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Chapter one: Running free

Chapter one: Running free

A Chapter by Thatonedawg

A story I have worked on for a while, but never shared. Please enjoy people!

-1- Running free
Blaring horns shocked me out of my slumbering state. Sitting up in the darkness I heard the sound again followed by a chorus of screams and gunfire. Fear quickly set in as I began frantically packing my belongings into a burlap sack. Running out into the moonlit clearing I watched as dozens of people fled through the woods and vanished into the night. Before I could plan my next actions the eyes were upon me. Lights from the front of our camp cut into the darkness illuminating what few people were still near the campfire. My eyes widened with terror as the man infront of me was hit and he fell thrashing for a moment before he went still. A shot whipped by me and ripped through my tent snapping me back into reality. I began running chaotically ripping through branches and bushes not caring about the wounds they left on my exposed arms and legs. Running through the dark woods I soon found myself in another clearing. Looking around I felt my heart sink when I heard voices behind me drawing closer.
"This way! One of them went this way!" A voice shouted in the distance.
"I can smell blood! After him!" Another closer voice cried.
"F**k!" I whispered to myself as I continued to run.
Breathing heavily I tore through the moonlit wilderness desperate to escape the pursuers on my trail. No matter how hard or fast I seemed to run the lights behind me always drew closer and the voices louder. The deeply instilled fear of being caught drove my body to push on and keep moving as fast as it could. My legs were growing weary and I knew I couldnt run much longer. Throwing a branch aside I felt my foot snag something and tripped slamming the ground hard. I struggled to get up at first, my head still ringing from impact with the ground. As I scrambled to my feet the ground around me lit up brightly and I saw several shadows quickly surrounding me. Every concievable direction i tried to run was occupied by shifting figures that closed in quickly. Wincing past the lights I saw that each of them carried a rifle with a flashlight attached. I slowly gripped the knife attached to the back of my belt and readied myself for the inevitability of death or capture... Ever since dad was captured I knew this day would come. I felt a heavy weight in my chest as I began coming to grips with the situation. With shallow shaking breaths I faced my approaching stalkers head on.
"At ease gentlemen." A voice said brashly and the guns were lowered allowing me to see my foes a bit better. 
From the group a single figure stepped toward me. He was dressed differently but somewhat like all the others pursuing me. However like his cohorts he was not human, I was being chased by monsters... He stood over six feet tall and was unusally muscular. He had a wide rounded mane of fiery red hair and a blockish muzzle that had two fangs portruding from under his upper lip. A long thin tail tipped with a tuft of red hair flicked back and forth unpredictably as he moved. He was a lion. His group of lackeys included an otter, a bear, a rat, some kind of canine, and a few others I couldn't see well enough. The lion took a few steps forward and lit a cigarette carelessly tossing the match aside once the flames had died. 
"You're a fast one boy!" He replied walking further into the ring of people as he exhaled a long stream of smoke. 
"Not fast enough apparently..." I muttered and he chuckled getting a bit closer.
"Now now... we dont want any trouble. Just take it easy and you wont be harmed, understand?" He asked bluntly as I rolled my fingers along the knife handle. 
"No I don't think I do. You better explain it again." I snapped, gritting my teeth in anger and shuffling about as I tried to find any route of escape.
"I don't have to explain anything. That isn't my department." He said with a now aggrivated tone. "You have two choices. Come quietly or be dragged away with a split lip. Choice is yours." 
"I'm not going anywhere with you beasts!" I shouted drawing the large knife and brandishing it with both hands in front of me. 
The rifles rose in the blink of an eye and the blinding lights focused on me once again. "Hold your fire!" The lion shouted raising his paw and turning to his soldiers.
Slowly but surely his allies lowered there weapons until only one was aiming at me. The lion didn't seem to mind this as he simply finished his cigarette with one long drag and flicked the burning remains to the ground. Running his paw through his hair he pushed it back away from his face and then fixed his gaze upon me once more. His fierce yellow eyes and tiny slash shaped pupils burned fear deep into my heart. All at once I felt tears burn through my eyes and my grip tightened. With a deep breath I spun the blade and pressed it to my own throat staring into the lions vicious eyes, which widened with surprise. Two of the beast men went to raise there weapons but the big cat leader scowled them into backing down. I swallowed hard, the knife and the fear adding to the tension on my neck.
"You will not take me alive!" I stammered not sure if I would be able to take my own life. 
"No." He stated simply raising a finger to point at me. "We will."
With a flick of his wrist and a flourish of his fingers he created a tiny spark of light in his palm. Before I could react to it the blade was pulled from my hand by a phantom force. I watched wide eyed with terror and disbelief as the blade flew gently but quickly through the air and met his outstretched hand. The handle landed perfectly in his grip and he grinned wickedly as I fell backward, stunned by what just happened. He rolled the knife through his clawed fingers laughing as I cowered on the ground helplessly. What just happened? I briefly looked at my empty hand as I felt burning tears form in my eyes. The other beasts began to laugh as I shook, petrified, scrambling to escape the circle of bodies.
Still laughing, the maned beast turned around and began walking away. "Take him." He muttered, carelessly looking over his shoulder for a few seconds. 
My heart stopped dead upon hearing that. I leapt to my feet and tried to rush past the smallest of the armed animal men. This was a mistake, as he immediately struck me across the face, sending me to the ground with a bloodied lip. I dabbed my bleeding face and looked up just in time to see a boot dropping onto my head. My vision blurred and my head rang as I writhed in agony, clutching my skull.  Amazingly, I didnt pass out from the impact of the huge booted paw. As I tried to crawl away, I felt another kick to my ribs, flipping me onto my back. As my vision cleared, I was greeted with the sight of a handgun pointed at my face. The sound it made when it fired was not what I was expecting, but I still shut my eyes and let out a sharp yelp of primal fear. I opened my eyes to find a dart sticking out of my left shoulder and I soon felt the weariness that it brought on. I struggled to move at all, but I still managed to pull it out before I succumbed to the poisons. The last thing I heard was my labored breathing as I thrashed against the multitude of paws and claws that began restraining me.

