Book Details

Young, desperate and on the run...

Young, desperate and on the run...


Hunter Leroux is seventeen, angry and going nowhere when he and his buddies Billy Prescott, fifteen, and Wade Canter, eighteen, decide to hop a freight train out of the depressed New England factory town of Barren Falls, Massachusetts. Their goal: To escape their troubles and the small-town hopelessness, and live like the outlaws of the Old West, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor -- themselves. Their destination: Buffalo country and the Black Hills of South Dakota.

But will they make it?

Hunter, who's bitter and disillusioned with life following the death of his estranged father, and Wade, a tough but abused city kid with a lengthy arrest record, are already wanted by the police back home. They aren't thinking about the new troubles they'll be making for themselves. Troubles that begin when they assault an old man and steal his car. And Billy, innocent and unassuming, simply longs to see the wild buffalo, but makes a choice before leaving that puts their plans in jeopardy.

Complicating matters: As they slowly journey westward, Hunter becomes increasingly haunted by his past and begins to wonder if what they're doing is going to be worth much of anything in the end.

 

Book Excerpt

Novel excerpt (from Chapter 2):

We followed Route 20 well into New York and picked up Interstate 90 just outside of Albany. Although I didn't have a license, I had driven Jason's car several times back home, so I knew somewhat what I was doing. But this wasn't Jason's car, and being on a super highway like that for the first time was a little more than daunting, to say the least. To his credit, Wade coached me patiently and kept me steady as I drove and, after an hour or so, I began to relax and get the hang of it. I didn't speed, though, and I didn't pass too much. I wasn't taking any chances. I drove for close to six or seven hours, stopping only when we needed to get gas, use the bathroom or steal something to eat at one of the service areas along the way. Billy slept most of the time, when he wasn't amusing himself with a hand-held video game he had brought, and I was glad for that. A couple of times, however, I saw him frowning in his sleep and turning his head from side-to-side, as if he were lost in a nightmare of one sort or another. Wade just jammed to the music. I remember that driving with the windows down made the car smell better. An air freshener we'd swiped at one of the stops helped, too. That was the first time I'd been back on the open road like that in a long time; it reminded me of the trips out west with my family, and of the better times.

Eventually, at around seven or so, we pulled off in a small town called Erie Point that was somewhere between Buffalo and the Pennsylvania state line. We drove down to the public beach to cool off before finding a place to stay for the night. I'd seen a part of Lake Erie before when I had come this way once with my family, but, as you might have figured, this was the first time for Wade and Billy. I'd forgotten how big it really was, and they were in awe of it. Wade said it reminded him of the ocean, and Billy thought it was the ocean, something else he'd never seen. After we were done swimming, we sat in the car and ate greasy burgers and fries that we bought from a beachside concession shack. We washed them down with ice-cold colas, Wade and I mixing what was left of the brandy with ours. We stayed there until the hazy, blazing red sun sunk into the far side of the lake, forgetting, if only for a little while, that we were on the run and that the car was stolen. There were other moments just like that on that trip, almost innocent and carefree, like when I was younger. When I think back on that time now, those are the moments I miss the most.

 

About the Author

Brian M. Gelinas

A reporter for a local daily newspaper, Brian M. Gelinas currently lives in the small Massachusetts town of Athol, where he was born and raised. Instilled early on with a desire to write, his first success came in 1997, with the publication of a creative commentary piece in Worcester Magazine. In 2001, he won the Louis P. Shepherd Award in Creative Writing while a student at Fitchburg State College. This is his first published novel.

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