By Naomi Rich

At fourteen, Alis hasn't ever been outdoors her strict spiritual group. but if her mom and dad organize for her to marry a forty-year-old guy, she flees desperately to the harmful, surprising urban. She learns fast that the one strategy to live on there's to develop into a thief?or worse. dealing with an most unlikely selection among a compelled marriage or lifestyles at the streets, Alis seizes keep watch over of her personal destiny. however the direction she chooses units off a disastrous chain of occasions that depart her accused of homicide. Steadfastly unswerving, Alis needs to come to a decision: will she betray a friend or sacrifice herself?

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The kid nodded. Ethan reached right into a pocket and produced a unmarried copper coin that he held out. the kid checked out it yet he didn't movement to take it. Ethan acknowledged, “You’ll get one other one later on. you know? once we locate Joel. ” virtually sooner than he had entire conversing, the kid had snatched the coin and shoved it away inside of a tattered blouse that had as soon as been white. Then he trigger at a trot around the bridge with out on reflection. Ethan and Alis him. at the a long way part, the boy led them alongside the embankment, preventing at times so they didn't lose sight of him. Blocks of mean-looking homes and outlets, separated by way of alleyways, confronted them at the different facet of the roadway. On one nook was once an hotel with a pale signal exhibiting a crudely painted sail and a coil of rope. The boy darted around the street and gestured to them to stick with. They became down one of many alleyways. virtually right away they overlooked the river, and there has been not more breeze to freshen the air. Ethan regarded approximately him uneasily as they moved quickly alongside within the child’s wake. The slim streets twisted and crisscrossed. Fearfully, Alis questioned whether or not they will be capable of finding their long ago in the event that they had to. The late-afternoon solar was once already too low to penetrate the narrowest lanes, and in locations the higher flooring jutted out over the cobbles, creating a type of early twilight that appeared choked with shadows. The few humans they encountered both overlooked them or stared suspiciously. Already they seemed out of place—clearly higher dressed than the locals, and their bundles exhibiting them to be strangers, too. prior to them, the boy used to be obvious in basic terms as a blur of limbs and a flutter of tattered blouse. Alis stored with reference to Ethan as they have been drawn deeper into the maze of cobbled lanes. at the nook of a sq., a lady with a seriously painted face placed her hand on Ethan’s arm and murmured a call for participation. He shook her off and so they hastened away down yet one more slim passageway within the thickening nightfall. The boy had halted for them on the subsequent flip. prior to he may perhaps dart off back, Ethan referred to as urgently, “Wait! ” after they got here point with him, Ethan held up one other copper coin—out of the boy’s achieve. “It is getting too overdue. you need to take us again to the bridge. we are going to come back the next day, within the morning, whilst it truly is mild. ” the kid acknowledged in his unusual, hoarse voice, “T’ain’t a ways now,” and made as though to move on yet simply then a guy rounded the nook. He glanced on the little workforce and stopped all at once, obtrusive on the boy. “Why you little—didn’t I let you know to not come around right here back? ” He made a seize for the boy’s arm, however the baby kicked out viciously, freed himself, and used to be off. With a roar of rage, the guy charged after him. In seconds, he used to be out of sight. They heard the thud of his boots in brief, then there has been silence. They listened carefully, yet there has been no sound of returning footsteps. Alis checked out Ethan nervously. “Do you think that he’ll come back—that guy, I suggest? ” “I doubt it,” Ethan acknowledged quietly. “And possibly it’s top that we aren’t right here if he does.

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