I don’t think I’m endangering anything for this manuscript by posting a snippet here. I suspect it will be greatly revised by the time the book is being submitted, since this is just the rough from last night, after all! But as I’m re-reading it this morning, and thinking ahead to what I will write later today (the day job interferes first, unfortunately, as I prepare to head out the door for that), I’ve decided to share a bit. Keep in mind that this is fresh from the keyboard and unedited for typos, extraneous commas (there are quite a few) and proper punctuation and flow. Let alone edited to be actual tight prose.
I spot the boy again when we step out of Candees. I have two boxes in the bag over my arm. One pair of shoes for school, and one comfortable pair of sandals for now. He looks from the boxes to me, and he blinks twice as if that is somehow a message.
I stop, right there, in the middle of the walkway, and Angelina bumps into me.
“Hannah, are you okay?”
Everyone always asks if I’m okay. All right. As if between one moment and the next my mind might slip away into the ether and leave me stranded.
“I’m fine.” Chin up, I walk past the boy.
It is his whisper this time, I am certain of it. Urgent and soft and directed at me. But at the same time, I know that whisper, know him for what he is.
He is an angel come to take me back.
I refuse to look at him, refuse to give him any hold over my mortal body. Instead I hand my boxes to Nick, who groans and laughs and feigns stumbling under the weight of all my purchases.
We stroll off together, an amoeba of friendship. They surround me, making me their nucleus, and leave the angel on the outside where he cannot touch me.
With Nick, and Angelina, and Derek… I am safe.