TITLE: Double Agent
GENRE: YA Suspense/ Mystery
A gunshot shattered the stillness of the rocky canyon.
Emma and her friends were at the bottom of the gorge; they'd been hiking along the dry riverbed. Emma heard the bullets exploding into the sandstone around her and instinctively shielded her head and ran for cover. She dropped behind a cluster of boulders and scanned the high walls, squinting toward the disappearing sun, but she couldn't tell where the shots were coming from.
Another boom! Alan screamed and fell to the ground, waves of heat shimmering up around his body.
"Help me!" Emma called to David.
The pair abandoned their cover and dragged Alan behind the high rocks, a low cloud of dust rising around them. Alan was still screaming, clutching his thigh with both hands.
"Stop screaming-- it's just a tranquilizer dart," Emma shouted to him. "It doesn't hurt that much!" She'd learned this the hard way-- just a bee sting, then you wake up with a killer headache.
Tears streaked through the dust that covered Alan's face. He lifted his hands away from his leg and his palms were soaked with blood.
"What happened?" Emma scurried to his side. "You shouldn't be bleeding from a dart-- did you fall?"
"No! I've been shot!" he shouted.
Emma locked her index fingers into the hole in his pants and pulled sharply, ripping the fabric apart. She leaned in for a closer look. She could smell Alan's sweat, metallic and salty, and his blood, like rust.