Mystery and Crime Fiction posted March 14, 2018

This work has reached the exceptional level
Craig Morgan runs away from home

Chapter Two - The Run Away

by Brett Matthew West

This chapter introduces:

Craig Morgan - 12-year-old boy who runs away from home after another fight with his father

Spencer Morgan the Third - Craig's father and wealthy owner of the Morgan Apple Orchards

and stars:

JoJo the beleaguered Border Collie


Chapter One:

JoJo snatched the warm bread off the countertop and bolted for the open door of the busy Hollendaise Bakery. It looked delicious. He knew the old codger who rang up the sale at the cash register would never catch him. Without slowing down, the mongrel cut against the flow of traffic and made his way through the throng of passersby scurrying down the dirty sidewalk. JoJo rounded the far corner of the SunTrust Bank and headed for the train yard. Three days had passed since they'd last eaten. Inside a lonely boxcar, the little form of Hobo Bill laid dead upon the floor. As JoJo leaped inside the boxcar he dropped the bread he'd pilfered and snuggled close to the expired corpse of his master. With a shrill whistle, the train began rumbling down the track. Alone in the coldness of the grey world, JoJo wondered what his fate would be?


Chapter Two:

Surrounded by a variety of shrubs and perennials, the well-manicured lawn at 2662 Terrene Street was bright emerald green and presented a striped finish. That was where twelve-year-old Craig Morgan stomped his Reebok-clad feet hard on the ground in protest. He was angry and wanted the whole world to know it.

Grafted from a rootstock two generations earlier, a lone apple tree stood majestically in the middle of the lawn. The tree contained dark-green, oval shaped leaves and blossomed in the Spring. Its flowers were white with a pink hue. The tasty fruit borne by the tree matured in the late summer. The Morgan Apple Orchards were located a quarter of a mile down the paved road that led past the residence.

With high humidity, low oxygen levels, and set carbon dioxide concentrations to better control their freshness, the facility's atmosphere kept the apples much more flavorful year around. They also insured that ripening of the fruit did not happen too rapidly. A plaque inside the Visitors Center of the orchards, where you could also pick-your-own apples, was inscribed with the story of Heracles and his labor of traveling to the Garden of the Hesperides to pick the golden apple off the tree of life.

It was under the apple tree, in the middle of their well-manicured lawn, the tow-head continued to throw his proverbial conniption fit. His expressions grew louder, and his wild body gestures, especially the exaggerated movement of his arms, raged on.

"But, Dad. You promised I could have any dog I wanted. And, this is the one I want!" Craig insisted.

Not intending to warm up to the dog standing beside his son, Spencer Morgan the Third countered, "Craig, I know I promised you could have a dog. But, you don't even know where that stray came from, or what garbage can he's been eating out of."

JoJo looked at the man wearing the bright red zoot suit, bold horn-rimmed glasses, and highly shined black Gucci-Donnie loafers.

JoJo: 'I resent that remark. I am a connoisseur of the finest waste bins. I would never lower my standards to feast on hor d' voeuvres from a mere compost heap.'

Weary of his son's inappropriate behavior, Mr. Morgan told the youngster, "Enough of this inane protest of yours. Saturday afternoon we will visit Guinevere Morrissette and obtain for you the pick of her litter. I have already arranged a three o'clock appointment for that day. She has some of the finest pups in this state."

Craig glared at his father. He did not like the news he received from him one bit. That was the cause of most of their disagreements. His father never listened to anything he had to say, or even attempted to understand his feelings. They spent many nights locked in combat with one another.

"Something on your mind?" his father questioned him.

Craig wanted to tell his father exactly what he thought but only replied, "I don't want any of her ankle-biting Chihuahuas. I want this dog!"

"Then, you get NONE!" his father intolerantly responded, "Now, go place your bicycle in the garage where it properly belongs. You know the rule that when it is dark you are inside the house. Meanwhile, I will telephone Animal Control to pick up this mangy mutt you dragged home with you this afternoon."

JoJo: 'Mangy? Cast your beady peepers on this clean coat of mine, bub. I will have you know that I am not gross, cruddy, or falling apart. So, how dare you refer to me as mangy!'

Craig picked his bicycle up off the ground where he'd allowed the two-wheeler to fall upon his arrival home from school that day. It was a burnt-orange Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bike, with a specially-designed padded seat he knew less well-to-do kids his age envied. Slowly, he headed in the direction of the garage to place the bike where he'd been told to put it. JoJo followed close behind. His father's prized automobile, a Porsche Carrera, was parked in the driveway. As far as Craig was concerned, the car was nothing more than a 440,000 dollar eyesore he wished he could key.

JoJo: 'That's a real good boy, Craig. Do what your father told you to do.'

Craig watched his father enter the double-wide mahogany front doors of their house then glanced down Terrene Street.

Jojo alerted: 'Oh no he didn't!'

Craig mounted his bike as darkness began to settle over Williston. The little town would soon be sound asleep. Come morning, it would be a distant memory.

JoJo stopped in his tracks: 'You're looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, Craig.'

The boy started peddling his bike down the middle of the street. Jojo hot on his heels.

JoJo: 'I agree, every dog needs a boy to play with, but running away is not going to solve the problem. That will only make the situation worse!'

Faster and faster they went. Soon the house disappeared out of sight. There was no looking back.

JoJo: 'Hey, wait for me!'

To key a car is to scratch the exterior paint with a key in a malicious or damaging manner.

These are just some thoughts running through my mind. I do not know if they work or not. Just trying something different.

Still not sure if I want to further develop this story or not. Would appreciate it if you provided your thoughts along those lines in your review.

JoJo's comments are meant to be thoughts, that is why they are not in quotation marks.

My name is Sam & I'm the Boss!, by Susan F.M.T., selected to complement my story.

So, thanks Susan F.M.T., for the use of your picture. It goes so nicely with my story.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Susan F. M. T. at

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© Copyright 2018. Brett Matthew West All rights reserved.
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