GENRE: YA Speculative
The dust is by far the most interesting thing in this store.
An antique globe creaking in the corner and the crystal wind chimes swaying by the door can’t compare with the elegance of the motes. For a moment, I’m envious of their freedom, the way each speck is careless and ready to defy even the most fundamental laws of gravity while swirling in the sunbeams. But then there’s the tiniest drop of movement, a breath of air or the nearby steps of a body, and it’s too much for them to handle. They scatter, completely at the whim of their surroundings.
That’s why I’m fascinated by them. At first glance they’re defiant, but it turns out they’re just as powerless as the rest of us.
Footsteps thud against the hardwood floor. I turn as Trent snaps his pocket watch shut, the holographic interface sucking back inside the brass case. “The target should be out in eighty-five seconds.” He pauses next to a cabinet of fine china and looks at me as if I’m as fragile as one of the gold-trimmed plates. I can’t stand it. “You ready?”
His words settle in my ribcage, bringing with them a dull, aching pain. After years of assignments together, I can read Trent better than anyone, and his steady gaze tells me this question—the one that’s been lurking unsaid for weeks now—isn’t about the next few minutes. Once we achieve this final match, there’s no going back. My debt will finally be repaid.