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Authors: Pete Hautman

Snatched

BOOK: Snatched
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snatched!
Brian got into the car and Roni took off, wheels spinning.
“How come you’re running around loose, Stink Bomb?” she asked. “Didn’t your parents put you under house arrest?”
“My name’s not Stink Bomb. It’s Brian.”
“Really? You don’t
look
like a Brian.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I mean, you look like a Quincy. Or maybe a Hector, or a Zigmund. I expected you to have a really weird name, like a mad scientist. You being a mad stink bomber and all.”
Brian said, “I’ll probably be grounded when my mom gets home, but my dad’s clueless. How about you?”
“I’m going over to Alicia’s to make the big apology. One way to get out of the house. Maybe she’ll be cool and talk to me about what happened.”
“I doubt it,” Brian said.
“You don’t have to be so negative.”
“Well, I’m pretty sure about this. Alicia just got snatched.”
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Registered Offices: Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
First published in the United States of America by G. P. Putnam’s Sons,
a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2006
This Sleuth edition published by Puffin Books,
a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2007
Copyright © Pete Hautman and Mary Logue, 2006
All rights reserved
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS CATALOGED
THE G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS /SLEUTH EDITION AS FOLLOWS:
Hautman, Pete, date. Snatched / Pete Hautman and Mary Logue. p. cm.—
(The Bloodwater mysteries) Summary: Too curious for her own good, Roni,
crime reporter for her high school newspaper, teams up with Brian,
freshman science geek, to investigate the beating and kidnapping of a classmate.
[1. Reporters and reporting—Fiction. 2. Kidnapping—Fiction.
3. Mystery and detective stories.]
I. Logue, Mary. II. Title. III. Series: Hautman, Pete, date .
The Bloodwater mysteries. PZ7. H2887Sn 2006 [Fic]—dc22 2005028558
eISBN : 978-1-101-11803-0
 
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

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For Tucker
1
poison honey
Alicia watched the blood drip from her nose to the grass. She was on her hands and knees, hair covering her face like a veil. The blood looked black in the fading light of dusk.
Funny. It didn’t even hurt.
What would she look like in the morning?
She heard his voice, like poisoned honey. “Alicia?”
“Leave me alone!” Her voice sounded wrong. Her lips felt thick and mushy.
“Are you okay, sweetie?”
She said nothing. He knew she wasn’t okay. He knew everything. He even knew what would happen next. She would clean herself up, and tomorrow she would make up some story and they would pretend it had never happened.
She lied all the time. Sometimes she didn’t even know what was true anymore. She lived in two worlds and sometimes they were the same, but more often they were different. One world was light and airy, the other was dark and scary.
He touched her shoulder. She swung her arm and knocked his hand aside.
“Go away!” she shouted.
He was standing over her. She could see the tips of his shoes. She closed her eyes. She could hear him breathing. And then, after what seemed a long time, she heard his footsteps fading away.
She touched her hand to her face, then looked at it. Her fingers were dark with blood, but she felt no pain. She never did anymore. But this time it was bad. She had never before been hit so hard. Her face would be a mess.
How would she explain it this time?
2
girl talk
Last Friday a Bloodwater High student was mysteriously attacked and left for dead in Riverfront Park.
The victim, Alicia Camden, was found dazed and bleeding near the park entrance. She was taken to Mercy Hospital and treated for cuts and bruises, and for being scared half to death.
Although she has lived in Bloodwater only since the beginning of this school year, Alicia is a member of the tennis team, and lead actress in the school production of The Crucible. She is admired and well liked by all, which makes the reason for this unprovoked attack extremely bizarre.
Since the unfortunate and nearly tragic incident, students are advised to carry large handguns and shoot all strangers on sight.
Roni frowned at what she had written in her notebook. Not exactly a triumph of investigative reporting. In fact, it was pretty much what had been printed in the local newspaper that weekend, with a few embellishments. She needed a fresh angle, and it had to be good. It wasn’t every day she had a real crime to report.
Roni was sitting in the warm autumn sun on the steps in front of Bloodwater High School, along with several other students. Most of them were eating their lunch. Roni did not eat lunch. She had given it up in an effort to lose weight. So far, it wasn’t working.
She scowled at her notebook, trying not to think about food, and made a few changes in her story. She crossed out the words “left for dead,” and “well liked by all.” The first was probably not true, since the injuries hadn’t been that severe—it was only Monday, and Alicia was already back in school. As for the second item, Alicia was not terrifically popular. She was involved in plenty of school activities, but she didn’t seem to have a lot of friends. This made Roni like her better, not being terrifically popular herself.
Alicia did, however, have a boyfriend, Maurice Wellington. Maurice was the star of the basketball team, and one of the best-looking guys in school.
Roni left in the bit about “shoot all strangers on sight.” Roni always made it a point to give Mr. Spindler, the school principal, something to delete.
She was making a few more changes in her article when an attractive blond girl wearing oversize sunglasses and carrying a lime green designer backpack over her shoulder came through the front doors and trotted down the steps.
Roni jumped to her feet. “Hey Alicia!”
Alicia Camden stopped at the bottom of the steps and looked back. She waited for Roni to catch up to her.
“Got a minute?” Roni asked.
Alicia was wearing a lot of makeup, but not enough to cover the cut on her lip.
“Not really,” she said. “My mom’s picking me up for a doctor appointment.” She stared at Roni through her sunglasses. “Do I know you?”
“My name’s Roni. Listen, I heard about what happened to you.”
“You and everybody else in the galaxy.”
“How are you feeling?”
Alicia lifted her sunglasses to reveal a huge purple and yellow bruise around her right eye. “How does it look like I feel?”
“Kind of not so great,” Roni said.
“Thanks a lot.” Alicia lowered her glasses and started walking away.
“Wait a sec.” Roni fell in beside her. “I was wondering if I could talk to you about what happened.”
“Why? Are you some sort of accident geek?”
“Actually, I’m an investigator for the
Bloodwater Pump.

“The
Pump
?” Alicia laughed. “The school newspaper?”
“That’s right.”
“The police don’t want me to talk to reporters. Not even for that little rag.”
Little rag?
Roni felt her blood pressure rise. “Why not?”
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