by Erik Therme
GENRE: YA suspense
The last thing Kaylee wants to do is participate in a childish scavenger hunt—especially inside the abandoned retirement home on the edge of town. When she finds a bruised, deaf boy hiding inside one of the rooms, she vows to lead him to safety . . . only to discover the front doors are now padlocked, and her friends are nowhere to be found. Kaylee is about to learn that not everything that goes ‘bump in the night’ is imaginary, and sometimes there are worse things to fear than ghosts.
That’s my father’s favorite word. I’m pretty sure that’s why he left my mother and me: we never listened. What does he expect? My mother hides behind a computer sixty hours a week, and I’m only fifteen. It’s not in our nature to listen. Case in point: I think my mother just asked a question I didn’t catch—which is bad—because she hates repeating herself almost as much as I do. My best defense is to keep staring out the car window, pretending I didn’t hear.
“Well?” she asked.
“Yeah,” I said, “I get it. You hate me.”
“Kaylee, I don’t hate you. And we both know you brought this on yourself.”
“Me? How is this my fault? I haven’t done anything—”
“Exactly. It’s been three weeks since we moved here, and in that time you’ve made zero effort to make friends or leave the apartment. If it wasn’t for Anna, you wouldn’t do anything but come home from school and sulk in your room.”
I slunk down further in the passenger seat. “Yeah, and if it wasn’t for Anna I wouldn’t even be here right now.”
“Well, I think it was very generous of these girls to invite you over tonight, so at least try and make an effort. It’s only for a few hours.”
I scowled out my window, knowing it was pointless to argue. Once my mother made up her mind it took an act of God, or an argument with my father, to change it.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering for his oldest daughter’s volleyball team, or chilling on the PlayStation 4 with his thirteen-year-old. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only seven places in the world UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.
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