GENRE: YA thriller (horror elements)
Long Beach Island was supposed to be a magical place. That’s what real estate and travel agents told tourists, anyway. Come to LBI for your vacation, and all your dreams will come true. Soak up the sun and let your cares float away.
Maybe it was just that I’d lived on the mainland for so long, or maybe it was that being on the island meant coming to work on my dad’s boat — it wasn’t anything special. And with the first fingers of winter creeping over, it felt like I’d never get the chill out of my bones. Nothing magical about that.
November winds whipped frigid salt—scented air into my face, pushing against my scooter and seeming to urge me away from The Tern. When I finally pulled into the parking lot, Rick Camarda waved from his favorite position: slumped against the front wall of the restaurant to wait for the owner to arrive and unlock the door.
“Hey, Mackenzie,” he said. He hadn’t smoothed down the cowlick that kicked up his short, dark hair, like he’d just woken up and rolled into work without a shower. “What’re you doing on the island in the off-season?”
“Noah didn’t tell you? We’re moving,” I said, flicking the key in the ignition and removing my helmet. The scooter engine sputtered off, leaving only the raspy—shrill call of seagulls and the occasional rumble of a car engine to block out the sound of the ocean a few blocks away.