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Adventure Fantasy Teens & Young Adult

HEYYOOO! It's been a while since I posted (notice what I said last time... and the time before that... *cringe*) but I'm back for now!!! It doesn't exactly fit the prompt, but this is the first chapter of the new novel I'm writing called One Shot. Tell me in the comments what you think, if you think I should continue writing it, and above all IF IT MAKES SENSE!!!!!

Thanks, y'all, and just keep on livin' and lovin'!



The walls are closing in on both sides, and all I can do is run. Run down the hallway that is getting thinner and thinner by the second and pray that I make it out alive. The light shines at the end of the hall, and I can just barely hear the sounds of the market. I’ll make it. A few feet from the exit, I stretch my arm out, desperate to reach the sunlight. Fresh air.

I’m almost there, almost free of my bondage when I feel something thrust through my back. All thoughts in my mind halt and I look down in complete shock.

The tip of a dagger is poking out of my chest and the faint metallic taste of blood rests on the back of my tongue.

“You have no idea,” the boy that stands behind me whispers into my ear, pulling the dagger out of my body as I slump helplessly to the ground. He steps over my limp body and jogs to the exit, the crowd cheering as he emerges.

That was my last chance.

The walls halt in their positions, allowing the Watchers to haul the rest of us up and return to Executionary. I feel sturdy arms under my armpits as I'm dragged away and handcuffs are slapped over my wrists.

This is not how I’ll die. Not at their hands. I curl my hands toward the hem of my sleeve and carefully slide out the knife my mother gave me on her death bed. With a single prayer muttered under my breath and a silent count to three, I stick the knife through my stomach. Blood immediately gurgles in my throat and ours through the crack between my upper and lower lips. It’s getting harder to breathe, but this is what I want. I shove the knife further in and cough, spattering blood on the dirt of the passageway. Who wins now? I shut my eyes tight and smile faintly.

Me. It’s always been me.


***


I stand in the midst of the market crowd, desperately trying to fit in as I keep a watchful eye on the Watcher overseeing this section of the market. He’s looking straight at me, waiting for me to steal something so he can flip out those handcuffs on his belt and send me to Executionary. I shudder at the thought and shake my head, It’s too risky. Raising my chin slightly, I stare at the cat of fresh buttermilk bread. I stick my hands into the pockets of the dirty and worn-out red jacket wrapped tightly around my thin body, swirling them around to search for change for the tenth time.

“You hungry?” someone whispers to me, and I turn slowly in the direction of the sound, It’s a tall boy with hazelnut hair and deep blue eyes who looks about my age, and just as broke as me too.

“So what if I am? Feed yourself before you go looking for a girlfriend,” I say in a low voice, glancing at the Watcher by the streetlamp to see if he heard us.

The boy simply grins as if I hadn’t just insulted him and extends his hand for a shake. “The name’s Jackson, but people call me Jax.”

I roll my eyes and sigh, heading in the direction of the abandoned apartment where I’ve been sleeping for the past few months. “Good for you," I say over my shoulder, already walking away.

“Where are you going?” he asks, a hint of sadness in his voice that makes guilt pang in my chest.

“Somewhere over the rainbow.” Sarcasm drips from my voice and I hope he’ll get the message and leave me alone.

“I can get you one of those loaves of bread over there.”

My feet stop dead in their tracks and I hurry back to him. “How? I—you’re not going to steal it, are you? Because there’s a Watcher right there, and I don’t want—”

“Relax, alright? Just keep your head down and be ready to bolt on my say-so.”

I nod once and he strolls to the stand, hands in his pockets. He exchanges words with the young girl behind the table and laughs under his breath at something she said.

The hairs on the back of my neck stand up just as Jax slips two loaves of bread into a small bag slung across his chest, and I know I’m being watched. We’re being watched. Even though Jax told me to keep my head down, I can’t help but look. TIlting my head up slowly, I hold my breath and turn just a bit to face the Watcher. His eyes are wide and both his hands fly to his belt, one grabbing a pair of handcuffs and the other reaching for a gun.

I spin back and pretend not to have seen him, walking quickly past Jax and whispering “Go.” But he must not have heard me, because the Watcher is closing in on him and he’s taking yet another item — a lemon pastry.

Why did I say yes to this? “Jackson, run!” I glance over my shoulder as his head whips around in the direction of my voice, watching only for a second as I sprint down the thick, slimy cobblestone of the marketplace before running after me.

