Excerpt for The Redemption Games (A SciFi Thriller Short Story) by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Redemption Games

Copyright©2017 Renee Scattergood

Published by Renee Scattergood

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Table of Contents


The Redemption Games


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Thank you for purchasing The Redemption Games. I had a few readers suggest that I should try writing a science fiction story, so this is my attempt. Of course, I had to add a bit of thriller to it because that’s just me. And, as per normal (for me), I try not to put too much emphasis on the technology outside what is needed to drive the story. I’m one of those people who hates too much description in stories, so I tend to avoid it in mine. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my first scifi attempt. Happy Reading!

The Redemption Games

There was no sound. Jillian was sure she outran them this time. She was smart though. Too smart to move this early and give up her location. The last time she did that, they nearly got her. She crouched in the shadows of a dumpster and waited. About twenty minutes passed before she dared to move, and even then, it was only to move further into the alley where she could eat in peace.

"All this for a box of cereal," Jillian whispered to herself. She squeezed through the small opening in the boarded-up doorway of the abandoned building she called home. After climbing to the second floor, she barricaded herself in a small room that she was sure had once been an office. Probably where the boss sat in his cushy chair while the people worked their butts off in the sweat shop below.

After opening the box, she shoved handful after handful of cereal into her mouth until she couldn't swallow another bite. Leaning back, she sighed. It had been days since she had a full belly.

Jillian didn't realize she had dozed until a noise woke her. She wasn't alone in the building. A soft clang of boots on the metal stairway alerted her to the intruder’s approach. She was trapped. She hid behind some boxes and old furniture that had been left behind just in time for someone to force their way through her barricade. She froze. For a moment, everything was still.

"I know you're here," a male's voice called out.

Jillian didn't move or answer the man. She knew better. It was probably a cop.

"My name is Aeron. I'm not here to harm you. In fact, I have a proposition for you," he said.

She bit her lip. Trusting people at their word had never worked well for her in the past. Jillian nearly gasped when the door closed, and the man's footfalls came closer and closer to her hiding place.

The man stopped. "I won't leave until you come out, and we talk."

Jillian looked around. There was nothing around she could use as a weapon. She would just have to try and make a run for the door and hope surprise would win her the time it would take to escape him. She slowly positioned herself to get a quick start without making a sound. After taking a deep breath she darted towards the door. Aeron was ready for it though. He grabbed her and locked her arm behind her back.

Jillian screamed. "Let me go!"

"I will release you once you've calmed yourself. Then we will talk."

"I'm not going into foster care," she said, attempting to pull herself free.

He tightened his hold. A sharp pain shot through Jillian’s arm making her cry out.

"I don't want to hurt you, Jillian. I just want to talk. If you don't like my offer, I will leave."

What choice did she have? He wasn't going to let her go otherwise. Jillian stopped fighting, and as promised, Aeron released her.

"Have a seat," he said, sitting on the floor in front of her, blocking her escape route.

Jillian sat, pulling her knees to her chest. The man didn't look like a social worker, and he definitely wasn't a cop. Still, that didn't mean he was going to help her. In her experience, men only ever hurt her.

"Now. As I said before, I have a proposition. It's a competition really, and if you win, you will never want for anything again in your life."

That wasn't what Jillian expected to hear. "What kind of competition?"

"It involves a lot of athletics, and with the way you dodge the authorities, you'd make a good contestant."

"How did you find me?"

Aeron smiled. "That's my job."

Jillian didn't like how cryptic he was being, but he seemed sincere. Of course, that didn't mean much, but the idea of never having to struggle for food and live in rundown buildings sounded intriguing. "If I say yes, what do I have to do?"

"Just sign this paper," he said, holding out a pen. "I will take you to the center for training. When you're ready, you'll participate in the competition. If you win, you will have glory and riches you can scarcely imagine."

Jillian hesitated. "And if I lose?"

"You will be sent home."

Jillian bit her lip. She didn't have anything to lose by participating. The worst that would happen is she'd end up right back where she was. So, she ignored the alarm bells in her head and took the pen, signing the form.

"You made the right choice," Aeron said with an eerie grin.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out something Jillian had never seen before. It was the size and shape of a cigar. Before she could stop him, he pressed it to her neck. Her vision blurred and then there was nothing.


A strange humming woke Jillian. It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the bright lights filling the room. She lay on a cold metal bench that seemed to be a part of the wall. Metal walls surrounded her on three sides, but there was no fourth wall. The outer room was circular and there were many other rooms like hers. Some were empty. Others held creatures she had never seen before.

Jillian stepped toward the open space, but before she could cross the threshold of her room, electricity coursed through her body and she was thrown into the back wall. She rubbed her head as she struggled to her feet. The reality of her situation hit her. She had been kidnapped. But if he was going to kidnap her, why all the stuff about a competition and getting her to sign a contract? It made no sense.

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