GENRE: Young Adult
The prick of six feet crawl on my skin. I jump from the floor, stifling a scream. I swat the cockroach, sending it flying to the concrete floor. The bug drops, unfazed by the meter and a half plummet, and scurries beneath the metal shelves in our dark, abandoned studio. This is hardly the first time I have had pests crawl on me; still, I shiver at the phantom course it has left behind, like the trail of a garden snail. The sour smell of our mildewed mattresses tickles at my nose. Eager for fresh air, I lean against the paneless window, allowing the nighttime air to wash over me, but careful not to look down at the street three stories below.
Plumes of gray smoke rise into the polluted midnight sky and mingle with dark, ominous storm clouds, as if they were the ghosts of those who once walked the streets of London before they came; the Marauders. Pirates.
In the distance, the faint orange glow of gas lanterns, which illuminate the remains of the city flickers, daring me to venture out beyond the safety of our dusty apartment above the old furniture warehouse; our current hideout for now until it is time to move on. Taking in a deep breath to still my trembling hands, I swing my leg through the broken window and onto the fire escape, answering the city’s call.
“Where do you think you are going?” her accusing whisper comes from behind me.