Creature of Unknown Origin


swish of my jacket or the occasional snap of a twig beneath my boot until the cabin came back

into sight.

The screen door slammed shut behind me, slapping against its frame. I drew in huffs of air,

not even stopping to wipe my feet. My vision tunneled in on the hallway as I took off for the

bedroom. Spencer called after me, his footsteps close behind mine, but his words were muted

against the pounding of my heart. The old scent of our breakfast bacon sent my stomach churning,

or at least th at’s what I chose to blame. It was either that or the crippling anxiety humming through

my blood, flittering against the underside of my skin.

My feet just barely stopped when I reached Spencer’s nightstand and yanked the drawer

open, doubling over on myself.

“Ava?” Spencer came up behind me, but I pushed him away. He stumbled back into the

dresser, the spare change rattling against the surface.

“Don’t you dare! What is this? Why is my picture in here?” I yelled. My lips curled into a

snarl, a growl already in my chest, when Spencer reached for the file. I held it out of his reach,

ready to push him away again. “What is this?”

The color drained from his face. “Ava, calm down . Let ’s sit down, and I promise I’ll

explain everything. Just let me —”

“Let you? You’ve had this the whole time ! Y ou’ve known something about me this whole


seethed, advancing on him. Every step back he took was another step closer I came to snapping at

him. My bl ood boiled with a fury I couldn’t ever remember having before, lost memory or no.

“You’re the person I should be hiding from!” I growled. My hands curled in on themselves,

not quite a fist, but enough so that the file crumpled in my one hand and the urge to claw Spencer

consumed me. Every second I looked at him filled me with more disgust. The silence between us

echoed like a gunshot.

There wasn’t anything left to say, not for me, anyway. My chest heaved as the walls loomed

closer and closer. My mind raced so far ahead of my body I couldn’t keep up with it. It wanted

one thing, and only one thing, so I listened to it, a sort of trust in my damaged self I hadn’t thought

was possible before.

I fled from the room. My boots stomped against the carpeted hallway and through the living

area. I almost yanked the front door off its hinges in my fury as I hurried from the cabin, from

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