I close my eyes and let my senses lead me through the tight cracks between people. Every time somebody gasps, my heart skips a beat and I look over my shoulder, thinking that they’ve gotten Jax. But they never have and he’s always still there, pushing the hair out of his eyes as it flops onto his face.

The stands beside me blur together and all that matters is pumping my legs and breathing deeply. In my rush to escape, I recognize a blue bike resting against a fence with a few holes in it.

In my head, I can almost hear the sound of the Watcher’s boots slapping the ground as he sprints after us, almost feel the defeat as we’re slammed to the dirt and tied up to be executed. But in reality, I’m almost home and I can only hear one set of footsteps behind me, so I reach my hand into the lining of my jacket, draw out a knife, and spin around.

Jackson raises his hands in mock surrender, a childish grin plastered on his face. “Take it easy. You don’t have to be so…” he pauses for a moment. “Scared.”

Scoffing in disbelief, I shake my head and slip the blade back into the lining of my sleeve. “Why wouldn’t I be scared? You just risked our lives over two loaves of bread and—and a cream puff!” My voice rises until I’m shouting and waving my hands angrily at him and the miniature messenger bac that rests at his hip.

His body sags slightly and his eyes glisten with tears. “So you don’t want the bread anymore? I got the lemon cake for you.”

I bite my lip, cursing under my breath as I take him gently by the arm and lead him out of the street where we’re talking and towards the faded red building a block or two away. “Of course I want the bread, and it’s really sweet that you thought of me. But you’ve got to be more careful next time, okay? That Watcher had a real chance of arresting us, and that would have been the end.”

He grins the way he did in the market and nods. “Us?”

Raising an eyebrow, I shift my weight and cross my arms. “Do you have another place to stay?”

“Well,” his lips bunch up on side of his mouth. “Not exactly. Not a real place, anyway,” he mutters under his breath.

I drop his arm and attempt to run a hand through my tangled, greasy hair as I pull the back door to the apartment building open, leading him past the dilapidated lobby and first floor to an apartment on the second floor with a barred-over door. I turn, see his confused face, and sigh deeply. “It’s a story for another day.”

He barely gives a nod before turning away and staring at a splotch of blood smeared onto the hallway wallpaper.

Pulling a small key out of the pocket of my coat, I give one of the bars over the door a tug, but it wouldn’t budge. That’s odd. I don’t normally push the bars in this far. I plant my feet, grab hold of the bar with both hands, and lean backward. It takes a few seconds, but it wiggles out of its position and I stumble back. Someone has definitely been here.

“Jackson?” I whisper, and his eyes meet mine. “We can’t stay here. It’s not a good idea.”

His eyebrows knit together and he scratches his head. “But—you said—”

“Forget what I said!” I hiss under my breath. “We can’t stay in this apartment. We probably can’t even stay in this sector.”

Eyes wide, Jax’s mouth hangs open. “The sector? I—how—we can’t leave the sector, can we? You can’t leave the sector until you get your first extension, and I’m only nineteen. How old are you?”

I shut my eyes in annoyance and plaster on a very fake smile. “If I answer you, will you shut up and do what I say?”

He nods quickly.

“Nineteen. And I don’t have money for an extension. When’s your birthday?”

“September 23rd.”

Pressing my lips together, I take a deep breath. “That’s two and a half weeks from now. I’m on the 14th.” I lower my head and stare at the ground, trying hard not to think about turning twenty. How it’ll feel when I Phase.

“I’m sorry,” he whispers after a moment of silence. “I’m really sorry.”

I force a little half-smile. “Don’t be. You’re Phasing pretty soon, too. Be sorry for yourself. I hear it hurts.”

His face contorts in disgust and he wrinkles his nose. “Don’t say stuff like that.”

Chuckling, I shake my head. “Quit looking at me like that and let’s get out of here, or neither of us are going to make it to twenty.” I’m about to reach into my sleeve and bring out my knife when the wall to my right is blown apart, clumps of sheetrock sent flying. The impact throws me to the ground, dust stinging my eyes and entering my lungs, forcing me to cough.

The dust begins to settle and I can just make out Jackson’s body a few feet from me and the four-pointed star brands on the necks of the Watchers in front of us.

“Surrender the weapon. Now.”

January 26, 2021 05:48

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69 comments

Arwen Dove
04:31 Jun 09, 2021

Love this!

