An excerpt chapter from my debut novel Loading: Life. Please Enjoy.
HERO ran through the streets, the thugs right on his heels. Their bats beating up against trash cans and buildings reverberated in his ears. He cursed himself for getting caught by the Ravens.
“Come back here you piece of shit!” yelled the punk in front, hands sparking a furious red energy.
Hero skirted around the corner, weaved through the back streets, and swerved past trash cans and stray cats. He could feel his stamina bar slowly depleting as he searched for an escape. He kept his inventory bag close to his chest, the Ravens screeching behind him, gaining on him. He pressed a button on the strap, turning on its invisibility feature.
He kept running. Around one more corner, a paved wall seeming to rise from nowhere.
“Here we go.”
He hugged his bag, hopped on a trashcan, and jumped towards the wall, clearing it and landing effortlessly in the field on the other side.
“Come and get me if you can, idiots!” He grinned, keeping his eyes on the wall as he ran. “You’re all a bunch of mor–”
His stomach caved in as a rock-hard fist made contact. His body was thrown back, sliding on the ground until he collided with the wall. His green health bar sprang up, lowering instantly.
A groan escaped his lips as he tried to reach for his bag. His hand landed on it when a shadow grew over him. He looked up to meet shining blood eyes glaring down at him from a black mass of feather-like hair – Caz, leader of the Ravens, with both fists encased in ore, his stamina bar overhead already as bright red as his energy.
Caz’s boot struck his torso, pinning him down. The inventory bag slipped to the side.
The Raven grinned. “Nice of you to keep my stash safe for me, but I’ll be needing all of it back now.”
“Hey, Cassy. How ya’ doing?”
Caz lunged forward, face only inches away from his own. “It’s Caz. Not Cassy. Now, where is my stash, boy?”
The scent of tobacco wafted through the air, watering his eyes. “Ya’ know. We’re nearly the same age. No need to call me boy.”
“Beat it out of you, then, dirt brain? Sounds fun.”
Caz straightened, snapping his fingers. The two biggest goons jerked Hero up by the shoulders. Cracking his knuckles, thicker, harder ore formed around the Raven’s fists. The blood-like glow of his energy spread up his arms, mirroring his stamina bar.
“One last chance, shithead. Give me your inventory and hand over the goods. Or you’re dead.”
Hero cocked his head to the side, a goofy grin forming on his lips. “I thought only parrots repeated themselves. Guess Ravens are just as dumb, though.”
Two fists barraged into Hero’s stomach. Blood spurted from his mouth, his health and stamina bars falling simultaneously.
Other Ravens gathered around them, whooping and hollering, waving their weapons in the air.
But Hero couldn’t hear anything through the ringing in his ears.
He was really going to die, wasn’t he?
At least, he thought, he didn’t have to bother with school anymore. Or his annoying tea–
“Get away from him!”
Curses spread like wildfire as Hero was thrown to the side, dropping with a hard thud on the ground.
“You got lucky,” he heard Caz growl before the thug ran off with his crew.
He curled up around his bag, holding it close to him.
The yelling and running faded. Still, Hero knew he was not alone.
He kept himself curled up, even as soft footsteps strode up to him. He silently prayed it was not a cop. Or a thug from another gang he might have pissed off. Or even worse–
“And what do you think you’re doing out here, boy?”
It just had to be his teacher.
(c) E.N. Chaffin. 2017. All rights reserved.