GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy
I knew what it was the second I heard the crunch and felt something shift beneath my shoe.
My stomach lurched.
I swallowed, tried to force down the lump in my throat. It didn't budge. A cloud of mist hovered in the frosty air under my nose when I exhaled.
Will they ever leave me alone?
Covering it with my foot again, I looked toward the neighbors' windows, then up and down the street. From what I could tell, no one was watching. With my back to the road, blocking the view just in case, I picked it up.
The flower commanded my attention, standing out against my light skin. Brilliant yellow, bright as the sun, same as always. It didn't help that it was the dead of winter in Shaver. Seeing a lively flower during such a bare time of year only made it worse.
My pocket vibrated, pulling me from my stare. The flower squished against my palm as I grabbed my phone.
I kicked at the brown grass, smooshed it into the mud with my toes.
"Where are you? Do you know what time it is?"
"I'm on my way, Eva. Just... stall or something."
"Stall? It's a bookstore, not a party! Hurry up!"
"I am! Give me -- " I looked at my phone. "It'll be less than ten minutes."
I waited, expecting to at least hear a quick happy birthday. The other end was silent. She'd already hung up.