i already posted this on my author site, but i figured i'd cross post it here for y'all to read! it's part of the first chapter of my upcoming book! hope you like it! :)
They held hands as they walked down a familiar street. It was the street of her childhood, yet somehow it was different. The houses weren’t quite the same and something didn’t… well, it didn’t quite feel right. She glanced up at the boy whose hand she was holding. Her mind was keenly aware that she didn’t “know” him, but her heart was telling her otherwise. His hair was short and the light brown color reminded her of sand after it had been washed over by a wave. Her eyes followed the shape of his body through the shirt he was wearing. She could see the muscles in his arms and his broad shoulders were hard to hide. His face appeared flawless and it took everything not to run her hand down his cheek just to feel his skin. Then there were his eyes. They sparkled with such blue radiance that every time she glanced into them, she wasn’t sure she’d ever be able to look away. It was as though he could see right through her. She thought she should probably be uncomfortable with all of this, but for some reason, she was completely at ease with this stranger. He looked at her and smiled. His perfect teeth and full lips made him even more gorgeous.
They kept walking and he was talking a lot. He told her things that didn’t make sense to her. He spoke about where he grew up and how his house wasn’t there anymore. He talked about a fire, horses, and mentioned something about a soldier and war. Katherine listened to all the information, but didn’t fully process it. She didn’t know what was going on really. She was trying to take in the details he was sharing and make sense of it but logic was pushed out of the way. She was too caught up in how she was feeling. The pure love that consumed her every time she looked at this boy was unlike anything she’d ever known before. If soul mates existed and there was such a thing, this stranger was all the proof she needed. It was as if nothing else existed or mattered in the world around them.
She wasn’t aware of the noise at first. She was so caught up in her emotions and his eyes. Then she heard it more clearly. The sound of quiet screams started to ring in her ears. Or maybe it was more like muffled wailing. She wasn’t quite sure. But at that moment she felt her stomach drop to the ground beneath her.
“I’ll be right back.” He kissed her hand. “I have to go in there.”
Their hands started to slowly part. “No. Please don’t go.” She pleaded with him to stay and gripped his hand as tightly as she could.
“Katherine, I have to help.” He smiled at her, his blue eyes sparkling, and then repeated, “I’ll be right back. I promise.”
“You promise?” she asked him nervously.
“I promise,” he responded reassuringly. And with that, he walked into the house on the corner of that street that was so familiar, yet wasn’t. Grief immediately washed over Katherine. She fell to her knees and clenched her stomach. She felt a sickness she couldn’t define. She knew with unfailing certainty that he was never coming back out of that house. She started to feel the pain of a loss so great and severe she thought it might kill her. And then she heard it.
A single gunshot.