Operation Rescue: In Plain Sight: Prologue

Operation Rescue: In Plain Sight

A young man, feeling totally unwanted by his family, runs away. He needs to find a way to survive, and eventually, he stumbles into an Op Rescue clinic.
Please note - there is no TG in the prologue; it's the background needed for the story which will run 6 chapters plus an epilogue.

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Pete buried his head in his pillow to muffle the sound of his screams. Frustration was overwhelming him; the dispute with his parents was all-too-familiar, and all-to-frequent. It always ended the same, too — he managed to be in trouble for something he hadn’t done, and was being punished unjustly.

He heard the door open, but he didn't bother to look. He could tell by the sound of the shoes on the floor that it was his mother.

"Peter," she said softly, but still sternly. When he didn't reply, she crossed her arms. "Peter Louis Franklin, you look at me when I talk to you."

Pete turned angrily and glared at her. His cheeks were moist from his tears, and he was angry at himself for such a childish display of emotion. He’d been crying like a little kid, not like the fifteen-and-a-half year old he was. "Why?" he snarled.

"Don't you take that tone with me, young man!" his mom replied angrily. "You're the one who is in trouble. Unless you want to make it worse."

Pete's eyes were narrow, and his nostrils were flared and his jaw clenched. "I didn’t do it! It was Chuck and ...."

"Stop it! Quit trying to blame your brother and sister for your actions!" Mom walked to the bed and held out her hand. "Just for that outburst, give me your cell phone."

If looks could have killed, Pete's angry glare would have struck his mom down where she stood. Instead of arguing, which was just as futile as every other time, he pulled his cell phone from his jeans pocket and slapped it in his mom's hand.

"You're grounded for two weeks," Mom stated firmly. "Maybe you can put some effort into getting your grades up, like your brother and sister, while you've got time on your hands." She paused, and she saw his angry stare. "And you don't need to bother coming down for dinner tonight, either, if you can't be civil!"

"Whatever," Pete snapped. Very deliberately, he turned from his mom and flopped on his side on his bed, facing away from her in an obvious display of contempt. He imagined that he could feel his mother's gaze on his neck, burning with her ire at him. After a few silent seconds, his mom strode from the room, closing it firmly and noisily behind her. "Stupid fucking assholes!" Pete muttered to himself. "Never listen to a fucking thing I say! It's always my fucking fault!” Mocking her voice, he vented his feelings at how he knew his parents felt. “Precious little Maggie and Chuck can't do any fucking thing wrong, can they?"

He lay on his side, listening to the noise filtering in through the closed door and walls. He could hear his mother setting the table, preparing for dinner — without him. He cursed aloud some more, not caring if his comments were overheard. As he fumed about his current plight, he couldn't help but think back of all the past incidents. The mental review seemed to get longer and longer every month. Starting from his earliest memories, he'd been tormented by his siblings, and his mom and dad had nothing but punishment and harsh words for him, while they showered Maggie and Chuck with endless praise. He could do no right, and they could do no wrong in his parents' eyes. He couldn't remember even _one_ single incident when he'd been praised — only derided, scolded, spanked, belted, and punished. His eyes stung with tears at the bitter memories which seemed to be his only constant companion.

Eventually, he wearied of swearing at the situation. He could smell the meatloaf, which caused his stomach to rumble, and it made him realize that he hadn't eaten anything since school lunch several hours ago. He sat up and gingerly crossed the room to his desk, to his school backpack sitting on a chair. Glancing at the door, fearful that someone would come in and catch him and confiscate his snack, he rifled through one of the side compartments and pulled out two candy bars. He tore one open and began to devour it, taking the edge off his hunger.

Suddenly, he stopped, a half-chewed bite still in his mouth. Random thoughts had suddenly coalesced, and he knew what he had to do. He put the unopened candy bar on his desk, and began to remove the books and other content from his backpack. Padding softly across the floor, he picked some underwear and socks from his dresser, and then took some clothes from his closet. These he stuffed into his backpack. Pete reached up to his bookshelf, and took down a fat novel. He opened it and pulled out a pile of cash from the hollow pocket between the covers. Within a few more minutes, he'd gathered everything that he thought he might need, and then he closed the backpack and slung it over his shoulder.

