TITLE: The Stricken
GENRE: YA Dark Fantasy
My footsteps clopped down the sidewalk, urgent, under the sound of busy shoppers. I didn't have much time. The storm would be here any minute. I dashed into the restaurant where Mom worked, my eyebrows scrunched in worry. There. Mom was behind the bar, hanging a picture.
"Mom!" I yelled.
The sea of customers didn't flinch. They ignored me, like always, their eyes passing through me as if I were a pane of glass.
"You're not going to make it."
I felt my mouth quirk up to one side. "Wanna bet?"
I pushed my way through the crowd, grateful for the presence of his voice. The feel of him inside my head was like chocolate. Smooth, comforting.
"It isn't safe for you to be out. There's nothing you can do for your mother."
I gritted my teeth and shook my head. I had lost Dad to the storm and wasn't going to lose Mom too.
I dug my fingers into Mom's shoulder and forced her to face me. The usual look of confusion traveled over her face before a hint of recognition hit.
"Clara! What are you doing here?"
"No time to talk." I dragged her from the restaurant like a mad bulldozer, ready to flatten anything in my path.
"It's here," he said. "Clara, you need to run."
I peeked over my shoulder and froze. The familiar dark cloud moved toward us, gliding down the street like poison. Crap. We were too late.