GENRE: YA Sci-fi
I stand in the dirt watching the moon slip away, clutching the fence that separates my shack from the street. At intervals, my grip tightens on the wood, and my knuckles whiten.
Today is the day I must prove I deserve to stay alive.
The sun rises. Children emerge from doorways and head down the road. I wonder if they stayed awake all night, like I did. I wonder where Logan is and what's taking him so long to meet me here.
In a puddle in the dirt, I glimpse a pale, anxious face. I bite my lip and stare at each minuscule shard of wood in the fence.
Speed up, I urge time. Then, slow down.
My fingers squeeze the fence so hard they burn.
I snap my head up.
Logan hobbles toward me, holding something in his hand.
I start running to meet him, maybe to yell at him for taking so long, but I see what it is, what he's holding. And I stop moving.
In his fingers, he twirls a flower that could kill me.
I like to think I'm one of the braver kids. Sure, some days the whippings and beatings make me wanna curl up in a ball. When I dream of Logan getting carted off to quarantine, I wake drenched in sweat and trembling, but I master it pretty quick. I get over it. I have to be good at ignoring my fear, 'cause how else will I prove I deserve to escape it?