiny, dirty, cluttered, but still has everything you need. There’s only one other guy in here, excluding the cashier, and he looks around my age, twenty. I grab my cold water bottle and head to pay. The other guy is in front of me buying Backwoods and a pack of gum. He’s wearing denim jeans, a yellow hoodie, and a pair of Under Armour's on his feet. Those shoes would get him laughed off the block if he were in my neighborhood.

“Damn, man, you alright?” he says giving me a quizzical look, and I almost forgot that I’m the one who should be laughed at by the way I’m presented. He just finished paying and it is my turn at the register.

“Oh, yeah, kinda,” I say, sounding defeated while paying for my drink. “It’s b-been a rough day,” Stop. Stuttering. “Thanks for asking though,”

“No problem, man. You wanna hang for a bit outside? It’s pretty warm out and I was about to roll up. You can talk about whatever is bothering you if you want. No charge, haha,” Why not?, I thought. I could use a relaxer after what I’ve been through. And I can definitely use someone to vent to. I had a lot to get off my chest.

“Yeah. That sounds cool,” I reply, trying to sound as hip as I could, without letting my jitters seep through my words. I purchase my water and I follow him to a bench across the street from the corner store, in a spot that’s busy but also just secluded enough for my liking at the moment. We chat for a bit as he rolls the grass. I learn that his name is Dion and he’s a Tennessee native. He’s twenty-one and in his third year of college, currently on his summer break.

“Oh, so you’re a city boy?” he asks when I tell him where I’m from.

“Yup, born and raised in D.C.”

“So what you doing out here?”

“My stepdad is from out here. We don’t get along too much and my mom thought it would be nice to bond together. He used to go hunting a lot with his brother when he was my age so he thought taking me out here to hunt would help us get along.” I reply, taking short breaks to chug my water down.

“Boy, black folk don’t hunt. We are being hunted in this nation though, by the pigs and government. Animals aren’t our enemies. Don’t he know that?” says Dion with a short chuckle, licking the tobacco leaf to seal the weed.

“Exactly what I tried to explain to him,” I reply.

“Your stepdad's brother still live around here? What’s his name? Maybe I know him. It’s a really small town.”

“I call him Uncle Lucas. And I don’t really know what he looks like, I’ve barely even seen pictures of him. I don’t ask my stepfather about him that often. He's been in and out of jail so I’m not even sure I wanna meet him, haha.”

“ Damn that’s rough. So what’s your story, bro? Why you out here looking all messy and frightened” he asks, lighting the blunt, and releasing a great exhale of smoke.

Where do I start??

“Well,”I begin, preparing myself to let it all out. To explain everything that happened in the forest and why I’m sitting in Tennessee with Dion, scared and confused, ready to snap any minute. “We left from D.C earlier this morning, about a seven-hour drive.” Dion’s eyebrows raise in shock. “Yeah, I know,” I say responding to his look. “And we stopped at a motel way down the road.” The blunt is getting passed as I speak and I decided to just cut to the chase. “Long story short is… we-we got into an argument before we went to go hunt. Over something, I-I forget what it was but,” I feel myself getting passionate. “He just pisses me off so much sometimes, you know? Like he’s so demanding and overtly rude all time. He kept telling me how horrible I was at shooting whenever I missed an animal. Calling me names and whatnot. Also, he treats my mom like garbage! And I-I don’t know, we were in the woods and he saw a rabbit or something and shot it with his rifle. Then he went up to it to see if it was dead and I stayed back, I don’t like being close to dead things.”  I’m getting more and more emotional as my sentences begin to run on and my eyes water.  “So I was like 20 feet from him and...I-I don’t know I thought I saw an animal in the distance and I wanted to prove to him that I can shoot just as good as him and I yelled ‘Watch this!’ and as he turned around… I-I-I just shot! And next thing I know is, he dropped in an instant!” I can tell by Dion’s face he wasn’t expecting any of this at all. “And after that, I just ran. Ran away up the road looking for a car to drive past. But one never did. And by the time I saw headlights of a car coming, I had already been running for so long that I forgot where in the forest the body was. I was just so freaking scared, man.” I know I just put a lot on Dion, but I didn’t care one bit, I had to get that out.

