November 1, 2089
Execution day was the best day.
While most fought, screamed, and cried, I welcomed our only escape. Death would be the easiest part of my life. The eight children I shared my expiration date with might understand that soon, but I was different from the beginning. A bad blood didn't live to be seventeen by pure luck.
The police suspected I was in a flock, and they were right, not one of those fake ones made up of four kids who were inevitably caught either. A real one. The Southern Flock. But I didn't break no matter what. Now, I would die for it. It was for the better. Robert already believed I was dead anyway.
I tried not to think of the others, but their faces crept through my memory when I stared at the kids around me. Catelyn. Melody. Steven. Ami. Huey. Briauna. Justan. Timmy. Jake. Even Niki. The fact that my flock would continue brought me the peace I needed today. Or tonight.
By the murky blue flooding through the jail cells, my best guess said it was seven—AM or PM—but I couldn't be sure without a clock. I wouldn't even know what hour I would die. The government didn't think we were deserving of time.
"Alan. Frank. Jesse. Marcus."
The boys went first. The girls were next.
"Anne. Harriet. Linda. Rosa. Serena."
My sigh felt like my last breath, but I stood up. The tapping is what forced me to raise my eyes. Through the metal bars, a woman stared at me. Her black hair poked out beneath her hat. She would probably be the last person I ever saw alive. When she asked me if I was Serena, I nodded.
I didn't try to run when she cranked open the gate. I was done running. When she latched onto the chain holding my hands together, the metal cut into my wrists. I bled, but it didn't matter. The woman would escort me to the electric chair and it would all be over. There were no drugs involved. Only pain. Only suffering.
The woman yanked me forward, slow but sturdy. The rest of the girls were ahead of us, and the way my cop wobbled, I could see why. I only worried about seeing the others ahead of me die first. I envied Alan, the bad blood scheduled first for execution, and I wondered if he was already dead.
"You need to listen to me." The woman's whisper was harsh. "You listen to me good, yah hear?"
Her glare silenced me. "Don't talk." She rattled my chain to bury her drawl, but she had touched me. It wasn't a mistake. I understood now. My powers forced me to. I could sense bad bloods whenever we touched, and she was one.
"Those kids are dying today, but you're not." When she spoke, her decaying teeth jutted out. "You're getting out of here, and you're going to live."
Before I could ask how, the woman's feet glued to the floor. In the depths of her russet stare, determination flickered. It was the look someone had when she knew she would die.
Everything changed in that moment. The officer ahead of us turned around, and he called out, "Charlotte." Other than her name, the only sound I heard was the snap of my chain and the single word spilling out of her mouth.
And I did.
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November Rain releases July 18, 2016
November Snow releases July 25, 2016
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Bad Bloods: November RainScience Fiction
Fans of Red Queen and The Hunger Games Trilogy will love this new series by Shannon A. Thompson. Seventeen-year-old Serena isn't human. She is a bad blood, and in the city of Vendona, bad bloods are executed. In the last moments before she faces im...