Delilah S. Dawson Hit

ISBN 13: 9781481423403

Hit

3.63 avg rating
( 999 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781481423403: Hit
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

In order to save her mother, a teen is forced to become an indentured assassin in this sizzling “movie ready” (Kirkus Reviews) dystopian thriller.

No one reads the fine print.

The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that it was bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.

Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?

Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy’s list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own. Since yarn bombing is the only anarchy in Patsy’s past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren’t strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy’s list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.

An absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality that is eerily just steps away from ours—Hit is a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Delilah S. Dawson is the author of Hit, Servants of the Storm, Strike, the Blud series, Star Wars novels and short stories, a variety of short stories, comics, and essays, and the Shadow series as Lila Bowen. She lives in Georgia with her family and a fat mutt named Merle. Find her online at WhimsyDark.com.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Hit

1.

Robert Beard

The carefully folded strip of paper in my lucky locket reads I want to survive the next five days. I kiss it and tuck it under the tight neck of my long-sleeved black tee with the solemn reverence my mom would give her rosary. Or, in the last six months, her Vicodin.

I sit on the cramped cot in the back of a refurbished mail truck, surrounded by band posters and crocheted afghans and half-finished knitting projects, trying to pull myself together. I can’t stop shaking. At first, the truck smelled like welded metal and fresh paint. I stuck prints from my bedroom at home on the walls, draped my favorite quilt on the cot, and arranged my vintage pillows with a few stuffed turtles from my collection. I even tried hanging up some embroidery hoops, but they kept falling down. For a couple hours, I ­pretended that it was a dorm room or my first apartment, the freedom and comfort I’ve always craved. But the illusion didn’t last. Now, with fast-food bags crumpled up under the cot and a digital clock ticking down the minutes to failure, it reeks of hot garbage and desperation. It’s one step away from being in prison. Or worse.

I’m already running out of time on my first assignment, with only thirty minutes left before the twelve-hour limit. I’ve been sitting here in my truck, waiting for . . . I don’t know what. For my feelings to coalesce, for some sort of determination to set in. But it never has. I just feel empty and thin and shaky, as flimsy as the fast-food salad I could barely choke down for lunch. I knew I should have gone for fries. Fries would have given me strength.

I swallow again, fighting to force down the lump of fear in my throat. I’ve got a job to do, and not the one at the pizza place where I’ve worked since my fourteenth birthday, slinging pies with my friends Jeremy and Roy to help pay the bills. No, this job is far more disgusting. And dangerous. And I can’t just quit.

“Shit,” I mutter, the word echoing off the metal. A few minutes ago, the digital clock set into the dashboard started blinking, which is a noxious reminder to hurry. They’ve given me twelve hours each to complete ten deliveries, so five days to finish out my “shift,” as they called it. But I supposedly get a bonus if I finish early, and I really need that money. And I need to finish. So I need to get started.

I squeeze back into the driver’s seat, which is on the wrong side, and pull the US Postal Service hat down over my hair. Dark, wavy chunks straggle out underneath, and I wish it were long enough for a decent ponytail. This hat is required, and it’s possibly the ugliest thing I’ve ever worn—and that’s saying a lot, because I have a closet at home full of sweaters straight out of the eighties. At the last possible moment, I button the scratchy new Postal Service shirt over my long-sleeved tee. It’s stiff and itchy, and I can’t wait to take it off again. Just wearing the thing makes my skin crawl. Looking down, I make sure the top button is buttoned correctly, not blocked in any way, and I slide the small signature machine snugly into the front pocket.

The package I’m supposed to deliver is riding shotgun, and I can’t stop staring at the printed card that goes with it. I’ve been reading and rereading it all day, but it barely makes sense and my brain is full of snow like a broken TV and I know I won’t be able to remember it. And it has to be done perfectly, word for word.

I’ll be lucky if I can remember how to read.

I shove the key in the mail truck’s ignition and turn it, and the engine sputters to life. I drive around the corner to the house I’ve been watching all day and put the truck in park, leaving it running as I step onto the uneven sidewalk. With shaking hands, I lean in and pick up the fruit basket, the plastic crinkling against my fingers and short but wild nails. I painted them alternately bloodred and bright green with dollar signs just last night. It’s not like I could sleep, anyway, what with the unusually large mail truck parked in an abandoned lot and me having a complete breakdown. The nails look a little Christmassy, but it’s really my own personal protest against what I have to do. I’m still me—even if they’re making me do something very, very bad.

