TITLE: HIDE ME AWAY
GENRE: YA - Psychological thriller
Five years since my cousin died, and we were nowhere near closure. Instead, the pain had coalesced into a jagged icicle in my chest, a reminder every time my gaze slipped to the woods down the road. An open lot of abandoned land, wild with yellowing weeds and brush, separated it from my house. My twelve-year-old cousin had wandered beyond that lot one day. Hours later, they had found her body half-submerged in the stream.
I averted my eyes from the trees and propped my bike by the door, waiting for the sound of double locks and safety chains sliding, a sure sign my aunt had been lurking by the window and had spotted me. It was something I’d gotten used to, like biking home straight from school because she had me timed to the second. School and home formed two neat little cages that corralled my life. Three, if you counted the evening shifts at the deli. But I knew how much harder it was for her. How much it tore her apart to let me walk out the house every morning.
But the door remained shut, and the knob turned easily under my touch. My fingers tightened around the cold metal. She always kept that door locked.
My voice cut through the living room. The chipped rocking chair in the corner, the place she usually occupied, was empty. Her shawl lay crumpled on the floor by the window, next to a tangled roll of pink knitting yarn.