Lockdown

Lockdown by Diane Tullson Read Free Book Online

Book: Lockdown by Diane Tullson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Diane Tullson
Tags: JUV000000
face.
    If Josh turned his head, he would look right at me. I mentally shrink myself. ButJosh doesn’t look in my direction. He’s looking across from me, at Mr. Connor. Josh seems intent on Mr. Connor’s voice. He looks calm. Scary calm. His right hand squeezes the handle of the gun.
    Josh takes another step. He’s right between me and Mr. Connor. I can’t see Mr. Connor anymore because Josh is between us. Josh turns to face Mr. Connor.
    Mr. Connor stops talking. I hear the cell phone clatter to the floor.
    Josh is looking right at him. He raises the gun.
    I hear Mr. Connor say “Please.”
    Then Josh fires the gun.

Chapter Fourteen
    The blast echoes in the hallway and I cover my ears. Josh steps back and wipes something from his cheek. His hand comes away red. I taste puke and swallow it.
    I can hear Mr. Connor crying. At least he’s not dead.
    Josh looks back up the hall toward Zoe, and I pray that she hasn’t made a sound. Does he know she’s there? Is he going to finish Mr. Connor and then go for Zoe? Josh turns back to Mr. Connor and once again raises the gun.
    There’s no time for conscious thought. On liquid knees I launch myself from between the carts. Josh hears me and spins. But I hit him with my full weight and he crumples to the floor.
    Josh snakes beneath me. I wrap my hand around his right wrist, amazed at his strength, appalled at my weakness. My hands are slippery with sweat. He swears at me. I feel his knee come up between my legs. My eyes go black and I gasp for breath. He’s on top of me now. With everything I’ve got, I haul on his wrist, the gun just inches from my head. My hand slips, and his wrist pulls away.
    Just before you die, your life flashes before your eyes. Not so. Just before you die, you piss yourself. Josh’s finger squeezes against the trigger. But the gun isn’t coming toward me. It’s going to Josh’s own head.
    My right fist crashes against Josh’s cheek. Blood from his nose sprays me in the face. His eyes squeeze shut against the pain, and he lowers the gun. I hit him again as I grab for the gun. I hit him once more and now Ihave the gun. I flip Josh onto the floor and point the gun at his head.
    When I can suck in a breath, I scream, “Zoe, run!”
    Josh looks up at me. It’s like there’s nothing left of him behind his eyes.
    I sense Zoe standing in the hall. Again, I scream at her, “Run!”
    But she won’t run. She stands stock-still, staring down the hall.
    I turn and look. Mr. Connor is on his feet, not a mark on him. Near where he was hiding, a burst can of ketchup drips from a pallet onto the floor. And behind Mr. Connor, at the metal swinging doors, about ten fully armed police officers aim guns at me.

Chapter Fifteen
    â€œDrop your weapon! Down on the floor!”
    The police are dressed head to toe in blue tactical suits. Their faces are covered with goggles and Kevlar face masks over their mouths. They’re shouldering submachine guns. And they’re screaming at me. I’m the one holding the gun. They think I’m the shooter.
    I look down at Josh. If I drop the gun, he’ll pick it up. He’ll shoot me or he’ll shoot Zoe. Or he’ll shoot a cop. Best-case scenario,he’ll shoot himself, but I’m not betting on best case.
    I shake my head. I try to speak but I can’t make a sound. It’s like those very bad dreams, only this is so real I can smell the cops’ sweat. My hand is shaking on the gun as if it weighs far more than it really does. I’m not sure I could drop it. It’s like I can’t even move.
    If I don’t drop the gun, the cops will perforate me with so much lead that my parents won’t have anything to bury. I lift the gun above my head.
    A big cop moves in closer. “We said drop it.”
    The cop’s gun looks like a cannon. At the end of the barrel is a tube of silver. Baker would know what

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