I walk up between dried-out, overgrown bushes, holding the basket like a shield. This neighborhood used to be really impressive. We pass it all the time on the way to the store. The Preserve, it’s called, like rich people are just milling around in a beautiful, protected oasis, dumb and magnificent as wild animals. I remember wondering how someone could ever earn enough money to have one of these gigantic, brick castles with a filled four-car garage. Now I understand that they couldn’t. Which is why I’m here in the first place.

The yard is yellow and dry, half overtaken with clover killed by the first frost just a few nights ago. A small tree has fallen over, surrounded by earth gone cracked and hard without constant watering from the sprinkler system, but no one has done anything about it. I trip on an old garden hose and drop the fruit basket to catch myself painfully on my hands. If it were a real gift basket, I would be scrambling to pick up bruised pears and broken apple jelly jars. As it is, the entire thing is still in one piece, the plastic fruit glued firmly together and the foam now dented. The signature machine is still in my front pocket, and I wonder how much abuse it was designed to take. A lot, probably.

For just a moment, I stay on the ground, feeling the burn of cold concrete under my stinging palms, trying to breathe. I want nothing more than to run back to the truck, to run home, to cry, to scream, but I can’t, so I stand and brush myself off. When I pick up the basket, carefully, as if it mattered, I turn it around so the dented part doesn’t show.

There are two steps up to the house, steps that aren’t even really necessary. The paint on the door is peeling, the doorbell dangling by wires. I seriously hope this guy is home. Robert Beard, the list says. With a deep breath, I step up to the door and knock. A cold trickle of fear drips down my spine, and I shift from foot to foot in mismatched sneakers, wishing this was just a bad dream and hoping I don’t lose my salad.

For a while, nothing happens. I start to worry. What if he’s not here? What if he’s already moved on? What if he’s at work? And for just a second, relief floods me as I imagine skipping back to the truck and driving away to get a milk shake and some fries. But the relief is a silly dream, not real, because that would just make my job harder, if he wasn’t here. It wouldn’t get me off the hook. It would keep me here longer, like a writhing worm stuck right through the heart. If worms even have hearts, which I can’t remember. And I don’t want to find out what happens the moment that blinking clock in the car stops counting down.

The curtain to the side of the door twitches to reveal the flash of reading glasses and squinting eyeballs. I smile and hold up the gift basket. Guess what? It’s a package for you, Mr. Beard! He smiles back like a dog slurping over a steak and nods, and the door unlocks and swings open. The hot air inside hits me like a wall. He’s still got enough cash to cover electricity, then. At my much smaller house, we just put on more clothes and live without heat until the pipes are about to freeze, but this dude is living in his own tropical paradise to escape the sharp chill of November, which isn’t sharp at all in Candlewood, Georgia.

The man inside is big and disheveled. What once must have been a nice body has migrated to an old dude pregnancy. He looks like he hasn’t left the house in weeks, with patchy stubble and dark blond hair that’s too long for a rich guy. But his robe is the fluffy white kind you get at fancy hotels, and one of his teeth winks gold when he smiles. And something about him is eerily familiar, but I don’t know why.

“Robert Beard?” I ask, voice squeaking.

“That’s me,” he says.

He holds out his hands, and I give him the signing machine. Without reading the message, without pausing for even a single heartbeat, he signs it, sealing his fate for the second time. I don’t realize until he hands it back that I was holding my breath. Exhaling a tiny cloud of fog, I look down to make sure the digital stylus worked.

His signature is big and bold with a line underneath it. Bob Beard.

And that’s when it clicks.

This was the Vice President Bob Beard who fired my mom from her nicer office job downtown. She cried for days and never got over the fact that if she’d been prettier, younger, more put together, he might have let her stay. Behind his closed office door, he told her that being a personal assistant was a job for an optimistic young woman with up-to-date skills, a winning attitude, and a fresh-faced appeal. A go-getter.

And my mom knew exactly what that meant, so she boxed up her mementos with what was left of her pride and walked out before she was forced to train her big-boobed twenty-year-old replacement. We started looking for new jobs that afternoon and ate nothing but peanut butter sandwiches to make her two weeks of severance pay last as long as possible. Her next job was a step down in every way, with insurance so bad that my mom’s had a broken tooth for two years but won’t get it fixed. She winces when she drinks ice water now. Since her car accident, we’ve switched to even cheaper peanut butter.

