Creature of Unknown Origin


an echo reverberated on the clear day, and those who heard it would be none the wiser. I poked

my head around the si de of the concrete receptacle in time to see the woman’s body crumple a few

yards away. Turns out she hadn’t been that close behind me at all, but that was only a petty relief.

Spencer met my gaze, and I shrank back behind my hiding place in the hopes that just

maybe, the universe would swallow me whole as hazy recognition tugged at the edges of my mind.

Everything raced: my heart, my mind, my breaths.

He’d shot someone before. He told me as much, but I didn’t quite believe him.

Now I did. I remembered . W hat’s more is I vaguely remembered how I’d gotten there,

though that memory was still too blurry.

A man had grabbed me from behind, in a forest. And we’d fought, my vision wavering

until it blurred our surroundings together in a horrible abstract oil painting. The man had drugged

me, and Spencer shot him, just when I thought I was dead.

That’s when he picked me up and promised everything was going to be okay.

“Ava?” My eyes opened at the gentle tone. Spencer kneeled in front of me. “We have to

go. There ’s more coming.”

“I remember… you shot him, the man in the woods. You shot him.” I mumbled, allowing

Spencer to help me to my feet. “And the house, from my nightmares? It’s real… somewhere.”

“We really don’t have time for this right now.” Spencer’s head swiveled from side to side.

I followed his gaze the moment his body went stock still. A beat-up sedan rounded the corner by

the library. “Get to the truck.”

“Spencer, go, Howie and I’ll handle this. Now GO!” Delia pushed him after me and we

made a beeline for the truck, the doors slamming shut behind us.

Spencer didn’t waste any time getting the truck in gear, and once he did, he drove like a

madman. There was never a direct route back to the cabin, but this time, Spencer managed to find

one as the paved roads fell away to dirt faster than I had ever known them to.

I eyed my driver from the corner of my eye. His arms flexed and strained, probably with

his thoughts.

“You should’ve told me,” I said quietly, ignoring the static tension in the air.

Spencer’s focus broke as his intense gaze cut to me. “You’re right, I should’ve and I didn’t,

and I’m sorry, but I don’t think saying sorry is enough so… I don’t know what you want me to do


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