UP THE HILL AND AWAY FROM HIM There are a number of techniques this story uses, and I have depicted it with symbols, since I don't think italics show up on the computer. ~ ~=the character is thinking something to himself. *** ***= usually a painful flashback/regular flashback ' '=quote on quote, or so called. Enjoy the story, and you can review however you want.

In the midst of a warm, windy Missouri neighborhood, four children stole off into the night. The oldest, a thin, tall teenager carried a thin duffel over his shoulder and led the group across the street. Behind him was a young girl, her hair in messy pigtails and with a stuffed animal clutched in her arms. Next to her was the other boy, a live visualization of one of those unnoticed protectors that are seen in some movie theatres. Then there was the other girl, trudging behind them, constantly looking behind her to see if anyone noticed their getaway. Most importantly their father.
"I'm tired, Mike can we stop?" The little girl asked her brother, who, leading the pack, didn't stop walking, nor did he bother to answer his little sister.
"We've only been out for two minutes, and you want to stop?" Her companion asked.
"I don't want to run away from home at three o'clock in the morning."
"Carly, we have no choice," Mike said. "It's either that or stay at home. "You don't want that do you?" The little girl sniffed.
"No." And they continued across the street. The boy had a strange, determined look on his face, staring off into the abyss, taking his brothers and sisters away from the hellhole. As he walked, he could still feel the wincing pain from his shoulder to his abdomen that had been inflicted by his callous father. The man who had made their lives hell ever since their mother had died from breast cancer when he had been 11 years old, just 2 months after Carly had been born. She had been lucky to survive the birth. He remembered her face being pale, ashen and white, her eyes sunken, black circles decreasing her usually high-class appearance. He could still remember the pictures that they had posed for at JCPenney, each giving a big smile, no worries. In the last picture, Tommy had only been 4 years old. And Mom had been 7 months pregnant. The process of makeup had been tireless. She had to out to the store to buy another tube of concealer. And they had all gathered on that step to smile big and pretty. And then about four months later, she had died. It had still come to a shock to him, even though the night before, she had said goodbye to him from her own bed. That was how she wished to die: next to her family. If she had lived, his life would not have turned into a living hell, and he would not be on this road tonight.