Creature of Unknown Origin


I smiled, straightening up in my chair, and helped myself to a second short stack of

pancakes. Spencer laughed, snatching the last pancake out from under me.


“Sorry, sweetheart, but everyone knows the chef gets the last bite,” he teased, snatching

the syrup up next with a cocky smile.

“So much for hospitality,” I grumbled with a roll of my eyes.

~ ~ ~

Two days of driving later, and the worst case of boredom I’ve ever experienced, Spencer

pulled off the dirt road we’d been on for the last eternity onto a ba rely maintained gravel path that

was more of a run-down kiddie coaster at an abandoned beach-side amusement park.

I certainly had more than enough to contemplate, what with everything Spencer told me

about Dr. Richards trying to hire him to find me and my own onslaught of emotions, not to mention

the questions we’d asked each other about our respective worlds and lives . Some of those answers

seemed to lead to more confusion than enlightenment, like when I had to explain to Spencer the

thing about my world’s bloodlines again. Or when he tried to explain magic, as I knew it, wasn’t

real, replaced or written off as something else entirely. In the end, our mutual interviews led us

into the silent reflection that had encompassed most of the drive, besides the idle chit-chat about

things we’d passed or things we saw on the road.

It was in those quiet moments when I realized I’d meant what I said: I wanted to stay here,

start over. On the other hand, and maybe the stronger hand, my heart longed to go home. That

agonized chasm in my heart cried out and ached to let my family know I was all right, that I was

alive, and that traveling between dimensions or worlds or universes or whatever it was that

happened to me, is possible and that those things exist too.

It was risky, and maybe not even possible for Howie to recreate whatever it was that Dr.

Richards did to bring me here, but I had to hold on to that hope, however slim it was.

“We’re almost there. You sure you’re okay to do this?” Spencer stole a sidelong glance a t

me from the driver’s seat.

I hummed, not sure how to answer that. I only wished I hadn’t eaten that greasy fast -food

breakfast. The farther up the gravel drive we traveled, the worse my stomach rolled and twisted.

Acid sat like a lump in my throat, buzzi ng and pulsating, the absolute definition of ‘nerves on fire. ’

I sat up a little in my seat. My eyes wandered over to Spencer, and I realized, of the things he’d

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