Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read. Enjoy!
Cool air blasted me as I pushed into the post office, carrying a package for Mom. Already a small line wound through lobby. A toddler kicked his brother in the leg, while their dad attempted to pull them apart.
“And this, Kasey, is why I don’t want kids,” my sister Mia said, nudging me in the ribs.
I rolled my eyes. “Please, you and Mr. Perfect will have beautiful children. Don’t tell me you’re getting cold feet?”
Mia twisted her wedding ring and chuckled. “No. But if that’s what I have to look forward to, I’m not sure I’ll can handle it.”
The line moved forward and I glanced at the posters hanging along the wall. Missing Persons. The first was of a golden haired guy, standing in front of a seventies car. His smile was enticing. I moved closer to read the print. Broxton Leeland, disappeared June 21, 1977 at age seventeen. Okay, so that made him WAY older than me. But he was hot. Next to that was another poster of a sixteen year old girl, named Dawn Sommers. She’d also disappeared on June 21, 1977. My mom’s older sister. I shivered.
“Kind of a coincidence,” I whispered.
The cashier shot me a bewildered look. “Yeah, it’s sad. Broxton moved here to Beggars Way right before summer that year. All the girls in town fawned over him. But it was Mayor Sommers’ daughter he took a liking to. The two of them went to a party on June 21 and were never heard from again. Such a sad story. The whole town searched every inch of town for them. But they were never found.”
I sat my package on the counter, while the clerk rang it up. My eyes flicked back to the poster again. What happened to you? I handed over a few wrinkled bills for postage then waited for the receipt.
“Here you are. Have a great day,” the cashier said.
“I’ll wait outside,” I told Mia. Shielding my eyes against the sun, I stepped into the sweltering heat. Steamy waves glistened against the blacktop, like a mirage in the desert. Maybe I should’ve opted to stay in the air conditioning.
I plopped down on a wooden bench, staring across the street at park. In the shadows of the maples, I noticed a figure leaned against one of the trees, watching me.
Rays of sunshine burst through the tree tops like heavenly swords, illuminating the boy’s golden hair. A slow smile spread across his lips. I gasped.
Oh. My. God. He looked just like Broxton. Okay, maybe the heat was making hallucinate. I mean, there’s no way it was him. He’d disappeared over thirty years ago. And I’m sorry, but no one looked that good for their age.
“Kasey, did you hear me?” Mia touched my arm.
“What?” I jumped, my pulse practically choking me as it leapt into my throat.
“I said, c’mon lets go home.”
With a deep breath, I glanced back across the street only to find the park empty. Great. Nothing like an overactive imagination. I climbed into Mia’s sedan, and turned on the radio.
“We’re home,” I said as we came into the kitchen. Mom sat at the table, a large glass of lemonade sweating onto the oak wood.
she glanced up from her book. “Lacy called a few minutes ago and wants you to contact her.”
I opened the fridge door and pulled out a pop, then hurried to the phone. “Hey Lace, it’s Kasey.”
“Oh, my god. Keith Hardman stopped by today and invited the two of us to his bonfire tonight. You’ve got to go,” Lacy squealed on the other end.
“Are you kidding?” Keith was flipping hot. And an invite from him, meant you were going places.
“No. The party starts at 9:00. Do you think your parents will let you go?”
“Hang on.” I set the phone down. “Hey Mom, Lace wants to know if I can go to a party with her tonight over at the Hardman’s.”
Mom’s brow furrowed as she gazed out the window and into the backyard. “Honey, I don’t think that’s a good idea. Bad things always happen at parties. There’s drinking, and drugs, and sex…”
“C’mon, I’m like the only girl in my class who’s never been to a bonfire.”
She put her book down. “No. It’s not a good idea.”
I gritted my teeth, and stomped back to the phone. “Sorry, Mom’s in dictator mode.”
“I can help with that.” Lacy giggled. “Climb out your window around 9:00 and I’ll swing by and get you.”
My heart raced. I’d be dead if my parents found out. But I was sick of missing out on everything. Ever since my aunt disappeared in the 70’s they were paranoid. “Sounds good.”
At exactly 9:00 I said goodnight to my parents, then hurried to my room to change. I waited five minutes then crawled out my window. The sun sat low on the horizon; traces of pink and purple painted the sky. My hands trembled as I ducked beneath the living room window and hurried across the yard. Lacy waited for me, and gave a cheer when I plopped into the seat next to her.
“Oh, my god. You actually did it. And here I thought the good girl would bail.” She put the car in drive and headed out of town.
“Yeah, well, let’s just hope we don’t get caught.”
We followed a dirt road into the woods and parked. People were already passing around cans of beer and cigarettes, which I declined.
A bonfire blazed in the center of the clearing. Flames licked and devoured the dry wood. Keith snagged Lacy almost as soon as we got there, leaving me to stand on the outskirts, tapping my foot to the loud rock music.
A figure stepped from the woods, and I inhaled deeply. There, across from me, stood the boy from earlier. His gaze met mine and he smiled. Broxton. It had to be him. He waved for me to join him. At first, I hesitated. Okay girl, live a little.
Sucking in a ragged breath, I moved to his side.
“Hi,” I said.
“Hi.” His voice sounded deep and inviting. Up close, I noticed his eyes were the color of ivy. The scent of honey clung to the air. “I’ve been waiting for you.”
My eyes widened. “Who are you?”
“You already know.” He held out his hand, and I swallowed hard.
Impossible. It couldn’t be Broxton. A part of me wanted to back away. But the other part wanted the excitement. I took his hand, and warmth spiraled up my fingers.
“Broxton,” I whispered.
He smiled, leading me into the woods. Shadows reached out from the trees, darkness growing closer. Sticks and pine cones crunched beneath my feet as he pulled me to a stop near some briars. There, entangled in the weeds was the car I’d seen in the poster.
My chest tightened, fear blanketing me for the first time. As if sensing my discomfort, Broxton pulled me closer. His fingers traced my face.
“I always come back when I want something, Kasey. And right now, that something is you.”
His lips met mine, and my blood blazed like molten lava. Something snagged my ankle and I pulled back. I watched in horror as vines ensnared us, wrapping us together like a cocooned larva.
“We’ll be together forever, Kasey.”
I tried to scream, but the brambles, and weeds, and vines closed around us. Covering us like dirt tossed on a grave. Broxten held tight, his cheek brushing mine.
“I won’t be alone anymore…” he whispered.
His flesh disappeared, and I found myself entangled with a skeleton.
Mia hung the poster of her sister up in the post office. Kasey Sommers missing, June 21, 2010. Last seen with a blonde young man.
“Such a shame,” the cashier said. “The girls around here should know better than to sneak out. He always gets them.”
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