TITLE: DOUBLE AGENT
GENRE: YA Suspense
Emma was hiking at the bottom of the canyon when she heard the gunshots exploding into the sandstone. She darted for shelter as her team scattered. Emma dropped behind a cluster of boulders and scanned the high walls, squinting toward the disappearing sun, but she couldn’t find the shooter. She glanced down the dry riverbed as Libby and David ducked into a crevice in the wall. Alan stood frozen in the middle of the gorge.
Noah must have found us, she thought. “Alan, move!”
She heard another shot and Alan screamed as he fell to the ground.
“Help me with him!” Emma called to David.
In an instant David was by her side and they 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 the dust that covered Alan’s face. He lifted his hands away from his leg and his palms were soaked with blood.
“What happened?” Libby scurried to his side. “You shouldn’t be bleeding from a dart—did you fall?”
“No! I’ve been shot!” he shouted. “It wasn’t a dart!”
Panic washed over Emma’s body, numbing her legs. Of course it wasn’t a dart, she thought. Tranquilizer guns are silent. This was supposed to be a standard training drill—none of the guns that the students carried should have bullets.