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Unearthly

Unearthly


Description : Unearthly
In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees. He’s around my age, in that space between child and man, maybe all of seventeen years old. I’m not sure how I know this. I can only see the back of his head, his dark hair curling damply against his neck. I feel the dry heat of the sun, so intense, drawing the life from everything. There’s a strange orange light filling the eastern sky. There’s the heavy smell of smoke. For a moment I’m filled with such a smothering grief that it’s hard to breathe. I don’t know why. I take a step toward the boy, open my mouth to call his name, only I don’t know it. The ground crunches under my feet. He hears me. He starts to turn. One more second and I will see his face.

That’s when the vision leaves me. I blink, and it’s gone.

Chapter 1

On Purpose

The first time, November 6 to be exact, I wake up at two a.m. with a tingling in my head like tiny fireflies dancing behind my eyes. I smell smoke. I get up and wander from room to room to make sure no part of the house is on fire. Everything’s fine, everybody sleeping, tranquil. It’s more of a campfire smoke, anyway, sharp and woodsy. I chalk it up to the usual weirdness that is my life. I try, but can’t get back to sleep. So I go downstairs. And I’m drinking a glass of water at the kitchen sink, when, with no other warning, I’m in the middle of the burning forest. It’s not like a dream. It’s like I’m physically there. I don’t stay long, maybe all of thirty seconds, and then I’m back in the kitchen, standing in a puddle...
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