Chapter 1 Excerpt
My heart was racing, and I was barely breathing. I couldn’t see the man, but I knew he had a loaded gun, cocked and ready, pointed right at me.
“Walk up to the wall.”
I inched forward, arms held high. I was grateful he hadn’t pulled the trigger but reluctant to move farther away from my only escape route.
“Turn around and sit down.”
I complied. I felt an overwhelming urge to run as fast as I could away from this place I had searched so hard to find. But I knew I was being watched. So I stayed where I was, looking and listening for any sign of the man with the gun.
A muffled voice commanded, “Don’t move.”
Startled by the voice, which sounded like it was right behind me, I turned my head and came face-to-face with the barrel of a gun. The face of the man holding the gun was obscured by what looked like a gas mask.
Someone yanked my backpack off me, almost pulling me over. When I tried to turn to see who it was, the masked man pressed the gun to my temple. Within seconds I was blindfolded, and my wrists and ankles were bound tightly with duct tape.
“You will stay here until the Council decides what to do with you,” the muffled voice said, gruffly.
I heard the crunch of departing footsteps, leaving me completely alone and completely helpless. I started to cry. I was convinced that what I was looking for was on the other side of the wall behind me. But now I had little hope of reaching it. In all likelihood, I would be executed right there on the forest floor, with the object of my search just beyond my reach.