All thanks to Bob Beard.

I press the accept button harder than necessary and nestle the signature machine in my pocket. My pulse speeds up as I angle my body toward him. I’ve hated this guy for years. He holds out his hands for the basket, a little closer, a little more insistent. Bob’s not used to waiting for anything.

“Well?” he says when I don’t shove the goodies at him and run. I shift the basket to my hip, holding it one-handed so I can read from the card. And so he’s directly in front of me.

“Robert Beard,” I start, my voice low and angry, all squeak long gone. “You owe Valor Savings Bank the exact sum of $643,762.80. Can you pay this sum in full?”

His eyebrows go up, and he snorts like a bull.

“Of course not,” he says, confused and angry, like I’m not supposed to know the true depth of his failure as a responsible human being. Like it’s my fault. He licks his lips and pulls the sleeve of his robe down over the shiny gold watch on his wrist. “Are you with a collections agency?”

I clear my throat and take a step back as I read from the card, just a little too fast.

“By Valor Congressional Order number 7B, your account is past due and hereby declared in default. Due to your failure to remit all owed monies and per your signature just witnessed and accepted, you are given two choices. You may either sign your loyalty over to Valor Savings as an indentured collections agent for a period of five days or forfeit your life. Please choose.”

“What?”

I look down at the card, wishing there were more for me to say, more than all the tiny-print legal crap on back, the language so thick and official I can’t begin to understand it. It’s so confusing, really. They probably did it that way on purpose. I push the basket up against my chest, right over the top button of my shirt and, underneath that, my lucky locket.

“It’s pretty simple, Bob,” I whisper. “You either agree to work for them as a bounty hunter or I have to kill you.”

“What? Who the hell do you think you are, kid? You can’t just walk up to my door and read shit at me and threaten me in my own home! What about charge-offs? What about declaring bankruptcy? That’s how it’s done. There’s a system. Valor isn’t God. This is America, for Chrissakes.”

I sigh. There’s no helping this guy. He sure didn’t help himself. When you look back at the chain of events that brought me here, he’s one of the biggest dominoes that fell. If he’d let my mom keep her job, if he hadn’t been so goddamn greedy, if he’d paid back his debts, I wouldn’t be standing on his doorstep at all. I move the basket back to my side, let that top button get a good look at his snarl, at his gold tooth, at his I’m-a-wealthy-white-guy-so-I’m-protected-from-everything rage.

“Robert Beard, you have two choices.”

“Screw you.”

“I’m going to take that as a no,” I say.

“Great. It’s a no. Can I have my goddamn basket now?”

I take a deep breath and reach behind me, to the waistband of my jeans. I pull out the Valor-issued 9mm Glock and point it at his chest. We’re so close that I can’t even extend my arm all the way. My hand is shaking like crazy, and the gun feels like it weighs a million pounds, and my fingers are numb and slippery. Bob Beard’s hands shoot up, his body going tense.

“Wait, kid. Let’s talk about this. I might have some cash. . . .” He wiggles his arm, and his sleeve falls down, showing his watch.

My vision goes weird, like I’m looking down a long tunnel, and at the end is this guy I’ve never met but have hated for years, and for just a second, I can see the tiny red veins in his nose lined up in the pistol’s dead-black sights. I lower the gun, close my eyes, say a prayer to whoever is listening, and completely fail to pull the trigger.

A soft beep starts up from the truck, the siren getting louder and louder, like an alarm clock that hasn’t reached full volume yet. How much time do I have? A minute? Less?

I swallow hard and whisper, “I’m sorry.”

Eyes still closed, I pull the trigger and shoot Bob Beard right in the chest.

The gun barely recoils, and I take a few steps back. God, it happened so fast. And it’s so unreal. And he still doesn’t understand. He ­gurgles and clutches the door frame before sliding to the ground, one hand to his heart like he’s about to say the Pledge of Allegiance. I lean over him, angling the top button of my shirt, the glossy black one, so that it’s right over the bloodstain blooming on the front of his fluffy white robe. I wait until he stops breathing. I want to make sure they know.

With trembling fingers, I place the printed card from Valor on his chest for his next of kin. Not that the explanation is going to help much unless one of them is a lawyer. Maxwell Beard has the same address and is tenth on my list, and I’m guessing it must be his son. For just a second, I consider stepping over Robert Beard’s body and going inside to find Maxwell and get that bonus. But I’m pretty sure I’m going to throw up, and I don’t want to do it in a dead man’s house. Seconds have passed, but it feels like forever.

