TITLE: The Elder Race
GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy
I’ll never forget the first time I died.
A dense fog rolled in off the Virginia coast, camouflaging two deer that darted into the road. I cut the wheel and my foot slammed the brake, but my Jetta figure skated across the pavement. A metallic screech pierced the night as the guardrail etched a complaint into the passenger side door, threatening to break, and send Ana and me over the edge. Below, the icy black water of the Atlantic waited.
I overcorrected and the car sailed into the woods. Tree branches clawed at the doors until it stopped with a shattering crunch, plowing into a large evergreen. My seatbelt locked my body in place, but my head jerked to the side, leaving behind a bloody spider web of cracked glass.
“Ana, are you okay?”
“I peed my pants,” she said with a shaky laugh. That made two of us.
Fractured tree limbs rained down. The windshield cracked under the weight of ice and wood. Hundreds of tiny fissures shot out from one another. The roof wailed in protest. It caved in under the branch’s weight. The steering wheel shoved into my chest. Pain spread like an infection throughout my body. The metallic reek of blood saturated the air. Black spots consumed my vision. Goose bumps bejeweled my skin.
Fear breathed down my neck and I gasped.
The gentle drumming of my slowing heartbeat lulled me to sleep. As the darkness consumed me, my body fell limp. So much for making curfew.
The pungent smell of gasoline burned my nose, forcing my heavy eyelids open. The searing pain in my leg and my head I felt moments ago had diminished. A man stood in front of me, less than a car length away. Instead of the night’s shadows hiding his approach, he glowed like the moon. But the light didn’t surround him, it radiated from within him.
He lifted the handle, and with a loud stannic snap, wrenched the door off its hinges. “I’m here to help,” he said in a hushed voice.
The stranger’s muscles flexed and his body tensed as he tore the steering wheel from the dashboard. His warm hands lifted me from the driver’s seat, ripping my seatbelt like a paper towel. My body trembled in his arms, clattering my teeth together as shock turned into tears.
“Don’t cry. Everything’s going to be all right.”
I raised my head toward his velvety voice, hoping to get a good look at him. But my gaze never left his electrifying, silvery-blue eyes. He cradled me against his chest where his heartbeat played me a simple melody. It calmed me like a child’s lullaby. The earthy scent of sandalwood and vanilla hung off his clothes and dulled the stench of gas.
“Where are you taking me?”
“Some place safe.”
He mumbled something under his breath as we passed through a low-lying fog. “Who are you?” I asked as he sat me on the ground.