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I stroke one cheek and then the other with blush and remember standing with Drew at the bonfire. The last night we went out as boyfriend and girlfriend. The last night he was human.
On your 13th birthday, you get the call. By your 14th birthday you find out what the call is.
Everyone I know is in the audience tonight––Ally, Mom, Dad, Brian, even my brother, Mitch, because he came home for my birthday. We’re having our family dinner tomorrow night since tonight the cast party’s at Drew's house, unless I decapitate him first.
“Roxie five minutes,” Hayden yells into the girl’s locker room. As usual I’m the last one out. I sweep my hair up to the side and try to remember my first line. For some reason it’s the one I always forget.
I open locker 316, grab my sword and just as I step outside of the locker room, Wanda runs up to me and starts talking non-stop about her nerves and how they’re getting worse and worse.
“What’s that?” she asks. I stop cold in my tracks at the backstage door.
“There are lots of words for things that don’t exist––the unseen. Like monsters and aliens and dragons and vampires and ghosts,” I say sort of in a trance.
“Yeah, so?” Wanda says, wringing her hands.
“If they don’t exist, why are there words for them? All the stuff I thought was crazy really isn’t crazy at all,” I say, finally getting what Drew was trying to tell me at the bonfire at the estate at homecoming. What the human Drew said before I danced with his shadow. My role in the unseen, the shadow world. Still, I don’t know so many things. Like, what happens to a shadow once I slay it? And where do humans go when their shadows invade? How can I save my human friends?
“Roxie, I caught you! I was so late because Brian’s car got a flat. He fixed it so great, I couldn’t believe it. It’s like he went to badass school or something,” Ally says, laughing.
“Ally. Finally!” We hug. I swallow hard. Brian. Fixed. A. Flat. I mean it’s not brain surgery. But believe me, if it doesn’t have an LCD screen, my brother Brian doesn't think it exists. He doesn’t know how to fix a flat. O.M.G. Brian is probably a shadow too.
As a teenager, Laura’s love for story began in the Amazon where she waterskied with piranha while learning of head hunters and curses. In addition to being a ghost, she’s the author of five books and is a contributor to lifestyle and travel magazines. She has a passion for travel, particularly life at sea, and makes her home in Santa Cruz, CA with her husband, daughters, and their families. No matter the language barrier, perceived danger, altitude, squalls, fashion faux pas, or ingested gluten, she writes to inspire with a focus on journeys of the heart—always on the lookout for great champagne and a pair of red shoes.
You can find her at Laurasmagicday.com,
@Laurawriting on Twitter, @book_laurasmagicday on TikTok, and on Goodreads too.