Friday, January 24, 2014
Uninvited Chapter Reveal + Giveaway: Chapter Five
I seriously love this book. It's scarily realistic, despite the sci-fi sort of bend. It's dark, intense, painful, echoes a few too many painful things in our history, but is also awesome, memorable, and had plenty of moments to still make me melt.
If you haven't read the first four chapters, you can here:
Chapter 1: Mundie Moms
Chapter 2: Jenuine Cupcakes
Chapter 3: Good Choice Reading
Chapter 4: Once Upon a Twilight
And for the trailer, check it out here! It is GORGEOUS! It might be my favorite ever?
Copyright © 2014 by Sharie Kohler
Can u come over?
Sure. What’s wrong?
Is Davy w/u?
Need 2 talk. Can’t b alone right now
I report to Keller High School at eight sharp.
Amid the packet of information from Pollock were the bolded
instructions to arrive at eight and depart at three in order to
avoid fraternizing with the general population. My first clue
that even at Keller things were going to get worse.
Although it’s hard to imagine that. After Zac left yesterday,
it took me a long time to pick myself up and go back inside.
Even longer for the tears to stop. The tight, aching twist in my
chest? That still hasn’t stopped.
My phone sat quietly on my nightstand all night. I had
hoped Zac would call after he had time to process. No call.
Not even a ring from Tori. I could only guess that Zac told
her. Or he told someone who then told her. It only takes one
person to get gossip rolling. Davy Hamilton is a killer. That
kind of gossip would be too juicy to keep quiet.
I shake loose the crippling thoughts and focus on getting
through this first day.
The building is gray—from the outside brick to the flat carpet
and chipping paint inside. Idly, I wonder if gray is the school
color. It’s doubtful I’ll be attending any pep rallies to find out.
We enter the office and get behind a student waiting for
a tardy slip to class. The secretary’s smile slips from her face
when Mom tells her who we are. Humming lightly under my
breath, I scan the office as they talk. A student aide gawks at
me as she staples papers together behind a desk.
I arch an eyebrow at her and she quickly looks away.
Mom signs her name to a few papers, not even pausing to
read anything. It’s like she can’t get out of here fast enough.
“Here’s your ID. Wear it at all times.” The receptionist
slides a neon-orange tag across the counter that already bears
the picture Pollock took of me yesterday. I take it and loop it
around my neck.
“The orange identifies your carrier status,” she announces,
loud enough for everyone in the office to hear. A woman on
the phone in the corner stops talking and stares.
The secretary nods with approval at the ID dangling in
front of my chest, letting me know I have no chance of staying
under the radar. I glance at the student aide. Her badge is
white. Yeah. No chance.
My eyes burn. I blink back tears, refusing to cry, refusing
to let this small thing break me. I’ve been through worse than
this in the last forty-eight hours.
She continues, “The counselor, Mr. Tucci, will take you
to the”—the secretary pauses, catching herself and correcting
whatever it was she was going to say—“your classroom.”
Mom faces me.
I stare at her, hollow inside, nothing there except the lyrics
of an old Beatles song: Hey, Jude, don’t make it bad, take a sad
song and make it better. It doesn’t help much because I want to
grab her and hold her and beg her not to leave me here, but it
won’t do any good. She’s shut herself off. Her eyes are dull—
like she’s beyond feeling anything.
She squeezes my shoulder. “Have a good day, Davy.”
Like that’s possible. I nod and watch her walk away. Leave
me in this strange, horrible place.
“Sit there.” The secretary directs me to a chair against the
wall. “Mr. Tucci will be with you soon.”
Hugging my sack lunch, I drop into the seat, not bothering
to slide off my backpack. A sack lunch is another requirement.
Carriers aren’t allowed to eat anything from the cafeteria. Too
much chance of mingling with the general population. I sit at
the edge of the seat, my body taut, waiting, watching as people
come and go through the office.
It’s nine thirty before Mr. Tucci appears. The secretary
murmurs something to him and motions in my direction.
He advances on me, sizing me up with a mild expression.
I stare back. He’s dressed well in a pressed polo and slacks.
Something my dad would never wear to work, but still.
“Welcome to Keller, Ms. Hamilton.” He extends his hand
for me to shake. I stare at it for a moment, thinking he’s joking.
He can’t want to touch me.
His expression softens. “I know this is hard, but if you stay
out of trouble, you can finish out your senior year here with
no fuss.” Leaning down, he whispers for my ears alone. “Prove
A ragged sigh escapes me. His words remind me of Mitchell
and for a flash of a second I don’t feel so alone. Prove them
wrong. A lump forms in my throat at the unexpected kindness
from this man. Maybe it won’t be so terrible here after all.
