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The Runner

Julian Singleton


His mind was on autopilot, centered on the booming voice in the back of his head that urged him to keep going. The white enamel of the infinite corridor seemed to dim and brighten with every step he took. They wanted him for his ideas, his thoughts, the procreations of his mind. They were forbidden in his land, for reasons he didn’t know: possibly because of the drugs supposed to limit his thought. He stopped taking the drugs a month ago, disposing of them in stacks of paper daily taken from his workstation. It might have been because of the objects he loved so much. What did the elders call them? Books? Anyways, he studied the elders and scribes in secret and learned how to read. His favorite…book was written by a man called Ray Bradbury, called The Martian Chronicles written in 1953, over 1,000 years ago. It was strange how he felt connected to the martians in this very moment: running for his life, trying to find salvation, the light at the end of the tunnel, only to be killed by an abyss of ignorance. But he was different. He would escape this neon light of a totalitarian dictatorship; its inhabitants bugs ready to be electrocuted when common sense was lying at their fingertips. No, not common sense, but choice. He was now in a black tower, just realizing his surroundings. Just outside of the tower was freedom, the idyllic thought in his brain that was materialized since the dawn of time. In his brain, the voice said that now was the time. He got up, went to an obsidian wall, and tore. The bright light shone in through all directions, destroying the demons of the dark. He entered the pitch whiteness and seemed to become one with it. He plummeted far beyond the sky and beyond the clouds, and when the ground came into view, that was when he was able to spread his wings…and fly.