"I remember my first sight of him - the sound and scavenger look of him - surrounded by summer; I remember the stillness of the day and the density of the air. Neither of us was older than nine or ten. I was skimming a car along the garden fence when Finnigan crossed the brink of my vision. At first I feigned ignorance or disdain of his presence, but the car beneath my fingertips bunny-hopped and soon stalled. I slid a glance at him. At school we had seen a wildlife film projected onto a wall, and the boy who was watching me was a hyena. His dark eyes were set apart and seemed to have no arena of white. He didn't move or say a thing but I knew, just from his watching, that he could sever my arm. We were the same height and same age and built along similar leggy lines, but he was a hyena while I was a small, ashy, alpine moth. From the footpath side of the fence he stared at me, and my gaze floated grudgingly from the toy. He swiped a fly from his face. "You're that boy," he said.
". . .What boy?"
"You know. That boy. You know. What you did. Everybody knows."
SURRENDER by Sonya Hartnett. Copyright © 2006 by Sonya Hartnett. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
Copyright © 2006 by Sonya Hartnett. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.