© 2016 Thatonedawg

My Review

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Intriguing concept, Thatonedawg! The POV from the lion presents a story with great potential that is worth reading. I did find the writing like traipsing through a jungle and that could work to your advantage if you want to go in that direction. Since this is the first chapter, it needs to be your hook so that your readers will want to keep reading. I would recommend breaking up your larger paragraphs; they can come across as daunting to a reader. Also, you need to work on your dialogue structures (tags, beats, and action lines). You've capitalized tags and used periods instead of commas; e.g., the dialogue written as, "At ease, gentlemen." A voice said..." Should be written as, "At ease, gentlemen," a voice said..." Take a look at some dialogue in a fiction book you own and take note of the mechanics (commas, capitalizations, etc.)

Other items I've noticed you could easily change around and produce a much more polished piece concern your sentence structures; they are all very similar (many participial phrases beginning sentences, long sentences, evenly balanced compound sentences). I would recommend varying them up. Your readers' eyes need a break, and changing up your sentence structures will allow that. Also, watch out for an over abundance of adverbs ending in -ly. They make the reading heavier and slow it down. For example, "I began running chaotically" can be revised to "I scrambled in chaos" or something with else with more punch.

Happy writing! By the way, what does your main character want in the story? Great stories and characters have an overwhelming desire for something (e.g., Harry Potter wants a loving family, Katniss Everdeen wants safety, Bella in Teilight wants to be accepted). I want to see what your main character wants so that I can identify or sympathize with him. Does he just want to survive, seek revenge, or something else?

Posted 6 Years Ago


6 Years Ago

OMG wow! Ty such a detailed review! I cannot even begin to tell you how good it is to hear it is at .. read more
Defiantly interesting. Your pace was good, you built up the mystery of why the main character was running, and then gave us the twist that a human/lion was chasing him. Awesome!

A couple things:
Break up sentences with commas. Sometimes I had to read the sentences a few times to understand what you meant. It will give you a better rhythm in your flow.

Ex: "as the man infront of me was hit and he fell thrashing"

I knew after reading the description the guy was a lion, or at least look a lot like one. So plainly saying he was threw off the flow. You already showed us what he was, which was perfect!
"He stood over six feet tall and was unusally muscular. He had a wide rounded mane of fiery red hair and a blockish muzzle that had two fangs portruding from under his upper lip. A long thin tail tipped with a tuft of red hair flicked back and forth unpredictably as he moved. He was a lion."

But over all it was good! I'll keep reading!

Posted 6 Years Ago


6 Years Ago

Thank you so very much for reading! I will take what you said to heart, for certain. Funny enough I .. read more

6 Years Ago

No problem!
Oh I Am very interested in this book. Is it bad I had a weird image of Zootopia mixed with military clothing? Anyways, great first chapter and very simple. Going to read this one until you write more on the other. :)

Posted 6 Years Ago


6 Years Ago

My gosh ty! I haven't seen Zootopia yet though I wanna! Would be weird for a grown man to go alone l.. read more

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3 Reviews
Added on June 22, 2016
Last Updated on June 22, 2016
Tags: bare, burdens, of, life, love, loss, betrayal, heartbreak, aliens, tragedy



Sacramento, CA

I have been writing for a long time. My father was a writer and he always encouraged me to do so as well. Sadly he never read any of my work or even cared for that matter. I just need to know that som.. more..