Manhunt By Desiree Rull

“Are you going?” We were walking to Biology when you broke the silence. I knew exactly what you were asking; you wanted me to go to the JROTC manhunt fun night. Manhunt fun night was when all the students from our high school would run around the base at midnight playing a massive game of tag. Well, it is more like infection: when one person is it, tags someone else and then they are it too. However, running without an award was not my typical idea of fun.

“Well, you see I have plans already.”

“Watching Disney movies with your brother is not sufficient enough to be called ‘plans’.” Your hand reached out to me with a carrot. If I took it I would be saying yes to a 5K and no to Rapunzel. I sighed as I reached for the carrot.

8:00 that night

A whistle blew and heads turned to Sergeant Rodriguez.

“Listen up now!” His voice boomed in the way that a drill sergeants voice should. “You are about to embark on a journey full of sweat and tears, there will be no bloodshed on my watch. Understand?”

“YES SIR!!!” All the cadets answered. I was not a cadet but I nodded to the question.

“The Phealans will be the first ones it.” Ah, the Phealan brothers. They were infamous for their good looks and good grades. Their sister got into the naval academy which wowed Sergeant Rodriguez and made him love them even more.

“Tonight the Phealans will be chasing girls instead of the other way around.” You whispered into my ear. I snorted and playfully shoved you.

“The game will start in five minutes. I suggest that everyone runs right about now!” Sergeant’s voice echoed in the room as everyone made a beeline for the doors. I was just concerned about getting through the doors alive when I realized that I had lost you.

“ZAC!” I shouted into the empty courtyard. I turned around and was body-slammed by a six-foot tall junior.

“I’m sorry I didn’t even see you.” She said, getting off of me. I was five-foot nothing so the fact that I was invisible to her makes sense since we were on completely different atmospheres. She helped me up, and in the distance, I saw a redhead charging at us in the moonlight. That’s when it dawned on me that the only redheads at the high school were Phealans.

“Crap.” She and I said in unison as we bolted for the woods. My shoes pounded heavily across the ground causing mud to slash up my leg. We darted past the trees, pumping our legs and gaining momentum. Finally, when we thought that the coast was clear, her and I stopped behind a bush, gasping for air.

“Desiree!” a loud whisper came from behind me. I turned around and there you were.

“I was looking for you!” I exclaimed, out of breath. “Where’d you go?”

“I came here and hid. Why didn’t you check here?” It was then that I looked around and saw weeds poking through the pavement and the tree. Our tree. Even though it was dark I knew that was the tree where we carved our initials and the year 2013. As the memories replayed I looked at you and gave you a small punch in the shoulder.

“I should’ve known.” I said while you gave me a big smile.

“OOOHHHH she touched him!” A group of boys appeared from the woods. It just dawned on me, that I too was now it along with you. I looked at your sly smile that was on your face. You shrugged when you saw how pissed I was.

“There’s nothing you can do about it now. Except chase her!” The giant junior already took off in the opposite direction. Nevertheless, we bolted towards her, our feet flying over stones and leaves.

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