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Phebe Emmanuel
20:52 Jun 11, 2021

Thank you so much!

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Phebe Emmanuel
20:53 Jun 11, 2021

Thank you so much!

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I'll miss you, even tho we haven't talk very much <333 I hope you will continue to serve the Lord and I hope that you will be comforted. I am praying for you <3

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Phebe Emmanuel
16:45 Mar 29, 2021

I'll miss you too! I'm for Jesus all the way - praying for you too!

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<333

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idk if you'll see this or not, but I still do miss you <3

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Phebe Emmanuel
16:13 May 26, 2021

Just got on here for the first time in a long time... Missing you too. I am (don't get too excited) considering coming back. I miss writing on here. (Though I will have to build back my reader community, but oh well.

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still. if you do come back I would love it, another Christian to talk to <333

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Phebe Emmanuel
17:57 May 26, 2021

yasssss, you know it! :)

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23:51 Mar 28, 2021

Bye Phebe, thanks for coming back! Even though it was only for a short while, bye, I wish you the best! Shoot me an email whenever! Bye🥺

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Phebe Emmanuel
02:13 Mar 29, 2021

Bye, sis! I'll miss you for sure! God bless 😔

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05:46 Mar 28, 2021

Please, no. Go on hiatus for a week and then come back.

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Phebe Emmanuel
02:28 Mar 29, 2021

I-I dunno. The downvoting has really gotten to me... plus I've hit a brick wall, in my writing most especially i'm just not sure there's enough left here for me to stay (not that you and the rest of the amazeballs people on here aren't enough, but ya dig what i'm saying)

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05:13 Mar 29, 2021

I feel you. And I understand. Bye, Fi (:(

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Phebe Emmanuel
15:37 Mar 29, 2021

Bye. All the best.

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15:55 Mar 29, 2021

Bye, you too :''')

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16:10 Mar 29, 2021

LUKE LEFT

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Phebe Emmanuel
16:36 Mar 29, 2021

WHAT!?? No no no no no no no no This is prob my fault i said i would leave and then he said that he would leave too ahhhh no

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22:40 Mar 25, 2021

#StopDownvotingNow Share this to ten friends!! Also, tell ten people things you like about them.

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woah! this is a cool series you started! I want to know more! Also, I updated my bio and I would be glad if you could read it and see how it sounds... Also, I noticed your comment below...and...you kinda stole it from me. IT'S OKAY! I would just appreciate if you say where you got it from...because it is a crime and called plagiarism (you can google it if u need to). so yea. great story tho! Keep on spreading the light! "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine..." "Hide it under a bushel, NO! I'm gonna let it shine..." "Don't let S...

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Phebe Emmanuel
22:22 Feb 25, 2021

I do get the idea :) Oh my goodness I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to, I promise! I'll fix right now. And of course, I'll read your bio!

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thanks! I appreciate it!

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Phebe Emmanuel
07:46 Jan 28, 2021

Credit to Lone Wolf for this! Have you ever told a small white lie? Felt hatred towards someone? Done something really bad? Hurt someone with your words? This all falls under the category of sin. Sin is anything you say, anything you think, and anything you do that breaks God's law, or the Bible. Sin separates us from God, our creator. Get this, Jesus Christ never sinned. He was the only perfect man. He was born to a virgin, or a woman that isn't married yet. God put Him there. God has done many miracles, like heal a blind man, heal lepers,...

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Sunny 🌼 🖤
23:54 Jan 27, 2021

Oooh~ this seems like a cool and interesting world you're introducing Phebe! You had me intrigued from the start!

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Phebe Emmanuel
01:35 Jan 28, 2021

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it!

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Nainika Gupta
19:09 Jan 27, 2021

YES PHEBE MORE PARTS!! this was sooo good!! just one typo... “Good for you, I say over my shoulder, already walking away. you didn't finish the quote.... but other than that...AWESOME!

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Phebe Emmanuel
19:15 Jan 27, 2021

Oop! Thanks for catching it! I'll fix it now. Thank you so much! I saw that you liked my story and I was like: *cue deer in the headlights face* OMG NAINIKA GUPTA LIKED MY STORY!!!! AHHHHHH!!! Lol, but thank you so much! I really admire your work!

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Nainika Gupta
15:14 Jan 28, 2021

WHAT!!!! AHHHHHHHHH that means ..... so much Phebe <3 <3 and yessss you are an awesome writer!! keep it up :D:D

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Phebe Emmanuel
17:28 Jan 28, 2021

Aww, thank you!

