TITLE: Flame's Veil
GENRE: YA Fantasy
When I saw the boy lying under the clothesline, I thought he was dead.
A scream crawled up my throat, but I muffled it with the corner of my apron. His muddied skin was porcelain tight, and no breath moved through his body; he could’ve been a statue, or a doll. Imagining the feel of his lifeless hands, all dry and papery, I shuddered and backed into the tomato plants. I couldn’t touch him, couldn’t go near him. I had to call for help, even if it meantmaking Kunis angry.
Then my good sense returned. First, I had to make sure he was dead.
I knelt at his side and reached for his wrist, searching for a pulse. Though mud obscured his face, I could make out his features – a proud but unobtrusive nose, a gracefully curving jaw. The corners of the mouth were turned up, like he was dreaming of something wonderful. And then there was the rest of him – endless legs, unruly copper hair, and suddenly, blue eyes, staring up at me.
“Hey,” he said in a low rasp.
I yelped and jumped backward as his frozen limbs animated one by one. As he sat up, I lifted my laundry basket in front of me, the closest I had to a shield. He could be anyone – a wanted man, or a local troublemaker, known for preying on young girls.
“Don’t be scared!” The boy wiped mud from his lips, revealing pink skin. “I won’t hurt you.”