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Genre: YA high fantasy
Glass shattered, piercing the silence of night. Gabe leapt from bed in a state of panic and his blankets tackled him to the floor. Flailing around, he wrestled the material in a chaotic display of acrobatics.
Pins and needles pricked in his palms. Not again! He froze and took a deep breath, trying to settle his anxiety to keep from setting his covers ablaze.His power calmed.
He broke free and sprung up,alert. What was that? Gabe stared at his opened door,searching for signs of movement beyond his room.
The house slept. Silent.
Good, it was just a dream.
No sooner had the thought entered his mind, a shadow dashed through his door. Before his eyes had time to warn his brain of potential danger, she was at his side, arms outstretched.
“Sis,” he said, exhaling a deep breath. “Why are you out of bed?” He bent over and picked up the frightened, little girl.
“The noise scared me,” Kyla whimpered, wrapping her legs tightly around his waist and throwing her arms about his neck.
She heard it too! His heart quickened. What should I do? Did Mom and Dad hear it?
He attempted to lower the six-year-old to the ground, but she squeezed tighter, moaning.
Suddenly the house shook, booming as if a rocket had barreled through the living room.
A scream shot up the stairs. Gabe knew instantly who it was. Mom!
Kyla cried out. Gabe clasped his hand to her mouth and darted to the safety of his closet. He pealed her from his waist, placed her on the ground and began ripping shirts from their hangers in a frantic effort to barricade her in. “I’m going to go see what’s happening downstairs,” he whispered, swallowing hard against the lump in his throat.
“No,” she bellowed, trying to wiggle out from her shelter.
“Don’t worry. I’ll be right back.” He hoped. “But I need you to stay here.”
He finished packing her in then knelt. Her deep, brown eyes streamed with tears,stabbing his heart with each droplet. He longed for words to comfort her, but what do you say to a six-year-old in a time like this?
“How about we play a game?” He forced a smile. “Let’s pretend you’re a princess.” It was her favorite game. He’d outgrown childhood make-believe when puberty crept up and had stopped playing with her, something he now realized was a mistake.
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