The food is ready, Zil announced to loud cheers.But we have something more important to do, first, before we can eat.Groans.We have to carry out some justice.That earned a silent stare until Turk and Hank started raising their hands and yelling, showing the crowd how to act.This mutant, this nonhuman scum here, this freak Hunter… Zil pointed, arm stretched out, at his captive. This chud deliberately murdered my best friend, Harry.Na troo, Hunter said. His mouth still didn’t work right. Brain damage, Zil supposed, from the little knock on his head. Half of Hunter’s face drooped like it wasn’t quite attached right. It made it easier for the crowd of kids to sneer at him and Hunter, yelling in his drooling retard voice, wasn’t helping his case.He’s a killer! Zil cried suddenly, smacking his fist into his palm.A freak! A mutant! he cried. And we know what they’re like, right? They always have enough food. They run everything. They’re in charge and we’re all starving. Is that some kind of coincidence? No way.Na troo, Hunter moaned again.Take him! Zil cried to Antoine and Hank. Take him, the murdering mutant scum!They seized Hunter by the arms. He could walk, but only by dragging one leg. They half carried, half marched him across the plaza. They dragged him up the church steps.Now, Zil said, here is how we’re going to do this. He waved his hand toward the rope that Lance was unspooling back through the plaza.An expectant pause. A dangerous, giddy feeling. The smell of the meat had them all crazy. Zil could feel it.You all want some of this delicious venison?They roared their assent.Then you’ll all grab on to the rope.
Michael Grant