TITLE: Of Fire and Shadow
GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy
My mother died a week ago because of me. Smoke inhalation, the coroner’s report said.
The problem: there was no fire.
The cause: the freakish mutation that's plagued me for three years. Not that I could admit it, unless I wanted to become a science experiment, or thrown in jail. As I leaned against the rough brick wall, something caught my eye.
The shadows across the road were oddly darker than the midday sun warranted, as if they had swallowed the very ground. Goosebumps prickled down my neck.
I stepped away from the wall, drawn by the shadows, which was a good move considering the wall had etched a pattern into my skin.
Something, or someone, stood in the shadows across the street. I squinted, trying to overcome the glare of sunlight, to make out what stood before the towering office buildings. The figure swayed like branches caught in a breeze. My eyebrows furrowed as I stepped into the gutter, ignoring the cars blurring past. The shadows writhed and crept towards the buildings, the figure moving in their safety.
“Talitha?” I spun and faced my grandma’s inquiring face. She’d finished inside the lawyer’s office—finished with the aftermath of my own design. I swallowed hard and glanced back at the shadowed trees and sidewalk. They were normal once more.
“Everything sorted?” I asked, and shook my head to clear it. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen the writhing shadows.
She squinted at me through her round glasses. “Yes.”