TITLE: UNEASY GRACE
GENRE: YA thriller
A siren’s sound in the night woke her from a deep sleep. After the sound faded, Taylor fell back into a fitful doze, and when her alarm buzzed in the early morning, she started awake, her tongue gritty, her left cheek mottled from the imprint of her pillow.
She grabbed a wrinkled sweatshirt, pulled on the same jeans she’d worn yesterday, and twirled her hair into a messy knot. No way she’d wow with her beauty, but it wasn’t as if this day would be any different from any other day at Wayne County High. After almost six weeks, she was still New Girl Nobody.
She stepped from the wide veranda turning headphones on full blast. Even though she hated the local broadcast called “The Mouth of the South,” she tuned in every morning because she couldn’t help her fascination/irritation with the blather the DJ spewed to a half-awake world.
“… a monogramed handkerchief left behind, the name Terry spelled out in blood-red stitches.” A long pause. “Terry?” the DJ said, acting surprised at his own story. “The infamous Terry Waller?”
Taylor ripped the headphones from her ears and shook her head. Stupid.
A shoe scuffled on the gravel path. She listened, alert for the slightest sound.
A throat cleared.
A branch cracked sending goosebumps up her neck. She whipped her head around, her hair loosening from its knot, flying in her face. She walked faster, holding her breath until the gravel drive turned to smooth asphalt.