The Promise Children – (Scene 4)

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[Author’s Note: Just for the fun of it(and to motivate myself to write fiction again), in 2017 I am writing a seat-of-the-pants suspense/thriller novel and posting it online. Not only that, I’m asking for your help. I’ll publish a scene most Friday afternoons, and at the end of the scene there will be a choice for you to make. Your votes will determine which direction the story takes next.

What follows is a two-sentence summary of the novel concept:

Two-Sentence Summary: When a child goes missing from a local home for wayward children, social worker Mary Shaw asks police detective turned private investigator Weston Thane to investigate. Will Mary and Weston be able to expose the illegal activities at the home before director Spencer Crowley stops them?]

The Promise Children
Scene #4 – Confrontation

Braedon stopped where he was.

Rickey Gardner again. He couldn’t seem to shake the guy.

Rickey was one of Spencer Crowley’s Watchers, but he really was just a goon. Crowley used the Watchers to keep tabs on all the kids at the home. He selected the bigger kids, the bullies, for his elite team of rule enforcers. If they wanted to—and they almost always wanted to—they could make your life miserable. The only way to stay in their good graces was to spy on other kids and then rat them out when you heard of any rule breaking.

Of course, what Braedon had in mind was far worse than rule breaking.

Getting on the bad side of the Watchers often meant verbal and physical abuse, but you usually got through it without any visible bruises.

Escape attempts were a totally different ballgame.

An escape attempt could land you in disciplinary quarantine, aka “the pit.” Braedon had never been to the pit, but he’d heard lots of stories. And if the stories were even partially true, he never wanted to end up there.

Which is why he had no intention of being caught.

And why he had to keep his cool right now.

Still behind him, Gardner demanded, “What are you doing out here?”

Braedon tried to keep his voice steady. “Just heading back to the dorm.”

“You’re not supposed to cut across campus.”

“Sorry. I was in a hurry to get back.”

Gardner moved in front of Braedon and stood looking down at him, inches from his face. “What’s the rush?”

Rickey Gardner’s breath smelled of beer, one of the perks of being a Watcher. Crowley looked the other way as long as they were discrete.

Braedon looked straight ahead.

“You aren’t the one the little twerp turned in to Crowley, are you? ‘Cause if you are, you’re headed in the wrong direction. Crowley’s office is back that way.” Gardner motioned back toward the dining hall.

Braedon shook his head. “No.”

Gardner inched closer. “No, what?”

“No, sir.”

“Do you know who it is?”

“No, sir.”

“You’d better not. If I find out that you did, you’ll be going to the pit with the dirtbag when we catch him.”

“I don’t know who it is, sir.”

Rickey Gardner sneered. “Get back to your dorm.”

Braedon started walking.

“Not that way! Go by the road.”

“Yes, sir.” He turned and headed toward the road that circled the campus.

As he walked, a wave of relief swept over Braedon.

He doesn’t know who it is. And if he doesn’t know, Crowley doesn’t know either.

If Reuben had revealed the identity of the person escaping, the Watchers would have been all over him—or her. That person would be in the pit already.

Braedon made his way toward the dorm. The plan was still on.

Two a.m. South side of the pond. Hopefully, Dustin would be there.

If not, Braedon would be in serious trouble.


When Braedon gets to the pond, who is there?

Rickey Gardner and the Watchers?

HOW TO VOTE: Either leave a comment below with your choice or go to my Facebook page, James Pence Books, and leave a comment on the post about this scene.

Voting closes in: 



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