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Short story

Anticpation can be everything.

Sadie was on her first date, stretching up for her first kiss when she's asked to do one little thing first--save the world.


Too bad time is running short.



It’s ten P.M. on Saturday, and I’m holding Bradley Warren McCurry’s surprisingly dry, warm hand. Every step closer to my front door means saying good-bye, and it’s getting harder and harder to breathe.

Is he going to kiss me? Should I kiss him?

I’ve waited for this moment. A moment that thrives in my heart and dreams but never seemed possible. Yet, here we are. Together. His thumb strokes my hand as we come to my front gate. Brad slips between the gate and me and opens the latch. We walk through and stand face to face in the golden glow of the streetlamp. I can count each long lash around his green eyes and every crease in his lips. Small droplets cling to his light-ash hair, and his Adam’s apple rises and falls as he swallows. He’s like a magnet drawing me forward.

Stepping back, he stumbles and grabs me for balance.

We move together like dancers in slow motion, Brad pulling me to him and my chest touching his for a heartbeat. He steps aside, again taking me with him, and I spin within his arms and fall against his toned body.

I tingle everywhere we touch. This is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened. My dreams were never this good.

You can do this, Sadie.

I reach up, rest my hand on his shoulder, and stretch on my tippy-toes.

Lips to lips. Just do it.

His eyes are half closed with a radiant blush on his cheeks. His lips are moist with the tip of his tongue barely visible. He has never looked more gorgeous, or still, reminding me of a wax figure.

Closer still . . . . millimeters away, I realize, he’s not breathing.

Not moving.

Doing nothing but standing there.



Behind and to the left, something moves in the shadows. I step away, my heart in my throat, not understanding any of this, and rub my eyes.

“I can’t believe this,” I say, grabbing for Brad’s arm. My fist closes on empty air. I spin, taking in my yard and the street behind me. He’s gone.

Something snaps inside me.

Bend with it, Sadie. Bend with it, or break.


That voice!

Turning toward the shadows, I wait. A girl steps into the golden light. Not just any girl. I find my own face peering back at me from the dimness.

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