by Jeff Baker
D’Andre walked through the back corridor of the gym. Fast. He checked his smartphone. It had been an hour-and-a-half. Place wasn’t busy but it was the middle of the week and everyone who lived on campus was probably in the cafeteria. If they ate.
And D’Andre wasn’t sure about that anymore.
He’d been shooting hoops that afternoon after class and had been pulling on his sweats in the back of the locker room. He thought he was alone in the gym but then he heard Coach’s voice talking with someone else, explaining about how “it was working” and how D’Andre didn’t suspect that it was all set up for his benefit and he hadn’t realized that nothing else on the small college campus was real.
Not the school, not its history, not its people. The basketball team D’Andre had been recruited for wasn’t real; their website was a fake.
D’Andre came to the back door. Locked. Usually he could get out that way. It was never locked from the inside.
Somebody knew. They knew he had found out. They couldn’t know.
There Was a “click” and then the lights shut down, except for the exit lights.
D’Andre ran down the hall to the side door. He tried it. It opened. He ducked out into the late afternoon sunlight.
Where to go? No car. The dorm? No. He hadn’t trusted his roommate before, he certainly didn’t now.
He had to get away from there. He clenched his fists. If he had to, he’d walk back to Arkansas.
D’Andre glanced around. Man, the place is deserted. And it wasn’t just dinnertime. Usually there was at least somebody walking by on the street or even some kid on a bicycle. And the offices in the Administration building had just closed, people should be going out to their cars to drive home.
Where were all the people?
He’d tripped an alarm somehow. That was it. But what was he here for?
“There he is! D’Andre!”
He didn’t recognize the voice. He didn’t recognize the huge vehicle that was bearing down on him.
D’Andre ran, ran for his life; the huge thing close at his heels, lights piercing the dusk.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: To be continued?