Physical & Emotional Abuse

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About Phoenix

Opening section of chapter 1:

Darkness falls so quickly I don’t have time to find the hole in the tire on my sister’s bike. Lacking either a flashlight or a patch, we’ll have to continue on foot all the way back to our house, about an hour and a half from the edge of the dark forest we’re now in. “I think a car’s coming,” says Sasha, on all fours with her ear to the ground. I try it too, but can’t hear anything besides some owls hooting. “We’re not getting into a stranger’s car,” I tell her. “Even if it’s Mike Archer?” “Who?” “You know, the paleontologist who believes he can bring extinct species back to life.” Even though I secretly love that idea, I know I have to be the responsible one. Otherwise my little sister would get herself kidnapped by the first man who comes along, scientist or not. “What does he look like?” “I don’t know,” she admits. “Well, what if it’s John Green or Quentin Tarantino—then can we?” “Sash, we don’t know them personally, we couldn’t get into their car.” “You’d ruin my chance to meet a genius?” “More likely I’d ruin your chance to end up in the belly of the big bad wolf. Okay?” She turns, mumbling something I can’t hear. When a sleek black car appears on the horizon, her arms immediately shoot up and she waves them over her head. The car comes to a stop a few meters ahead of us. “Oh, brilliant!” I mutter, annoyed. “Come over here and please stay calm, whatever happens.” I grab her hand as the door opens.

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