Carefully, to avoid making any unwanted noise, he opened his window and climbed outside. He pulled it shut behind himself, not really knowing why, except that it might buy him a few more seconds to get away if, for some odd reason, his parents happened to come to his room and discovered his absence.

Pete was grateful for the early dusk; the dim light covered his movements as he trotted across the neighbors' yards. He glanced, frightened, over his shoulder periodically, certain that he'd been discovered and was being pursued. Eventually, he reached a lightly wooded area bordering the subdivision he lived in, and he ducked into the more substantial concealment of the trees and shrubs.

Feeling slightly safer from discovery, Pete sat down on a fallen tree and contemplated his options. He had to get out of town, lest his so-called family hunt him down and have him returned to his hellish life, where he could continue as the scapegoat for everything that his siblings did, and be an outlet for his parents' anger and frustration.

He didn't have a lot of alternatives. The thought of hitch-hiking was downright scary; there had been several recent stories of hitch-hikers being molested, beaten, and in one case, killed. There was no passenger train service. That left the airport and the bus. Pete frowned to himself. If he went to the airport, there would be records and security everywhere, and his parents could easily track him down. On top of that, cheap airfares had to be purchased weeks in advance, and even then, he wasn't sure he had enough money. Plus there was the distance he needed to travel to get there. More of a chance for his parents, or the police, to find him.

That left walking or taking a bus to leave the city, or going underground and hiding. He opted for the bus. Instinctively, he reached in his pocket for his phone, only to curse when he found nothing. His mom had taken it away, he remembered. Like most teens, he hadn't realized how much he'd come to rely on his phone, and he realized that didn't know how to navigate around the city, or to find destinations, without it. He sighed heavily, but then Pete had another thought. If he used his phone, or even had it on, his parents would have been able to find him with tracking software. He often cursed the electronic leash they had forced him to install as a condition of having a phone, but now, he chuckled ironically. The first thing they'd do would be to use the software to try to find him, only to discover that his phone was still at home because it had been confiscated, and they had no way to track him.


Pete curled up under the picnic table, his spare clothes beneath him to protect against the cold concrete, and on top of him to give him warmth from the cool night air. He'd found some waste food in a dumpster behind a Taco Bell restaurant, and though it hadn't been what he wanted, he forced himself to eat. He needed to earn some more money so he could get a bus ticket.

As he huddled, half-sleeping, he saw the headlights of a car turning into the park. Pete was suddenly awake, and he bolted upright. Quickly, he grabbed his spare clothes and backpack, crawled from under the table, and scrambled to some bushes. He watched nervously as a police car, on a routine security patrol of the park, drove slowly past where he'd been just moments before.

For a brief moment as he hid in the bushes, Pete considered giving up, and at least have a warm bed for the night. As soon as that thought intruded, though, he remembered what he'd put up with, and his resolve firmed. He knew now that he was in a struggle to survive without compromising some of his ideals and beliefs.

After the police car had passed, he crawled back under the table and spread his clothing back out. As he settled back in for what he knew would be long night, he realized that he didn't have what he really needed. He began to wish that he'd stayed in Boy Scouts, and learned more survival and camping skills.

That thought gave him an idea. He could get a hold of his friend Ed, and learn more about what he needed to know. But he'd have to be careful; he wasn't absolutely certain that Ed wouldn’t tell his parents out of concern for his safety. And he didn't have his cell phone, so getting in touch with Ed was going to be tricky.

As he lay awake, wanting to fall back asleep, he started to form a plan. He'd go meet Ed just after Ed's scout meeting. That would be safe from Ed's parents, and from his — it would be one place they'd never think to look for him. Then he could talk to Ed in private, and get any tips or hints he could. He could also go to the library and find out about simple survival skills. Ed had talked about finding food in the wild, too. Maybe he could find a way to gather food, or catch some small animals, and not have to rely on others, or dumpster-diving, or becoming a gay prostitute, to satisfy his hunger. Content that he had a plan, he drifted off to a cold, fitful sleep.


Operation Rescue: In Plain Sight - Chapter 1
(to be continued)

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