lacking conscious awareness of
He strides down the aisle, toward the stage, apparently
oblivious to the students who plot to stop him.
take delight in
It’s an endless current of fear, and Tyler
revels in the power.
move hesitatingly, as if about to give way
falters at the thought. Fear reaches out to strangle me as gravity pulls me down.
give a false appearance of
I put my hand on my chest and
found in the ordinary course of events
“You hurt me, my dear fellow. Such
mundane activities are far below a man of my standing.”
a feeling of righteous anger
In any other situation, Fareed would have rolled his eyes. In any other situation, I would’ve grinned at his
an indifference to pleasure or pain
Fareed stares at me, his face grim. “Let’s worry about that after we figure out how to deal with this,” he says softly. There is a
stoicism about him but also a deep sadness.
feeling a need to see others suffer
spite makes me feel like throwing up my meager breakfast.
deficient in amount or quality or extent
Ty’s spite makes me feel like throwing up my
a compartment for holding cartridges in some firearms
He has the gun in one hand. His other rests on his waistband, where, strapped over his dress shirt and slacks, he carries extra
magazines, perhaps even another gun.
any system of principles or beliefs
Hometown, family, God, country: that’s the Opportunity
the kinship relation between an individual and progenitors
It’s preached by the mayor who can trace his
lineage back to the Civil War and the elderly farmers, like Abuelo, who linger outside church to discuss the crops and the weather.
derive or receive pleasure from
relished being alone. She didn’t want to be bound to anyone, and Opportunity severed her ties for her.
free from emotional agitation or nervous tension
Most of the students stay where they are, yet Tyler seems
become superficially burned
sear with tears of anger.
so surprised or shocked as to be unable to speak
Chris is temporarily
requiring or showing effort
For a step or two, he’s silent, his breathing
act in accordance with someone's rules, commands, or wishes
“The time for talking has passed. Move.” He waits for Mr. Jameson to
comply and then continues firmly, “Now.”
in a hesitant manner
“Where are my former classmates? Raise your hands.” Ty’s voice drops, and it makes the hair on my neck stand up straight. A few people
tentatively raise their hands.
destroy or injure severely
mar the silence, and all I want to do is barge into the auditorium.
characterized by fantastic and incongruous imagery
slightly short of or not quite accomplished; all but
It means the auditorium is
virtually inaccessible, the perfect place to trap all students.
a brief indulgence of your impulses
If he’d gone on a murdering
spree, it would’ve been less scary. It would’ve been a random act of violence.
accompanying; following as a consequence
Tyler will shoot everyone who tries to stop him, who gets in his way, but they’re
collateral damage. They’re not who he came here for.
a cylindrical tower used for storing grain
I focus on the horizon and on the silhouette of Opportunity. The old clock tower and the church. The grain
silos, which, according to Matt, look like castle battlements.
disposed to seek revenge or intended for revenge
vindictive. When he got into fights with Tomás, he wouldn’t take it out on him. He’d take it out on the people close to you. He cornered Tomás’s sister during junior prom and tried to kiss her. That was why we broke up that night. Ty told me later he only meant it as a joke.”
wild and menacing
That night, Ty stared at me with a wildness in his eyes that I’d never seen before. Gone were kindness and patience. Gone were the smiles. What was left was
be in an agitated emotional state
seething. “Why is it always about me? This town—this school is taking everything away from me. My home. My mother. My sister. Why am I to blame?”
scour my mind for comforting words: “Just hold on”? “We’ll get out of here”? No. They’re all empty promises.
a rapid spin of the body
My head feels light, as if I did a thousand
unwilling or reluctant
He helped Dad in his shop during the week and disappeared on weekends to hunt. He got Dad’s
grudging respect, while I got left behind.
a positive motivational influence
“Would it help if I gave you an
incentive to make the right decision?”
a social group holding marginal or extreme views
Tyler drove us to the cemetery; then we got fries at the diner and he took me to a
fringe performance of the Tuscaloosa dance company. It was a modern retelling of Othello.
made heavy or weighted down with weariness
I should leap to my feet, but my arms and legs are
leaden. I can’t move.
shower with love; show excessive affection for
doted on her but he put his foot down.
lacking solidity or strength
flimsy clips are no alternative to lock picks.
seek someone's favor
woos the teachers and has them wrapped around his little finger.
at risk of experiencing something usually unpleasant
On my knees, I grasp at Asha’s ankles. I’m vaguely aware of other hands pulling at Asha too. She is
liable to strike us all down for getting in her way.
remote in manner
He clearly doesn’t care about anything anymore. He hasn’t cared about anything since junior prom, when everything started to spin out of control.
Until that night, he stayed
aloof, despite spray-painted lockers and messages scratched into the hood of his car.
powerful and effective language
He tricked us with his
eloquence and the occasional fake smile.