Among the Betrayed

By Margaret Peterson Haddix

What does it suggest to avoid wasting yourself?
Nina Idi -- a 3rd baby in a society the place households are allowed merely little ones -- has been betrayed through the boy she enjoyed, and arrested by means of the inhabitants Police for exposing different alleged 3rd teenagers. indignant and careworn, Nina understands just one factor needless to say: She is blameless of the fees. yet now she is confronted with the main tricky number of her lifestyles: Get 3 different prisoners to confess they're shadow teenagers and be spared herself, or refuse to cooperate and be killed.
the choices are transparent. the alternative, Nina discovers, is not....

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After a second the hating guy moved clear of the window. “Thank you,” he stated over his shoulder. He became again to Nina. “Shall we dine? ” he requested her. Nina observed that whereas she’d been staring out the window, the safeguard had silently put a tray at the table—a tray containing a banquet. Roast fowl, platters of potatoes and peas, a basket of ethereal rolls … the guy pulled out a chair for Nina. Nina remembered unexpectedly how dirty she looked—not in any respect this kind of one who must have a chair pulled out for her. Self-consciously she driven hair out of her eyes. “Now, now,” the fellow stated. “I’m convinced you’re eager for a great, lengthy bathe, yet we do have to continue you in personality. ” Nina sat down. as though in a dream, she reached for a roll, ate the fowl the fellow put on her plate, spooned peas into her mouth, swallowed wealthy, creamy milk. “This,” she heard herself say, “is the easiest meal I’ve ever had. ” “Well, there are perks to supporting the inhabitants Police,” the fellow answered with a giggle. Nina stopped consuming. “Full? ” the fellow acknowledged. “Um, variety of,” Nina acknowledged, although it wasn’t real. Nina can have eaten one other large serving of every little thing. “Just a minute,” the guy stated. He stood up and walked towards the door, and appeared to be conferring with the defend approximately whatever. Nina stared on the basket of rolls in entrance of her. clone of Alia’s skinny, hungry face swam ahead of her eyes. She remembered Alia announcing, bravely, “They’ve basically introduced us nutrition 3 times. ” the guy wasn’t having a look. What wouldn't it harm if Nina swiped only a roll for Alia? She may possibly seize 3, even, one for every child, and conceal them within the sleeve of her costume. not anyone might comprehend. Nina remembered the best way the 3 young children had stared at her whilst the shield got here for her. She remembered how they hadn’t stated a unmarried notice of convenience or encouragement. She didn’t succeed in for a roll. Moments later the protect got here in and took all of the foodstuff away. The hating guy settled into his chair throughout from Nina. He leaned again and placed his toes at the desk. “Well,” he acknowledged casually. “I take into account that you haven’t precisely been successful buddies and influencing humans. I’d bet that you just don’t have a unmarried factor to inform me. ” “You’ve been listening! ” Nina accused. the fellow gave a bit chuckle of leisure. “Now, now. amazing paranoid, aren’t we? after all we haven’t been listening. That’s what you’re in there for. I’m simply examining physique language. Mack—that’s the defend; you weren’t competently brought, have been you? —Mack tells me that once he got here to get you, you have been dozing on one facet of the phone, and the opposite 3 have been huddled jointly as faraway from you as attainable. Doesn’t precisely sound like you’ve all been palling round jointly. ” “They’re all pals together,” Nina protested. “They knew each other prior to they have been arrested. I’m only a stranger to them. ” “Well, get unstrange, then,” the fellow acknowledged. “Don’t you need to stay? ” Nina gulped. “They’re hungry and chilly and terrified. They don’t suppose like talking,” Nina acknowledged. Even to her personal ears she appeared like a whiny baby.

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