I leave Bob lying there, his door wide open, and jog back to my truck with the basket under my arm and the warm gun in my hand, finger firmly off the trigger. My feet are numb, my heart trying to pound out of my chest. I feel cold all over, cold and empty, except that there’s something warm all over my face, and I know I’m crying, but I don’t have a free hand to wipe away the tears. The lump in my throat is about to come up, a writhing ball of lettuce and fat-free ranch. Killing a person—it was both a million times easier and a million times harder than I’d thought it would be. And because it was him, because it was Bob Beard, God help me, it almost felt good. And that scares me.

Today is the first day of government-sanctioned assassination, and the faster I can get through my list of ten debtors, the better my chances of catching them like this, unaware. I can only hope that they’ll all be this uncomplicated—one person, alone...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781481423397: Hit

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1481423398 ISBN 13:  9781481423397
Publisher: Simon Pulse, 2015
Hardcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Dawson, Delilah S.
Published by Simon and Schuster (2016)
ISBN 10: 1481423401 ISBN 13: 9781481423403
New Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon and Schuster, 2016. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # KS-9781481423403

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 6.82
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Delilah S Dawson
Published by Simon Pulse, United States (2016)
ISBN 10: 1481423401 ISBN 13: 9781481423403
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon Pulse, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint ed.. Language: English. Brand new Book. In order to save her mother, a teen is forced to become an indentured assassin in this sizzling "movie ready" (Kirkus Reviews) dystopian thriller. No one reads the fine print. The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that it was bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they're unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country. Patsy didn't have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die? Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy's list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own. Since yarn bombing is the only anarchy in Patsy's past, she's horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren't strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy's list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice. An absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality that is eerily just steps away from ours--Hit is a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish. Seller Inventory # AAS9781481423403

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 13.78
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Delilah S Dawson
Published by Simon Pulse, United States (2016)
ISBN 10: 1481423401 ISBN 13: 9781481423403
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon Pulse, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint ed.. Language: English. Brand new Book. In order to save her mother, a teen is forced to become an indentured assassin in this sizzling "movie ready" (Kirkus Reviews) dystopian thriller. No one reads the fine print. The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that it was bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they're unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country. Patsy didn't have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die? Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy's list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own. Since yarn bombing is the only anarchy in Patsy's past, she's horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren't strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy's list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice. An absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality that is eerily just steps away from ours--Hit is a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish. Seller Inventory # AAS9781481423403

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 14.29
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Delilah S Dawson
Published by Simon Pulse
ISBN 10: 1481423401 ISBN 13: 9781481423403
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon Pulse. Paperback. Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Seller Inventory # B9781481423403

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 8.01
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.00
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Delilah S. Dawson
Published by SIMON PULSE (2016)
ISBN 10: 1481423401 ISBN 13: 9781481423403
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Rating
[?]

Book Description SIMON PULSE, 2016. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # TH9781481423403

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 18.89
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.43
From Germany to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Delilah S. Dawson
Published by Simon Pulse (2016)
ISBN 10: 1481423401 ISBN 13: 9781481423403
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon Pulse, 2016. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1481423401

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 19.68
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.27
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Delilah S Dawson (author)
Published by Simon Pulse 2016-03-08 (2016)
ISBN 10: 1481423401 ISBN 13: 9781481423403
New paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon Pulse 2016-03-08, 2016. paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 9781481423403

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 14.30
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.72
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Dawson, Delilah S.
Published by Simon Pulse (2016)
ISBN 10: 1481423401 ISBN 13: 9781481423403
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon Pulse, 2016. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. reprint edition. 352 pages. 8.50x5.50x1.00 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # z-1481423401

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 20.59
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.72
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

Dawson, Delilah S.
Published by Simon Pulse (2016)
ISBN 10: 1481423401 ISBN 13: 9781481423403
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon Pulse, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111481423401

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 36.64
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

10.

Dawson, Delilah S.
Published by Simon Pulse 2016-03-08 (2016)
ISBN 10: 1481423401 ISBN 13: 9781481423403
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Chiron Media
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon Pulse 2016-03-08, 2016. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # NU-BNT-01651508

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 15.14
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 38.90
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book