Title: BEAUTIFUL WOODS
Genre: YA Dark Fantasy
It was so hot outside the air smelled like charcoal. Just thinking of frozen yogurt had Kess salivating and he pedaled past Bosque Bello Cemetery trying not to pant. A rumbling sound drew his eyes to the sky. It wasn’t supposed to rain until late afternoon, but those dark clouds were heavy and low. By the time he arrived, he was soaked.
A blast of air tossed chill bumps across his skin when he pushed opened the door at the yogurt place. Yet, the scowl on everyone’s face was icier. He looked down at his dripping t-shirt and shorts and backed out onto the sidewalk.
They thought he was a weirdo—a half-born—claiming he had one foot in the world, the other in the grave. Nothing more than a walking bad luck charm, so they feared him. By third grade the kids had nicknamed him Casper. Kess pinched his skin. He was flesh and blood like the rest of them.
He stood underneath the awning and leaned against his bike, trying to wring some of the excess water from his clothes. Rain hammered the street, thunder vibrated the shop window, and lightning flared.
The storm seemed intent on drenching Fernandina Beach or more specifically, downtown. Kess squinted. In the distance, a smudge moved behind the rain that looked like smoke and an acrid scent billowed on the breeze.
He debated for a moment then jumped back on his bike. He was already wet—might as well see what was going on.