Chapter One begins three days after the prologue ends.
As gunfire ripped through the marketplace, Jennifer found herself face down in the dirt behind the banana stand. Marc pressed down on top of her, causing her to gasp for breath. How could a fifteen year old weigh so much?
Pain shot through her legs as people trampled on them in their haste to get away from the shooters. Squirming out from under her son, she shouted for him to follow her and crawled through the dirt until she was out of the direct path of the panicked crowd. She turned and pulled Marc toward her, startled at the sticky ooze on his hands. Had he been hit?
“I landed on some tomatoes.” He showed her the smeared fruit on her shirt and then shot a quick glance around. “We’ve got to get out of here!” He didn’t wait for her to agree, so she followed him in a crouching run, skirting the earthen counters of the market before dodging into a small alley leading from the vegetable market to the clothing shops. Marc shoved her down behind him and then peered cautiously back into the marketplace.
People fled at the first shots, and now the rebels swept rapidly through the empty marketplace. Jennifer peered over Marc’s shoulder at the people lying unmoving on the ground at the far end of the market. He tried to push her back, but there was no turning away from the carnage. Screams of the dying tore through the air as the rebels worked their way through the vast marketplace, looting and killing. A wounded man cried out for mercy. His answer was a spray of bullets to the chest. A woman lay a few feet from where they hid, her blank eyes staring up into the sky, blood flowing in a widening pool beneath her head. With a rush of panic, Jennifer recognized her as the vendor from whom they had bought tomatoes not five minutes ago. Choking terror robbed her of her ability to think, almost of her ability to breathe. She fought back the urge to get up and run blindly.
As though his thoughts had run on the same track, Marc turned to her and whispered hoarsely. “They’re working their way down to this end, and we’re sitting ducks here! We’ve got to find another place to hide!”
Jennifer nodded, but where could they go? A large hand clamped over her mouth and she felt herself being pulled back against a muscular chest. Hysteria filled her and she fought against her captor, but her arms were pinned to her sides.
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