GENRE: Dark contemporary fantasy
In dreams, the green wild stalked Angela as pythons did mice, crushed her and consumed.
"I'll come home before you realize I'm gone." Grief shredded her words as she kissed Sebastian goodbye. Plane engines roared on the runway, prepped to bear away the twenty-third company. Two years she'd trained and now, her affairs in order, she was to do her part fighting the Deluge. Just a reconnaissance mission. Look and report. See what the jungle lord had planned.
"I know." Sebastian hugged her tighter, like they were the only two on the crowded airfield; other couples held each other the same way, and fathers shook sons' hands before panicked embraces, because this might be the last anyone heard from the twenty-third company. "And I'll be waiting here when you get back."
She blinked away a mist of tears. "Right here? Won't you get hungry?"
"It's going to be messy, but I won't move until your plane lands again." With a tight half-smile, he tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear. "This doesn't want to be trapped in a bun, you know."
"It's that or hack it all off." She leaned against his fingertips, his touch a fresh reminder of what she fought to protect, but mostly what she was leaving behind. She'd remember, too, his expression of mock anguish at the suggestion of a haircut. He was trying so hard to be brave for her.
Commander Barra shouted over the cacophony for everyone to board.