GENRE: YA Fantasy
The fog burned off early that summer morning, in the hills east of Oakland, leaving behind a clear view of the bay. With her hands wrapped around a mug, Raven observed this from her usual post, shaded by eucalyptus that crowned a ridge behind the estate.
She hardly noticed the chill in the air. Still, the hot tea felt good going down—it was strong and sweet.
How could she find comfort in a ceramic cup under present circumstances? Or was it the soothing hum of a distant lawn mower? If she could take a nap, it would be now.
She laid her head on folded arms, careful to avoid splinters from the picnic table. The staff would be busy with morning meds for at least another hour. Then the smokers would come out and chase her off.
She closed her eyes and breathed deeply--cut grass. There was something like hope rushing down her back, tugging at her shoulder blades.
But a fast approaching argument cut it short. Her father and Oscar, general right hand man and chauffer, were headed towards the garage.
“I’m capable of driving myself,” Dr. Lengrid Fredrick bellowed.
“Sir, please. There’s someone at the service entrance.”
This was Raven’s cue to hop off the bench and out of Oscar’s range. She rounded a corner beyond the residents’ veranda. Leaning against the brick she listened, careful to keep her own thoughts as dull as those of the yellow jacket that was packing mud into mortar just inches from her nose.