The Gifted
whole
way. He would zip forward like a blur and then back like a blur. He
didn’t ever seem to get tired. One time he came too near me as he
ran past and tore a piece off the side of my pants. “Ah,” I said.
“Watch it.”
    The small dog whimpered, panted and looked up
while wagging his tail.
    “Han?” I said before we opened the door. I
leaned down and instantly the dog was under my hand. I stroked him
a few times. “We have to give this little guy a name.”
    “Hayasa,” said Han.
    “Gazuntite.”
    “What?”
    “You sneezed,” I said.
    He looked confused. “No, his name should be
Hayasa.”
    “What’s that mean?”
    “It's the Japanese word for speed,” said
Han.
    “Good name. What do you think Hayasa?” He
panted happily at my side.
    I turned to Han. “Han, I just realized I’ve
been trying to lead again. I’m not really a leader though. The
general made sure I knew that before we left.”
    “Andy,” said Han. “I trust you. Everything is
good so far.”
    “But I don’t really know what I’m doing. I
have no training.”
    “Hey, we’re in a place we’ve never been,
surrounded by kids with gifts no one has ever heard of. I will
follow you.”
    I didn’t know how to argue with this. “Okay,”
I said and straightened up. “Here we go.”
    I opened the door, which squeaked as it
opened, and paused, noticing how quiet it was. I remembered Abe
mentioning this would be the first executions. Maybe they didn't
usually have prisoners either. But then I remembered that they did
have Brock recently. Maybe there were others down here too. We
stopped for a few seconds and listened. Just the sound of soft paws
racing back and forth as Hayasa scurried here and there.
***
    I heard someone talking, a girl’s voice.
Walking cautiously in that direction, I noticed the dark, dingy
looking stonework of the walls. It looked very old. I thought, How could this place be that old? I thought the school
was relatively new.
    As we neared the sound, the talking stopped.
It was dead silent, but we crept nearer to where I now saw was the
door to a cell. At the top of the door was a small window with
bars. I whispered, “Tracy?”
    “It's them!” she said excitedly.
    “Tracy,” I said. “Is Guido with you?”
    “He's right here!” she said, “We’ve just been
talking about what to do.”
    “Great,” I said. “Now if we can only get you
out of there!” The door looked to be made of solid steel.
Impossible to break down.
    A loud bang rang out! I hit the floor,
thankful they missed with their first bullet. Looking up, I saw a
dog-sized hole in front of me through the door and Tracy was
petting Hayasa. It occurred to me that Hayasa had again run right
through a door. I was liking our new dog more and more.
    “Okay,” I said. “Problem solved. I hope no
one heard that.”
    Tracy and Guido crawled through the door,
careful to keep away from the sharp jagged pieces of metal that
stuck out here and there. “Some dog,” said Tracy.
    “Yeah,” I said. “Some dog.”
    “Where can I get me one of those?” said
Guido.
    “Now what do we do?” Tracy asked me. Of
course, they always asked me.
    “Let's go back the way we came.” Everyone
followed me back to the stairs when I realized maybe they shouldn’t
be following me. Maybe I was endangering them. When we got to the
door of the stairs I heard people running down on the other
side.
    I started to panic. “There’s another door
over there!” said Tracy. “But I don’t know where it goes.”
    “Away from them!” I yelled as we raced down
the hall and opened the door. Inside was another good-sized room.
When I opened the door at first I couldn't see because it was so
bright.
    “What's all this light for?” I said.
    “The better to shoot you with,” said a
commanding voice. It was the voice of Abe. “We have been waiting
for you.” As soon as I could see, it was clear there were about a
dozen men and all of them with guns.
    “I'm having a bad

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