TITLE: Exhiled to Fear
No one believes me when I say the Nationals hire kids to spy on us. You know your classmate, the one the teacher favors?
Maybe a killer.
Just ask my best friend whose body is rotting in a grave back in Arizona.
Here’s what I know so far.
It started a month ago, when Dianne said, “I changed my mind about how I’m going to die.”
I looked up from my new Equalreader. My best friend was sitting on the bed opposite mine. She was sleeping over—her mother’s night to work at the hospital—and she was doodling on her homework screen. Dianne was the nice sister I never had. My real sister resented my very existence and kept insisting I was adopted, so Dianne’s friendship kept me alive.
“Again?” I asked.
Dianne started this last year by betting me a million dollars she’d die in a shootout when she was 26. Since then, she’s changed her bet a dozen times. Her most recent version was dying in a scuba accident at age 19, during her honeymoon.
She looked up and wiped a tear. “I think something horrible is going to happen.”
“All your choices are horrible,” I pointed out, trying to reassure her. "Just pick something quick like a heart attack so we can finish our homework.”
“You think I choose how I’ll die? These are dreams. And this time it's Alex who kills me. In Tucson.”
It turned out she was wrong about the Tucson part.