The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles 1) - Page 54

Fox, who didn’t yet have a driver’s license, is semicomatose and still in critical condition. The severity of her burns and injuries makes it impossible for her to communicate or give authorities any details about the accident. Investigators say they can’t rule out the possible involvement of a second car, but it appears that high speeds and reckless driving contributed to the car veering off Route 93 and tumbling 140 feet down the steep incline. The hydrogen in the tri-energy BMW, registered to Matthew Fox, exploded on impact, leaving investigators little evidence to piece together events from the evening of the crash.

I close Mr Bender’s Netbook.

Somehow I knew I would never see them again.

Something deep inside me told me they were dead.

How? When? Before they scanned my brain, before they removed my ten percent, did I hear someone at the hospital talking? Did Mother sob for Locke, then Kara, at my bedside, knowing her daughter was responsible for it all?

But I wasn’t.

I couldn’t have been responsible.

‘It’s not true,’ I say. ‘I didn’t do that. I would remember.’

‘You lost two friends. You may have blocked it out.’

Or someone did.

No wonder Mother and Father won’t talk about it. I killed my best friends. High speeds and reckless driving. Their precious Jenna wasn’t so perfect after all.

Hurry, Jenna. Is that why the words keep circling through me? Trying to remind me of what I did? Strangely, I feel something, but it is not guilt. Does that make me a monster?

I remember. Something. A bit.

A black sky. Stars. The halo of a streetlight.

Here. Throw them. Keys flying through the air. My hand stretched out. Hurry, Jenna. A glimpse of the night everything changed. Mother and Father may have blocked out most of it, but they couldn’t get rid of it all. A tattletale neurochip decided I would get a hooded peek of what I had done. Is the joke on Father, or me?

Mr Bender suggests a walk in the garden. He feeds the birds and they peck in his palm. I stretch out my palm briefly, but again they don’t come to me. And maybe now I know why.

One Simple Thing

I rip open boxes. Box after box. Books. Dishes. Papers. Clothing. Keepsakes. I dump them out. Box. After box. After box. I ransack. I search. I break.

None of it is mine.

I collapse in the midst of the disaster I have created in the garage, and garbled noises crawl up my throat.

It sounds like an animal.

I am.

I am a kept animal.

With no past but what they will give me.

And all I wanted today was one simple thing.

A red skirt.

Another Dark Place

‘Floor to ceiling, don’t you think?’ Claire points her laser to the ceiling and records the measurement.

‘Fine,’ I say. I watch her, measuring for drapes for my window. I take in the angles of the room, the slant of light flooding through panes of glass, the planes that separate us, the irony of drapes to create darkness.

I stare at her. My mother is an older version of me, but she is also something I will never be. Old. My skin and bones will not age—my Bio Gel will simply reach the end of its shelf life and cease to operate. If I were to marry, I would not grow old with my husband. I could either die after two years or outlive him by a hundred. An interesting prospect. What price did Claire pay to keep her only child?

Tags: Mary E. Pearson Jenna Fox Chronicles Science Fiction
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