TITLE: Dot Reaper
GENRE: YA Fantasy
Thick pillows of smoke stung Max's eyes and invaded her lungs as she collapsed against the bedroom door in a coughing fit. When her lungs ceased the convulsion, she tested the temperature of the door knob with a quick tap before pushing the door open. A waft of clean air greeted her. Max darted to the nearest window and threw it open, taking in deep, agonizing lungfuls of the humid night air.
Following her up the stairs, Fabian, Max’s little brother, was by her side in seconds, sputtering and wheezing against the window screen. Max rubbed and patted his back to help him rid the soot from his lungs. When his breathing settled, she turned her attention to the mesh wiring blocking their escape. Max pushed at the middle and sides of the barrier, but only with Fabian’s help was she able to pop the screen’s aligner out of its track. Another push sent it hurtling to the ground.
Placing a steadying hand on her brother’s shoulder as she threw her leg over the windowsill, Max's bare foot met the rough material of the cold roof.
“Okay,”she said, adjusting her weight. “Hold on to—”
Another explosion rocked the house, sending a concussive force through the room. The top of Max’s head slammed against the bottom of the window as she was hurled outside and onto the roof. The coarse shingles scraped and scratched at her arms and legs as she slid down.
Then she spiraled downward into the darkness.