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!
My heels clicked on the sidewalk as I ducked into an alcove outside the antique shop. Please don’t let Kelly notice, I’ve left. If I had to hear about Rafe or Pierre or Beau or any other French guy, I’d scream.
Paris was supposed to be this epic adventure for me. Touring the Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe, Notre Dame, not to mention all the museums I’d wanted to visit. Then Aunt Silvia decided to invite my cousin Kelly along. So instead of visiting historic places I’d dreamt of since I was like ten, I spent every waking moment chasing college guys with accents. Not that I didn’t find the guys hot, but I so wasn’t here for that.
The bell above the door jingled as I entered, the scent of old books and wood overwhelmed me. Shelves filled with china glassware, crystal, jewelry, and trinkets reached to the ceilings. Centuries’ old furniture lined the walls, while garments hung from hangers swaying like ghosts from the past.
“Beautiful,” I whispered, running my hand over a carved cherry jewelry box, with pearl insets. My body thrummed as if I’d come home.
Wooden planks creaked beneath my footsteps and I made my way further into the shop, away from the windows. The light dimmed, casting shadows across the floor at my feet. A cool draft snaked down the neck of my coat and I pulled my collar tighter.
I scanned the shelves, when a snow globe caught my eye. Curious, I picked it up. It was heavier than I imagined, the base made of white oak, a glass sphere on top. Inside was a tiny version of Paris, the Eiffel Tower distorted in the center.
My fingers brushed against a tiny key like knob at the bottom. I wound it up and music tinkled eerily from it.
“Hello, can I help you?” a masculine voice said from behind me.
I fumbled with the souvenir, almost dropping it. “No. I’m just looking.”
My gaze shifted to a pair of mahogany eyes, nearly hidden beneath floppy dark bangs. My breath caught in my throat. As a chiseled face gave way to a perfect smile.
He chuckled. “For a moment, I thought you might be hiding from someone. The way you dashed in here.”
Heat fluttered across my chin and I knew without even looking, my face was a lovely shade of strawberry. “It’s a long story.”
“I’m Antoine, the owner of the shop.”
His smile widened. “An American. You must be here on vacation.”
I laughed. “That’s debatable. I’ve done very little sightseeing.”
“And why’s that?”
Without hesitating, I gave him the abridged version of Kelly. It’s like I had no off button.
When I finished, Antoine patted my hand. “Don’t worry, by day’s end, I promise, you’ll see the city of love. Up close and personal.”
Just then the door burst open and Kelly rushed in. “There you are. Shit, I’ve been looking everywhere for you. Pierre invited us to this party tonight. I told him we’d be there. And get this, he’s totally gonna hook you up with one of his friends.”
“Sorry, Kyra has plans.” Antoine stepped between us.
She stared at me. “Don’t ruin this for me. Please. Pierre’s friend is expecting the ‘blonde with big tits’.”
Sometimes I totally hated her. Why did she have to embarrass me in front of Antoine? Besides, I didn’t want to spend the night being fondled by some overeager jerk.
“I’m not going. You’ve dragged me around every day this week. Tonight, is for me.” I crossed my arms at my chest.
“Fine. Then I’m calling Aunt Silvia.” She slid her cell from her pocket, her long chestnut hair falling in her face.
Antoine leaned closer to me, his breath warm on my cheek. “All you have to do is make a wish and I’ll take care of everything.”
My pulse soared, thundering in my ears like battle drums. If only it was that easy.
But it is. A voice sounded in my head.
“I wish she’d just disappear,” I said.
Swirling fog snaked up through the floorboards. Antiques rattled on the shelves as if an earthquake rumbled the earth’s core. The lights flickered until the room was drenched in darkness.
Kelly screamed and I reached for my cousin, but grasped nothing but air.
“Kelly?” My voice wavered. What happened?
“Shhh…just hold still.” Antoine grabbed hold of my waist, nestling me against him.
Then all went quiet. Moments later the lights came back on. She was gone.
“Oh God. Where is she?” My eyes widened as I spun to face Antoine.
“Don’t worry, she’s safe.” He took the snow globe from me and pointed inside.
Holy crap. There, standing next to the distorted backdrop was a tiny Kelly. She waved frantically.
“How did you do that?” I glanced at Antoine.
He laughed. “Magic. So, what do you say? Want to see Paris?”
I stared that the souvenir once more and smiled, giving it a firm shake. “Absolutely.”
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