I write weird books for adults, teens, kids, and some for the whole family. Another word for “weird” is speculative fiction, which is fantasy, sci fi, time travel, supernatural, paranormal, alternate history, dystopian, steampunk, or anything else WAY out of the ordinary.
Zaq may as well have punched me in the gut. I couldn’t believe I’d just thought he was worthy of my sister.
“Zaq,” Lizzie warned.
“Yeah, my bad,” Zaq said. “I’ll ask something else.”
“Oh, no you don’t,” Jaylee said. “He has to answer. Go ahead, Eli. Who did you like?”
I stared at her, speechless, wishing I would say anything at all. It suddenly seemed extremely warm in the house and I wished I could escape outside where the night was sure to be cool.
Jaylee’s eyes narrowed. “Is it someone here?”
“Sorry, man,” the guy said. “Looked like you were stuck. You sure got a lot of stuff packed in there. You guys headed up to Mount Crested Butte?”
“Uh, Cortez,” I said, instantly wondering why I’d told the truth. I didn’t like anyone looking at our supplies or knowing our business.
I moved cautiously, shining my light over every inch of floor before I took a step. From the intensity of the pungent sweet smell, I was expecting to find a dozen dead people, but Cree led us to a lone body, lying on two couch cushions—likely the missing ones from the lobby. The woman had dark, Native American skin, but her body appeared black and blue in places, almost a sickly green. Flies swarmed and crawled over her skin. Cree plopped cross-legged onto the floor beside the cushions and slipped her hand into the dead woman’s.
I had no words. I closed my eyes and began to pray. I didn’t know what else to do. Why was all this happening? The poor kid had been sitting around with her mom like this? How many others had been abandoned like this?
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