Creature of Unknown Origin


Spencer, with a determination that thirsted for a fight, for blood. The rickety old screen door didn’t

fare much better when I shoved it open, decidedly out for blood. I just wanted something to lash

out at, but there wasn’t anything. Only the man close on my heels.

“Ava, wait, please. They’re still out there.”

I whirled around, throwing his precious little file in his face. The papers fluttered out as the

file slipped open, falling to the ground like volcanic ash. “And you’re right here!”


“They? No, you , Spence, it’s you ,” I spat. I turned my back to him and started off down the

pitted dirt driveway. Bitter anger sat like a lump in my throat, burning almost as much as the

betrayal in my chest. If I didn’t keep walking, I was certain the rolling waves in my stomach would

force me to double over —that is if the compulsion to punch Spencer didn’t consume me first.

“Ava, please,” Spencer piped up uncertainly, his voice caught by the breeze, “stay?”

This time, my hands did ball into fists. My own nails nearly cut into the flesh of my palm.

I gritted my teeth to steel myself against the anguish of his petty plea.

Spencer — and his cabin — for all the warmth and comfort and support and normalcy,

weren’t safe. It was all an illusion, a trick, an experiment. Just like the stark black ink and blue ink

of the folder from my memory.

But Spencer’s file was worn. Editions made in small, round ed capital letters, signed in red

ink and coffee stains. I bit my lip.

How could I listen to him? How could I trust him to tell the truth now? Even if he did tell

the truth, or his version of it anyway, would it be worse than the illusion that the file just shattered?

I pushed myself forward, toward a town I barely knew how to get to, having never cared

about direction before thanks to a blinding amount of faith in someone willing to kill to save me,

and asked myself where exactly the monster from my nightmares stood. Was it behind me now?

Was this all over? Could I finally rest?

Or was I about to stare it down on some old dirt road in the middle of nowhere?

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