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Maria Wanted

"Maria." A voice said, "Maria."
The girl turned in her bed, facing the clock. It rang her personalized tone, saying her name over and over again until she turned it off. Maria sat up and clicked the button to the higher right of the clock, turning the ring off. She ran through the excuses in her mind to not get up, but realizing she had already used the ones she had prepared for this week, she got on her feet and walked over to her dresser. It was filled with neon green, pink, and orange shirts and jackets. The dresser also contained twenty-five pairs of ripped and worn-out jeans, and one pair of red sneakers. All of her clothes had her name embroidered on them- just so she wouldn't have to say it when she meets a new person.
Maria pulled on a pink shirt and an orange jacket, slipped on her shoes, slid on jeans, and strode into her bathroom. She examined herself closely in the mirror. A tan, green-eyed face stared back at her. She pondered what she would do with herself, settling on finger combing her hair, then wrapping it back into a loose bun on the back of her head. Maria turned on her heel and strode out of her dirty, rusted, rotting home. She skipped down the sidewalk, only stopping once to examine a plant growing through one of the cracks between the concrete tiles. Honestly Maria didn't know exactly where she was going, nor did she really care. She was content roaming around while the moon was still high in the sky.
As Maria walked, she passed one of the many abandoned buildings in the city. But this one was slightly different-she could hear a few voices resonating from within it. One was a woman's-it was shrill and almost grating to listen to. The other voice was probably a boy her age-deeper than the woman's but still wasn't deep enough to be a grown man's. Maria's curiosity grew as she listened to the conversation-the voices grew more and more urgent as time passed.
"What are we going to do with him?" the boy asked.
"I don't think he'll be getting up anytime soon-maybe we should just hide him somewhere in the building," The woman's voice replied, she sounded panicked, "Before someone realizes he's gone."
Soon enough, Maria's curiosity got the best of her, and she wandered into the building. There the boy and the woman stood over what seemed to be a man; he had a bullet wound through his chest. Maria tried to get closer to the two to see their faces clearly, but knocked over one of the brooms propped up against the cardboard boxes filled with a mishmash of abandoned objects.
"Shh, what was that?" the boy said, staring at the woman intently.
"Sounded like something toppled over," she answered, "Do you think someone's here with us?"
Maria gasped-then quickly hid behind a pile of boxes, hoping they couldn't hear her heart pounding in her chest. She heard footsteps coming closer.
"Let me handle it, Lace." the boy told the woman, "Just go hide the body somewhere."
"But-"she retorted.
"I'm the one with the gun Lace-I can handle it."
This seemed to satisfy the woman, who stopped talking and clopped off in the other direction. Maria's heart pounded even harder, her pulse throbbing in her neck. Was she going to be killed?
It was at that moment she felt something cold and hard pressed up against her temple. Maria glanced over and saw the boy holding a gun up to her head. His eyes were narrowed in anger, but he didn't make a move to pull the trigger.
"It's just some kid!" he shouted over to the woman, and then he turned his attention to the petrified girl next to him.
"What's your name?" the boy asked her, and then looked her name stitched on her sleeve.

"Maria, huh?" he put his gun back in its holster, "Maria, since you're a witness, I can't let you go off on your little way."
But the boy then looked her in the eyes and said-
"But since I'm feeling nice, I'll give you a choice. Come with us as a hostage, or get killed."
"It's your decision."





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