Thank you to everyone who contributed to the STACKS Creative Writing Team. A special shout out to technologygirl for submitting a great chapter this week and creating both a new character in Emily’s older brother Mark and part of the monster’s description.
If you missed the beginning of the story, check out Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. If you’d like to contribute to the next chapter, please post your writing on The Runaway Chapter 4 thread on the Fan Fiction board. And now, without further ado, here’s Chapter 3.
The Runaway Chapter 3
Emily kept her eyes shut and tried to count to ten. She had convinced herself if she could make it to that magic number, she would awake in her bed and discover the day had all been a dream. She wasn’t sitting on the back of a horse statue, galloping through the city, being chased by a monster.
“Eight…nine…ten,” Emily whispered under her breath.
She opened her eyes and there she still sat, perched on the back of an iron horse. Street signs and taxi cabs molded into a single, colorful blur as Spinelli galloped through the city. The girl’s hands were still clenched tightly around the horse’s mane.
Suddenly, a burst of heat surrounded Emily and Spinelli. The girl looked back to see a gigantic ball of flames hurtling down the canyon of skyscrapers. The fire was gaining on the girl and her steed. She shut her eyes and again tried counting to ten.
Emily felt a jolt, as Spinelli made a sudden turn down a deserted alleyway. The girl lost her balance on the horse’s back and began to slip. She held tight to the horse’s hair, yet she continued to slide until she hung along the horse’s side.
Spinelli leapt over trashcans. The statue hurdled over a tall, chain-linked fence, returned to the busy city streets, and stopped. Emily, still dangling from the side of the horse, looked back and discovered the monster was gone. She slowly lowered herself back to the concrete and kissed the solid Earth beneath her feet before looking back at the horse.
“What was that?” asked Emily.
Before the horse could respond, she heard a familiar voice cutting through the crowd.
The girl turned to find Penny running through the crowd. Following close behind was a boy, just a few years older than Emily. He was a tall, muscular boy, with bright, red hair and freckles that were a mirror image to the ones that speckled Emily’s face. It was her older brother, Mark.
“What are you doing here?” Emily asked.
“Looking for you,” Penny replied. “You just ran off. I didn’t know where you went.”
“You had us worried sick,” interrupted Mark. “What were you thinking?”
“Don’t worry, my darling. The girl was safe with me.”
Penny and Mark looked up at the towering statue. The trio was standing in the shadow of the great beast. Mark slowly backed away.
“Did that thing just talk?” he sputtered as he motioned for Penny and Emily to follow him.
Penny listened and began to move away from the horse, but Emily held her ground. She looked around for the first time and realized no passerby had noticed the walking, talking statue. Men in business suits and women pushing baby strollers continued up and down the sidewalk, unfazed by the appearance of Spinelli.
When Mark realized Emily wasn’t following his retreat, he stopped.
“Emily, come on!” he shouted.
She remained frozen where she stood. Despite the terror she felt when Spinelli first spoke to her, she couldn’t abandon the horse that had just saved her life. But before Emily could respond, the horse answered Mark.
“She can’t right now, dear,” Spinelli said. “She has to meet the others.”