“Dude…” started Dion, trying to search for the right words to use, but suddenly I get distracted. From where we are sitting, I can see just a little into the corner store we were just in.  I swear I see the cashier talking to someone, but that someone isn’t buying anything. Instead, it seems like he’s asking the cashier questions. Just then, paranoia strikes me hard when I see that the person at the register asking questions is a cop. I can see their lips move and the cashier turns slightly in my direction and points across the street, not directly at me, but in the area where Dion and I are currently sitting. I knew the workers at the diner called the cops.


“Hey, sorry b-but I gotta go, moe,” I say, cutting Dion off from whatever he was saying.

“Moe? Who’s moe?” Dion says loudly as I begin to jog away from the bench.

“It’s D.C lingo!” I shout back at him, turning my head slightly around so he can hear me.

And just like that, I’m on the run again. Tears fall down my face as I realize things are now ten times as serious. I’m a wanted man running from the law. My heart is racing a mile and minute and my throat feels like it’s closing up. I need to catch my breath but I also need to keep going.

I run about 6 blocks down the road and never look back once. I’m too terrified to look back. What if I see 100 cops chasing me with guns drawn? My panicking is getting worse by the second. I don’t even know this town, so for all I know I could be running in the direction of a police station. I need to hide. I run down a vacant ally and stop behind an auto mechanic store. There was an older man out there smoking a cigarette, who I assume is on break.

“What you running from Lil’ ma,n,” he asks, as I try to catch my breath. “Got yourself into some trouble, huh?”

“You don’t know the half of it,” I reply, breathing heavily. He tells me to come into the auto shop, which he owns and says I should be safe in here for a bit. I hate the smell of oil and rubber, but now is not the time to complain.

“Thanks so much, sir.”

“Don’t mention it. I remember being your age and causing mischief too. So I’m glad to help you out. Now,” he says sitting in his chair behind the counter, not before unfolding a chair a letting me sit about five feet across from him. “What’s got you hauling like this?”

“It’s a long story. I’m not even sure I feel like explaining it all.”

“Well, it’s up to you Lil’ man. I got time to listen. I don’t mind how long the story is. Who knows, maybe I can give you some advice.”

His kindness makes me rather comfortable, so I explain the story to him, the shorter version, everything from the woods to now. It was easier to explain this time, even though the pain behind each word was still there. However, as I speak, he keeps looking at me funny, especially after I explained where I’m from and the situation involving my stepfather. He looks at me sideways and squints his eyes as if he’s trying to remember something. Like he’s trying piece a puzzle together. He cuts me off.

“You said you’re from D.C?” he says looking more interested, but not in a good way.

“Yes, sir.”

“ look just like her.” He whispers to himself more than to me. “But-but, no, that’s crazy.”

“Excuse me?”

“You’re not Claire’s boy, are you? Claire Jones?”

“Um, yeah how do you know my mom?” I ask very confused. Then, a lightbulb clicks in his head and his eyes widen.

“ You are?...Wait, so the man you shot in the woods…” He whispers louder, directly at me this time, and leans closer. Chills go down my spine with each word he spoke. “ killed my brother?”  

And suddenly, fear makes my body go numb. “...Uncle Lucas?” I ask, praying I was wrong.

“You killed my brother!?!?” he explodes, standing up from his seat.   

...You’ve got to be kidding me.

He reaches his hands out and grabs my collar, lifting me from my seat. He’s 6’3 so my feet were dangling about 5 inches off the ground. “We loved going hunting together! You murderer!” he yells, shaking me violently. Thinking quickly, I headbutt him in the nose, and, caught off guard, drops me abruptly. Uncle Lucas is a hefty fellow, so I’m sure I can easily outrun him. I hop the counter as he stumbles backward and falls and run out of the store.

But there’s no point.

At least 15, maybe more, police officers are waiting outside for me, with their guns drawn. I raise my hands but I guess it doesn’t matter.

God, I wish mom were here.

I hear a loud, thunderous bang!

And then everything goes black...

© 2018 Isaiah Moorehead

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Added on January 13, 2018
Last Updated on January 14, 2018


Isaiah Moorehead
Isaiah Moorehead


Hi, I'm Isaiah. I love to read suspense books and write short suspense stories. Please feel free to tell me what you think about them. I'm hoping to get more publicity and gain a larger audience. more..