This was an exercise I didĀ for the fiction writing class I took last fall. It’s really short; just the beginning of a story (or perhaps a chapter of a story). There’s a gimmick to the way it’s written. See if you can spot it.


One second after Laura’s bare feet hit the sidewalk on the far side of the wall, she felt calm. She crouched there for a moment, took two deep breaths, and then rose fluidly and began moving swiftly to the north, toward the stream valley park. Then it would be just three miles along the course of the creek until she reached the edge of the the city, and the woods. Laura knew that if she could make it that far, she’d have a chance of eluding pursuit…and finding the other four, if they were still out there.

Five minutes later, Laura was running along the asphalt path beside the stream. She met a gaggle of six teenage girls, but as she’d hoped, they appeared to take her for a jogger. Even if they noticed her lack of shoes, barefoot running was a bit of a fad ever since that seven-time marathon champion from Haiti had made it cool. From the fading light, Laura judged that it was half past eight. If she could make it to the woods before nine – and the curfew patrols – she’d be home-free…at least for now. Easy…but now was not the time to get cocky, when only ten minutes ago she’d been a so-called “guest” inside the Academy itself.