TITLE: IF I PROMISE YOU THE SUN
GENRE: YA Sci-Fi Thriller
“Let me go,” Theresa shouts, her arms and legs flailing.
Restraining a furious seven-year-old is no easy task. 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. After Mama and I release her, I tap the back of the kitchen chair four times.
Sarah’s next. Nearly twelve, she’d rather die than act like a baby. She jumps into the seat, though her hands quiver. When the vial’s full, she pivots toward me.
“Sixteen’s too old. They don’t want my blood.”
“Too bad. It’s fun.” She pats my shoulder, then bounces off.
While Mama talks with the medics, I rock baby David in his cradle. He has such pudgy cheeks, I want to gobble him up. In another year, he’ll be old enough for the needle. It’s too soon.
Josh is the last one to be tested. He slides into the chair before anyone notices, then starts the usual barrage of questions. How’s the blood labeled? How’s it stored? Where will it go? I don’t know any other ten-year-olds like Josh. The two women administering the test glance at each other.
“Don’t worry, child,” says the one with a big mole on her cheek.
“But who looks at the samples?
“Josh,” Mama says, shaking her head. “That’s enough.”
He frowns. There’s no way he’s buying the story we’ve given the kids about why they’re being tested.