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Amel Parvez
07:42 Jan 27, 2021

AMAZING! I really wanna read the next parts. I just loved it.

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Phebe Emmanuel
19:07 Jan 27, 2021

Thank you so much!

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Amel Parvez
21:00 Jan 27, 2021

You're welcome. 😁

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Kristin Neubauer
12:59 Jan 26, 2021

Welcome back Phebe! Great job on this first chapter. I love the dystopian feel balanced by the humor and ordinary conversation between Jackson and the narrator. Lots of action, but all laid out very clearly and vividly. And such natural dialogue. Looking forward to the next bit!

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Phebe Emmanuel
16:34 Jan 26, 2021

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it!

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. .
12:46 Jan 26, 2021

O. M. G. THIS WAS POSITIVELY AMAXING. Was this inspired by Kate's flawless imperfection series? If not, then this was SO. GOOD. I would use a little more of her backstory but I LARBED IT.

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Phebe Emmanuel
16:31 Jan 26, 2021

LOL I haven't read that series... oop! And yes, more of an explanation comes next when they go to Executionary. This is the "blurb" that I wrote: In a world where The Disease makes all humans go insane at twenty unless they can pay for more time, and stealing is the only crime, which is punishable by death, there isn't much room for the poor. But when The Government decides to make the criminals players in their own sick version of an escape room, one thief gets the chance to live and is given the cure.

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. .
16:33 Jan 26, 2021

XD Oop well she has a character named Jax and guards like those. Welp, I think the storyline is FANTASTIMAZING

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Phebe Emmanuel
17:23 Jan 26, 2021

Aww, thank you!

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. .
18:09 Jan 26, 2021

:DDDDDDDDD NO PROB FI!!!

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Phebe Emmanuel
19:50 Jan 26, 2021

LOL Fantastimazing?????

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Phebe Emmanuel
19:57 Jan 26, 2021

LOL Fantastimazing?????

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Ana Govindasamy
08:27 Jan 26, 2021

Yup, I wanna read the book now. It was great! The concepts are amazing...I'm assuming you'll explain them in the later chapters as to not info-dump, and those are the only slightly confusing elements, but other than that, it's amazing!

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Phebe Emmanuel
17:28 Jan 28, 2021

Thank you!

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Maya
00:25 Jan 30, 2021

Truly amazing story, Phebe! Starting at the very first paragraph, the descriptions made me able to picture exactly what was happening. I could definitely see this becoming a book someday, it really looks like something I would find at the bookstore! Tell me when you publish, I want to read the whole story! XD The only typo I could find is at the end when they were talking about the Phase she said "I hear it hear it hurts.” which maybe should be "I hear it hurts." Loved the story!!!!!! :D

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Phebe Emmanuel
18:17 Jan 30, 2021

Oh, thank you so much! I'm glad you loved it! Did the Phase make sense, like, did you get what it might mean? ( I'm gonna add more about it later, but I don't wanna info dump, so ya) I'm not sure about the typo though, it was the end of a sentence.

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Maya
19:31 Jan 30, 2021

You're welcome! Hmm... Could you maybe explain (unless it's a spoiler for later parts)? Also, do you think you're going to most more parts on here? :) For the typo I meant it says "it hurts" twice in the sentence.

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Phebe Emmanuel
22:56 Jan 30, 2021

1) Sure. It's when they go insane. In this world, all humans go insane at 20 unless they can pay for an extension, which is a shot that they get that will extend their (sanity period?) for a year. If they can't pay for another one (which most can't cuz they're expensive) , then they'd end up dying at 21 instead of 20. Ya dig? 2) And yeah, I think I might post the whole book here chapter by chapter. 3) OHHHHHHH ok lol I'll fix it then.

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Maya
23:07 Jan 30, 2021

1) Oooh that sounds really interesting!!! Wow- sounds like you've done some great world-building! 2) OMG yayyyy, I can't wait for future parts! How many chapters is it (if it's finished)? 3) Okey dokey :)

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Phebe Emmanuel
01:09 Jan 31, 2021

1) Yeah, actually I'll post the blurb type thing here in a sec. 2) I actually haven't written past the first chapter (oop!) and I'll probably just post as I go.

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. .
15:09 Jan 28, 2021

NEW STORY

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Phebe Emmanuel
17:29 Jan 28, 2021

On my way!

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