Mira smelled the neighbor’s lilacs as she walked down the gravel road. Stray clumps of grass and weeds splashed dew into her Crocs, and her feet squished around inside the shoes. She looked at the beautiful view of Puget Sound. It would be a gorgeous spring day, rare and sunny.
But it wasn’t enough to make Mira forget her miserable life. She’d screwed up again and this time Aunt Rita had sent her to Mom’s house. For good.
Mira had been crying for two days; now she just felt empty. Her life held no hope and no future.
She turned back towards the house, pausing to empty a piece of gravel from one shoe.
Then she realized that something felt very wrong. Half a block away, shadows barreled through the mist. A huge hand-shaped cloud appeared out of nowhere, passed over the sun and darkened the row of poplars beside Mom’s house. Shivering in the sudden cold and absence of all sound; she smelled the burnt air. It left a bitter taste in her mouth.