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Показать все книги автора/авторов: Brennan Allison
 

«The Kill», Allison Brennan

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Predator – #3

 

Untold innocent children whose names we will never read in any headlines continue to be saved from the horrors of child abduction through the tireless efforts of Maureen Kanka, John Walsh, Brenda van Dam, Mark and Cindy Sconce, Kim Swartz and so many others. May the good they do for our society bring peace to their lives.

PROLOGUE

Livie tilted her head toward the late-afternoon sky and frowned, wrapping her arms around her stomach. “Missy, pul-eeze. I wanna go home. It’s gonna rain.”

“You want to go home because it’s going to rain,” Missy said without looking up from her book.

Just because she was in fourth grade and had straight A’s and was on the honor roll, Missy always corrected her words. Livie hated it, but her sister was going to be a teacher, after all, and needed to practice.

The wind came down in a gust before tapering off to a tickling breeze. “Missy, I’m cold.”

Her sister rolled her eyes and breathed that loud sigh she had when Livie was annoying her. It meant Livie was being a pest.

“Ten minutes, okay? I want to finish this chapter.”

“Fine.” Livie pouted.

She picked up her shovel again and absently played in the sand, digging and watching as the grains fell slowly to the ground. She loved the park, but not when they were the only kids there.

The swings were her favorite. Livie always pumped her legs faster and harder to see if she could go all the way around the top, but she hadn’t made it yet. Her daddy called her fearless. Missy said she was stupid. And her mother told her she’d break a leg one day and learn her lesson.

Tomorrow was Halloween. Livie was no scaredy-cat, but last week she’d watched a movie about ghosts and she didn’t want to be outside after dark. The rule was they had to be in the house five minutes after the streetlights came on, but Livie wanted to go home now. The sun had already dipped below the Pattersons’ two-story house with its pretty pink trim.

“Missy,” Livie begged.

Her sister ignored her and Livie threw down her shovel. She stood and walked over to the swings at the far side of the playground. She didn’t feel like flying today, so she swung back and forth without effort, her arms pimpled with goosebumps as the wind gusted in bursts of anger. Red, orange, and brown leaves skittered across the ground as the wind drove them away.

Livie liked spring better, when everything was green and bright and sunny. When the fog didn’t dampen every morning, sometimes not going away until lunchtime. But spring was a whole six months from now. Livie would be six next spring. She counted the months in her head. May, June, July, August, September, October… she was five and a half! Yesterday she’d turned five and a half!

She jumped off the swing and turned to run back to Missy to tell her what she had just figured out. She stopped.

Missy wasn’t alone.

A man was talking to her. He was really tall, although not as tall as Daddy, and not as old as Daddy either. He wore no coat. Didn’t he know you could catch a death of a cold in this weather if you went outside without your jacket? And he’d colored on his arm with blue marker.

Livie started toward them, a tickle in her stomach that didn’t feel quite right. Missy didn’t seem scared, but then she hadn’t watched the ghost movie last week. Livie bit her lip. She didn’t want to be a crybaby, but she wanted to go home. Right now. And if she had to cry to get her way, then she’d do it. Missy gave in when she cried.

“Missy?” she called.

The man turned and looked at her and his eyes did something funny, squinty-like. He grabbed Missy’s arm. “Come on.”

“No!” Missy shouted and tried to pull away.

Livie ran toward them. “Let my sister go! Let go!”


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