So I discovered that all of that world building I’ve been forcing myself to do is starting to pay off. Thank god! I need to do a post on how much I hate world building. I hate it. Hate it hate it. Also, I edited some of chapter 2 and added about 500 words to it, based on a world building suggestion by a friend. And I started and completed probably half of chapter 5. 1500 words — not bad. 🙂

And now, for something completely different…

Ryin grabbed Jasper by his arm, dragging him down an alleyway. Jasper limped behind him, his breathing labored both from their desperate running and the pain no doubt radiating from his ankle. That fall from earlier looked painful, but if they were going to make it out from under the NBEA’s watchful eyes, they had to keep moving. Jasper knew that as well as he did. Knew that they couldn’t afford to stop now — not yet.

After a few moments of seemingly aimless running, Ryin let go of Jasper’s arm and came to a stop, taking a moment to study their surroundings. The sun had set maybe an hour ago — and they had last heard shots fired about that long. The rooftops were low; it’d be easy to spot armed gunmen from their vantage point on the ground. Still, Ryin felt unease twist at his stomach — could hear Jasper cough and sputter behind him as he tried to catch his breath. “Jesus,” Jasper gasped, leaning against a wall and wiping at his brow. “That was fucking close.”

“Don’t I fucking know it,” Ryin muttered, turning on his heel. “C’mon, we need to find a fucking place to crash for the night.”

Jasper nodded, pushing himself away from the wall with a grimace. He hobbled over to Ryin, nearly dragging his left foot against the broken concrete. The two walked along in silence, their breathing evening out eventually. The night air caused a chill to roll down Ryin’s spine — an entirely different feeling from the chill that had overcome it earlier, just before the first round of shots had been fired. Those shots still rang in his ears, an almost empty, hollow sound. No matter how many times Ryin shook his head, he couldn’t get them to quiet. Not even when he heard Jasper curse loudly and the sound of paper being ripped coming from behind him.

“Stupid fucking posters,” Jasper murmured, crumpling up a wad of paper in his hands. He glared at it before raising his eyes to Ryin’s. “They’re fucking everywhere here.”

Ryin snorted and glanced down the otherwise empty alleyway before him. The building to their left had obviously been abandoned, its windows cracked and its shutters barely hanging on by their hinges. He knew what Jasper meant about the posters — they littered this particular city, pictures of Natural Borns like themselves plastered on just about every available surface. Most of them were of Ryin — he was a household name, after all. For the first time, though, Ryin had seen them of Jasper, too. They all had the same picture — that of a young man with short, messy blond hair and vibrant blue eyes. Eyes that contained a fear Ryin hadn’t personally witnessed, not in the several months they had spent on the run together.

He didn’t dare ask what had made Jasper look that way.