TITLE: The New Eden Chronicles
GENRE: YA Speculative Fiction
Theresa’s a kicker. Mama and I struggle to hold her down so the medics can find a vein and fill a vial with her blood. I feel like a monster, wrestling down a seven-year-old while her hot-poker screams skewer the space between my ears. But once the needle’s in, the thrashing subsides and her hazel eyes glaze over. The thin red stream shooting up into the glass is beautiful. As we let her go, I tap the back of the chair where she sits four times so the results will be negative. Theresa scowls then stalks off. In a few minutes, she’ll be bragging to everyone about her ordeal.
Just 12, Sarah would rather die than act like a baby. She practically jumps into the chair, though her arm quivers. She closes her eyes and turns away, her lips mashed together as the needle finds its mark. When the medic caps the full vial, she beams in that self-satisfied way she’s adopted. Four-year-old Rachel doesn’t understand enough to be afraid. We promise sweet treats and a new dress for her ragdoll if she’ll behave—it works like a charm. In his cradle nearby, David sleeps through the commotion, too young to be tested. Because I’m 16, I’m past the danger zone. To my siblings’ disappointment, there’s no big sharp needle for me.
Josh’s blood is the last to be collected. His calm amazes me. Instead of looking away or crying, like most 10-year-olds would, he watches the medics with curiosity.