A moment passes before I nod, fighting the lump down in
my throat. “I can do that.”
“Excellent.” He smiles broadly. “Follow me.”
He leads me from the office and down a deserted hall. We
pass lockers. Teachers’ voices drift from inside the classrooms.
His shoes clack over the linoleum floor. We descend a set of
stairs and walk until it feels like we’re in the very bowels of
the school. We are long past any classrooms. We pass the gym.
The stink of the weight room greets me well before we pass its
open doors. A quick glance reveals a few sweaty guys working
There are no windows. No sunlight. Just the buzz of a
fluorescent bulb every few feet. I see that the wide corridor
My pulse skitters nervously. “Where are we going?”
He shoots me a disarming smile. Instead of answering, he
says, “There are five others. Like you. You won’t be alone.”
I swallow. He means five other HTS carriers. And me.
Until graduation. I’m not sure I wouldn’t prefer to be alone.
“You’ll get to know them well, I’m sure.”
Before the end of the corridor, he turns left and stops in
front of a set of steel double doors. Opening the right side door,
he steps inside. I follow, but don’t go much farther. The space
is too small, occupied by a single desk. A teacher sits there,
reading a magazine. He’s young, looks barely out of college.
He quickly stands when he sees us, dropping his magazine.
“Ah, Mr. Tucci. Good morning. Is this the new one?” He
nods in my direction, tugging on his waistband as though his
wind pants need adjustment.
“Yes, Mr. Brockman, this is Ms. Hamilton. I’m sure you’ll
show her the ropes.”
Mr. Brockman looks me over, his gaze crawling, and I
suddenly feel exposed before him. “Not a problem, not a problem,”
I cross my arms. As if that might help to shield me from
his measuring look.
“Very good.” With another smile for me, Mr. Tucci
departs. I wince as the heavy steel clangs after him.
And I’m left with Mr. Brockman and the others, HTS carriers
whose stares I feel boring into me.
Mr. Brockman motions behind him. “Welcome to the
“The Cage?” I echo.
He chuckles. “Yep. That’s what the kids call it. The name
kind of stuck. Even the staff calls it that now.” He nods to the
wall of chain link behind his desk.
It makes terrifying sense. What better way to remove us
from the general population than to stick us down here with
only ourselves for company? And beyond isolation . . . we’re
“The Cage” consists of chain link stretching from floor to
ceiling. On the other side of the chain link there are about ten
desks. Only four students occupy the desks, all staring at me
with varying expressions. Maybe Mr. Tucci was wrong about
the number. Or maybe number five has done something bad
and is in jail.
Immediately, I see that the gate-like door is the only way
in or out. Mr. Brockman moves to open it. “It’ll take them a
while to round up your assignments. You’ll just have to amuse
yourself for today.”
The door squeaks as he pulls it open.
I pause at the entrance, reluctant to move inside, to take
the first step that will officially make me one of them. I look
back at him, unnerved at how close he’s standing beside me,
still looking me over in a way that makes me feel like a piece
“So you don’t actually teach us?” I ask for clarification,
scanning his attire. He looks more like someone on his way to
the gym than a real teacher.
“No. Call me a glorified babysitter. I started as a part-time
sub, but they hired me full-time last year. I just turn your work
in to your teachers on the outside.”
On the outside. Teachers I’ll never even meet. I realize this
I peer inside the Cage, eyeing the others. Three boys and
one girl. She’s no longer looking at me, concentrating instead
on carving something into the desk with her pen.
“That’s Coco.” He takes one more step, bringing his body
closer. The soft bulge of his stomach presses against my arm.
“Bet she’ll be glad for some female company. Just been her in
here with the boys since last year.”
There’s something in his voice that makes the tiny hairs
on my nape prickle, and suddenly I’m not sure what I’m more
afraid of: the Cage and the supposed killers inside—or Mr.
Brockman on the outside.
“Course you don’t have to go in just yet.” His voice falls
close to my ear. “If you want you can stay out here a bit with
Then I know what frightens me more. At least right now,
in this moment, the answer is clear.
In the Cage, I notice Coco’s pen holds still. Her attention
remains fixed on her desk, but I know she’s attuned to me. To
Brockman. Her alertness reaches me, folds into my own veil
Squaring my shoulders, I step inside the Cage.
Enter to win a signed copy of the book. Trust me when I say you NEED this.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Posted by Kari Olson at 9:16 AM