TITLE: The Headhunters Race
GENRE: YA Adventure
Persevere. That's what comes to mind when I see the signup sheet tacked to the wall. Verla said it to me on multiple occasions. Like every time I brought up King's name or cursed my step-brother Gavin's. I know why this word speaks to me, because it's a significant day in the prison. It's the day I start planning revenge on the man who put me here.
For now I suppress thoughts of vengeance and see how many will race. Forty-eight spots are filled so far. I'll make forty-nine. Curious to see who signed up, I scan through the names. I recognize a couple of prisoners everyone stays clear of, Kurt, the young hothead and the old guy everyone calls Squint. Both black, both muscular, and rumors say both have killed citizens of Water Junction. I don't believe it though. No one here was sentenced to life because they're robbers or killers. Not initially anyway.
I'm still scanning the list, finding that none of the other names are familiar when a thump from behind startles me, like someone hit the wall that leads into the east wing. I whirl around, but I don't see anyone. All the same, prickles of fear soar up my spine and settle in my chest. With my senses on high alert, I quickly add my name to the list. Avene is all I write since I don't remember my surname. I was only five when my mother married King and I refuse to use his.