Anna Carey

Rise

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    Within the week, my father would be dead
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    I grabbed Moss beneath his arms and dragged him inside, struggling against his weight. When I looked up Charles was there, his fist closing around the Lieutenant’s shirt, pulling his wrist back and away. When the gun went off it hit the wall beside us, tunneling into the metal. The last thing I saw was Charles’s face, his features twisted and strange, as he fought the Lieutenant for his weapon
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    By the time we reached the bottom of the tower Moss was dead
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    I leaned back, maneuvering in front of him. “What is the matter with all of you?” I screamed. “Why won’t someone stop this?”

    I stepped closer, trying to close the gap, when my eyes locked with Jo’s. In an instant, the floor fell out from under the rebels. I stood there, the tears blurring my vision, as some of the crowd cheered. Others were quiet. She went first, her body only half visible above the platform, her head cocked at a horrible angle. I watched the way Curtis bucked for a few seconds, fighting it, then went still, his toes just inches from the pavement
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    Come on, people!” he said, raising his voice to a yell. “Can’t you see what’s happening? The City is under attack
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    Please, I thought, wishing for the first time in days that the sickness would come back, that I would feel something—anything—again. I didn’t want to lose her. I didn’t want to lose the possibility of what she would be, of what I could be for her. I couldn’t now. Every time I pushed the idea out of my head it returned, until I found myself sitting on the windowsill, the T-shirt in my hands. I pressed the thin fabric to my face, trying to control my breath, but each one caught somewhere inside me. I stayed there like that, in the quiet of the room, for hours, barely able to force his name past my lips: “Caleb.”
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    They left,” she said. “Pip, Ruby, and Arden. No one has seen them in more than three weeks.”
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    As am I.” He came toward me, his arms over my shoulders, until I was pressed tightly against his chest. I breathed in, my body slowly relaxing, settling in beside him. He rested his hand on the back of my head so gently, I had to blink back tears. “I’ve never been happier.”
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