TITLE: Beautiful Malevolence
GENRE: YA Thriller
I have to bury my best friend today.
Right now, Dad is outside digging a hole next to the oak tree in the backyard. Mom is on her knees at the head of the hole; she doesn’t even look bothered that she’s ruining her new linen pants. She won’t stop adjusting the hastily thrown together wooden cross. She looped Tobin’s collar around it but it won’t sit right. I should go down there and help but I’m not sure if I’m welcome.
Mom can’t even look at me without crying.
She thinks I did it.
I don’t blamer her. They found Tobin in my bed, his golden fur matted with blood, and the butcher knife in my hand even though I was asleep.
I don’t remember a thing, and I don’t think I did it, but it doesn’t matter.
Tobin is dead and Mom hates me.
“Olivia, honey, do you want to come downstairs?” Dad calls from the kitchen.
Dad isn’t mad at me—he knows I’d never hurt Tobin on purpose. He thinks maybe I was sleepwalking or something. They’re taking me to the nut house tomorrow to talk to some shrink.
I climb off my bed, thankful Mom put clean sheets on the rust-colored mattress, and shuffle through my door and down the stairs.
“Will she let me go outside?” I ask.
“Of course she will.” Dad holds out his hand.
I reach for it and we walk into the backyard together. It’s a beautiful, sunny day.