Inferno (#2 Destroyers Series)

By: Holly Hook


Blood sang in her ears. Kenna so wanted to say something nasty, but that would just get Natalie and her minions on her back for the next month. She didn’t need nasty rumors spread about her again, so she turned away and gripped the rope so hard her knuckles turned a pale tan color.

There was a woman standing way out on the hardened lava.

Kenna squinted. Who’d be standing way out there? The rangers said there were dangerous fumes, and not to mention the lava itself. And she didn’t look like any park ranger. All stooped over, she wore a brown dress and shawl. A head of black hair topped a tanned, wrinkled face.

The woman raised her hand in greeting…and waved Kenna over to her.

Kenna released the rope fence and took a step back, catching her breath. That couldn’t be right. She’d never seen this woman before—and she had to be crazy, standing out there. From this distance, it almost looked like she was standing in the lava. A red glow throbbed and flowed around her feet. But nobody could do that without bursting into flames. She’d read somewhere that lava was what?—two thousand degrees?

Kenna shot a glance at the people around her. Tourist families jostled around each other for the best view of the exploding coastline. The park ranger had disappeared. The Kissies drew closer around Gary, leaving him no escape. Nobody except her had seen the woman.

Still, she had to tell someone. Anyone.

“Hey,” Kenna said, circling around the Kissies—no easy feat—and tapping Gary on the arm. “Someone’s out there.” She pointed to the fiery river in the distance and shielded her face from the sun to make out the old woman again.

She was gone. Impossible. Only the fiery river flowed for the sea. Stray fumes blew away in the wind, but there was no sign of a brown dress or a white shawl.

“What are you trying to do, Chomp?” Natalie asked, using her favorite name for every girl who wasn’t a supermodel. “You’re not wanted here.”

Gary blinked a bunch of times and stood up straight. “Hey, why can’t you leave her alone? And while you’re at it, why can’t you leave me alone, too?”

Natalie looked as if malls had been banned from the face of the Earth. “You’re no fun.” She shot her nastiest look ever at Kenna—and that was saying a lot. In other words, there was going to be some alcohol planted in her locker this afternoon and a tip to the office. Natalie waved to her minions. “Come on.”

The Kissies disappeared into the crowd. It was good riddance, and Gary had rejected Natalie. Smart. She could only hope Carlos was the same way.

But she had other things she needed to worry about, like that old woman.

“Thanks,” Kenna managed. “I was trying to get someone’s attention. I saw someone standing out by the lava.”

Gary squinted and studied the landscape. “Don’t see anyone. You sure?”

Kenna shook her head. There was no way that woman would've disappeared so fast, even if she fell in the lava. She would’ve screamed, at least. “I’m not feeling very good today. I think my fever’s messing with my brain.” That had to be it. Maybe all those vapors had just made her see things. There had to be rational explanation for it all. Everything could be explained…eventually.

“Hey, I’ve had days like that, too,” Gary said, staring at the school bus in the parking area. “Field trip?”

“Yeah.”

“This is my first time in Hawaii,” Gary said, staring at the ocean. “Not much different than where I’m from, though. Except the volcanoes. I’m only here because my girlfriend has a vacation home in Hilo. I’m staying here for a couple of weeks with her family. So far it’s been pretty cool.”

“Oh, there you are.” A skinny blond girl appeared out of the crowd and slipped her hand into Gary’s.

Somewhere inside Kenna, a balloon popped. She should’ve known he had a girlfriend.

Gary’s girlfriend seemed like any other normal sixteen-year-old girl, except for the fact that she was dressed like an executive.

She wore a lavender business suit with a cell phone clipped to the side of her slacks. Yes, a business suit. She looked very weird standing next to Gary in his T-shirt and baggy jeans. “Hi.”

“Hi.” Kenna couldn’t stop staring. Most adults didn’t even dress like that, and definitely not on vacation.

The girl’s eyes met hers. They were a weird gray color, a stormy gray, the same color as that older guy’s spiral tattoo. “My name’s Janelle.”

“Like the hurricane?” she asked. Only a couple of months ago, one of the same name had broken a bunch of records over on the Atlantic coast and forced people to evacuate from about a dozen states.

Janelle flinched as if someone had dumped ice water down her back. “Yeah.”

“I’m Kenna.” She could talk easier now that she wasn’t alone with this boy. “You’re the one with the vacation home?”

Janelle nodded. “I inherited it when my…my mom died and left me everything.” A choking sound escaped her throat, but she took a deep breath to clear it. “She…she made money off the stock market. Like a lot of it.”

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